It’s Blowing Bora
It has been a rather ‘spirited’ sail to get us here. The bora winds are famous in this part of the world. They huff, puff and gust from the north and are potentially life threatening. If you see the ‘bora’ clouds rolling like brushes over the mountains, you need to get out fast! But in the first month of a blue-sky summer, there aren’t really many, if any clouds – but that doesn’t stop the bora from gusting its might.
The marine radio weather warnings advised us that the winds may gust up to 70 knots. We are a little south of the highest gust predictions, so the impact is a little less on us, and we managed to get away with only 40 knots. Still, mightily unpleasant and our daily task for the last few days has been trying to find anchorages that shelter and protect us from sudden strong bora blows.
The bora was still evident yesterday. For the first time in ages, we didn’t have to motor the entire way. We hoisted the mainsail with the first reef and unfurled the genoa. We had up to 37 knot of winds, but mostly it was gusting from 4 knots to 24 knots with irregular bursts of activity surrounded by calm and sunshine.
We achieved 8.7 Knots speed over ground, during one fun time where a local ferry was trying to get past us. Each time he drew near, with us limping along under too little sail for 5 Knots of wind. The water would turn an aggressive, darker shade in front of us and the wind would quite suddenly leap from a whisper to 24 knots of drive just off our nose. This would have the ferry, keeping just under 8 Knots suddenly fighting to push into the wind and dropping to less than 7 knots whilst our fat-arsed girl would creak and groan at the sudden load on her sheets and lines and within less than a minute we would be over 8 knots and surging away from the ferry as if possessed.
There was plenty of gusty exhaling wind blowing all over the seas, but then the wind inhales and drops down to 2 knots and we’re not going anywhere … and we were passed, suddenly, stationary trying to stow away baggy sails and the ferry captain waved and smiled at what, I am sure he thought, were crazy sailors.
Korčula – The Land of Our Dida
We didn’t mean to arrive here yesterday. It was today’s plan. But because we couldn’t find space enough to comfortably drop our anchor chain for the comings and goings of the boozy Contiki party ferry, we decided we may as well just get on with it and continue north.
We arrived at Korčula (phonetically pronounced Kor-Cha-La) around 5 pm-ish. The island that was, according to legend, founded by the Trojan hero’s Aeneas and Antenor. Archaeologists have easily dated that history here pre-dates 1,000 BC. And the tourist office claims that this is the “Mediterranean, as it used to be”, famous for golden sandy beaches and traditional sword dances.
The young me never thought I would end up here. I’ve known about Korčula all my life. Dida came from here. ‘Dida’ is Croatian for grandfather and he was our adoptive grandad. Their family name ended in a ‘vič’ although some anglicised to ‘vich’ They were friends like family, and then Dida’s son married my mums sister, and they really became family anyway. Dida walked these shores. It’s where he spent his youth. This is where his favourite comfort snack of chickpeas (slanutak) slathered with olive oil and vinegar (or lemon juice) came from. The Dalmatian boy moved to Australia quite a long time before I was born. I am certain the cell-phone towers that are here now never existed way back then.
The sea is turquoise blue reflecting the azure skies that bring the blowing bora with it. We are anchored in a bay called Uvala Przina. It’s a sandy bottom about five metres deep. And there is a swim up beach bar where we will have a cheers and toast to ‘Dida’, and his homeland.
Barbadian Rihanna’s “Cheers” (Drink to That) track features samples from Avril Lavigne’s “I’m With You” song from her first album, and Jermaine Jackson (Michael’s brother) was part of the writing and production team.
“Cheers to the freakin’ weekend
I drink to that, yeah-e-yeah
Oh, let the Jameson sink in
I drink to that, yeah-e-yeah
Don’t let the bastards get you down
Turn it around with another round
There’s a party at the bar
Everybody put ya glasses up, and I drink to that”