Well I thought I was in love with Croatia but then I met Venice. It is the most amazing city.
When we arrived we found there was no room in the marinas for us so we tied bow and stern to poles; opposite St Marks Square. Just as we arrived a big thunderstorm came through – blowing 30knots, thunder, lightning, hale, torrential rain and the added bonus of ferries continuously passing leaving us their turbulence. It was too windy for me to control the boat. (left that to Pete) I wouldn’t even have been able to control the dinghy to enable me to tie on to the poles. So I donned mask and fins and swam the ropes to the poles. I wasn’t happy about it with the lightning going on but Pete assured me it would hit the mast before it hit me. (Can’t say I was completely reassured) What I hadn’t thought about was that we were on the opposite side of the Grande Canal so after swimming in all that sewerage I’m just grateful to have not picked up some horrible disease. If I did it hasn’t presented itself yet. After we were finally settled, along came a young man telling us we can’t moor there as it is only for big yachts. i.e. 120ft plus. Despite the pilot book telling us it is a free mooring, it turns out there is a fee from 350euros per night!!! .The young man had a word with his boss and they said we could stay there for 50euros a night or they would find us a spot in the marina for 120. We opted to stay where we were. The disadvantage was we were right near a ferry terminal and being on the boat was like being in a washing machine. There are also massive cruise ships which carry 5000 people (3000 passengers and 2000 crew) passing about 200 metres away. They’re the type of ships that brings Sydney to a standstill so people can have a look at them when they come in to dock. They’re mighty impressive.
During the early mornings we would explore the canals in our dinghy before the gondolas over ran them. We got lost a few times as the canals are like a rabbit warren. We only had two full days there but we packed in as much as we could which of course took in St. Marks Square museums and Palaces and the most adorned churches I have ever seen. After leaving Venice we motored up one of the canals and anchored off a beautiful island of Burano where they are famous for making lace. All the houses are brightly coloured and the church belfry has a lean of about 10 degrees. It was very pleasant that night at anchor with no boats going past.
We have decided to head south down the Croatia coast and not the Italian one as there are no anchorages where we can stay and the only alternative is marinas that are very expensive and often have no room for us. Once we get back to Dubrovnik we will then head back across to Southern Italy.