Our Ever-Changing Backyard

13 November 2023 | Orikum, Albania
30 October 2023 | Durrës, Albania
29 October 2023 | Porto Montenegro to Athens, Greece
22 August 2023 | Montenegro
18 April 2023 | Monopoli, Italy - Zadar, Croatia
09 April 2023 | Korčula, Croatia
01 April 2023 | Otok Badija, near Korcula, Croatia
15 March 2023 | Mljet National Park, Croatia
11 December 2022 | Uvala Przina, Pelješac Peninsula, Croatia
20 November 2022 | Uvala Podškolj, Croatia
05 November 2022 | Lopud, Croatia

Beautiful Przina

11 December 2022 | Uvala Przina, Pelješac Peninsula, Croatia
Vandy Shrader
Uvala Przina
Pelješac Peninsula, Croatia
42°46.520'N,17°45.203'E

June 24-28, 2022






Uvala Przina was just as we'd hoped it would be: beautiful, protected, sandy-bottomed, and (for most of the day) uncrowded. When we pulled into the small cove, only two other boats were anchored there: a large Bali charter cat more or less in the middle of the space, and a small fishing launch to his right. We steered Awildian into the large space to the left of the cat and dropped our anchor into a big patch of bright white sand.

What a lovely spot! The sides of the small bay rose up to gray-white peaks, their slopes completely covered in pine trees, from whose branches birds and cicadas sang. A sandy beach, backed by more trees, with a lone house tucked into one corner, occupied the head of the cove. The clear water underneath Awildian created a delightfully random tapestry of light and dark turquoise, courtesy of the patches of sand and weeds. It was mesmerizing to look out through the fish TVs at the underwater world.



During the next couple of hours, a dozen charter boats arrived. All of them anchored on the right side of the cove, between the Bali cat and the shore, leaving us on our own on the left side. We don't know why they preferred to cram into that one area, rather than anchoring on the left side, but it was ok with us. Their passengers jumped into the water or swam to the beach to enjoy the sunshine. After hanging out in Przina for a couple of hours, they pulled up their anchors and left, leaving the anchorage to us until the following morning, when the next batch of charter boats arrived. Eric and I wondered if the charterers had a checklist of places they wanted to visit during their holiday in Croatia, so they couldn't afford to spend too much time in each place.



One of the luxuries of cruising is being able to take our time.

Not one of the luxuries of cruising, is having to do boat work. While we were at Przina, Eric decided to clean Awildian's hulls, using a scraper and the hookah. The water was a reasonable temperature and as it had been awhile since Awildian had enjoyed a spa treatment, he had a bit of a grass skirt going on. Meanwhile, I cleaned Awildian's stainless steel with Barkeeper's Friend. By the end of the day, Awildian was sleek, slick, and shiny again.

By the way, we haven't seen any of the Mediterranean fan worms that have become the scourge of New Zealand's coastal waters. Since they're native to here, we expected they'd be growing on all the boats and docks. But no. Not one. Maybe they're all in New Zealand, rabble rousing.


A nice spot for a house!

While cutting a cauliflower that had been in our fridge for several days, I exposed a fat, green, groggy - and very lucky - caterpillar! He was unharmed, tucked into one of the crevices. I set him up in a little plastic dish with a paper towel roof, with a bit of cauliflower, and pieces of lettuce and cabbage leaves (in case he had a preference). Almost immediately he began to spin some silk. If he metamorphoses, I thought, I'll keep him safe until he's done, and then release him where flowers are growing.

One day we decided to go to shore and do a bit of exploring on land. I'd seen a guy in a dinghy pull up his outboard and begin paddling when he got about fifty yards from shore. From where we were in Awildian, I couldn't tell why he'd done that. There aren't any bommies in Croatia, or coral reefs, so it wasn't that. I told Eric about this as we were motoring toward shore, after we'd scooped a shiny green beetle out of the water. When we were about fifty yards out the reason became clear: a shelf of sand-colored rock extended out from the beach, creating an area of very shallow water. The rock blended in with the sand of the deeper water, so you couldn't tell it was there until you were almost on top of it. Very sneaky! It would have had the same disastrous effect on an outboard motor, as a South Pacific coral reef would. At least coral reefs telegraph their location by being a different color than the deeper water around them.


Look ma, no swell!

We beached the dinghy and walked through the trees, depositing the shiny green beetle on a branch, and continuing on a trail until we came to a dirt road. To our right, the road eventually ended at the house; we went left.



I like to look down, as well as around, while I'm walking, and was intrigued by the many caravans of large black ants winding their way along and beside the dirt road. Many were carrying seeds and small sticks, and I followed several trails to their nests, watching the ants disappear down the central hole. I was surprised to see that there were also ants coming out of the hole with seeds in their jaws, and depositing them in a pile off to one side. Were they making an offering to the local grasshopper mafia, like in A Bug's Life? On taking a closer look, I realized that only the husks of the seeds were in the trash heaps. The ants must be shucking the seeds and eating them in their nests, then disposing of the husks. I didn't know they did that sort of thing. Live and learn.




Besides ants, we also saw signs of humans along the road: several abandoned houses, and an old tombstone. We wondered if some of the houses had belonged to Serbs who had fled during the war in the 1990s.



Certainly no one had claimed the houses in the meantime. Being around them gave us a feeling of unease. The stories these houses could tell.











The tombstone was all by itself in a small clearing just off the road.



Someone had spent a lot of time cutting steps in the stone hillside next to the road, making it easier to reach the grave.



Using Google Translator we were able to read the tombstone: "Here lies Martin Prkačjn. Memorial is raised by brother Andreji and his grateful sons." And at the bottom, "1934".



And on the flat part of the grave, a smaller headstone that reads "IVANA Supruga Martinova 1884-1950".

I'd love to know the story of this family.

We enjoyed a few days at Przina and then decided it was time to head for the north end of Mljet, and finally visit the national park.













Comments
Vessel Name: Awildian, previously SCOOTS (2012-2021)
Vessel Make/Model: Leopard 48
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA
Crew: Eric and Vandy Shrader
About: We've been living aboard full time since September 2014. We sailed our Able Apogee 50, SCOOTS, from 2012-2021, and are now aboard our Leopard 48, Awildian, since March 2022.
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