We would like to say that our trip from Corfu to Montenegro, (our first overnighter for some time) was uneventful but unfortunately that was not the case.
As I say with sailing its 95% relaxation and 5 % pure stress. We have certainly had our 5% in the last few days. We had a light 6 to 8 knot breeze straight behind us so I decided to put the small spinnaker up without the main. For the first few hours we were going long nicely and even when the wind started to get up to 15 to 20 knots we were shooting along at a good 9 knots plus.
The trouble arose when the wind started to gust above 20 knots and we decided it was time to pull down it down. The sock that is used to collapse the sail decided not to work and with no main to shield the spinnaker it became very difficult to lower. The end result was we lost the sail overboard, got it caught round one of the props, which practically shredded it before we managed to retrieve it. It took us over an hour in 2metre seas and 30knots of wind to get the remains of it on board. Had we been watching this nightmare happening to somebody else we would have found it most entertaining but we were not amused.
Our next disaster was a few days later where we were anchored in a large bay. During the day there can be very little wind and then at night you sometimes get a strong offshore katabatic wind off the high mountains. On this particular night we were well anchored, at least we thought we were until 4.00 in the morning when we woke to a very unusual boat motion. On coming on deck we discovered that we were 5metres from a red starboard marker (on the wrong side of it) about 20 metres from the rocks with the wind blowing 30knots straight onto them. We pulled up our dragging anchor, got back into the bay, re anchored and miraculously there wasn’t a breath of wind after that. All fun and games but Penny was not a happy Jan.
In between our stressful moments we have managed to see quite a bit of Montenegro. We hired a car and explored the inland areas which are quite beautiful. It has very high mountains and the most beautiful inland lake. There are still signs of the war and also the earthquake which hit in 1979.
Since independence from Serbia, development is beginning to take off. I love the health and safety here or should we say lack of it! The town of Bar where we checked in is having major infra structure works – new footpaths, roads and drainage system. The amazing thing is that with all the building work going on there wasn’t a road cone, barrier tape or temporary traffic lights in site. Everyone just seems to walk around the large holes in the road and traffic just finds its own way around the obstacles. The moral of the story is may be you don’t need all these rules and regulations and just let people use their own common sense.