WIND SURFing The Croatian Coast, Part Two

Continue with Peter Knego for part two of his WIND SURFing the Croatian Coast Sea Trek with more images of the handsome WindStar Cruises vessel and a visit to the beautiful town of Rovinj, Croatia.

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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2011 unless otherwise noted. Please click on image to view a larger version.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Omelet on the Veranda.

My favorite jet lag side effect is being able to jump out of bed in the very early morning hours of a different time zone and enjoy a long day in port or at sea. First stop: The Veranda for a very full breakfast, including the usual salmon and granola, plus a freshly-cooked omelet accompanied by chicken sausages. Plenty of fuel for a morning in picturesque Rovinj, Croatia, the first of four beautiful hamlets the WIND SURF would visit this week.

The truffle shuffle with Ronald.

At 8:40 AM, we mustered at reception for a visit to the local marketplace, where the ship’s chef, Ronald Waasdorf, would purchase some tasty stores. A tender whisked us off to the Rovinj waterfront where we followed Ronald on a short walk to the open market to inspect truffles, tomatoes, local cheeses, honey, garden greens and olive oil, all at a reasonable price. The WIND SURF’s passengers would reap the benefits of this shopping spree throughout the week.

Baubles and bowsprit at Rovinj.

Market visit over, we decided to explore a bit of Rovinj. Located on the Istrian peninsula (not far from Pula), Rovinj was originally a Roman settlement that came under Venetian rule between 1283 and 1797. A narrow channel between what was once an island and the mainland was filled in 1763. A favorite haunt for Italian tourists, Rovinj is officially bilingual and even has an Italian language school.

Feathers to fountain; feet to street in Istria.
Rovinj revealed.

In almost every Adriatic hamlet, there are endless photo ops. of narrow stone alleyways, laundry lines, fountains, pigeons, fishing boats and piercing blue seas.

Cathedral of St. Euphemia, Rovinj.

From the marina, we wound our way along a seaside promontory up to the Cathedral of St. Euphemia, which was built in 1736. Its 200 foot bell tower was modeled after Venice’s San Marco and remains the largest Baroque structure in all of Istria.

Nicotina was here.

Every nook and cranny of our cobblestone trek back to the waterfront had its share of stories to tell.

Three little gulls from school are we...

Our white ship beckoned from beyond the idyllic Istrian panorama.

Why this cruise ship is called "The Yacht": MSY WIND SURF at Rovinj.

From this classic ocean liner enthusiast’s point of view, the WIND SURF has beautiful lines. Her bowsprit and white stack are somewhat reminiscent of the classic cruise ship STELLA POLARIS of 1927 and the far forward positioning of her funnel has hints of the racy profile of the French-built PASTEUR of 1938.

WIND SURF marina unfolded.
The WIND SURF marina awaits!

Under any other conditions, it would have been nice to stay ashore a bit longer to enjoy Rovinj but with temperatures hovering in the upper 90’s, we needed to immerse ourselves in the soothing Adriatic waters. The WIND SURF had her remarkable stern marina unfolded and ready for use.

"Your zodiac is ready, sir!" Amanda and Taylor at the helm.

I needed some footage of the ship from a passing zodiac and was very happy to find sports coordinators Taylor and Amanda from last year’s WIND SPIRIT cruise ready to do the honors.

Sunny side SURF.

Taylor took me for a spin around the SPIRIT in Bodrum, Turkey, last year, so off we zoomed for a ride along the sunny side of the SURF.

Shaded starboard sleekness.

And then back around, a bit closer this time, since tenders were not loading on the shaded starboard side. In any lighting, with or without sails unfurled, the WIND SURF is a graceful apparition.

SURF's up!

More marina-ting was in store but a lunch pang intervened.

Salad for starters in the Veranda.

Back at the salad buffet, some of those fresh Rovinj market tomatoes and greens were already in use.

Basil, garlic, oregano, cilantro, chili and truffle olive oil.

And some new olive oil accessories had joined the dressings.

When you made the mountain...

After a dance with the tongs, my first WIND SURF salad was built!

Parmesan that, too!

Across the way, the aroma of garlic sizzling in olive oil was like a scented siren’s call.  Mix in a little marinara sauce and top it with a wee bit of parmesan…

Floatation devices.

After the feeding frenzy, it was back to the marina, where we would get well acquainted with the refreshing waters of the Adriatic. A trampoline/slide and floating mat, foam float “sticks” as well as single and double kayaks for us to row out to a nearby, rocky islet. The camera stayed on the ship for our self-guided excursion through the Istrian archipelago.

Jelly on the lam.

We were not the only ones enjoying the waters of Rovinj but at least these large, rather shy jellies were stinger-less…

Coco-capped cappuccino in the Yacht Club.

After a brief and invigorating swim, it was up to the Yacht Club Bar for a freshly-brewed afternoon cappuccino. I was getting far too accustomed to life on the gracious WIND SURF!

Degrees, facing forward.

We decided to dine in Degrees, the 90 seat, open seating Mediterranean restaurant on forward Stars Deck. It has a fixed menu of delights that would take at least two visits to fully enjoy.

Soup designs in Degrees.

It began with a pumpkin squash soup topped with feta cheese, basil and olive oil.

Breast of chicken in Degrees.

My main course was the chicken breast while Mike went with the lamb.

Rum raisining.

Although there was an assortment of baked deserts to choose from, we had a simple scoop of rum raisin to cap it all off.

Moonlight sonata.

The WIND SURF’s upper decks were made for magical sunset and moon shots. Another day had passed all-too-quickly.

End Of Second Post: Much More to Come…

With Special Thanks: Vanessa Bloy, Martin Cox, Henri Lemay

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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