OK, so we are organizing flotillas in the Mediterranean and in the Seychelles. Flotillas are fun but are they “adventure”? Are there any adventures to be had during these flotillas? If so, are they really dangerous adventures, like Raiders of the Lost Ark adventures?
Well no, not that kind of adventures but, still, we can experience situations that are out of the ordinary and which will stay with us as memories of great times we had sailing with our friends.
Case in point: A few years ago, we were sailing in Croatia from Kastela, near Split, to the city of Sibenik and the Krka Waterfalls National Park. Krka is a wonderful place with stunning waterfalls. This was the location where the second hydroelectric energy plant in the world was opened. One day after the first one in Niagara Falls on November 16th, 1896. Nikola Tesla’s spirit still roams around there…
Anyway, on our way to the falls, we spent the night at anchor in the large bay in front of the small peninsula of Primosten with its picturesque village. The view from the church and from its cemetery overlooking the Adriatic is precious. The night promised to be quiet and we were three yachts gently rocking on the hook.
Our yacht was the rowdy one and, because we had no other neighbors than our other two boats, our boombox on board was blaring all kinds of music from Rock to Latin and Zydeco. It was amazing how eight people were able to dance and shake on a 49′ Jeanneau.
In the morning, we had thunderstorms roll in but there was no rain. Only lightning and thunder. I don’t like lightning when on a boat, having experienced some scary moments in recent years but, still, the show was spectacular until, suddenly, two lightning strikes hit the pine forest on shore in two different places. It was like the forest exploded and flames shot up into the sky. With the wind blowing from the land, before long ashes started to fall on our boat. We were not at risk at all and we were just staring in awe at nature’s fury.
Then, out of nowhere, a small Cessna dust cropper plane appeared and dumped a load of water on one of the burning spots. It did not do much to alleviate the problem but, soon, two Canadair firefighting tanker planes showed up and dove down into our anchorage, skimmed the water and filled up their tanks followed by a slow and laborious ascent to go spread the water over the fires.
That is when we realized we were in a hazardous situation. These heavily loaded planes literally screamed over the top of our masts and it would not take much for them to hit us, low and slow. A small skiff raced over from the village and urged us to get out of the bay immediately as the planes would be coming back for more water.
We raised anchor and left the bay, hugging the coast line to make sure that the planes would have enough maneuvering space in the middle. We headed straight for Sibenik where we spent the night at the seawall of this beautiful city and kept informed of the situation near Primosten. It took the Canadairs along with the firefighters on the ground two days to extinguish the fires.
Although we cannot guarantee that you will experience such exciting moments when sailing with us, we promise that you will be going home with unforgettable memories of a truly unique vacation.
Check our website for our 2020 Flotilla programs.
So long and be safe!
Capt. Jean De Keyser