Summer 2014 part 2

Sunday the 10th of August. From Bozava back to the mainland; City of Zadar. 18’.

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We arrive, after a very early departure, at 09.30 in Marina Borik in Zadar. The wind was South, B3.

I get fuel at the fuel station while the girls have breakfast and then we take the bus to the centre to explore Zadar. We visit the old town, the sea side and have a great lunch at Konoba Skoblar.

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Monday. At 06.50 we leave the harbour and Zadar behind us. Good memories. Winds light from the South and we are on the Perkins. At 1800 rpm we do 5 knots and use approximately 1.5 L/hour, which is very good for a 28 HP 3-cylinder. Our course is 140 and around 0800 we pass Sukosan.

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At 0930 we pass Tkon, which looks like a nice place to go, maybe next year. At 10 we reach the end of Pasman island and we arrive in Vodice, in the ACI Marina, around 13.30, the last part we did under sail. (trip approximately 36’).  If you like a touristic town filled with holiday makers and noise, you should go there. It will take some time before we go back there, although we had a great dinner and a nice visit to the Nautical museum.

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August 12, Tuesday. We leave the ACI at 0800 and set course 150 between the islands. 6 knots on the engine. From Cape to Cape.

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After Cape Ploca traffic gets more busy and it looks a highway of huge motor boats who have the need to go full speed on the way to and from Hvar. One of them decides to change his course at the last moment to have a closer look at us and we can see and feel his huge waves as he passes approximately 10 meters in front of us. They still impress me with their level of Seamanship. He must have bought his documents.

We pass Drvenik around 1300 and the wind increases and we go a nice 4.8-5 knots on the genny only. It’s a long trip today and we arrive around 4 PM in Marina Vlaska, in Milna on the island Brac. Almost 50 NM. There is a fuel station but I decide to pass as there are too many ships in front of me. Milna is beautiful.

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On Wednesday we do the short trip from Milna to Split. The wind is SE, 7 knots. The girls disappear to the 50 meter swimming pool and I get fuel from the INA station. 15 minutes’ walk away from the harbour and get 40 litre in two trips with the jerry cans. That’s a good sport in 32 degrees sunshine.

I also check the rigging again, the bilge, check the oil, cleaned the deck and below, shined the push and pull pit, charge the batteries, grease everything which needs grease, fill up on water and fix the dinghy tightly on deck because they forecast a bit of a blow from SE tomorrow. Later in the day we enjoy the sights and the shops in Split. The Barometer significantly lower now.

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Thursday, August 14. At 0900 ETD we leave for Tribunj where we arrive ETA 17.30 and drop the anchor. What a day! We started with a SE 6 in our backs but this was slowly decreasing. We put more and more sail on but at Drvenik we were back on the engine. After passing this island the wind returned and we were sailing again.

After we rounded Rt Ploca for the second time this year, the wind turned to NW, with a good Force 4. We felt we were on a submarine, going against the waves. At Tribunj, after 45 NM, both harbours were already full and we dropped the anchor just opposite the small island and next to a ship from Rotterdam, The Netherlands. There was the Woodstock recording on the radio, the beer was cold and the spaghetti nice.  Further away, over Sibenik on the mainland, we saw a big show of lightning and thunder. An evening to remember. I had anchor watch in the cockpit and switched off the anchor light when the sun started to rise.

On August the 15th we had NE winds, between 5 and 15 knots and we were on the way to Betina on the island Murter. Barometer was up again and the sun was bright and hot. It took us 4 hours.

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We didn’t see any Marinero to assist, so we picked our own spot but were later told to move Wanderer. We were given the only free berth in the ‘Village’, where nobody seemed to move. Bikes, plants, shoes were stationed on the quay and people stretched out in their cockpits. We went to swim on the sandy beach and later wandered true the towns of Betina and Murter for hours. We found also goods shops to provision on fruit and veggies and had a superb dinner at the Restaurant Na Moru on the square in Betina. What a great day.

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August 16th. ETD 08.30. The village is still sleeping when we leave direction Zut, course 265 with 5 knots and then through the Kornati Islands to our ‘Salt Lake’ bay on the south side of Dugi Otok. ETA 1300 and we are on a mooring buoy. Of course we cook on board and after the day-tripper boats leave we have the lake for ourselves.

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On Sunday, August the 17th we wake up and the Bora is blowing. We leave anyway the protected bay at 0800 but once outside in the open decide to go back and wait a bit. At 1200 we leave again and by now the wind has turned from NE to NW and calmed significantly. Before 2 PM we arrive in Sali in beautiful sunshine and calm weather. What a difference from the morning. A cruise ship lays for anchor. The girls are off for ice cream and swimming. It’s a nice town with a big harbour. In the evening we enjoy the splendid music from the bar opposite, with a glass of white wine, in our cockpit.

