After my energetic scramble I am only too happy to relax in the cockpit whilst Nick and Nigel haul the anchor and we motor round to a sheltered anchorage on Otok Aba Veliki for a swim, lunch stop and afterwards I snooze in my cabin. Nick and Nigel have to mend the anchor winch. This accomplished we head for Levrnaka, a favoured haunt.
There’s a bit of argy bargy over picking up lazy lines to tie up to the pontoon for the konoba there. Instead we anchor off a bit, it’s no big deal to row ashore for supper. Nick revives his acquaintance with the young man who serves and who is a fellow Arvor owner. Supper is good, the men have a steak, I have scampi risotto preceded by octopus salad. We almost manage to stay awake for another episode of Foyle’s War.
I sleep till 8, have a dip then breakfast. Before leaving Levrnaka we walk over the low ridge which takes us to Uvala Lojena. It is a small shingle beach with sand and a bay ringed by a floating boom. The bottom is sandy, the water clear. It is a beautiful spot and there are a couple of naturist families frolicking in the shallows. Nick and I cannot resist having a swim; I’m glad I put my bathers on! We have a fabulous bathe. One could be swimming off some Pacific island in the southern hemisphere. It is so lovely I’d stay in longer than we do but Nigel is waiting at the water’s edge and it seems rude to keep him waiting!
On the way back to Philippides I take photos of the gorgeous Oleanders which are growing unchecked and randomly around the other small konoba at Levrnaka, with its campsite by the track. We walk back to the boat, swim again and I prepare lunch. We are going to the spot on the seaward side of Kornat where there is a ruined fortress and disused chapel.
We went ashore here with the Derricks last year. We swim, eat then press on. We are not really sure where we are going but we are barely under way when Nigel spots an anchorage he fancies at Kravljacica, the northern end of a wide embayment. It’s late afternoon so we relax on the boat for a while and read. Nick watches 2 women picking their way across the low slopes above the shore. They are gathering something. I think it might be Roman snails having seen them in the terrain hereabouts, but they are stooping too frequently and taking longer than is necessary to pick up a snail. I then think they must be gathering herbs – but which? They certainly seem to have to seek out their harvest.
We are going to eat on board so row ashore to the Konoba Andrija beforehand, the men have a beer, I have an unusual white wine – dark, only just chilled, heavier than normal but not sweet. The atmosphere here is very rural, authentic…….. the facilities, cooking arrangements are quite basic and we watch the owners prepare fish to cook on their barbeque and much care is lavished.
Gradually diners who appear to be staying in the motley collection of residences round about arrive, skinny cats prowl around, taunting the beagle who forms part of the crew on one of the visitor boats tied up to the rickety pontoon. Before we leave the next morning Nigel and I go ashore and I think I identify the mystery herb; it is a wild version of the ‘curry’ plant I have in my garden, Helichrysum italicum which, subsequently, the internet tells me is beneficial for all manner of bodily complaints. The plants are dwarfed in the arid habitat and you can see that the tips have been removed. I gather a few sprigs to add to the wild sage and rosemary which grow freely on the islands and which get snipped into our salads.