Welcome, Dear Reader, to the return of clarkesailing.com as we embark on our fourth year of journeys on our beloved Exotica. If you are still with us by the end of this post do please leave a message, just to let us know that we are reaching our audience and not broadcasting to an empty ether!
Our time since leaving Australia has been far from unalloyed pleasure. Ten pleasant days in England with Terry’s sister were spent with him getting over a cold. Thence, to Leipzig for the Ring together with a large group of friends from both Australia and Germany. However, we both caught a nasty intestinal virus and first Terry and then Julie went down with D & V sufficiently bad as to make us miss some of the performances. Julie was particularly unwell and only managed to stagger, at the point of death, to the final act of Gotterdammerung.
Fortunately we were both just fit enough to make the plane to Split where Exotica has been wintering on the hard.
Our first look at the boat was somewhat of a shock, the saloon and cabins were pristine, dry and clean but the decks were a mess. Five months of Croatian wind and rain, some containing Sahara sand, had lain a thick layer of brown dirt on the gelcoat and faded the teak to a splotchy brown.
Despite this, after a couple of coats of antifoul paint on the keel, we were ready to launch and Exotica took to the water on Friday May 13th.
We drove round to the marina where the next day a young Croatian, whose name I ashamed to say we failed to ascertain, worked non-stop for seven hours washing and scrubbing and polishing until the superstructure of the boat was almost as good as it used to look. Now it just remains to treat the teak decks, a job we are leaving until we arrive in Pula a hundred miles north.
We have spent our first night aboard, packed all the cupboards, stocked the pantry and fridge with food, hoisted the sails and checked all the electrical and other systems.
Tomorrow we set out for the north of the Adriatic and the next adventure. We plan to sail through the islands of Croatia and spend some time in Pula having a little work done before heading across to Venice for the month of June.