June 19th
Get woken early by our agent – around 7:15am, as a ferry is coming in and he needs us to move our boat before it gets there. I am impressed to see John without coffee, hop out of bed and get us going. I help, but am not much use, as I was feeling pretty sick the day before and am not doing much better. Hardly eating.

Off we head for our 65 mile journey down the coast to the Marina in Orikum, Albania. You cannot stop anywhere in between. Thank goodness we have good sea conditions, if no favorable winds, and have to motor the whole way. The water is surprisingly shallow most of the way. We see a couple of fishing boats with nets, a couple of dead dogs and a dead sea turtle, but it has become clear to us, that this route is not frequently used by sailors such as ourselves. There are not many people making this journey, and most that do, cross over to Italy and do not pass through Albania.

At one point, as I am at the helm, I panicked, as I see what I think is a person swimming in the water. Since we are a reasonable distance from the coast, I am thinking that they have abandoned ship. It turns out it was a turtle! A live one this time. We circle him and he watches us as we watch him, and we both go on our way. The water is very warm and the colors vary from lime green, to aquamarine, to teal.

We arrive somewhere between 2:30pm and 3:00pm at the Marina. It is in the middle of a huge bay and took us two hours just to navigate into the bay. The coastline all the way down, was vary varied, with huge mountains dropping directly into the sea for most of the way, and then a very flat area with what appeared mud flats for an hour or two, and then the bay we were entering was surrounded by beautiful green mountains. There were gun turrets and military look out posts all the way along the coast. At one point, we were a little alarmed, as a fast moving official looking boat headed directly for us from quite some distance. We slowed down as it approached us. It was some kind of police boat, and after giving us a thorough visual examination up close, they took off without comment and without boarding us. I suppose we looked innocent enough.

Orikum reminds me a little of Mexico and I instinctively like being there. Everyone there is so nice to us. The marina office handles all the paperwork for us to check us both in and out of the area with customs and the police. It is rural, just past the marina. Little in the way of paved roads. Cows, fields of vegetables and fruit trees, goats. We walk towards the town, but turn around as we get close. It looks completely depressing and have no desire to go further. It is one concrete block after the other in an area that is slightly inland. We turn around and walk back to the Marina and then down the coast. We see restaurant after restaurant all along the coast, each with hundreds of beach loungers. There is almost noone in the restaurants. Most have just one or two people sitting in them and they may in fact be the owners. We try speaking with a few locals, but they don’t speak a word of English, but try to be helpful.

Finally, on our way back, we stop at the last restaurant before the Marina, and bump into an English couple who are on a boat in the Marina as well. They are going the opposite direction as us – towards Croatia and have been in Greece. They have been spending summers on their boat since 2011. We joined them for dinner, and it was great to swap notes on our adventures.

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