Friday, May 26, 2017

Velocity Made Good

Yata took his turn at the helm our first full day out and it was a windy grey day with big swells and a boat riding like a herd of stallions over the sea. 

Each day of sailing around these islands is unique, from Yata's stormy ride to one day of near calm that required us to motor. Borko,  the consummate sailor never took the lazy route of motoring when sailing was an option. 

We would determine our course in the morning and depending on the direction and power of the wind we would sail a direct route downwind or tack back and forth with a side or headwind. The day I sailed we had a side wind and I kept trying to get speed but at the expense of the direction we were headed. At one point Borko explained Velocity Made Good. If you sacrifice too much direction for speed you could actually have a negative VMG because you're not actually getting to your desired destination. 

Sailing strikes me as something that is ruled by the laws of physics but at the same time is an art. It requires a feel for the boat, wind & water. But it also rewards experience and that is something Borko had ' in spades'. 



Split, Brac, Vis in the Dalmatian Islands

We are on one of the archipelago islands off Croatia's coast bouyed in our 46 foot monohull with Katchy Kay, Jolly Jelle, Dan, Jody and our hired native captain Borko (sp?).

We left the village of Milna on the island of Brac this morning just before the rain set in. 
We had a great meal last night at a fisherman -owned seaside restaurant. Black risotto was on the chalkboard menu. I was intrigued  since I'd never heard of such a thing I love a good risotto. We ordered a meal family style; a Sea Bream and another smaller fish, roasted vegetables and the black risotto. For some reason the fish here is very expensive, in fact the fish at one and a half kilos( about 3 1/4 pounds cost about $100 US. But it served seven people and it was caught the same day. The fish was simply grilled and it was fantastic with a crunchy butter flavored crust and juicy firm white flesh. But the black risotto... oh my!  It is black from the ink of the cuttlefish, very black and I expected an inky flavor but instead it seemed rich and creamy as if made with dairy cream of some sort. Borko says not!  Kay says yes they do finish it off with cream sometimes. I doubt I'll ever be able to make this since I don't think there is any substituting ink of cuttlefish. But Katchy says we can get squid ink back home at Coastal Seafoods. 

  On the island of Vis we had a real treat, meat cooked under the bell, Peka. Borjko highly recommended it especially the octopus so we pre-ordered 4 lamb & 3 octopus. The meat is cooked over wood fire in a bell shaped cast iron pot for about 2 hours. It is served in the bottom of the bell at the table. It's a traditional way of cooking of Croatia. The octopus was the most tender and savory seafood with potatoes and onions to soak up the juices and a specialty of  the island of Vis. We were at Roki's  an inland establishment that provided transport and had their own wine. Red & white.   We were unduly surprised to see the place full of happy diners.    

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico wine in the cellars of CantiliciVineyard near Radda where we are staying this week. Winding roads up and down the olive and grape growing hillsides anticipates the rolling waves of a sailboat we will soon be on in Dalmatia.    After a few hours of riding the rough waves of Chianti hillsides we found this charming little village of Ambra. In the town square a group of locals had just completed a fundraiser walk for a cure for cancer. They were sitting along banquet tables having a dinner of charcuterie, roast pork, pasta, couscous salad with local red wine and the lovely treat, a dulci they called Peaches.   The Peaches are actually a yellow cake, rosy tinted with a core of cream. 

I had shown the servers my list of allergies that I had translated to the local language and they seemed even more confused asking me to 'say in English'. Which didn't really help, when suddenly I realized I'd given them the list that had been translated into Croatian. When I realized the error, we all had a laugh at my mistake.