Friday, May 10th, 2019
Today is Megan’s last full day in Croatia, and we have landed at Kastela, on the outskirts of Split. Over the past two days we have visited a couple of the main islands in Croatia; Korcula on Wednesday and Brac on Thursday.
The weather has not been that appealing, but we have had decent breaks in the wind/rain/cold to enjoy the sights everywhere we went.
The trip from Dubrovnik to Korcula (Stari Grad) was about 8 hours, and the weather was good, but the wind from the previous night had kicked up some waves and it was a bit rocky. We arrived in time for a tour of the town and then pizza by the waterfront. Like many of the tourist towns, this place was overpriced for what it offered, but we simply enjoyed ourselves and took in the sights.
This area is like a mini Dubrovnik with a quaint, walled town, and is similarly busy, but there are more waterfront restaurants and far fewer tourist shops. As I type that I am thinking back to Dubrovnik, and the dozens of other towns that I have visited over the years as a tourist. Dubrovnik was over loaded up with tacky tourist shops with all manner of useless memorabilia, and here there are quite a few tourist shops as well, befitting a historic walled city and the throngs that must visit I suppose, but the shops here seem to have more (self declared and over-priced) home made or local artisan wares and not nearly as many keychains and fridge magnets.
We succumbed to the lure of a small bag (two hands full) of candy coated nuts for the equivalent of about C$10. Definitely not worth that anywhere but in an old walled city.
After a nice pizza and cocktail sitting and looking over the water’s edge, the requisite gelato follow-on and a brief stroll back to the boat, it was time to get some rest.
Through the night a storm arrived, but Home Free is a very stout boat and the stabilizers allow us to move around when many other motor yachts would be forced to stay put. Around 10 am, we slipped our lines and began the journey to Brac. The first hour was amazing. We headed North and had 20-30 knot winds at our back and the boat was moving forward at 8-9 knots for periods of time. I believe 9 knots is the fastest that Home Free has gone on my watch.
The bad news is that we had to turn a corner and go back, almost due South (i.e. the opposite direction) for about 12 nm, and then we got hammered by those same winds and the associated waves for nearly 3 hours at 4.5-6 knots until we turned again.
Brac is about 7 nm North of that last turn, and the boat settled in, caught the wind and we pulled into this sleepy town (Povlja) around 4 pm.
Due to the weather, I was not able to get a bike ride in on Korcula, but I did get a short ride in on Brac. Here is a small ‘chapel’ (like the Agios in Greece) in the hills of Brac, with almost nothing nearby.
After my ride this morning, today’s run to Marina Kastela was very fast, with currents (there was no wind today) pushing the boat up to almost 8 knots at times. The run was done in about five hours. Kastela was super busy with a few dozen boats out for training or racing or cruising, I don’t know, but dozens of boats came in just after we arrived, and the expected crush meant that we were left on the outside wall. Not so bad given that there is zero wind.
Megan and I toured Split for a couple of hours. The old town was nice enough, but as usual, expensive and kinda like all of the other tourist spots. We did enjoy the walk, the dinner and getting a sense for another small corner of the world.
Tomorrow Megan flies home and she will be starting her career as a mining engineer on Monday! After sending her off, I will pull off the pier and find a nice place (or two) to drop anchor or tie up and spend time until Jinhee arrives next week. There are some books to be read, some cleaning to be done and perhaps sleep will come as well.