Sep 08, 2017 - Sea Cloud
After a night of swell coming in from the central Adriatic, we woke to a change from the fine weather that we had experienced for the entire voyage thus far. There were a few light showers and quite a bit of wind. The captain and deck crew raised only the upper topsails and two jib sails under these conditions. Our Croatian cultural specialist, Marijana Radovan, gave her presentation, An Overview of Croatian History, and guests appreciated her perspective and personal account of having been a young person during the wars in Dubrovnik in the 90s. Afterwards, the captain called me to the bridge to show me that a thunderstorm was moving in from the west so that sails would have to come down quickly. Sailors were up in the rigging as the rain began, but they made a quick job of getting the sails furled and secured. Guests enjoyed the storm’s electrical display from the promenade deck, and the captain turned the ship to provide some lee for hotel manager Simon’s excellent lunch buffet organized on the starboard Promenade Deck.
In the early afternoon, we arrived, in much improved weather, alongside the beautiful “Venetian” town of Korcula. Many townspeople and visitors were seen photographing and enjoying the elegant Sea Cloud as we sailed in. Located on a small peninsula on the island of Korcula, this town retains enough of the original walls and buildings to strongly evoke the feel of the medieval town. We proceeded on our walking tour with Marijana and our local guide Stanka and visited the Church of All Saints to learn of the town’s ancient brotherhoods, the cathedral crowning the town, and the bishop’s palace. We heard the story of the town’s most famous son, Marco Polo, and were left to ponder whether Korcula was truly his hometown. Guests had some time at leisure to wander the alleyways and visit the small shops before the group met at 6 p.m. for the evening event: the Moreska Sword Dance. We took a short walk to the town theater, and there we were treated to a dance from the 12th century, once performed throughout the Mediterranean but now only maintained as a tradition of Korcula. The story of two armies fighting over the love and release of the captive lady is told in a spectacle of frantic sword-clashing choreography. And yes, blood was drawn!
After the Moreska, guests returned to the ship for another delicious dinner while a good number ate ashore, enjoying the waning gibbous moonrise over the strait. Sea Cloud sailed softly away from the quay at 11:30 p.m.
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