Crest Ink - Volume 33 - Number 04

My 10 Year Trip (delayed nearly 2 years) by Stephen Osborne, QA B-Shift

Originally, I was supposed to go to Hungary and Roma - nia in May of 2019. That was cancelled due to COVID. then tried for a Romanian tour in the fall of 2019. That was delayed, then cancelled. I thought I’d be safe book-


ing a tour of Transylvania for Halloween 2020. That was cancelled. At the last moment, I booked a space on a sail- ing yacht going up the coast of Croatia from Dubrovnik to Split. I didn’t believe it would actually happen. Up until the plane touched down in Dubrovnik, I was still sure something would go wrong. Everything went right. Well, apart from getting lost in Dubrovnik trying to find my hotel room. I was toting my lug- gage up and down stone steps and alleyways, finally asking an old lady for help. She spoke little English, but we managed to agree that yes, I was lost. She thought this incredibly funny. She pointed and held up three fingers, which I took to mean the street I needed was the third ahead. It wasn’t, but I found a waiter at an outdoor café who helped me out. Waiters also seem to know English. He laughed to0, mainly because I was a mere 20 feet from where I needed to be. The next day I met up with our Skipper and the rest of the crew. We had two Canadians, two from the U.K., and an Irish girl. All of us were single travelers and only one had sailed before. We boarded our boat, the Pamone, and settled into our rooms. When I say room, I exaggerate slightly. John-Luke and I shared a room that was a glorified closet. The two of us couldn’t fit in the room unless one climbed into his bunk. It was a good thing we got along. We set sail the next morning and spent a week island hopping. We bicycled around a lake on the island of Mljet and trekked over rocky terrain to discover the Odysseus cave. On the island of Korcula, we went wine-tasting and swam in the Adriatic Sea. We went to the second highest peak on the island. A long sail to Hvar brought us to more wine- tasting, a visit to a Napoleonic fort, a Spanish fortress, and an opportunity for me to get lost again. Seriously, those waiters are invaluable. Our last island visit was Vis. The sailing there was rough, and as the boat rocked, heaved, tilted dangerously from one side to another, several of the crew were seasick. Not me. I just got soaked from the spray. Our skipper, Niko, was ecstatic. “The wind is 30 knots, and our speed is 10.8 knots! Write that down in your diary, Steve!” Apparently. that’s excellent for a boat like ours. Did I mention that I helped to hoist the mainsail? Yep. Totally did that. In Vis we saw the end of a regatta, went to several more wine-tastings, climbed a bell tower, and I didn’t get lost AT ALL. Granted, it was a small island. We ended in Split, Croatia, where I got lost again trying to find my hotel. Really, some signs would be nice! We climbed more towers, visited crypts and cathedrals, and generally wore ourselves out wandering around. It would be hard to pick a favorite moment out of the trip, but one standout was the trip to the Odysseus cave (so named because it’s thought to be the cave Homer chatters on about in the Odyssey). The view was spectacular, and well worth the sore feet caused by scampering over rocks and hilly terrain. It’s a good thing I took loads of pictures, otherwise I could easily have believed I dreamed the whole thing.

October, November & December 2021 Crest Ink 5

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