Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cavtat and Dubrovnik, Croatia

Backtracking a bit from John's last exciting post, our passage from Brindisi to Gruž (near Dubrovnik) was uneventful and relatively fast. The seas were flat, and although we didn’t have enough wind to turn off the engine, we did get a boost of more than a knot in speed. The new moon set around sundown, so the night watches were very dark, but the nearest traffic was 20 miles away and the stars were very bright.

A Canadian boat we met in Brindisi recommended that we clear in at Gruž. Clearing in means stops at the following offices in order: police, harbormaster, currency exchange and/or ATM, back to harbormaster, customs, and back to the police. At Gruž these are all either at the customs dock or within a block. It’s an expensive process, though. At the harbormaster’s office you must buy a one-year cruising permit and pay a tourist tax. The cruising permit is based on the length of your boat, but it’s always for a year. The tourist tax may be for different periods of time from 8 days to a year. We plan to be here more than a month, so we paid for 90 days (much less expensive than two individual months). The total was 2,515 kuna (Croatian unit of currency) or about 350€. (You don’t need exit papers from your previous country, which we learned before we left Brindisi, so we skipped that part.) Marinas are very expensive here, but there are lots of places to anchor. Various villages may also charge to land your dinghy, and not all anchorages are free, so all in all, this isn’t a bargain cruising ground. So far, we like it anyway.

While I was running our paperwork, Linda from Islay Mist sent a text that they were anchored in Tiha cove by Cavtat, a cute little resort town just a few miles south of Dubrovnik. No one had asked them for money for anchoring or landing the dinghy, so we decided to join them. We enjoyed hanging out there until that gale blew through. It was pretty hot, and everyone did quite a bit of swimming.

After the gale blew Islay Mist out of the anchorage at Cavtat, we decided to follow them the next day. It’s noticeably cooler here where we’re anchored in the river near the ACI Dubrovnik Marina, and we’ve been enjoying the breeze on the boat.

We did take the bus into the old city of Dubrovnik and walked the city walls one morning. It really is a beautiful place, but I’d recommend a visit in the spring or fall. The summers here are hot, and the heat gets trapped between the buildings. Inside the walls, there’s very little breeze. After visiting a few museums and churches and having lunch at a little place that was recommended to us by Craig and Katherine of Sangaris, we escaped back to the boat and the cooler air.

We’ve been hanging out here ever since, doing some chores and trying to make some repairs. There are two small chandlers at the marina, but neither has the small rivets we need to repair the snaps on the dodger. Tomorrow maybe we’ll do a major provisioning run, get fuel and water and move on to the islands and north. We’ll stop here again on our way south. We want to visit the old city again and do our check-out at Gruž.

Here are some photos from our tour of the old city.

Classic view of a fort and wall

New and pre-war roof tiles

Great weather for drying clothes (note the bullet holes around the window)

Onofrio's fountain

Fort at the highest point on the wall

By the way, we’ve just posted more photos on the website from Cartagena and Italy.

1 comment:

dubrovnikiff said...
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