Montenegro – Season Wrap Up
As we approach the end of our winter and prepare to depart for Greece, it is a good time to acknowledge some of the businesses we have used who have truly made our life so much easier in our home away from home. The best way to do that is to let you hear of them so that should you find yourself here, you may use their services as well. I have mentioned before that I don’t earn a penny on the blog. I don’t try to sell advertising, nor do I accept any free or discounted services. I only mention a business because they have helped us, and I hope they can help you. If a business has failed to live up to our expectations in any way, I generally don’t include their information at all. So, if they are here, they did a better than average job for us. They are offered in no particular order.
Vet – Kotor Vetport Viber +382 69 250781 – Provided vaccines and blood testing for Pratt our cat. Also examined him for a small problem
Yacht Home Montenegro Raif Saglam WhatsApp +382 63 443 205 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – recovered Stid Chairs on the flybridge, provided cover for the aft deck, made a cover for the windlass, replaced headliners. Beautiful work!!
Massage: Jinny – Regent Spa in Porto Montenegro
Citizenship by Investment – Boka Place Katie WhatsApp +382 67 213664
Dockage – Porto Montenegro Roddy email@example.com
Carpet cleaning/laundry service: Zeljko WhatsApp +382 68 764 747
Small Maintenance Items. Pick up and deliver pressed laundry, duvet and dry cleaning at a reasonable price.
Interior Yacht Cleaning – Ivana WhatsApp +382 68 768 582
Vedran Gverovic – Exterior boat cleaning/waxing. All around point of contact to obtain propane, taxi, drivers and multiple services. He is wonderful and an employee of Porto Montenegro WhatsApp +38269490499
Abeona Car Rental – Tivat Phillip Vuckovic Abeona Tivat WhatsApp +382 67 974 281
OB/GYN Dr. Petro Bakalbasic +382 67 014 238
Assistance with non – standard immigration issues Bojan Bogarin +382 67 784 116
Tour Guide for Montenegro – she is amazing!! Sasa Cecur WhatsApp +382 69 852 034
The Victron Battery and solar power installation is complicated. The individual components are good, and they are working as advertised. We are still trying to work through some issues however with the installer. We’ve had problems with the settings and the interface between the components and displays. Every time Alec has tried to work it out, he has been met with either ignorance or resistance. Based on this experience, we would do more research on the installer. He did not live up to our expectations. Furthermore, Victron hasn’t helped to remedy the situation due to their loyalty and strong dealer relationships. They will only inform the dealer that the customer is having trouble. But when the dealer is unresponsive or uneducated, there is no place to go for help. Alec has been incredibly proactive in terms of reading every manual and webpage he can find for more information. He has joined FB message groups, he has networked, called friends, asked other Nordhavn owners and essentially, managed to gain knowledge of and made changes to the settings through grit and perseverance but in the end, we certainly did not get the service we should have received from this provider. Some of the issues include but are not limited to:
-Improper settings resulting in incorrect data
-Improper settings resulting in potential damage to the batteries (the most expensive component of this installation)
-Improperly connecting the chargers which in the extreme could cause a fire
-Absolutely no training – no explanation for the new wiring –
-disconnecting electrical components without explanation including the hydraulic alternators, gas grill propane controller.
The lack of training may not seem like a huge deal to most readers but when one is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, days away from help, it is crucially important that at least 1 person on board be intimately familiar with the system and how it is wired. This system, at a minimum, provides electricity to everything on board, not the least of which is all navigation instrumentation. While it is true we have generator back ups, the increased fuel burn could have serious consequences should we have an issue mid- Atlantic.
Lucky for us, we have friends who just crossed the Atlantic (Hi Donna and Phil) and they have Victron Inverters. Due to high following seas, water got into the laz and shorted out their inverters. This loss of the inverters required continuous use of the generator. For most boats of this size, the rough fuel cost is 1 gallon per hour. On an Atlantic crossing, that difference is huge and resulted in their having to divert to French Guyana rather than Martinique. But it could have been worse – they could have had a fire. Philip and Donna found a very knowledgeable Victron Dealer in Trinidad and shared this contact with us. Lloyd Chung has been helping Alec from 5000 miles away, get the settings correct and understand the possible failure work arounds giving us both new confidence in this new technology. But if we had it to do over again, we would never have used this original installer. We would have waited and asked a million more questions and ensured that we were satisfied that we would get the level of training and care that this very large capital investment deserves. If you are considering such a project in Montenegro, reach out to us personally and we can give more specific information and or questions to ask. But if you need help from a qualified and wonderful resource, contact Lloyd. He keeps his phone on and answers every time. He can hook into your system remotely and trouble shoot from anywhere in the world and he has been worth every cent that he charged for this help. We simply cannot say enough about him.
Lloyd Chung Temp-Rite Limited `Managing Director: Trinidad Victron Dealer – WhatsApp + 1 868.794-5856 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Montenegro – The Experience
This completes our 3rd winter of living in Europe and Montenegro was fantastic. Living in Europe has given us so many gifts of perspective, but each country offers a treasure trove of experiences. I love Montenegro from many reasons, but it is so hard to distill it down to just a paragraph or put it into words. This is truly a place one must experience for oneself to appreciate fully but I would say that for us to fall in love with a place, it starts with the feel of and, dare I say, purity of it. As people have energies, I think places do also. I think a place can carry the energy of the visitors who inhabit it and the humans and animals who call it home. If this is true, it explains the unexplainable where Montenegro is concerned. Throughout the mountainside one finds chapels and churches everywhere. I never knew that I loved the mountains, but I have discovered a totally new side of myself I never knew was there. Every day awaking surrounded by mountains, I found myself looking at them and predicting what they would show today. Sometimes they were covered in snow and other times obscured by fog. Sometimes the sun would reflect off in a way that made them glow pink or orange and other times they would be gray or blue. Mostly in the summer they are a blanket of green but constantly changing and revealing new parts of themselves.
There is a charming mixture of old and new and while it can be frustrating to live in an area without access to many products or services we have come to enjoy, there is also a charm in coming to a place that feels the way life must have been like 20 years ago. Simpler, easier, and more meaningful.
We enjoyed skiing here which was an absolute highlight and Jack was able to sail a few times, far less than we had hoped but some is better than none. We have made friendships that are truly meaningful and certain to continue into the summer as we play hopscotch meeting up along the way.
Every year we have loftier goals for travel further afield in the time we allot for winter and this year is no different. We had hoped to get to Serbia, Hungary, and Bosnia and except for Laurie’s trip to Medjugorje last week, (stay tuned for a future blog post) we didn’t make it. Lots of things conspired to prevent it and essentially none of us is terrifically disappointed. It has been a full winter and we have a very full season of cruising coming up and we are truly luckier than most.
Every year when I look back at our experiences, I must acknowledge that this would not be possible if not for the amazing new friendships who show up for us on our journey. Everyone traveling this path does so at the expense of the physical relationships which we have left behind at home. These relationships, sometimes temporary and sometimes they feel like they will last a lifetime, are crucial to our wellbeing, happiness, and joy. Below are some photos from the winter. From the bottom of my heart, if your photo appears below, or the picture was never taken, this comes with Gratitude for sharing this experience with us, however large or small our time together was. It is at this time of year we have to say so long as our homes may be taking us in different directions, but we are grateful that you are part of this journey with us. God speed!! And some of you are going to be our neighbors in Turkey next year so for you, we can’t wait to see ya in Kas!!