Telascica Nature Park, Croatia
At dawn I thought I could quietly creep past Darja and Andre so as not to awaken them and enjoy the first morning light. I was pleasantly surprised to find Darja already up and making her famous thick, delicious coffee.
We had moved the boat several hundred meters deeper into the bay to be away from the other boats and there was not a sound of civilization to be heard. What a treasure! No cars, no voices, no radios, no music boxes (what a strange word. It’s the influence of my listening to Croatian, Slovenian, Italian, Swiss German and German for the past weeks.)
I read my book and after a while Roland and Andre joined us and we simply read or sat quietly enjoying this period of silence.
Later in the morning we motored out of the National Marine Park into the larger expanse of water and caught the wind and really sailed for the first time, the sails full of wind tipping the boat at an angle that had Darja doing lots of Heart Hugs. Andre and Darja have not been sailing all that long. Andre was sensitive to her fear so he would slack off the sails most of the time if there was enough wind to heel them over. Roland is a very experienced sailor and when he explained to Darja that this type of sailboat cannot actually tip over because of the balance of the heavy keel, she screwed up her nerve and we almost flew across the open water of the bay. This was the first time I have ever had the pleasure of sailing this fast and it was very exciting.
At home in Hawaii the wind on our side of the Big Island is just not conducive to fast sailing. I’ve sailed with friends in New Zealand, but even there the winds were gentle. In Puerto Rico in 1957 when I helped Went Tellington build a catamaran, we never seemed to get above 3 knots (about 2 1/2 miles per hour).
Roland started sailing when he was 9 years old on Lake Arrowhead in California where he grew up and sailed in his first race when he was 13.. At 15 he was featured in Sports Illustrated magazine testing a new type of sailboat called a C Class Inland Lake Scow.
At noon we docked to buy vegetables for dinner. Darja prefers to prepare food on the boat to avoid restaurant food – so she bought carrots, potatoes, cabbage and onions and we sat in the sun in this fishing village and enjoyed a cappucino. We had another long run before the wind, Darja and I enjoying our respective novels and letting Roland and Andre have the fun of sailing.
In the early evening we pulled into a tiny fishing village to prepare dinner. I peeled the potatoes and chopped the carrots and onions. Darja prepared the Slovenian pancakes while Roland and Andre strolled around the village. They stopped to talk to an older woman watering her vegetable garden and were told that if it did not rain in 2 more days she was leaving the island for good. There has not been a drop of rain for 5 months and they count on the rain to fill their cisterns. They brought back peaches that are a quarter their normal size, with normal size pits but strange pithy insides, and grapes that were half the size they should be. Apparently the whole town will have to move to Zadar if the rain does not come, and it is not expected.
We watched with sadness as a few fishermen in very small outboard boats headed out into the bay hoping to catch a few fish to sell, although I cannot imagine what is there to be caught, when even the national marine park has no sealife other than two tiny crabs we saw scrambling along the cement rubble in front of the restaurant.
We enjoyed our delicious home-cooked dinner and set sail for the last two-hour run back to Kuklijik. Pulling in just after sunset with the last vestiges of light was very romantic with the sweet round white street lights and the clock tower and a few dozen sailboats resting like seagulls in the peaceful and inviting bay. Because this is a tourist town the houses are painted bright colors and the restaurants are inviting and festive – unlike any we saw in other villages.
I intended to set to emails and check in with the office, but decided I simply had to have a second day off without working so we enjoyed a last plum Schnapps on the boat, headed to our 3rd story apartment looking over the bay, and caught a romantic comedy in English on the “telly.”
© Linda Tellington-Jones 2008