This blog post was written on 13 July, but life on board Lady Roslyn got in the way of finalising and posting it. We're back home in Cape Town for a few weeks before returning to continue sailing in September and October so I am trying to catch up and get the website current again.
I am writing this sitting at the helm station of Lady Roslyn. It’s 7.26pm and the late afternoon sun is casting a beautiful soft glow on our Code 0 sail as we sail south towards Corfu in Greece while our “sailing” playlist plays through the sound system.
Earlier this afternoon we topped-up our fuel tanks and cleared Customs out of Montenegro at the southern port of Bar. Tomorrow we will have been living on board Lady Roslyn for one month and tonight is Catherine’s first ever overnight passage on a yacht. It seems like the right time to capture my thoughts and feelings about this special time we have had so far.
We departed Porto san Rocco in Muggia, Italy, our home base for the last 18 months, on 14th June and have spent the month slowly making our way south through Croatia and Montenegro.
What a month it has been… Even though this was our 5th sailing trip to Croatia (4 times chartering and last year on board Lady Roslyn), the majority of anchorages and stops have been in places and bays we have never visited before. I believe that Croatia is a unique destination in this regard and, with over 1200 islands along 300km of coastline, we feel that we can keep returning to Croatia and keep finding new places to visit.
The weather so far has been excellent, with only 2 nights of light rain and 2 night time squalls, generating spectacular lightning storms and a sudden change of wind direction, which have necessitated upping anchor and motoring to find different anchorages in the middle of the night.
We have enjoyed some fantastic sailing conditions and have used all of our sails – the main, genoa, Code 0 “The Beast” and our new 190m2 Wingaker “Lady in Red”.
Montenegro was new for us (although I briefly sailed from Italy there in 2016 to reset our VAT status) and we absolutely loved Boka Kotor – the Bay of Kotor, where we spent a night against a harbour wall in Herceg Novi and two nights at anchor off the old town of Kotor. We were enchanted by Kotor, with its summer music festival and enjoyed a magical dinner with a jazz trio playing in a small square outside a jazz club.
We have loved finding out-of-the-way anchorages and not following the crowds. Yes, we visited the popular towns of Rovinj, Trogir, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Kotor and Budva, but chose to anchor away from them and use the RIB, or in the case of Dubrovnik, anchor on Kolocep island and catch a ferry a half an hour in to Dubrovnik, to visit them. Here we are in Europe, in the middle of peak summer season, yet it has not felt crowded and we have not had to deal with being stressed at anchoring in bays with too many other boats around us.
Our newly upgraded Aqua Base watermaker has worked without a hitch, making us masses of beautiful fresh water. We have been able to shower as often as needed, run the washing machine a few times and run the dishwasher when we haven’t felt like washing the dishes. Once again the ice maker is working hard to keep its spot as the best appliance on board, as voted by the family and guests last year. I may, however, have to cast the deciding vote this year and go for the watermaker. Producing 110 litres of fresh water an hour, it has made us completely self sufficient and we have not spent a night in a Marina in a month.
Sitting here now, at 8:46pm, still at the helm area, with the sun having set below the horizon, we could be the only people in the world. There is no sight of land and not a light or boat anywhere on the horizon.
We have fallen even more in love with Lady Roslyn. She has performed flawlessly throughout and we have come to appreciate in the details, that she has been very cleverly designed to make life aboard both extremely comfortable and ergonomically sensible to sail and operate.
We feel very fortunate to be able to spend an entire summer sailing and living on our catamaran. Our pace of life has slowed dramatically. The news we seek are the weather reports and information on upcoming anchorages or towns.
We wake when it gets light, eat when we are hungry and for now, the rhythm of our lives are centered around the rhythms of Lady Roslyn.