July 28th, 2019
I returned to Montenegro this week and boy is it hot! Not like Western Europe, but it is much hotter than North America which is experiencing an unusually cool summer.
Home Free is pretty much just like I left her, but there was some work done while I was gone. I have a new storage rack for the new, 8 person life raft (An Update From Greece) and my canvas was repaired after getting torn up in the storm in May (So That’s a Bora!), and there are some problems associated with leaving the boat alone for long periods. She’s dirty of course, and one ceiling panel has fallen and broken in the pilot house, but overall its good to be back aboard.
The next few weeks will be pretty full with guests, Tom, Chris and Abby will join me in Tivat on Wednesday, then Jinhee will join on Saturday in Cavtat. From there we will cover much of the same cruising area that we have already covered, but schedules prevent a lot of wandering, particularly with new eyes to see the highlights.
Porto Montenegro is a very busy place in the summer. There are a lot of boats coming and going, the shopping/dining area is packed overnight and then there is the odd party which can drag on into the night (I am sure they have a sound curfew, but it doesn’t seem to be observed on the large yacht (Deep Story) just off my stern.)
I have been putting miles on the bike, not as many as I would like, but still moving about enough to feel like I am doing something about my fitness. Two weeks ago I set out to do a 320km ride with guys from the Barrie Cycling Club. They were so fast that by 240km or so I had to break off. (Our average speed at 200km was around 31 kph!! My normal, riding solo, would be 25-26 at that distance.) I ended up only riding 300km, but the ride reminded me that I am not really training anymore. I am just riding. Over the past few days I have been putting a bit more effort into my rides and so I am sore.
There is a small climb, very close to the boat, the ride tracking app that I use, Strava, calls a segment of that climb ‘R 22’, and I can see my time to complete that 3.6 kilometre stretch of road. Before I left in June, I did the climb three times and it took me on average 15:27. (For those that watch the pro tours like the Tour de France, this is an easy climb. It’s a category 3 climb, the pros wouldn’t even feel it and they would do it in about 9-10 minutes!). After that ride with the fast boys at BCC, my first attempt was 15:04. Today I decided I wanted to see how fast I could do it if I ‘tried’.
Okay, so I pulled a minute and a half off, from the June time, and almost a minute faster than yesterday’s time. I did the climb in 13:57, but then I was wasted. I rode another 40km afterward, arriving at the boat completely sore and tired and fell asleep. Hard work on a bike doesn’t seem to be my forte anymore.
I bought a new toy as well. Sometimes the distances we need to travel around here are long and it’s hot and grocery shopping is much easier with something with a motor. Instead of a motor scooter, I added an electric scooter. There are a lot of electric scooters at this marina. The staff use them and lots of boaters run around in them as well. They are cracking down on riding within the pedestrian areas of the marina, but getting to groceries or the marina office, etc. is much faster with the scooter (30km range, 20+kph max speed, 500 Euros).
It’s much cheaper and cleaner than a motor scooter, although the motor scooter would have allowed more tourism activities . . . we may revisit that in the US with a two seater perhaps.
Yesterday I launched the dinghy for the first time in two months and starting it was a bit of a stretch. The fuel in the tank has been there for a very long time, and the tank was almost empty. I did get it working enough to make my way to a fuel dock (I crawled along the piers in case the dinghy died on me.). After filling it up with new fuel the engine seemed to run much better.
The dinghy motor is a bit questionable even at the best of times, with a broken seal around the carburetors. It seems to have two modes. Slow and super fast. Both of those options have been good to me in other areas of life, so we will hold off on major repairs until the boat gets back to North America.
We are looking forward to some vacation, relaxing on the boat, enjoying warm water, hot sunshine, good food, good wine and pleasant company.