Because “J” and “C”’s place is right on the shore, and the roads are dangerous at best due to all the curves along the sea coast, most of the day trips are always done by using “J’s” boat if possible.
One day’s boat ride took us to the Island of Lopud for snorkeling in some of the cleanest water you ever saw; you can clearly see the bottom at 15-20 feet. The scenes here were so beautiful that Joan considers this event one of her highlights of visiting Croatia.
A trip to get boat gas is never simple chore. We pull into a marina /club in Dubrovnik, leave the boat with a dock boy to take care of business, and we spend an hour or so swimming and lounging at the beautiful pool deck area which is for the yacht people. We end up spending a couple of hours hanging around this place. We find a little tennis club, some historic mansion with gardens, a restaurant, and a park area with outdoor internet sites which we accessed. Went we got back to the house and were asked were we went, the answer was “Just went to get some gas, dear”.
"wine that was ”blessed by the Pope”,"
Once for an evening meal, we did a little ride out to one of the nearby islands. “J” knew of a restaurant there which is only accessible by boat. We find it and pull the boat up to its’ dock. The place has 3 picnic tables at waterside. It was owned by a member of the Croatian Olympic ‘water polo’ team and his mother. We are the only people there. “J” does the meal negotiating in Croatian language with the young stud fellow and soon thereafter a very large platter arrives. The giant prawns came with their heads still on, of course, and are sautéed in olive oil, herbs and garlic. This was served with some bread and wine and thus began another Croatian coastal meal. The waiter (owner) tells us what he has in fresh fish that were caught today and that will be our meal. He then told us it will take a while to prepare, and that we should walk over to the swimming beach about 20 yards away for about 45 minutes while he and his mother prepare the meal. So the six of us leave our table after finishing our appetizer course, and go swimming for awhile. I am thinking, “What the hell kind of meal place is this?” Talk about giving new meaning to the term ‘casual dining’. When we get back to the meal picnic table (after the mid meal swim) he brings out a special bottle of wine that was ”blessed by the Pope”, for this happened only a few months after Pope John Paul II visited Croatia (2003). The wine label actually had some special logo of the pope on it. This was the pope’s third visit to Croatia, which is a very old-time catholic and religious country (99% Catholics). We were told that it is second only to Poland in being catholic. Meanwhile neighboring Serbia is almost all Eastern Orthodox religion.
Another boat trip for dinner found a dockside mom and pop place in Zaton. Our tied up boat was literally 5 feet away from our table. The son waited on us, brought out today’s catch to choose from while the mom grilled all the fish (grouper and orata) on an outdoor grill behind a shack. We had black risotto which is made with the black ink from squid and was served with shrimp, mussels and clams again. When we were finished, our teeth, fingers, and tablecloth were all black from the messy squid ink. I got so tan doing all these boat trips and beach time that it looked like I’d never been in Florida.