It is time to go back to the sea. It starts out well, as we immediately see two dolphins, our first in Croatia, swimming in the bay of Sibenik. It is windier than predicted, but we are ready for a good sail.
It turns out to be perfect sailing weather, with winds fluctuation between 15 and 25 knotts most of the day, with gusts for minutes at a time hitting 30 or 31 knotts. This time we are more prepared for the higher winds and anticipate the wind changes a little better. It gets warm and sunny and as we make the turn to go back to Prvic, the island we loved so much, John got a strike on his line. Since we were not expecting it, and the sails were out and were going at a pretty good clip, the fish was lost.
At the same time, we saw fish jumping out of the water, and dolphins chasing them. We quickly forgot about the lost fish, took in the sails and spent the next few hours watching the dolphins fish. They would circle the balls of fish – some kind of perch that was round in body and about 12 – 14 inches long, that gathered together in small schools – and then one dolphin would chase up from the bottom and fly through the air, making a huge splash and sending fish flying in the air in all directions. This was very difficult to anticipate and photograph as you could not tell when this was going to happen, but was amazing to watch them do it time after time.
As we drifted closer to the dolphins, the fish realized we were there, and made a beeline for our boat and hid under it, seeking protection from the dolphins. John put his line right into the school of fish as they surfaced next to the boat from time to time, but they were not biting. He even tried netting them with a net, but they were too fast for him. While the fish stayed under the boat, the dolphins circled, waiting for them to leave the boat. As the dolphins fished, seagulls hovered a few feet above them, hoping for scraps or a stray dead fish or two escaping the mouths of the dolphins.
I began to identify the dolphins by their fins. The young ones had perfect dorsal fins, but the older ones all had nicks, scrapes and notches on them.
After a few hours of watching them play, we set up the sails again and sailed to Prvic. It was as beautiful and peaceful as we remembered. There are a lot more boats in the ocean now than a month ago, and the same was true when we got to Prvic. We were lucky to get a spot on the harbor wall. Watched a lovely sunset and then had dinner at a restaurant that they were working on when we were lost here. Now there are three restaurants open in the village.