Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Great excitements last night. We reached Cazdad, a pretty little bay and village south of Dubrovnik, very conveniently close to the airport. A swim in the warm sea and a cup of tea gave us a leisurely start but in what seemed like the twinkling of an eye, the wind got up and the bay was transformed from a hot, lazy, glassy-topped splashabout playground into a seriously spikey and rough threat. Our plan to go ashore in the rubber duck for a cocktail, and then again for a last night supper, were abandoned. We spent five hours bucking about, watching the scenery spin about us as the wind pushed the boat this way and that. It’s only a hundred or so yards to the quay and we could see people strolling about under the pretty palm trees, and even sitting in the cafĂ© where we had planned to be…. but however close, it was too far. Kate created a risotto supper for us on board, and we ate on deck with the world rocking wildly about.
We looked anxiously, or at least considerately, at the rubber duck with its little engine, waiting patiently to take us to shore. It seemed prudent to add a second painter to keep it secure and we wondered if the rocking waters might flip it over (and thus the motor would go to the bottom), but it was not possible to get onto it and take the motor off.
Then it seemed to us that we were not where we had started. Our anchor was secure enough, but is held on a long chain and we were drifting closer and closer to another boat left unattended in the bay – it was impossible to say quite how this was happening, but the decision was made to move our hook and get further out into the open.
We watched another of the huge pointy fuck-me ships slink into the bay in the dark, and then make its way to the quay, backing in and out a few times before settling beside its six bully sisters.
At midnight a boat came in from the sea and started to drop its anchor inexplicably right beside us – far too close and certain to bash into us when the wind swung us round – but Andy shouted at them and they removed to a clearer space.
Overhead, planes roar into and out of the airport. It’s now 6.40am and we will be on one of those planes very soon. We are about to pack and get into the grey rubber dinghy for the last time, clutching our soft bags and bits and bobs. The end of a tour round some of the Dalmatian Islands, thanks to the generosity and skill of our kind hosts.

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