Customs’ Dock in Dubrovnik – our last unfortunate experience in Croatia

Leaving ACI Marina Dubrovnik
ACI Marina – What a fabulous place!
ACI Marina – What a fabulous place!
Our new friends and neighbours leaving with us
Backdrop of the marina

After about 6 weeks of a wonderful time in the waters and amongst the islands of Croatia, the time has unfortunately arrive for us to move out and move on!
We both had mixed feelings about leaving – we know another adventure, beauty and more fun is just around the corner, but oh my word! – will we miss Croatia! We have already made plans to get back here in the Nordhavn that we have in the pipelines! It is too beautiful to only visit once!
Our companions on custom’s dock in Dubrovnik
At the customs dock in Dubrovnik
At the customs dock in Dubrovnik

It was Monday afternoon 10 June at 4pm when the captain changed his mind that we are leaving now for Lefkas (Greece) and not tonight at 11pm as per our plans. Well, the anchorage outside the marina was not super comfortable with all the traffic’s wakes and it was pretty windy too. It is a long way to go… the sooner we get going the better! I was ready to leave; have said my goodbyes to Croatia… all that is left is to clear customs at the Custom dock right next to the cruise ship terminal! We were silently hoping there are not 3 or five of the monsters… luckily only two cruise ships were docked, and the custom dock is fairly open except of the police chase boat enclosing the space where we had to dock. The problem was not the space!

Winds up to 27 knots and 1 meter swells were slamming into the dock where we had to go! I have to attend to the ropes at the bow and stern and started to also get all the other fenders on the one side for extra protection! The wind and waves were faster than me and just before I could get the very front fender on, I heard the grouse sound of boat on cement! I felt nauseous and was pissed off with customs more than anything else! Why don’t they provide a safe dock? This one is always exposed to any weather and winds! Anyway! We were docked at last and the fenders are being pushed to thin oblong shapes with only the minimum of play left to protect the edges of the boat from getting grated off like a carrot! As soon as we were settled, investigation showed that the damage was not as bad as it sounded – nothing that could not be buffed out. What a relief!

After the customs were happy for us to leave, and my shopping at the Carifour Supermarket right at the Ferry dock was done, it was time to go…well it was not all that straight forward! Again, the limited space with the police boat on our stern, did not provide many options other than going forward and out. The friendly push from the customs officer was not really making any difference as the wind forced us back to the dock almost straight away! As soon as we turn the bow away from the dock, the waves and wind pushed the stern back onto the darn dock! Not much we can do to prevent that! … The stern thruster would have been the answer here! That is now the only way out.

We got away with a nick on the rubber of the stern but were very lucky that it was not ten times worse! Relieved to be on our way … our 2 day journey to Greek waters has started with wind on the nose initially…which later on just about disappeared. We mostly had the iron sails going, and at times we were lucky to motor-sail with the Genoa and one engine only. At least we are making headway. All along the coast (about 2 nm away) we had the most wonderful display of clouds over the mountainous coast with sunrise and sunset until we arrived in Lefkas early the morning of the 13th of July. A warm Greece welcomed us with clear skies and a windless morning. We have certainly sailed clean away from the cool weather for good this season!

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