Once Bella Rose, our Oyster 545 yacht, was fit for sail, after spending a week in Venice that included an exploration of the Dolomites and Lake Garda, we were finally free to hit the open sea.
WELCOME BACK, SEA LEGS
Upon completing the final checks, packing everything away and checking out of the marina office, we left Certosa Marina just before 11am on Monday morning.
At the risk of repeating myself, if you value your boat, do not leave it for any length of time at Certosa Marina. We were not the only yacht owners that experienced heart-ship. Another avid reader of Sailing Today contacted me via my website after reading about our troubles in an article published by the magazine to empathise with our very long, agonising story. Please do contact me directly if you are considering berthing at the marina, and I will provide additional details about our ordeal.
COULD I WANT FOR ANYTHING MORE?
The moment we left Venice in our wake and only the sea greeted us from every direction, I felt an invigorating peace wash over me from head to toe. With the wind through my hair, sun warming my skin and water lapping at the yacht… What more could I want? Lunch prepared perhaps… A dip in the sea even… Ha!
HOW ABOUT WE SAIL ONLY?
Due to the pandemic, I’d said to Captain Barry, let’s leave as minimal sailing footprint as possible. No motoring at all. If there’s no wind, we bob until it picked up, no matter what! ‘As soon as we have all the time in the world, perhaps when starting our first circumnavigation we can then make it our mission,’ he’d responded.
YOUR WISHES ARE MY COMMAND
I got my wishes! The Captain prepared lunch, a taste explosion of mushrooms and legumes cased in puff pastry. We’d brought a few ingredients from home (just in case) and stocked up at a Coop in Venice before departure. Our new challenge excited me; trying to find vegan food in foreign lands. Google Translate, you are a star!
While the pie bubbled away, I turned off the motor and we dived into the sludge green-blue sea, coolish 26-degree water, amidst a lot of floating weed and popping-purple jellyfish.
FLOATING AROUND IN ECSTASY
A few hours later, after lazing around, reading, snoozing and listening to music, and before sundowners, we enjoyed another dip in aquamarine-blue water 29 degrees that resembled bathwater and no seaweed. Ooh, la la! This is now my territory.
Such a perfectly still evening, not a breath of air and hardly a ripple along the expansive water. The milky way pulsated in a raven-black sky. Both the shipping channels were quiet, a couple of tankers in the distance, made for a stress-free crossing into Croatian waters. A total of 75 miles in under 13 hours, sadly by motoring all the way.
We both had Zoom meetings to attend early morning, so the rush was on to find a suitable anchorage after checking in at customs in Losinj. Again, another dramatic entrance for the Bella Rosas! I shan’t go into detail here and shall rather leave it for Sailing Today.