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 Devon
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Croatia to Venice and back - postcard from Mags

We got to Split just 4 hours before Merril and Roger arrived having flown from England. Our visitors always add something different to our travels and Roger and Merril encourage us to go walking, visit places properly (not our forte) and find good eating places. Roger didn't fail us and on their very first day, Merril's birthday, he found a wonderful restaurant very near the marina. We enjoyed exploring Croatia with them

The plan was to sail to Venice at the end of their holiday and drop them off. This was to be an overnight trip. They have done night sailing before with Barry but this time we had one of the worst passages ever. And it wasn't the wind but the erratic swell that was really upsetting. Neither Barry nor I could sleep easily when off watch as the boat was just thrown around with wild crashings and bangings. Roger who is not usually seasick succumbed once and maintained his equilibrium after this by staying on deck. Merril who didn't want to be sleepy on her watch with Barry waited to take her seasickness pills until after the watch. After all we had set out in a flat calm. Unfortunately she got caught out and spent a very miserable night. However, we had a day and a night to get them back into shape before sending them home and we had a lovely time in Venice.



Just Venice

Yes, just Venice

Roger is really good at seeing the right places and took us up the Grand Canal in the vaporetto and generally showed us the sights.

St Mark's Square

St Mark's Square

We were also very happy in the small club marina on Isola Santa Elena. One cannot book ahead so we were quite nervous about where we would land up with the boat but we had heard that this was a good spot. They have few visitors' places and you hope to take the berth of some club member who has gone cruising. They found us a place right at the entrance. Santa Elena is an island, leafy and quiet but connected to the main area so you could walk to St Mark's square in about 20 minutes or take a vaporetto if preferred. So we could escape the crowds in the evening and get back to our leafy island and the peace of the yacht club.

Peaceful Sant'Elena

Peaceful Sant'Elena - our boat is on the left - number one place

We had booked to fly Easyjet to Nottingham from Venice to meet the family and celebrate Geoff's (nephew) wedding to Angelica (Colombian). We took the vaporetto to the airport, met up with Petra and Uli, friends from Geneva who arrived just 2 hours before our departure and who were to be boat sitting for us. The wedding in Nottingham was a lovely occasion and it was nice to meet the family and Angelica and her sisters. We had hired a car and on the Sunday morning set off early down to Devon where we had a rendezvous on the beach with Sarah and Andy and family and many others of the Heywood family (Kate's family) to celebrate Sarah's impending 40th. It was a very sunny day and what threw both Barry and me was that we suffered more from the sun on the beach in England than the previous 3 months on the boat in the Med. The main reason was lack of shade and of course we hadn't thought to bring sun tan lotion. It was another lovely day followed by a shortish drive to Bath where we re-found Merril and Roger, who have told us that the trip to Venice hasn't put them off sailing (we are pleased), and we caught up on the 3 days since we had last seen them. Next morning we had a leisurely start and drove to Bristol airport, returned the car, sauntered over to the terminal and boarded the Easyjet flight Bristol/Venice. Couldn't really have been easier.

When we arrived in Venice we debated whether to get the vaporetto back or a water taxi which is a fast smart motor boat which both Barry and I had been eyeing on our trip to the airport. We decided to "blow the expense" and take one. It was a new experience and we zoomed along James Bond fashion and were actually delivered to our boat door step. 80 euros, but we enjoyed it.

Taxi from the airport to the doorstep

Taxi home from the airport

We had to break into our own boat as Petra and Uli had gone off with the key and had to hurry home when we texted them of our arrival. By the time they arrived back we had found an open hatch and settled in.



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