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A 50/50 Sail into the Bay of Kotor

A large swell started rolling in -. so we've moved into UNESCO's Bay of Kotor to an emerald lagoon

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We spent a night in the cavernous cave riddled  Lustica Bay with its gorgeous retail-filled marina and white sand beach club before lifting the anchor yesterday. Even the restaurants feature caves as a part of their architectural design integrating the natural forms into their ‘wow’ factor.

A restaurant featuring a cave at Lustica Marina

Even though we were tucked away behind the landmass that shoulders Lustica Bay, it is a little exposed to the expanse of the Adriatic sea between Montenegro and Italy. So, we made the decision to move anchorage because a large rolling swell with long intervals had started to come in from over Italy way.

Feeling like we have been saving the best for last, we decided it was nigh on time to enter the beautiful Bay of Kotor, which is locally also known as ‘Boca’.   We were pleased to be able to sail around half of the distance under the conditions.

One of three forts entering the Bay of Kotor

The weather predictions indicated that the wind would be coming from a friendly direction with constant 12-ish knots.  We raised the mainsail and unfurled the genoa. What we were served by the weather gods was flukey winds up to 20 knots which made for great sailing and speed over ground, with several sail changes along the way when the wind would simply die to naught, before blasting to 20 knots again likely due to land compression.   

All manor of boats are in the bay including this lipstick red schooner

The entire Bay of Kotor was designated as a UNESCO heritage site back in 1979 due to its rich cultural heritage. It has been inhabited since antiquity.  It is a part of the historical region of Dalmatia. And it is a super busy place with boats of every description – sailing, cruising, fishing, speed boats, superyachts, and touristic day tours.

One of several submarine tunnels in Bay of Kotor

We skirted the fortresses on the mainland and islands that mark the entry to the bay.   On our starboard side, there were numerous submarine tunnels built deep into the mountains where the Yugoslav army would hide submarines during the war.   Nowadays you can go swimming in these tunnels and its on our list of ‘must do’s’ while we are here. There are orange tile roofed monasteries that are built over entire little islands with the only sign of life being that a light is on.  There are modern architectural homes with their own dock for their yacht in the bay as well as palm tree-lined hotels that look like they better belong in Coco Beach in a 1960’s “I dream of Jeannie” type of way. 

Palm tree fringed hotels

We have chosen to anchor for a few days next to a private island. The island is called Stradioti and is situated near Tivat. It is low-lying with concrete crafted steps that encircle the little bay that lead you from the lagoon-like emerald water up to the verdant forest.  It is calm.  Peaceful.  Reflective. And bliss.    

Stradioti – our private island anchorage

Peaceful Saturday mornings lend themselves to a little jazz.  In 1937 (85 years ago) this recording was made in New York City. Billie Holliday’s “A Sailboat in the Moonlight”.

A chance to sail away
To Sweetheart Bay
Beneath the stars that shine
A chance to drift
For you to lift
Your tender lips to mine
Some things dear
That I long for are few
Just give me a sailboat
In the moonlight and you

Billie Holliday sings A Sailboat in the Moonlight

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