Summer 2013 week 2

August 11. The weather has cleared and Melitta wants to see Hvar so there we go! We leave around 0830 and sail most of the way to the ACI marina ‘reasonably close’ to the city centre. We have to pay 460 KN for the berth and the water-taxi to the city is between 60 and 100 KN per person. It is very busy in Hvar and many boats try to find a mooring or berth at or opposite the quay, chaos again. We have a great afternoon and evening in the city but I am happy I decided to go in the ACI where we are safe, quiet, with water and electricity.

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August 12. The wind is 7 knots from the SE and we left 0830 to the island of Vis which was on my to-go list.

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Around 11 we are anchored in 5 meter dept with 30 meter rode. I wish I had opted for chain; this will go on the to-do list. With rode you have to be very careful with chafe and I think the Monsun will lay a lot quieter behind a chain because of the weight. My back will not agree. This is a good anchorage between the ferry pier and the fuel station. Enough places to tie your dinghy to. Stunning island, very nice museum. Famous for wine.

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Later in the afternoon there is quite a breeze from the West but the Rocna is great as always and we leave with the dinghy to explore the towns of Vis and Kut where we see a lot of charters struggling to berth with this side wind, a nice show to follow from the beach. We visit a nice older couple who produce and sell wine from the Island and we have a good dinner at the quay (To Je To Sandwiches and Food). When we row back I see a boat anchored right next to us, way too close for comfort. I call out the skipper and tell him to move somewhere else as I was here first. It is a night without wind. The sun is coming up and I decide to leave.

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August 13. The good thing of an early departure, apart from seeing the sun come up, is that you are sure to find a berth or mooring in Croatia in August. After 5 hours we arrive at Milna, on the island of Brac. There are several options for berthing and we choose the Marina Vlaska, next to the swimming area. It is a nice walk along the water to the interesting town. Good shops, bakeries and restaurants. It was a bit of a hassle to get out of the berth the next morning, going backwards with the long keel, as the water depth gets very low at the inside berths. The Barometer was still stable; I check it several times per day. I also fixed a small leakage on the diesel fuel pipe and later that evening we had a nice fish plate for the whole family.

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August 14. Weather forecast for the North Adriatic does not look good. We are in the Central Adriatic zone but we know it will move our way latest in a couple of days. We made a short trip from Milna to Split on the mainland. Just two hours and we arrived at Zenta harbour. We had good memories from last year and the location is great for exploring the city and shops are close by.

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The harbour is a bit expensive compared to the service offered but you can’t beat the pool which is located next to it. We cooked on board and from 1900 the Bora starts to blow with gusts up to 30 knots, luckily we are fixed tight on 2 mooring lines.

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August 15. National holiday also in Croatia and the wind is still blowing, the forecast promises better weather later on. ‘Life is not about waiting for storms to pass’ and after we finish food shopping at the Billa we leave for Vinisce, 16 miles West of Split. There we anchor in the bay in 4 meters of water. There are two other ships in the bay but it will gradually fill up. Lots of sea grass but no problem for the anchor. Wind NW 20 knots now, in line with the weather forecast. Checked and greased the rigging again today. In the evening a small boat comes to collect the fee for anchoring here, which I find strange but they show official papers and I get an invoice. New tricks?

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August 16. Friday, almost two weeks on board and it’s time to head up North. The sunny weather is back. We leave to u. Tratinska on Zirje at 0700 and the ETA is 1200 as we have wind 3-4 Beaufort against us and we need to use the engine. Course 305. Later we are on the mooring in a bit cold but crystal blue water. We made a big walk here to the 2 smaller towns on the island.

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Very peaceful, beautiful nature. Olives and grapes everywhere and some very old cars. There is only one restaurant close to the bay, expensive and we choose to have dinner on board.

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August 17. We left at 0700 and we entered the Kornati islands. You need careful navigation here and this is no place to sail through by night as there are a lot of unlit navigational hazards. We checked the castle on Kornati on the way. The wind did not know what to do today and we raised and lowered the sails several times today.

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We left the islands and went out to open sea and from there we had a great sail up to the salt lake, as we call it. The last miles we had to tack and in the early afternoon we were on the mooring, swimming first and then to the lake, which was really warm. We decided to give the restaurant a try but it was horrible food and overpriced.

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Other than that, this is one of our favourite places. One week left, slowly time to move back.

Summer 2013 week 1

I flew from the UK to Hungary and from there we took the car towards Krk, where we arrived in the early afternoon. Normally we cruise in July but because of all kind of reasons we were now in August.

Wanderer was already in the water and we started to prepare: fill up drinking water, food, diesel, sails up, weather forecast, checking the pilots, stowing clothes, anchors, life vests and other gear. Batteries are 100%. Due to good planning and preparation we are able to leave early on Sunday the 4th of August.

