Sunday, June 28, 2009
Duck or Lobsters
We began our biggest sail to date in good spirits. It was 7:00 pm on the nose when we fired up our pretty reliable, if not a little fussy Yamaha 5 horse out board. Leaving Vis we set a course for the Croatian Island of Miljet. The Island is predominantly a national park but there are two small towns where you can get supplies. For us that was fuel, water and internet for a forecast.
We rounded the southern point of Vis just as the sun was setting clearing the off-shore hazards before dark. Victoria and I took the first night shift, harness on and clipped in. There were a few navigational lights to pick out but over all it was pretty straight forward. The seas were flat and we motored the majority of the way.
Arriving a little later than we had anticipated, we dropped anchor in the northern bay on Miljet around noon. Sean and Harmony had been here before and knew there way around. We got water but the internet place was closed. It was looking like we would have to go on an old forecast. This may not seem too risky but the weather can change pretty fast and we were estimating 3 to 5 days at sea until we reached Greece. The majority of the time we would be off the coast of Albania;( not the safest place to find shelter…in fact not really an option given that many of the harbors and anchorages still have floating mines from WWII). And even if we were to make it past those, the people of Albania are extremely poor and piracy is not unheard of. So we were in a predicament, what to do about the forecast.
Always alert, Sean and I were discussing the situation as we noticed two affluent Australian gentlemen sit down. Ears perked, Sean and I could not help but over hear their conversation with the restaurant owner. It was something to the effect of “Prepare 12 of your roast Duck or Lobsters this evening. I’ll be bringing the guests in tonight”. With a quick bit of deduction we both realized that this was the captain and a crew mate of the four story hundred plus foot mega yacht anchored at the head of the bay…sure to have satellite weather forecasting.
Sean and I repeated our conversation a little louder this time, “What are we going to do with out a forecast when we make the jump to Greece in our small sail boat?”
When we lifted anchor we hailed the British yacht on the VHF as the Captain instructed us. Instead of him sending a crew member as he said he would the captain him self zoomed over to the Heart of Gold in a powerful zodiac about length of our boat to deliver the forecast and wish us good luck. Fifteen minuets later I was startled as a large boat moving really fast approached our stern. The captain had come back to give us a 15 page, double sided, color laser print off of American newspapers. He the said that he noticed our flag and the American chaps on board were done with it. When he handed the print off to us I’m pretty sure there were no creases in the fresh paper.
Out here it is very easy to become spiteful of the gregarious wealth that surrounds us. This was a healthy reminder that regardless of social hierarchy, generosity and good will are often ubiquitous in the yachting community.
As we motored away on the longest sail of our lives our hearts were warmed by the captain’s gesture and our spirits were filled with news from home.