Preparing for the Upcoming Season
21 April 2017 | Trogir, Croatia
Escapade wintered over on the hard at the Marina Trogir in Croatia while Debbie and I tried to find some skiing in the Dolomites at Cortina. Unfortunately, for the second year in a row Cortina experienced a very serious drought - literally no snow in the village all year and very little in the high mountains. The good news is that unlike our native Squaw Valley in CA the Dolomites have extensive top to bottom snow making saving the season for the skiers and for the local merchants.
Escapade seems to have survived the winter reasonably well with virtually no damage other than a serious coating of dirt. Now we will put in the necessary 3-4 weeks cleaning her up and supervising the yard doing some pretty extensive and overdue hull sanding, compounding and waxing. We are also managing a complete refit of countertops and plumbing fixtures for the galley and both heads. It's really nice to be able to upgrade some of the things that you touch and use everyday. And we are always proud parents when Escapade is looking good!
I almost forgot: I bought Debbie a present of a brand new Lofrans windlass. She's more excited than a trip to Tiffanys! Escapade carries 400' of 3/8 HT chain and a 55 kg Rocna anchor so we never want to be in a position to try to get that up by hand. The old one still worked but it was giving out definite signs of impending retirement. We got a great price on the windlass from a marine store named Nauticogallo just S of Venice - highly recommend them.
March has been beautiful with sun everyday and temps in the mid-60's. The old town of Trogir is waking up and businesses and restaraunts are readying for the upcoming tourist onslaught. We now have the choice of more than one restaurant and it’s warm enough to ride our bikes everywhere.
The one serious negative about Croatia (other than no Italian food and no Italians) is the 4,000 bareboats plus the 150+ crewed charter boats. Not only do they drive up the marina prices and make marine work difficult to get done in season but the standards for chartering have bottomed out and it can be a bit dangerous out there. The charter companies advertise that you can vacation cheaper in Croatia by renting/sharing a cabin on a bareboat than by staying in a hotel or apartment and taking a ferry between islands. To this end more and more buoy fields are sprouting up to make 'parking' easier.
On a positive note; we have been able to identify a number of excellent Croatian wines and figured out that it's far more reasonable to buy them by the multiple caseload at the winerey. We are concerned about the quality of the Retsina in Greece which is our destination this summer so prudently we are laying in supplies before we depart.
Now we will make a quick trip to CA to check in with friends and family while looking forward to returning to Trogir mid-May to splash the boat and head south to Montenegro, Albania, Greece and Turkey...