|Michelangelo at the helm whilst Bella hangs on for dear life and Daddy and a Crazy Russian party on in the background|
While we originally had thought we wanted to do a day trip to Hvar; in reality any Dalmatian island would do, and since there was this 1/3 size replica of Columbus's "Santa Maria" going to Šolta and Brač; and the kids thought it would be fun to go on a "Pirate Ship" that's where we went instead.
We got up early, and the weather was ominous; the crossing to Šolta (sounds like "shoulder" without the ending "r") was so rough that poor little Bella sold the buick, which forced her and me up onto the rainswept deck where we were hypothermic.
Šolta is supposed to be a great place to swim and lie in the sun - only there was no sun and it was unseasonably cold and rainy; so we simply walked around Villa Šolta until it was time to leave.
Up until this point - the trip was pretty glum. None of the passengers spoke to each other, and the Captain was gruff.
We all came back on board early for the pre-paid lunch, and all of that changed. The Captain brought out a liter bottle of homemade Grappa and plopped down a couple of shots between me and this fearsome looking Russian dude with a broken tooth. The ensuing party was reminiscent of the one that broke out at Maria's in Creel 15 years ago (Alice, Andy, Clare, Petra, and Hans - you will remember!)
In addition to the Russian and his 2 women (one of whom works at Autodesk) there was a Polish couple that emigrated to Ireland (and never want to go back to Poland), 2 elderly Scottish Ladies, and 3 young girls from Argentina and Uruguay traveling together. The ride to our next stop, Brač (pronounced "Brach") was shorter, and we all went swimming in the bay off of Bobovišća - jumping off the top of the boat. Even Isabella recovered and had a blast swimming with her daddy.
All in all, it was a great day, the kids had fun, and it was a great introduction to backpack style adventuring for them!