23-May-2008 -- This was the first visit to 42°N 19°E. The trip to this confluence was actually a Birthday present for Philipp; 42°N 19°E lies off the coast of Montenegro, some 13 kilometers from Bar, a small but busy Town with 65,000 Inhabitants. Bar is noted for being Montenegro's biggest port and main car-ferry hub for Italy and the neighboring states at the Adriatic coast.
Originally Bar was built at the slopes of Rumija Mountain three kilometres inland. But the old town Stari Bar (or “old Bar”) was destroyed during accidental ammunition explosions in the 19th century and a devastating earthquake 1912. Bar’s marina represented the best chance of procuring a means of transport in proximity of the confluence, so it was our natural starting point for the hunt.
Our initial attempt at getting someone to bring us out to the confluence was thwarted by poor weather conditions. A guy running a small rent-a-boat operation met us at the marina after we called the number painted onto his boat. He instantly agreed to take us out, but needed some time to go through the motions of preparing the craft. It started raining shortly after we split and he didn’t show up at the appointed time. We had also approached two other men before we decided to give the rent-a-boat guy a try. The two were comfortably sitting before the cut-up superstructures of a ship, which was beached like a whale at the end of the mole.
We later learned that one of them, Rajko, lives most of the year in this duraluminium structure (the remains of a navy ship) with his two dogs and several cats. Rajkos place, is a meeting point for local fishermen and boat owners. They stop by for a beer or some slivovits to kill time during bad weather or while waiting for repairs. In winter his “ship” turns into an improvised bar that accommodates up to twenty men, gossiping and drinking. He promised to set us up with a local fisherman who would bring us out for a small fee and told us to come back the next day.
Next morning weather conditions also appeared to be grim at first but improved considerably during the day. At sea the sun burned down from a deep blue sky while thick clouds hugged the hills behind the coast. Rajko worked through his address book to find us a ride while we sampled his liquor and bean soup. He finally found two nice guys with a fast boat who agreed bringing us to the confluence for a small fee. They just had been out for a little fishing trip and had brought some crab and three small sharks. They gutted and prepared the catch before heading out again with us.
The boat made around 22kn and our drivers maxed out the engine, which made a rough ride. Luckily we brought two cameras, because one was immediately killed by the spray splashing over the ship’s side. We reached the confluence without problems, took the obligatory pictures and returned without delay. The round trip took us 50 minutes, including time we needed for gassing the boat. We celebrated a little afterwards at Rajkos place and called it a day.