Written by Matt Rademacher
In the morning we get our boat papers back from the marina office, check our diesel motor oil, top off the inflatable dingy outboard motor fuel tank. We are a little cramped in the marina dock so Jim carefully plans a strategy to maneuver around neighboring boats. Jim motors Vana free from the marina. When free of danger Jim hands the helm to me and we set a course through a cluster of islands hugging the Korcula coast.
As we passed Korcura’s eastern point the winds increase. The jib sail goes up. Boat motor stays on as we go up wind to Mljet.
After a brutal boat pounding going through large waves Diana somehow baked fresh bread in the boat oven. When we arrive in a peaceful forested cove Diana serves us hot rolls with a Croatian meat and cream pate loaf and a large bowl of vegetable salad. After lunch she serves us cheesecake she made last night on the boat. We never had life so good.
This western part of the Mljet island is the Nacionalni Park Mljet (National Park Mljet). The few lunch vegetable scraps are thrown overboard turns the water into a fish boil.
We read Homer’s story of Ulysses and Calypso. We also read about places to see in the park. Near by is a popular cliff diving spot called Ulysses Cave. We see cave openings along the shore.
There is a short hike to a pair of inland salt lakes. The lakes are shallow so they heat in the sun. This makes them popular for swimming. The lakes are also connected by narrow channel to the sea. Lake levels alternate with the tides. Oz tells us it’s fun to ride through the narrow fast flowing channel when the lakes adjust to sea tides. We hike to the lakes and find the fast flowing channel. Jim jumps into the lake shoots through the channel.
We took a short cut through the forest to the lake. That route was interesting in itself to explore the backwoods but could be difficult to find on our return. An easier route back to the boat took us through the town of Pomena.
Large oligarch yachts far outnumbered the sailboats in the Pomena marina. Electric offroad mountain bike rentals were popular. We continue on past a nice beach and luxurious seaside cafes and head back to bay Vana is anchored.
Diana is sunning herself on Vana’s bow after her swim. We find some other charter sail boats have anchored nearby while we were gone. I take notice of a man casting a fishing lure into the calm water from his charter boat. He casts and casts with no success. If he only had some of Diana’s plate scraps.