I’m sitting in the cockpit listening to Cyndi Lauper blare away (because three days into our second lot of guests I am FINALLY allowed to play my music hahaha). The motor is on because the sea is glassy and fluid, the wind is pretty much non-existent from a sailing point of view. Nick is curled up under a blanket on the starboard side of the cockpit, recovering from his 4am wake-up yesterday. Linda, one of our guests, is snoozing sitting up next to me. Luke, Linda’s son, is chilling out in his cabin and the men, Geoff and Mark, are looking all important on their computers down in the saloon.
We got a far off sighting of dolphins about half an hour ago. They were just chilling and cruising in the opposite direction to us, so didn’t take any notice of us. They must be used to boats passing through their waters at this time of year.
En route to Korčula, we have just come from a very early morning departure from Vis. I really like Vis. It’s small and quaint, the bathroom facilities are new and clean (taking a REAL shower here is going to be my weekly highlight I think) and there is a vineyard restaurant that Geoff has introduced us to called Konoba Magić that is MY FAVOURITE EATING PLACE IN ALL OF CROATIA. Big call, I know. And yet totally deserved. We took our first lot of guests, Ben and Shannon there last week. It was Ben’s birthday and we have video evidence of how his mouth fell open in amazement when we arrived at this quaint vineyard restaurant with the huge open fire oven that you walk past as you make your way into the main dining area. The decor is definitely not flash, but it’s homely with the large rough wooden tables and chairs (sometimes bench seats). You’re always greeted with a smile and a selection of grappa. Thankfully, these grappa are flavoured and silky smooth to drink, not like the petrol that most other places offer!
The menu is seasonal and dependant on what they can source locally or directly off their property. The wine is their own and organic. Even the grappa is theirs! The huge rosemary bush to the side of their outdoor dining area is so pungent and strong smelling. I cannot help but rub the leaves all over my hands so that I can take the glorious smell with me when I leave! After an amazing (simple and satisfying) dinner, you are given a small bowl of candied organs peel to finish with. Last week, I sat and watched the old lady toss the candied orange peel outside and when she served it to us, it was still warm.
They offer a pick up and drop off service, as they’re about a 15 minute drive from the police station, which is a five minute walk from the dock in Kut. Driving through the island is a really lovely change from the sea, and the view that you get over the harbour as the van climbs the hill is spectacular.
It was Linda’s birthday last night and I am so glad that we got to share this little slice of organic, homegrown, foodie heaven with her and her family. It’s been a lot of fun having them on board. It didn’t take long for it to feel like we’re all family! We got a fabulous sail in on their first day as we left Split. Great way to test out my rearrangement of the glasses! Mark got into it, helming Sea Princess in some awesome breeze. Luke got a good introduction to sailing as Nick put him straight on the winches! If there were walls to bounce off, Linda would have been bouncing off them, she was so amped. It was fun and a great start to the week.
Yesterday, we got up early to see our friend LJ off. We met her in the USA and worked with her in the Caribbean and hadn’t seen her for over four years! She’s working as a travel agent in London now, so she came on board to catch up with us and to check out Sea Princess to see if she could maybe send some guests our way. It was so great to see her again. She’s such a calming person to be around, and really the only other person (other than Nick) that I trust to swim with. She had organised to dive in Hvar, and we couldn’t find any reliable and cheap transport for her from Vis (where we were sailing to yesterday) to Hvar, so we got up early on Palmižana and flagged down a boat that was going to Hvar. Offered to give the guy 50 Kuna and we were all happy! Sucked to wave goodbye to her though. It’s been a long time since we last saw her, and two days was by no means long enough! Oh well. Just means we can’t leave it another four years to see each other again!
And that was at 6am. Once she was off, we headed back to Sea Princess and quietly sailed out of the bay, headed to Green Caves. Last week, Nick and Ben (one of our first guests) had climbed to the top of the caves, while Ben’s wife Shannon and I stayed with the yacht. This time, with so many people on board, Nick and Geoff constructed a complex filming and photographing order so that we would get footage of Mark and Nick jumping off the cliff this time. Luke rowed me inside the caves, which was amazing because I didn’t get to see inside last week, and I filmed from inside, the cave entrance providing a brilliant natural frame for the shot. We had dropped Geoff off on the rocky point, where he was also filming their jump. And Nick had Geoff’s fake GroPro in his hand when he jumped. I can’t wait for Nick to stitch them all together! It was a pretty epic set of jumps, just as the crowds of moto boats began to arrive. Which was perfect timing, because once the crowds began to arrive, we were done and we high tailed out of there!
After Green Caves, we headed to the rock curtains. Thought to have once been a very large cave where the roof fell in hundreds of years ago, the narrow entrance remains and you can peek between the towering cliffs to see a pretty little pebbly bay inside. The guests took the dinghy in, Nick and I swum through and Geoff stayed with Sea Princess, who was anchored and tied up to the cliff face. He told us to take money, wouldn’t tell us why and we were intrigued. Turns out theres a sweet little bar to the side of the pebbly little beach selling all sorts of interesting fare, like the elderflower cider and orange radler that we tried with Linda, Mark and Luke. Again, our plan was to arrive early, beat most of the tourist boats and skedaddle when the crowds began to come in. A plan that the guests were definitely in favour of!
We’re halfway into our second lot of guests and I am a little worried that we’re being lulled into a false sense of security. Our guests last week were easy to please, friendly, clean and played a mean game of cards. Our guests this week feel like we’ve just extended our family. Linda reminds me so much of Nick’s Mum, and Mark and Luke are so easy to get along with. They are a pleasure to cook for! Appreciative, and they seem to genuinely enjoy the food I make because they make all the right noise. Which if you know me, you’ll know is pretty much the way to my heart. They’re up for Nick and Geoff’s crazy scheme’s. Luke is now hanging out to go up the mast, after Nick planted the idea in his head! They’re a really fun family to chill out with and we will certainly be sad to see them go. That’s the nature of the business we’re in now though, isn’t it?!
Oh and Nick made ANOTHER video for Linda’s birthday. Check it out here. He’s getting really good at these!!! Or am I just biased?!