We started the day early – very early. John was up at 5:00am. We had intended leaving Pucisca yesterday around 12:00pm, but a big thunderstorm with a lot of rain changed our plans. Once the rain stopped, we decided we might as well stay another night and head out early the next day as it was now later in the day and really a beautiful place.

By 7:30am, we are ready to leave, but we cannot locate someone to pay for the berth. Pucisca is not big on tourists. They are friendly, but not enthusiastic about us being there. They are not dependent on tourists for their livelihood and love their way of life, and don’t want it to change. I can see why! Eventually, at around 8:15am, someone takes our money and we set out.

The sea is very calm, very blue, and John puts out his rods and we slowly troll along Brac’s coastline to the other end and go around. It is so pleasant and peaceful with beautiful vistas of mountains, sun sparkling on the seas, shimmering in the distance, the occasional boat passing us by, and the gentle lap of water as we move through it.

At about 1:00pm, the wind starts to come up, and we are excited to finally sail and put out the full sails. The wind rapidly increases in strength, and we also realize that the rudder and steering on the boat is malfunctioning – causing the boat to turn out of control. We have had this happen a couple of times before, but felt that it was probably our fault and lack of knowledge of sailing or of the boat. Now it was much more marked. A very peaceful day was suddenly the start of a nightmare. John reefed in the sails, while I tried to keep the boat under control. The wind picked up even more. The boat went out of control a couple more times. Very scary. The fishing lines were still out and now totally tangled. I tried to bring them in while John took over the helm. John tried to help, but I had the lure in my hand and one of the hooks got stuck in my hand – luckily not to far and the hook was small, so was able to remove it quickly.

John tried to figure out what was happening with the helm, and in testing it, we went out of control several more times as the wind and waves were picking up. The boat would turn away from the wind, instead of into the wind when we lose rudder control, causing it to turn and almost broach. As I said, very scary. We turned on the engines, and it appeared we had control with the engines on, so took in the sails completely and started a bumpy ride up to Bol, and as it looked quite unpleasant to berth there, crossed over to Hvar and went into the inlet at Vrboska. The period of high stress was probably only about 30 minutes, but it felt forever. I have always noticed that on the ocean, when things go wrong, it never seems to be one thing, and you end up dealing with several situations at once.

Once we were berthed in the quiet Marina of Vrboska, tried to find someone who could look at the issue here, but it appears we are going to need to take the boat back to Split. There go our plans for the next few days!

I am still quite sick from the flu bug that came with Shane and friends two weeks ago, and have been doing my best not to give it to John, as it is quite nasty. However, he is now also developing symptoms. However, being sick in paradise is not so bad…. 🙂 You are still in paradise!

Regroup. Take a walk through this charming village. Have dinner. Tomorrow is another day.

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John hanging our flags
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Calm before the wind picks up
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Boat in the morning between storms
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Local repairing his nets
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walking to the point
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The quarry