A Shopping Expedition

After a windy night we rise to a cloudy day with rippled waters. None of us fancies a swim so we up anchor and set off. We are going to cover some miles today. Initially we plan to go to Mlijna. We sail through some wind and rain and then decide we might just as well go on to Masalinica where rumour has it we may be able to order slow cooked lamb from Konoba Sescula.

We lunch underway, our usual salad lunch fortified with a mixed bean salad which is a cheering addition for the grey, less than warm weather. Nigel had proposed we divide for watches with Carolyn on lunch duty. Towards the end of the passage I take the helm for a while as we round the western end of Solta to pick up a buoy owned by the restaurant where we will eat.

Nick and Nigel have been doing some minor running repairs, Nick has been busy splicing.   They decide to adjust the rope which manages the passerelle.

But before that we have a minor incident when Nigel drops a coil of rope in 8 metres of water. He manages to retrieve it with his first dive aided by a mask and snorkel. Unfortunately he doesn’t equalise very efficiently and has to dive again to try and rectify the problem although his ears still feel strange. As it happens he then needs to be hoisted to the masthead to secure the new rope and wonders if this will be sufficient to restore his ears to equilibrium!

In due course we go ashore for our meal. Nick and I go first because the restaurant boasts internet but we find it is unavailable. We have a wine, some bread, olives, olive oil and wait to be joined. Nick continues to read The Edible Seashore which I have to review (watch this space!).  He is very taken with the book , as is Carolyn who very much likes John Wright’s style which makes the book very readable, not just a work of reference.

In due course our slow cooked lamb arrives and Jane receives her sea bass. Our lamb dish is fab. I resolve that I must try and cook this at home. It is the cheaper cuts of lamb that are used and cooked long enough so that the meat simply falls off the bone.

In the morning Nick goes into Masalinica early to buy milk and bread. I go in a bit later to use the internet at a very nice hotel. By now the drizzly murky day is clearing up so we set sail for an anchorage to swim and perhaps overnight there but the weather worsens and we decide to head for Split where we can refuel and Carolyn can disembark to search for a hotel for the first night of the remainder of her holiday which she will spend with children and step children.

Back at the Marina Nick and Nigel start some maintenance. We are eating spaghetti Bolognese on board. Towards early evening there are flashes of lightening and thunder. In our safe haven we experience and witness a serious thunderstorm. With the rain beating down on the deck above us we watch the last 2 episodes of Tinker, Tailor….

On Monday Jane has a brainwave. Why don’the girls go into Split for a bit of sightseeing whilst the boys carry on with their good works. So we catch a bus to the waterfront and fall into a café for coffee.

We are approached by a young girl, a student from Zadar in agronomics she tells us, who tries so hard to sell us table linen. They are worked in embroidery and crochet and rather pretty but I tell her that I have more than enough lovely tablecloths from Mum and Dad’s days in Hong KIong.

None of us buys anything although I do see how an engaging streetseller who draws her victims in by involving her mother and grandmother in the story of her products can wear her potential customers down to the point where they end up buying something against their will! It’s a skill I imagine she has honed over the season.

We spend the rest of our time in Split in the Diocletian Palace precincts, wandering the alleys, taking photos, and I somehow end up buying a great pair of trousers in one of the boutiques. With a 30% reduction the already reasonable price approaches a bargain. The fabric is linen, bronzey colour with just a hint of metallic sheen and the garment is effectively a full length divided skirt. It will get dressed up and down over the years.

The end of passage evening is convivial. We have scrambled eggs and smoked salmon with Muscat grapes and White figs bought from Split market. Nigel is in a particularly good mood and we girls think he must have had a beer or two to get him through an afternoon with Stalin, but I am assured that their only poison was tea!

It rains in the night and in the morning Nick and I trudge to the bus-stop. But things pick up because we emerge on the roadside just as a bus is approaching and it makes an unscheduled stop to scoop us up out of the gutter.  We are homeward bound!

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