With uncharacteristically good timing we passed between the fortified headlands and entered Montenegro at sunset, digesting Tatiana’s splendid pork dish and quaffing. We motored slowly as the purple mountains became two-dimensional. Maxine has been on her best behaviour and there have been no burns or bruises. One glass of wine was tipped over, but the offender was not she.
In black night we found the customs wharf at Zelenica, where formalities were charmingly provincial. The harbourmaster apologised for keeping us waiting but he had been at home eating his dinner. The cheery young policewoman/customs official we found sitting in a converted container with a couple of girlfriends listening to a football match.
Dodging unlit fishing boats we groped between unlit reefs, up under the forested southern shore of Stradioti Island. A glassy anchorage. The silence was disturbed only be the calls of nightingales. Maxine produced a bottle of Limoncello and we just sat.
After morning swims Pasha checked the pressure in the coolant header tank before we departed. He found a significant leak through the water pump at 1 atm. We were convinced that the coolant pump seal has failed and that meant a new one.
Gingerly we motored past lovely Perast and up into the inner bay. We tied up at Kotor, next to the very famous yacht Ron Glas, where I organised a diesel mechanic and predicted a week’s delay. But it is a lovely spot at which to be stuck, I must say.
Tomislav, a splendid mechanic, arrived on time the next morning and in 10 minutes had found and fixed the leak – from a pump hose connection which can only be seen by a very small contortionist with a bright light, patience and a mirror. So that deals with the catastrophic loss we had yesterday. Whether it also fixes the chronic loss of the last 3,000 miles, only time will tell. I remain cynical.