The Šibenik Regatta

Three dozen sailboats moored along the seawall waiting for the start of the 14th Annual Šibenik Regatta.

Three dozen sailboats moored along the seawall waiting for the start of the 14th Annual Šibenik Regatta.

Saturday morning arrived and we met Nina and her husband, Marjan, along the seawall about a block from our apartment.  Marjan’s friends met up with us and designated me as the fourth crewmember on their sailboat.  I had done little to prepare for the day because the whole episode was put together as I was going to bed the night before.  And that was okay with me because sometimes the most interesting experiences are those that are least planned and most unexpected.

St. Nicholas walked among the crowd handing out candy to children.

St. Nicholas walked among the crowd handing out candy to children.

Florence , who is not a big boating fan and has no prior sailing experience, opted to join Nina on the tourist boat that the City of Šibenik provided for family members of regatta teams as well as dignitaries and special guests.  She waved at us from the observation deck as we lined up on the course for the starting gun. 

Thirty-five boats hit the starting line as the clock counts down to zero.

Thirty-five boats hit the starting line as the clock counts down to zero.

Let me share an observation I have made about sailing.  There is not a lot to do on a sailboat during a race.  The skipper picks your course and you stick with it.  That does not mean you do not need to pay attention because wind direction changes and tacking require quick reflexes and teamwork to change course efficiently in a race without losing boat speed.  I would guess about ninety percent of the time is spent sitting and just watching things which makes for long periods of stillness punctuated by brief moments of pandemonium.

The waterfront of the beautiful medieval town of Šibenik, our Croatian hometown.

The waterfront of the beautiful medieval town of Šibenik, our Croatian hometown.

Some people would say the still times make sailing boring.  Although I would not take issue with that statement, I would add that boredom is a condition that is undervalued and underappreciated.  After working for forty plus years, I used to long for the days when I could regale myself in sustained periods of boredom.  You may, if you wish, think of me as an ‘aficionado of boredom’.  Thus, I had no difficulty adapting to my day aboard the Champagne, our regatta entry.

Mike and Captain Vlado and our sailboat regatta entry, Champagne.

Mike and Captain Vlado and our sailboat regatta entry, Champagne.

During the longer legs of the course there was time for a beer or two and there were prosciutto and cheese sandwiches for when we got hungry.  We also found a couple of things worthy of a toast which called for shots of scotch all around.  Let’s see – we toasted the sunshine because it was a beautiful day.  We toasted each other, and we toasted the end of the race.  I think we came in third in our class, but I cannot say for sure because I was pretty much toasted by then.  What a great day.  Here’s to you, Šibenik!

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11 comments on “The Šibenik Regatta

  1. Linda says:

    Looks like it was a lot of fun and a wonderful experience. I would have thought it would be really cold there but by the way you are all dressed it doesn’t appear so.

    • Mike Lince says:

      We had a great day, Linda. It was cold last week – snow on the nearby peaks but this week it was quite nice if we stayed in the sunshine. Thank you for sharing your comments. – Mike

  2. “Boredom is a condition that is undervalued and under appreciated;” I love this Mike! What a wonderful day that to enjoy sailing and drinking and enjoying the beautiful sea. These posts from Croatia, in my opinion, have been some of the best so far. Even though Spain will be amazing, and I know that – I almost hate to see you leave. Wonderful post!

    • Mike Lince says:

      The people here have been so gracious and kind to us. I was treated to a Thanksgiving dinner in Croatia because our hostess knew a feast was how we celebrate this important American holiday. Our landlady took Florence to her physician when Florence was sick, and then she purchased Florence’s prescriptions on her Croatian health account. We have been treated as guests on tours and excursions. This day at the regatta was just the latest example of Croatian hospitality. We totally lucked out in Šibenik! We almost hate to leave Croatia, too, Dawn. Thanks for the great comments. – Mike

  3. reocochran says:

    I liked the photograph of St. Nicholas! I was a Mariner during the 70′s which was a co-ed adventure between the Girl and Boy Scouts. I found sailing fun, I learned how to tell the difference between the knots, I learned to take directions but I rarely had to do much, kind of like your describing the race! I loved the water and watching people, other sailboats and boats, just being on Lake Erie was always a “treat!” I liked flirting with the boys, of course, too! They were most helpful if I didn’t know how to do something on the boat! I never “toasted” in high school, except under parental guidance at home for the holidays. Sounds like a wonderful day and such fun, Mike!

    • Mike Lince says:

      I felt fortunate to be included in this annual event. Our friends are packing as much activity for us as they can in the last few weeks of our stay in Croatia, and this was one example. There are a few more activities coming up that I look forward to sharing – lots to look forward to. – Mike

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