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Our first trip takes us to Ilovik. The forecast is good, no warnings and a light West wind. We motor sail South with 5.5 knots. The last hours of the trip the wind turns to NW and picks up in strength and we have a great sail towards the sheltered channel where we arrive at 1600. To our surprise we see that we have only one mooring left. Not much space to manoeuvre and quite windy but a helpful neighbour assists with his dinghy, thank you! Later arrivals need to anchor and the place fills up. We row the dinghy ashore and have a nice fish dinner.

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August 5. Short hop to Silba in light winds although we roll because of heavy swell out of the NW. We arrive and drop the Rocna in 6 meter water, full power backwards, fixed. The girls go to the beach while I do some work and cleaning on the ship and plan the next route. During the evening some concert starts with loud music till 0400 AM. Not much sleep and we leave as first at dawn.

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August 6. Foggy at first and we have light wind from SW-W. We are going direction Zadar but later we change course to Sali. At 0945 we are between the islands Molat and Sestrunj and we have course 140. It is nice hot with a light breeze; perfect. We arrive around 1400. We have some issues with a German charter boat which passes us in the harbour and takes our place. Not very polite or good seamanship and I tell them very clearly. The harbour master is friendly and very helpful. We pay here 180 KN for the berth and we top up our water for 90 KN. Sali is a very popular harbour and by 1600 the place is packed. Still more and more ships come and it is completely chaos but the show is great to see.

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August 7. No warning except fog on the 0600 weather forecast (which is available in English around 0730) although we already left around 0630. We are on the way to the mooring field at Kaprije. It makes a beautiful trip and we have an ETA of 12.30 in the bay which is only open to the NW. We pick the mooring in one go, we are getting good at this. The harbour master comes to collect the fees; 164 KN for the night. The water is very clear and we all jump and play in the water. Later in the village we look successfully for , electricity,Wi-Fi, shadow, pizza and beer. I forgot to bring the 12V adapter for the kindle’s, Ipad and BB so we need to load them where we can. It’s really hot weather and slowly we get into the slower holiday mood.

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August 8. We leave early again to Sibinik and after a 3-hour trip on the motor we arrive. We berth at the city quay were we get friendly assistance and information. The water here is not very clean but the beach is far away from the quay. Almost a half hour walk. First we need ice cream. The old city itself is beautiful, with small streets and historical buildings. Ship chandler, fuel (I get another 40 litre diesel) and food shops are at the quay. We had a very nice dinner in the evening. Definitely a place to come back.

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August 9. The weather forecast is not good. Bora (NE wind) with gusts up to 40 knots expected later in the day. We sail to Rogoznica, there is a protected anchorage. I am happy to arrive because we see a huge black band of clouds on the horizon, getting closer and closer. I have by now great faith in my 15 Kg Rocna and in the bay we anchor on 50 meter rode in 10 meter depth. With the dinghy we row to the shore for coffee and ice cream and we explore the little town which is very nice. We cook spaghetti on board. The wind only starts to blow next morning so we have a reasonable quiet night, although I check the weather and the anchor every hour. Next time I will anchor a bit further up in the bay, where the water is 5-6 meter deep.

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August 10. Saturday and we are one week in our cruise. The weather forecast is still ugly. It is fresh, the wind blows and sometimes we hear thunder. We decide to wait a bit to see what the weather will do. The toilet (RM69) starts to leak but I have a repair set with spares so that is a small job. The engine oil looks like new and I do some more stuff around the boat. At 1200 we leave, the weather looks a bit better. We leave the anchorage with a reefed genua and we are doing almost 6 knots. Outside there are ‘huge’ waves. I estimate the wind a good Beaufort 6 but since we have wind and waves from behind all is well. The Monsun flies and after a while the crew starts to enjoy the trip to Maslinica. We arrive a bit after 3 in the afternoon, the wind has gone down quite a bit and we start to prepare for a berth in the harbour. Although they have a lot of empty slots we are told that this harbour is reserved for big ships, which pay more fees! Not recommended this place. Unfortunately this is becoming the rule in more places (like Seget in Trogir) and in August. We start plan B and go to the anchorage next door. This is a very narrow and well protected bay (now called Pappy bay by us) and you need to anchor and then bring a line to shore. See the picture. I put out two anchors as the weather forecast is still bad and the Bora blows hard here between the mountains. My nice German neighbour helps me where to drop my anchor.  With the dinghy we row to shore and visit the village by foot, where everything is very expensive and ready for the crews of the ‘big’ ships, we nicely cook on board and enjoy the evening with a glass of wine in this superb place.

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Wanderer on the left side of the picture