June 24, 2009
We left Polace this morning bound for the eastern side if the island where we planned to find a secluded cove, drop anchor, prepare lunch and maybe swim a little. Although we searched for a cove described as one of Jacques Cousteau’s favorites, instead we found another, equally interesting. This was at Saplunara, on the southeast tip of Mljet. It is said to have been named by the Apostle Paul after his shipwreck in 61 AD. He was said to have spent 3 months in this cove before departing.
A couple other historical factoids before departing Mljet:
• In Homer’s Odyssey, Ulysses spent 7 years on this island with his nymph Calipso. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, his wife, Penelope, wove for these years, awaiting Ulysses return.
• In the 1800’s, Mljet was overrun by Asps, a very poisonous snake. There being no effective treatment, many people died. In about 1910, a small number of Indian Mongoose were introduced onto the island to combat the Asp population. It was wildly successful. The agile mongoose would aggressively engage any Asps encountered. They are said to infuriate the snake under attack by … get this …. blowing into the snake’s nostrils. With the snake angry, confused and impaired, the mongoose would dart in for the kill. Today there are virtually no Asps on the island. The mongoose population, having nothing to prey on, now attack small to medium sized domestic animals.
We left Mljet in the early afternoon for a 2 hour sail over to our next port of call, the village of Luca on the island of Sipan. Luca is at a much protected harbor and, like so many Croatian ports, postcard pretty. We tied to a mooring for the night and went ashore for dinner. After dinner, Rick Ramseur from our boat, a natural born performer & comedian, sang for the group. This was his original composition, accompanied by harmonica (Rick playing this also), entitled “Adriatic Sea Blues”. It was a hilarious account of the past 2 weeks, one in which no one was spared the barbs of his wit.