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Monday the 18th we leave early. Slowly reversing, to prevent the mooring lines getting around the prop, we turn towards the harbour entrance.  The weather looks great, not a cloud to be seen and we use the iron sail going back North. I’ve read in the Pilot about a popular anchorage called Zapuntel, between the Islands Ist and Molat.

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We arrive and the girls take a swim but the water is a bit colder than we are used to. Afterwards they lounge on the deck and work on their tan. I put the dinghy in the water and row ashore to get ice cream to surprise them. I look for a shop but the only one I find is closed until 1700. I try at the restaurant and have more luck. Later that afternoon we explore this side of the island, which is very quiet and peaceful. The anchorage is filling up quickly. We have a look at the two restaurants but it’s decided to cook on board.

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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014. After a good sleep and checking the weather forecast we are off. We originally planned to have a short trip to Silba but I want to take advantage of the wind to sail. We have SE winds B4 which stands for excellent sailing North to Rab. We pass Silba and Olib going 6 knots. The Monsun is doing a great run through the water. This is Sailing. Thanks Olle Enderlein and Hallberg Rassy for designing and building this wonderful yacht. Way too early for me we approach Rab. The anchorage before the city has a lot of swell with south winds and I decide to try the ACI. We get a friendly reception this time.

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Rab is a great town.

Wednesday we have an uneventful trip back to Krk. Last year this peace, open to the Velebitski channel, was a bit more challenging and gave us damage on the genua.

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Clouds were beginning to build and darken, for sure a coming change of weather. Around 1400 we arrived in our harbour and after delivering my crew on the quay, I motored to the travel lift and the shore crew lifted Wanderer on the hard. I spent the rest of the day and Thursday on cleaning and maintenance:

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Check and grease impeller, relocate Garmin GPS 120 XL, service toilet, clean floors, check oil and fuel filters, sand and varnish tiller and cabin doors, clean and polish the interior wood, spay all zippers with WD-40, take off the sails, spray hood, flags, anchors and safety equipment, flush the engine with fresh water and anti-freeze solution, check engine coolant, adjust alternator belt tension, check engine spares, clean engine, check water lock and exhaust, clean cockpit drainage, check mast, boom and the running and standing rigging, polish all stainless steel, engine and transmission oil, check rudder, prop and axle, empty water tank, clean bilge + antifreeze (also in toilet), pack the dinghy, service all sea cocks, check all hoses, disconnect batteries, grease and check all locks (including engine room top) and then she was ready for her winter sleep. I take the spare starter battery home.

2 thoughts on “Summer 2014 part 2

  1. Dear Sir,

    I came across your blog while looking for information on how a HR 31 Monsun behaves under sail. It really was great to read your blog. It gave me some good ideas for the next summer sailing vacation in Croatia, too.

    I am wondering if you would mind sharing some of your experiences with your boat and especially how it compares to a production boat of today of similar size: tacking angle, upwind and downwind performance, how it feels in rough conditions, how easy or hard it is to control in a small harbour, how it goes backwards under power and whatever you think is worth sharing.
    The background of this wish of mine is the plan of buying a cruiser of this size in the future, in 2 to 4 years from now. I am highly interested in the Monsun but have never seen one in real life and have never sailed any similar boat (a long keeler, heavy displacement boat). I am attracted by its reported sturdiness, seagoing capabilities and quality but at the same time I am not sure how fast or slow it is upwind and how it tacks. I did sail with a couple of 33-36 feet boats in Croatia in different conditions with no major problems so far. Additionally I own an 18 feet boat on lake Balaton in Hungary and sail her whenever I can but that is a very different kind of experience.

    I thank your very much for any piece of information in advance.

    Yours Faithfully
    Peter Molnar

    • Hi Peter,
      When we lived in Hungary we also always sailed on the Balaton, it is a great lake. And the M7 brings you straight to Croatia!
      I think the choice of boat is very personal. I like a Monsun for the following reasons: she is very pretty, inside and outside. Swedish quality, very strongly built. Although she is no racer, she is not slow either. She was designed by Olle Enderlein and he never designed a boat which did not sail well, she tacks and gybes well. We did encounter a couple of Bora winds over the years and because of the long keel and her weight makes her a very stable and safe boat. She is extremely seaworthy. Many Monsuns have made ocean crossings and have been around the world. As with any long keel cruiser she does not like confined spaces going backwards but we never had an issue, slowly does it!
      With the long keel you know for sure you won’t loose it, even if you hit something. Of course you won’t have some so much space inside as a modern serial production boat but in my personal opinion they are floating caravans and not ships. If you join the you can find Imre who has a Monsun on the Balaton. For further reading I can highly recommend:
      John Vigor; the seaworthy offshore sailboat. You can find it on

      Or try an Albin Vega first?

      Have a nice summer!

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