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Epiblog – Thursday 12 October 2017 – Venice to London

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Well, the sailing season is well and truly over.I am sitting on our easyJet flight back to London.The last week has been very good.Even the weather improved.The skies finally cleared and the sun shone in the afternoons making it pleasantly warm.Of course as soon as the sun went down it got cold and by morning it was only 14C in the cabin, so heating was used on a regular basis.
We basically spent the last week being sightseers.We even got ourselves Venice travel cards which last for 5 years and reduce the cost of a vaporetto ride from 7.5 euro to 1.5 euro.You pay for the card, but make up the cost after 9 journeys.So we felt like real residents.We did a few things we never did before.In particular we went to the Biennale.This is the alternate year international art festival held in Venice.The art was all very Avant-garde, and generally not great, but the atmosphere was lovely and it is held in a beautiful garden full of specially built “Pavilions” for the various countries who particip…

Wednesday 4 October 2017 – Certosa Island, Venice

The weather certainly did improve today.The sun has been shining all day and it even felt warm. With the better weather my view of the marina has improved.The best thing is that we have found toilets and showers only 50 yards away!They are a bit tired, but we had heard that.They seem perfectly functional and certainly will make our life a lot easier.
We have decided to spend the day sorting the boat out.We start at the marina office where we try to get a further discount for being a member of the Cruising Association.As we suspected because we got a 10% discount on the bill for a Boat Show special they are unwilling to give another discount.Fair enough.We speak to someone about the maintenance work we want done over the winter.We need to send him an e-mail with the full details and he will get in touch with the appropriate tradesmen.
I do a load of laundry.Not a roaring success.Their tumble dryer hardly dried anything other than the sheets, so the boat was draped in wet laundry all day,…

Tuesday 3 October 2017 – Venice – Certosa Marina

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Well, we made it here, but it hasn’t been clear sailing, so to speak.We woke up to a totally grey sky and it was cold.For the past few days although it has been cold the sun has been shining and bringing some warmth.Without that it was miserable..
The weather forecast didn’t show rain but looking at the sky that seem rather optimistic.Nonetheless we set off.We are anxious to get to Venice as that has been the goal throughout.
We left the marina just before half past 9.I didn’t make any lunch.I didn’t have enough bread to make sandwiches and we thought we might get in by say 2:30, time for a late lunch.The trip was cold and boring.It was persistently grey with no wind all the time.There was even the odd spot of rain, but nothing to worry about.As expected we just motored. At about 2pm we got to the turning to go into Venice.I don’t know what we expected, but it wasn’t what we got.The channel to the city from the sea is huge.There was a tide running against us of 2 knots.It took over an h…

Monday 2 October 2017 – Marina 4 (Quattro) – Italy

So it was today we left Croatia.It was all very simple.The office at the end of the pontoon opened at 8am.We had had our cereal and decided to have coffee under way.Richard went there as they opened and was back all finished within 15 minutes!So we rushed off and slipped our mooring at 8:15.
The weather has been much the same as before.Cool, not much wind and sunny.Richard did put the Genoa up for an hour or two with the engine (which gained a third of a knot) but generally it was the usual motor all the way.The only problem was that the sea was a bit lumpy.It was coming at us from the side so we were corkscrewing.So I took a pill.I don’t need to worry about running out now.We only have one more day of sailing!
We had to go 30 miles, so it was a bit of a slog.At about noon, or a bit later I suddenly felt very tired and fell asleep in the cockpit.This isn’t unusual on boring motoring trips, but what was unusual was that instead of just dozing I was out for the count.All of a sudden Richa…

Sunday 1 October 2017 – Umag

It’s my birthday.However, it is not going to be a day of celebration.We didn’t even manage to get a bottle of champagne aboard to make any festivities.
So we left port fairly early, about 8:30.We didn’t have far to go to get to the last port in Croatia to sign out and go to Italy.The weather forecast is for settled if cool and slightly cloudy conditions.It certainly has been cold.It was 14C in the cabin this morning when we got up.We put both the boat and fan heaters on!In the cockpit the sun shone enough to stop us freezing, but we were both wearing our fleeces.
There was little or no wind, and what there was eventually went on the nose.So it was another day of motoring.Other than the fact that Richard plotted us a course which almost took us into a ridge of rocks, nothing eventful happened.(There was a gap but safety first!)One curiosity did occur.When Richard finally put his heavy fleece on, I noticed a little string hanging out of the pocket.When we investigated we found the Italian…

Saturday 30 September 2017 – Vsrar

We have stayed here today because we seem to have time.This place is a bit odd.It is clearly just a beach resort, but there are nature reserves you can go to on tourist boats.We don’t think private boats are allowed.
We have found that in this part of Croatia most of the tourists are German.German cars abound and all the locals speak German.In fact there is not much English spoken here.We have had some language difficulties because of that.
It has been cold and we have been putting layers on and taking them off all day.I did some shopping.I found a butcher and bought some meat.I also bought a very expensive piece of cheese.It cost over £10 for about 6 ounces.It is a hard cows cheese with local black truffles.We had a taste and it is very nice.
The big excitement was over our insurance.We got an e-mail from the Cruising Association saying that the Italian authorities had raised the level of insurance they require boat owners to have for third party risks.We are going to Italy in 2-3 days,…

Friday 29 September 2017 – Vrsar

We woke early and checked the weather.It looked OK to go.We didn’t rush and left our mooring at about 9:30.The sun was shining but it was rather cold. We had a long way to go to get out of the harbour, so we put up the sails.The forecast was for some strong gusts, so we left in the reef from the last sail.
Well the wind started at a 4, but soon was gusting strongly up to a 6.I was not a happy bunny because we were going into the wind initially and we were heeling a lot.At one state Richard asked me to let the main sheet out, but I couldn’t do it.The damn rope has been acting up and won’t go through the clutch.This means you have to lean over the coach roof and push the rope through to make it move the sail.Today we were heeling so much (not quite gunwales in the sea) that I couldn’t reach to pull the rope without moving to a position where “I was sure” I was going to fall over and go out of the cockpit!
Richard however, was having a great time.He eventually let the main sheet out and w…