It was hard for everyone to get back to work. Classes are held every day while sailing, so we had 2 class days on the way from Italy to Croatia. AND the Global Studies midterm was held. The exam fever on board was high.
We arrived in Dubrovnik early and had our first night-time docking. Lots of folks on-deck to watch our midnight arrival.
Croatia is one of the former states in Yugoslavia. Tito ruled Yugoslavia from 1945 through his death in 1980. Following his passing the member states tried to separate. Disagreements about whether to break up, how to break up, who got control of which land, etc led to vicious warfare. Many people have been tried and many await trial for war crimes committed during the 90′s. And yet today the Balkin peninsula seems to have moved on. With the exception of Kosova, which is still seeking autonomy from Serbia, the states have achieved autonomy. Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro.
On to our first day in Croatia! We are at the very southern tip of L-shaped Coatia. Way away from the capital Zagreb in the north.
Dubrovnik is lovely. It’s a big tourist destination. Lots of ships visit here. The old city is impressive and more on that later. But our first event here is kayaking over to a protected island near the city and examining the local marine ecosystems by snorkeling.
We took a bus a few miles and got off next to the old city. We hopped into kayaks and paddled over to a nearby island Lokrum.
We were startled to see peacocks all around. They thrive on the island and are fairly unimpressed by humans.
We donned masks and snorkels and went seeking marine life. Kathy and I each brought our own masks. Mine have bifocal lenses built in. I mean, would like to actually see some stuff. Some of the students were not comfortable staying in the water very long. It was a little chilly. Kathy and I stayed in for an hour. When you are used to Lake Champlain…. We saw sponges; and those dangerous looking spikey sea urchins; small crabs, and lots of interesting smallish fish. We saw a very pretty blennie with neon blue lines across her face.
After an hour paddling around I was getting chilled and it was nearly time to meet up back at the kayaks. We headed back across to the cove next to the old city and caught the bus back to the ship. I was BEAT.