Well- THAT was an experience. Simon said the wind would be with us and it was. We set off from Kassiopi at 10.00 am ish. Once we cleared Corfu and the 3 Greek islands north of Corfu, the sea got bigger. Not too big, but bigger. We were sailing, doing 7,8 knots, 10 knots at one point. It’s not that comfortable but it was fast. We managed breakfast, lunch and dinner (no alcohol allowed!) (Simon’s rule!) on the go- a feat in itself with the boat rolling about!! My chicken salad rolled itself off my plate onto the table at one point.
We watched the sun set- over the sea. Lovely. Then Simon went to bed. At about 10.00pm In the cockpit. It wasn’t cold, he just had a cosy light blanket from Dunelm and there are cushions underneath you. Just before he did- ‘What was that?’ I peered. There it was again. A dolphin!! Just under our bow!! So close!! It leapt out of our bow wave. And again and was swept along the side of the boat. I swear it rubbed against it! Then again. It played in the bow wave for a while. Quite a small one but only one I think. Then it went.
We decided that for the peace of mind of the one sleeping, the one on watch should wear a life jacket AND be clipped on so man overboard wouldn’t happen or if it did we’d still be attached to the boat. The sea WAS quite roly and the boat bobbed quite a bit. Also strict rules to stay in the cockpit ( there was no way I would leave it anyway!!). So when I moved I clanked like Jacob Marley!! I had to hold my ‘chain’ to try to be quiet!!
So I was alone in charge as we whooshed along. I listened to my iPod and looked at the stars. The Milky Way was above us. It’s funny how many songs mention stars. I really enjoyed it and wasn’t scared at all as I thought I would be.
My brief was to watch for lights of other boats. We hadn’t seen a single vessel all day so I wasn’t expecting any now. One appeared. It looked to me like it was heading our way. It’s supposed to show lights. Red for port. Green for starboard. White for steaming light. This one looked like a Christmas tree. But no green or red. So I didn’t know which side of it I was seeing or if it was coming straight for us. It got bigger and bigger. I left it as long as I dared and then – ‘Simon!’ Poor Simon! But he couldn’t work it out either and evasive action WAS required.
I saw 3 more boats on my watch but they didn’t pose a problem so Simon got some sleep.
It was very humid. My hair got wet. I spent a lot of time with my head popped out looking at the stars. But not cold although I did wear my fleece.
We changed over at 2.30am. But I wanted to watch the sun rise, which we did- at about 5.30, lovely. Then at about 8, Dolphins again! One jumped, then 2, then 3 together. !! Wow!! Then one was right along side us briefly, I could’ve leaned out and touched it! Then – gone! They are so beautiful and lithe and just so amazing!! A high spot!
We arrived at Bar , Montenegro, at 10.40am 24 1/2 hours after we left Corfu. You have to go to a customs place to check in. We’ll have to do it again in Croatia. You have to check out when leaving too. So- we tied up on a special customs jetty and approached the port office. They waved us away. No English spoken so it was a problem. A guard did his best. He gave us our instructions several times- all in foreign!! Eventually a man was fished out – a shipping agent- who told us to go to the port police somewhere in town. So they let us leave the port!!!’ Migrants pay attention!! After much wandering about in the blistering heat and asking people (we found the real police!!) eventually- we found it, tucked away. So a lengthy form was filled , we were despatched to the bank with a billydo to pay, much stamping on forms, returned to the office and obtained our ‘vignette’. Permission to be in Montenegro. Then back to the port to show our passports AND the vignette. But the office there couldn’t do it band ceased us away-again. (What Do they do?) So the guard had a little sentry box outside and he tapped away on a very antiquated looking computer. Much huffing and puffing and sighing. A phone call. More questions- always the same ones. God it’s tedious!! And nowhere to sit!! And it’s bloody boiling. How would they cope with a coachload??
We missed out Albania because you need a shipping agent to take care of all the formalities. They treat yachts like big ships. They’re not geared up for the likes of us. But maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Montenegro doesn’t seem geared up either. I can’t believe they let us leave the port- but they did have our boat!!
Then we had to move the boat into the Marina- and check in- showing all the ships papers again.
On the beach.. where else? With a beer…