Sailing with Jeb’s family (Part 7, “Peka” the cure for mental illness)
Many times in life I have found myself in the awkward moments, the ones where you are with someone and that awkward silence and tension builds up, the seconds are ticking like minutes, you would even jump from your skin to run away and save yourself.
Well, this is how my trip started to appear, but it was already a couple of days which passed and I had a long way to go. I had many crews before and for the first time I was in the situation like this one, not even like a taxi driver, because people usually do speak to the taxi drivers if they are willing to talk, at least I do. This situation, with all my efforts could arise in any different scenario except a definite split between them and myself and it is not a nice situation when you are stranded alone and mental sharks are swimming around you, however with all my efforts it did not.
Nothing like the picture above, on the contrary, the complete opposite, I may freely call it a MentalFuckness!
As we were getting closer to Vis, I was thinking of many crews before and the job that was usually so nice and I couldn’t understand how people like this end up with a skipper, a person that could easily become their friend, and give his best for their vacation. Instead of having the nerve and learning to sail on your own and give a poor Greek, Croatian and whomever will be next a brake, you arrange a sailing holiday that is just weird and strange.
I remember one conversation with one of my previous clients, my words were: “We skippers are paid to take you from spot A to the spot B, with a lot of responsibility along the way, on the other hand we are not tourist guides, animators nor cooks, but it is always our pleasure to become friends with our crews and be all mentioned as a gesture of will.”
When you are kind to your skipper, you will get much more than a taxi driver, I could bet wherever you go on this planet.
Anyway, as I am never bored and have my mind to amuse me, I decided that I wont worry to much about the situation where I found myself and I decided that it will be a test of character, endurance, stamina and mental capacities for me.
We were coming into Vis harbor, the place where every sailor loves to arrive while in Croatia and from the time all the sailing yachts have swarmed the Adriatic Sea, there are not many secrets to hide about the places to go anymore.
If there is any way to split the town of Vis, I would split it between “downtown” or what we call Luka (harbor) and Kut (corner) and in the previous years, before it got over crowded, Luka would get full in the season, but most of the local skippers would go to Kut. Why? Because it is beautiful, more private, you can swim there and there was no danger that your boat will ram on the promenade when the crazy and probably drunk captain of the Croatia’s second largest ferry “Petar Hektorovic” comes maneuvering as he would drive a rally car and not a huge motor vessel. Even when they stopped doing it and for some reason the crazy haste stopped, being because the retirement of the old captain or who knows which reason, Kut remained the little utopia for local skippers and a very happy guests when they would after 2 kilometers of a very nice walk make an estimate between the two places.
On this occasion, as I remember, my crew already started to complain about paying for the mooring fees each night, so I nicely explained them that I do need my sleep every night, as there is work to be done each of the following days and that I could give them one night on anchor per week, a buoy every second night, but if they want to continue spending their days sailing while the fridge is keeping their things cold, anchor and cabin lights in the night and water that they could shower, then at least every second night should be in a port or marina. It was not only because of them, as if it would be, I wouldn't agree to one night anywhere except the nice and safe mooring. We went for the buoy.
As my job is always to make my clients satisfied, I recommended the place that I always recommend on Vis, konoba Roki’s in the little village called Plisko Polje.
It is not only the traditional Peka,
the delightful ambient,
or historical location, it is also the admiration that I have for all of them there and their friendliness and frankness. As every good skipper that brings guests to certain restaurants and expects nothing then a good service, this is the place which is a bullet proof. My record of 100% satisfied clients proves it and even if I was not invited for the first time in my career to join my crew for the dinner, to shove it up their face, I went up there and had a great time with all of my friends there and the Jeb’s did fell in the 100%.
At one moment, during the night, the Jeb guy came where I was sitting and asked me if I would like to have a glass of wine, probably thinking if I would join them for a glass, however long after they finished their Peka, I just raised my glass and politely replied “thank you, I am already having one”.
They got their Peka, I got mine, that was how it started and how it went on.