Ready to go, just waiting on the weather…
It’s a familiar feeling creeping up. The obsession with checking the weather forecast every 5 minutes even though you KNOW they only update the models twice a day. Perhaps if you look more carefully or route a different way you’ll find some hidden clue? But what different way is there to route, the port of check in in Croatia is a straight shoot up the coast from here! No, the only option is to wait.
If the weather cooperated we’d have left on Thursday morning, but it wasn’t to be. Rough conditions and storms on Thursday through to Sunday mean that we would be smarter to wait it out in the marina berth we’ve already paid for. It’s also the Orthodox Easter weekend and although that’s not supposed to affect things, we figured better to wait till that was more or less over as well.
Sunday morning we had Chris and Christine over for brunch and enjoyed getting to know them a bit better. They were big fans of Rosie who happily sat herself between them and enjoyed lots of pats.
On Sunday evening we had dinner with Sarah and Peter, a “farewell” dinner of sorts as at that stage we were still uncertain on our exact departure date.
It is the hardest part about leaving — we’ve made a lot of wonderful friends here, although I am looking forward to that moment in the future where we come across each other in a bay somewhere and there’s that immediate connection and stories to tell of all our various adventures. Something that can only happen if we leave! After all, day to day at the moment our stories are about as exciting as “polished the boat” and “walked the dog!”
Monday was a lovely day weather wise and we removed the Matilda stickers from the rear of the boat (which means replacing them) so I could polish that properly. “Tilly the tender” was dragged up onto the dock for a deep clean and new name stickers too. We had dinner with Mike and Mel, a US couple who have been “stuck” here for a while while their boat Talaria is undergoing repairs from a lightning strike last year. Tuesday rapidly disappeared in the same way, polishing the boat.
While Wednesday was a possible departure day a few things made us decide to wait. One was the impending weather on Thursday, we didn’t love the idea of sheltering in unfamiliar anchorages while we “figured out” navigating Croatia. The other was the need to do a proper shake down cruise, which basically means taking the boat out for a decent run and testing all the systems.
With the beautiful weather on Wednesday, this was the perfect opportunity to give everything a run. We set off out of the marina and stopped at the fuel dock to add over 200 litres of diesel, which would have been mostly consumed by our diesel heater over winter. Full of fuel and ready to go, we headed down to Kotor for a last visit.
I’m pleased to report that absolutely nothing went wrong. Seriously. Everything was fine. I know, I’m as surprised as you too.
We ran the engines harder than normal, no problems. The anchor went down, it held, it came up again. The macerator worked (a very very brief test to make sure it was still OK, we don’t really want to pollute the bay). The water maker made water and Karina taste tested it — she said it was fine and she’s still alive so that must all be good too.
I was reminded of a couple of jobs to add to the list, specifically that the water maker is due an oil change, but that aside, nothing at all. It’s an Easter miracle. We really are ready to go.
While we were in Kotor we found Carol and Peter at anchor on Cape, so we messaged them. Carol was off walking the Kotor ladder and Peter was on shore on a mission to find real milk — a challenge here where everything is UHT. We bumped into Peter and chatted for a while, but missed having lunch together as we were on a schedule to get back to the marina for an event Wednesday night (the marina put on a presentation on cruising Croatia and provided drinks for everyone).
Kotor is as delightful as ever and full of tourists from the cruise ship in the harbour. Although there was only one there on Wednesday. Apparently on Tuesday there had been four of them!
It’s known for its cats which are everywhere and very aggressive. Rosie was sitting under our chair as normal while we were eating and then all of a sudden we just heard hissing and crying from Rosie. A cat had walked past, she’d probably lunged at it, and instead of running off, it attacked and wouldn’t back down. I had to push the cat away and ended up with scratches on the back of my hand and Rosie has a new scar on her nose, a scratch in the corner of her eye and another in her ear.
There was a lot of blood which fortunately stopped quickly enough and after we took her back to the boat and cleaned her up, she’s been been fine. I was worried about infections, but nothing bad has happened. Rosie still lunges at cats however, so it’s probably going to happen again!
Thursday as predicted the weather hit us hard. It doesn’t really rain in Montenegro. It pours buckets of water from the sky. On the positive side, the boat no longer needs washing. The rain was clean for a change (not full of Saharan red sand) and with all the waxing and polishing, everything just washed right off.
The water filters in the water maker were changed, the last pre-departure job, I checked all the engine fluids after the cruise and we wait. Honestly by Thursday we were so exhausted from all the cleaning that we both pretty much collapsed and just stopped. I went back to working on my board game, Karina watched a movie and we enjoyed a break.
We also met some new people on the dock and had a tour of their beautiful Fleming 65 motorboat Minnie. It reminded me how proud everyone is of their boats — everyone loves a boat tour and everyone is proud to show off all the work they’ve done. Minnie is a stunning vessel that’s had a lot of upgrade work done. I definitely had boat envy, until I thought about the running costs at full speed (300+ litres an hour of diesel)!
Despite the desire to get under way, there’s a lot of positives about staying too! We went out to dinner to celebrate Shawn’s birthday on Friday night with a lovely group of people at a restaurant we’ve been meaning to try for a while. It was a late one (for us!) — we didn’t get to bed until midnight. It was a great time.
Saturday we took it slow, a couple of jobs, but basically hung out and relaxed on the boat.
And here we are, back to Sunday again! We were very kindly invited to share an Orthodox Easter dinner with Mary and Sava over in Risan, but unfortunately earlier in the week we thought we would have left by now. As it is, we have to be here this evening anyway to start our checkout process (we’re leaving early so have to complete part of it tonight).
A final farewell coffee with Iain and Kate from Intrepid Bear, Claire and Ollie on Aquila Constellation return from the UK so we’ll catch up with them and then a farewell icecream at Goddo from 7.30ish (if you’re free, come join us) and then tomorrow morning bright and early we’ll be over on the Q dock around 7.30AM to complete check out procedures so we can depart for Croatia.
Season 2023 IS finally starting and we can’t wait to get under way.
Until next time,
Tim & Karina
PS If you’d like to make sure we stay caffeinated, https://buymeacoffee.com/matildatheboat it’s always appreciated.