Croatia and Venice
29 June 2013 | Croatia
Jane, warm and sunny
Sailing into Venice was the ultimate highlight of our trip with the FYR 2013 (Friendship Yacht Rally). I did not know that it would be so exciting until we got to the Grand Canal and St. Marc's square with Ta-b in the middle of the day. Boats everywhere and no one obeying the rules of the road; wild, and I knew the Italians were crazy car drivers!! It certainly got the adrenaline going. When we left it was early morning and a totally different experience, but nevertheless fantastic with the sunrise.
We have had such a terrific six weeks with various boats from last year's EMYR joining us on our adventure. Our friends Kim and Cam from Vancouver joined us on the last leg from Corfu up through Croatia to Venice. It was great to have them on board, they are fantastic crew and great friends. Amy joined us for a week of exploring the delights of the city, before we headed back to Croatia. Did I say delights? Venice is a feast for the eyes and a week was certainly not enough, we will certainly be back for longer when we next visit.
The weather on arriving in Venice became very hot and humid, a challenge for all of us, but it did not slow us down ... much ☺ There was so much to see and do. We had great fun taking our tender down all the canals and seeing areas that are not available to the normal visitor, trying not to hit gondolas and work boats added to the adventure as some of the canals are VERY narrow. We visited all the main sites and a fair few of the churches that are like galleries in themselves. The Biannual Venice Art exhibition was on too, and Amy was in her Mecca being a History of Art student. Also when in Italy eat Gelato and Pasta, it is so good and we tried to partake on a daily basis, amazing as I did not put on any weight - the walking and weather obviously sorted out that possible problem ☺
Michael, my brother's son, joined us at the end of our time in Venice and spent a week with us and Amy going down the Croatian coast to Trogir. We had a wonderful time together and thankfully the weather cooled as we left Venice and headed south.
We checked into Rovinj a delightful little town and found a great anchorage where we had a pot luck dinner onboard Ta-b with Awatea and Excellence two rally boats. It has become a game to find somewhere to anchor in Croatia for free, so far we have only had to pay once, but it is becoming more difficult now that the season is in full swing. The wind was kind to us as we headed south and we had Big Red (our parasail) out a few times and are slowly getting used to putting it her up and down. A wonderful addition to Ta-b.
We spent two nights in Trogir with the kids (I will always think of them as kids I fear) and went out the first night we were there with a couple of other boats. The heavens opened during our meal, luckily there was a big awning over us, but the water splashing off the courtyard stones made for a fun experience. The next day we hired a car and went into Spit, like Trogir it has a gorgeous old town to explore and was well worth the visit.
During our trip from Corfu to Venice we visited quite a bit of Croatia with Dubrovnik and Korcula probably being our favorite spots, although Hvar and Pula were both interesting. There are over 1,000 islands along the coast and seven national parks. Cruising is easy with so many little bays and places to explore, we can understand why it has been a popular area for sailing. Sadly they are slowly filling the bays with mooring buoys and we fear that the costs charged even for anchoring will eventually put sailors off. We were asked for 490 kuna (approx $70) for anchoring in Primosten bay one afternoon - yup, we left ☺
The kids sadly left on 26 June, we had such a great time with them on board and are already looking forward to their next visit at Xmas. Since then we have been in clean up mode, I have been a tad lax while we had company. Did I mention how dirty the boat got in Greece? We constantly had yellow dust all over the decks, which slowly crept into everything inside too, what a relief that we no longer have to cope with it. Russ has a ton of little jobs to do, so is also keeping himself busy, life is never boring on Ta-b.
What next? Well my brother Jamie is coming to see us for a week 8 - 15 July, we pick him up in Trogir and plan to go to Skradin which has been highly recommended to us. Then we need to start moving south as we want to leave Lefkas, after we have had the starboard engine rechecked (sadly it is still not working properly), by the second week in August.
My camera sadly is not working, so I have to thank family and friends for the pictures attached. Tons I know, but I hope you will have time to enjoy.