Written by Matt Rademacher
Jim is excited. The winds have picked up. Now he can make Vana do what she was built for. Diana has made dinner reservations at an up scale fancy restaurant on the Island of Vis. We are going there.
The west end of Korcula Island is barely visible on the distant horizon. We know Vis is just beyond that. Jim steers Vana out to the open ocean towards Italy rather than sailing directly towards Vis. The waves are large out here. Occassionally the brisk wind blows the tops of the wave into our faces. Sitting down below where its dry has the risk of getting sea sick. Being able to focus on the horizon helps. The fresh clean sea air also helps.
The large waves are striking directly on the port side which tilts the boat over. Tony sarcastically points out that we are sailing in the best direction to make the boat pitch the most. I could take motion sickness pills but with me they have side effect of loss of smell and taste. I’d rather suffer sea sickness than not be able to enjoy Diana’s cooking. Jim on the other hand is having a great time. He keeps reminding me how fast we are going.
If we continue on this heading we will reach a position where Vis Island will be directly down wind. At that time we will be able to go wing to wing and surf these large waves all the way to Vis.
As we approch Lastovo Island Jim shows mercy and pulls into a quiet calm cove so Diana can prepare lunch. Diana seems ok with a pitching boat yet she has her limits when food she is preparing is flying about.
The inlet is called Skrivena Luka. We anchor next to charter boat full of Croatian men having a great time drinking and singing along to what sounds like grand nationalistic music. On the other side of us is another charter boat full of slavic men barbecuing off their stern. Jacque notes that they burn real wood in their barbecue. Never seen that before. Whatever they are doing it smells good.
Diana has run out of flour and goes ashore with Jim to see what she can find. A couple of national park officials motor to our boat and ask for park entrance fee. Just like driving into the Grand Canyon entrance we pay and get a park brochure.
The park brochure shows pictures of the red and white coral that grows here. Also shows pictures of all the local fish and it says we can find seahorses living here.
This island is where the last recorded case of Croatian vampire hunting occurred. In 1737 a group of self appointed vampire vigilantes searched for human vampires that were killing local villagers. This was common in medieval Europe. Early New England had the witch burnings.
Not long ago this Lastovo Island along with neighboring Vis Island was for military use only. Off limits to everyone. The brochure shows pictures of strategically placed naval gun turrets carved out of the seaside slopes. Networks of tunnels connecting the observation and command post. Jacque and I have been drinking and can’t quite remember the movie Guns of Navarone with Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn other than packing explosives in the elevator mechanism and the scene where the large naval guns fall into the sea. These Croatian gun turrets carved into the hillside appear more to prevent NATO amphibious invasion than to control waterways.
This island is further out into the sea than other islands we have visited. There are more of a variety sea birds. Jacque cant help but notice where the sea birds are catching rising thermals along the coast.
Jim and Tony hike to a lighthouse on the point. The wind and sea is now calm. Tomorrow we go to Vis.