Officials – don’t you just love ‘em

by Adrian on July 18, 2008

The weather forecast said there was unsettled weather coming in so last night we headed to a channel between two small islands just south of the island of Losinj.


The channel provided shelter from the predicted wind direction and luckily we arrived just in time to get the penultimate mooring bouy – so we were nice and secure for whatever weather picked up.


The only problem we had was that when swinging around we'd occasionally come quite close to the boat on the next swinging mooring if the boats moved in different directions due to differennt currents. To counter this I decided to run a line to the shore 20m away to limit our swinging circle and ensure we'd be ok through the night.


This I did, to mine and the chap in the next boat's satisfaction. Only trouble was, when the inevitable boat man came around to collect our mooring fee (approx £15) he said I had to remove my line ashore. I said it was there because the moorings were too close together and I didn't want to swing into the next boat and cause any damage.


The official however wasn't having any of it and insisted there would be no problem and that I remove the line despite it being a thoroughly seamanlike thing to do and was not in anyones way, was marked by a fender to make it visible and was not causing anyone any harm. I was reluctant and slowly showed signs of working on deck to dismantle it, but not too quickly as I thought once he'd gone I might just leave it there to be safe overnight.


He obviously sensed my reluctance and after a few minuted came back and took a couple  of pictures of the line and our boat on his mobile phone.


This started me worrying as I heard echoes of out friend Chris in Malta  warning us about the officious Croats and how they'd fine you for any minor infraction.


I expected the police boat to come out at any moment and since the last thing I wanted was a €500 fine I decided to err on the side of caution and dismantled the lines and took my own picture (with timestamp) to prove i'd removed them. The chap in the next boat was tutting at the official's insistance as well – so instead of the safety of the line ashore we both fendered the sides of our yachts and tied the dingies across the back to hopefully stop and meeting of boats during the night.


The weather turned out to be quite still overnight but at 5am I woke up for some reason, got up for a look around (as you get used to doing when sleeping at anchor) and noticed the transon of the next boat nudging up against our sides.


Fortunately it was quite calm and there was no damage, but it was annoying that had there been wind and had I been forced to remove our safetly lines by the official we may have suffered damage.


Officials – they know best… don't you just love 'em 

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: