The calm after the storm…and the last part of Paddy and Louis’ week

The storm passed overhead to continue to cause such havoc further down the mainland coast towards Split that it was mentioned on National News sites. Luckily, we slept like logs in the cool air after the cold front had passed.

We awoke at a leisurely pace.  Paddy nipped ashore to buy a few supplies. We set off to go round the headland and south to a lovely anchorage between Uglijan and Pasman.  There was no wind today so we motored all of it.

Having anchored in the protected bay, we went ashore and explored the village.  A cute holiday village.  Next morning, we set off north again.  Despite my ordering calm seas and no wind, there was some swell  between us and the mainland it would be best if P and L could catch a ferry from Preko on Uglijan, to Zadar. Subsequently, they could catch a bus to Trogir and the airport.

I whizzed the boys ashore in the dinghy and waved them off feeling rather choked.  It had been a lovely week for us despite the many thrashings we received at cards!

Next, we venture further north whilst we await the arrival of Keira and Lucy.

The Big Storm!

Muline Bay on the north side of the isthmus at the top of Uglijan Island.

The next day there were a few fluffy clouds present but it all seemed very benign.  We ended up motoring some of the way north in light winds. 

We shuddered as we passed the low bridge between Pasman and Uglijan. Only two weeks before we had seen a charter boat atempt to sail under it with damaging consequences. 

In the mid afternoon, we anchored in the gorgeous tree-lined bay of Pavlesina with protection from a jutting headland to our west and north. 

After a swim and relax, we had time to head to shore and walk across the isthmus to Muline and enjoy a beer.

Louis and Paddy

As we sat under the large Ozujsko Beer umbrella, we saw that huge rain clouds were pummelling  the islands to the north and west of us (Dugi Otok island).  Hmm.  Perhaps they are heading our way afterall.

Getting darker!

We were just setting off back to the boat when Paddy suggested that we go to eat at one of the restaurants in the village.  He commented that the BBQ looked good; and it certainly smelled good.

So, after a little discussion and the toss of three coins, (only with Paddy!) we decided that it would be best to return to the boat due to the forecasted storms.  But, we were sorely tempted; and so ended up sitting down to have a delicious dinner in the Konoba Kod Sime.

The view through the restaurant window

Just as we were contemplating ordering a further carafe of wine we saw worsening weather coming in from the west.

The staff closed the windows.

Rain and waves lashing the windows

The wind and waves opened them again!  We attempted to force them shut.  Torrential rain and waves began to lash the windows.

We were worried!  After all, we had left Linea all alone in the bay to the south.  I asked for a bin bag.  I wanted to try to keep warm and dry on the walk home.

We began to stride back across the Isthmus.  Slipping and sliding along the muddy track trying to get back to the boat before she dragged out of the anchorage. 

Louis dancing in the rain

When we arrived back we saw four anchor lights and breathed sighs of relief.  We all jumped in the dinghy and were soon back on board assessing the situation.

Luckily, Ian had closed all the hatches so the boat was fairly dry.  Neither of the heads hatches had been closed so the shower rooms were full of water – but they are designed for that.  No problem!

We were beginning to realise just how lucky we were that Linea had stayed where we left her!!

We may take our time with anchoring and making sure we are set but it is definitely worth it. 

We played calming games of Bonus Whist and Rummy. 

In the morning, Ian went to survey the sea bed.  We had dragged 2m through the sand but our anchor had reset perfectly.

A German boat motored past us in the morning asking us if we had recorded the wind speed the previous evening. Sadly, no, we said.  They replied that another boat had recorded 55kn of wind during the storm!!!!!  That is quite possibly the most we have ever encountered.  Today, I read a Croatian newspaper article about the mess left behind after a vicious storm on Friday 2nd August which demolished tables, chairs, and umbrellas on seaside quays and weather stations had recorded 150km winds in the area! 

Yikes, we had been very lucky.

Brac Island and up north

Rain coming thick and fast!

After receiving Paddy’s phone call we decided to hang out in the wonderful anchorage Northeast of Rogoznica until Paddy and Louis arrived.  This superbly protected anchorage is great because you are still so close to all the facilities you may need whilst being protected all round from any weather; which was just as well since a series of summer storms had been forecast.

Rain heading our way NE of Rogoznica

Hey ho! 

We were enjoying a quiet few days despite there being not many other boats around us.  One evening Ian spotted a nearby yacht having trouble with their anchor.  He went off to help them and was promptly asked over for a beer.

We were pleased to have some company and had a pleasant evening with Reinhart and Racine on Cisma.

We prepped the boat for visitors, giving everything a good clean and we enjoyed a couple of walks around the headlands. 

On the Saturday we had a wet and windy dinghy ride to shore to re-supply our dwindling stocks of wine, beer and food and then it was simply a matter of waiting the arrival later that evening of my brill brother and his youngest son, the lovely Louis.  

As forecast, the storm arrived and the downpour was so heavy that I was able to have a leisurely rainwater shower in the cockpit. 

All clean and fresh after my al fresco shower.

Delicious.  

At 2030h we tried to start the dinghy engine but it was very damp after the deluge and was feeling temperamental.  Finally, we got it going and went ashore.  We walked up to the main road literally EXACTLY at the same time that Paddy and Louis’ taxi was driving past!  Perfect!  We walked the 50m back to the shore and took them out to Linea where Louis promptly enjoyed his first swim of the week.

How kind to bring our favourites…plus gin!!!

Next day, all that remained to do was go to the fuel dock to fill up with diesel and water. 

THe first half of the week with Paddy and Louis.

This we duly did and soon we were sailing at a jaunty angle towards Otok Zlarin, Uvala Magarna, which was to be our first anchorage with them. Needless to say, I was happy that they volunteered to take the lines ashore.

We enjoyed some snorkelling here and found no less than eight star fish, the most we have ever seen in one spot, and some tiny electric blue fish.

Next day, we had a short sail to Prvic where we were to meet up with Andrew Geddes on Genial Bee.  The second Cruising Association member we have met since being in Croatia. Together with Andrew, we all walked over to Sepurine Bay to sample the beer and then we enjoyed a fish supper in a restaurant in Prvic.

The sign says, ‘Anchorage’ in Croatian so why were we asked to move??

After our educational visit to the Faust Vrancic museum in Prvic in the morning we were enjoying a coffee on the sea front when we saw the Kapitaneria arrive in their RIB.  They told the Norwegian boat anchored near us that if they didn’t move immediately they would be liable to be fined 7000 Euros!!!!  They moved!

So did we!

Next stop, a lovely anchorage off a nudist camp site on Murter.  It certainly kept Louis entertained!

It should have been a two tack sail north to Sv. Ante on Pasman, but the wind was playing silly buggers and so it was taking rather longer than expected.  Great practice for the crew though. We anchored in a lovely bay, villas with private jetties ashore, and enjoyed a quiet night.

The calm before the storm?

Murter to Brac

The view south from the terrace of Ali and Paul’s villa in Osibova Bay.

Having waved off Alice and Ian we set sail to the south to sort out Ian’s tooth and head for Brac to meet the Clements-Hunts. We arrived in our anchorage after a fantastic downwind sail. We listened to Test Match Special commentary on the World Cup Cricket the whole way! Fantastic! 

We arrived in Vinisce, a large protected bay where we have been before.  It was quite busy on a Thursday as it is a good last stop for charter boats returning to base in Trogir.

However, we squeezed in next to an Austrian boat we had previously seen in Prolak Mali Zdrelac.

Nice spot.   

Next morning we motored over to Trogir and anchored off resort town called Segut from where we could take the dinghy ashore for Ian’s visit to the dentist. 

The wind was fairly brisk but the holding was good and we felt reasonably confident in leaving the boat for a couple of hours.

Ian’s treatment went well and now all that remains is for him to have a crown fitted at some point.  But, no more pain.

We scuttled back to Vinisce and awaited further windy and unsettled weather.

The weather forecast was still rather gloomy; showing that there would be strong gusts accompanied by thunder and lightning over the next few days. 

Although we had started the engine and had every intention of setting off to Brac on the Saturday to meet up with Alison and Paul et al, in the end, we just weren’t happy and decided to play safe and stay in the wonderful protection of Vinisce.

On the plus side, were able to listen to the cricket and some of the tennis on Five Live but decided to download the Wimbledon men’s final so I could watch it at leisure on Monday.  (Hence, I was off my phone for 24 hours so I wouldn’t accidentally hear/see the results although one of the commentators on TMS nearly let the cat out of the bag! In any case, we couldn’t have coped with the tension of listening to/watching both the cricket and the tennis simultaneously!)

We went ashore and took a lovely walk all the way along to the headland.  With a couple of restaurants, bars, shops, buses and bakery there was everything here that we could possibly need, and all so close at hand.

On Monday, after the promised storms had failed to materialise fully and we felt safe enough to set off.  I watched the tennis.  What a match!

We arrived into Osibova Bay on Brac.  We saw everyone waving and really appreciated the wonderful welcome but couldn’t find a spot to anchor nearby because of the depth and narrowness of the bay.  We elected to take a mooring buoy and hang the expense!

We soon locked up the boat and shot over to Ali and Paul’s villa nearby.  It was so lovely to see them all.  We were delighted to meet Sarah, Rupert, George and Anna, too!

We spent the next few days enjoying the feeling of terra firma beneath our feet, eating, drinking, walking, cycling, chatting, reading and relaxing (and, I cannot deny, utilising the luxury of guilt free showers, free flowing fresh water and a washing machine!)

The land gang had organised a boat hire for a few days and so together with our dinghy we were all ten of us able to head out to explore the little bays and inlets nearby.  We packed a picnic and set off.  Jojo acted as wine waiter between the two boats.  We swam in the crystal clear waters and took a walk to an impressive lighthouse.

On the Wednesday, Ian offered to take Paul, Aaron, Jojo, George and Anna for a day out on Linea. 

They were then going to anchor in a bay called Smrka, a little further down the coast. 

Uala Smrka, O Brac, where we enjoyed the traditional and freshly prepared food from www.milnaski.com

There, Ali had organised a traditional Croatian dining experience for us all in a magical setting.  We ate an amazing meal cooked by Andrea and her husband.  All the food was cooked over open coals or under a peka (a metal dome that sits over a dish of meat and potatoes, cooking for hours)

The produce used in cooking, the wine and the olive oil had all been grown on Andrea’s family farm near Milna, Brac.  It was a lovely evening. (You must book in advance on www.milnaski.com)

We stayed on board Linea that night and Andrea gave everyone else a lift home. 

Next day, we motored back to Osibova bay and took up our mooring buoy.  Still no one had come to charge us. (Yeah!)

Next day, we were just sitting around enjoying a pre-prandial drink when a guy came up the steps of the villa.  The mooring buoy fee collector from Lucice Bay restaurant had tracked us down.  Hey ho!  We coughed up the 140Euros we owed him for three nights on a block of concrete with no other services or facilities. The final night we got for free as we had left before he came to collect!

After yet another fantastic group effort on the meal production front, we bid farewell to everyone and went home to Linea.  It had been a wonderful week catching up with great friends from Bangkok days, gosh….26 and a bit years since we first met!

We set off up the coast to the north – aiming for our hurricane hole of Rogoznica.  Whilst en route, my brother Paddy phoned to say he’d like to come and visit and bring my rather large and bulky birthday pressie with him, if that would be ok. 

Absolutely!  And, I was even more delighted, when I guessed that the pressie was to be the size and shape of my nephew Louis!

So, we now have a new set of visitors to look forward to which helps me feel less bereft about having to say goodbye to the last ones.

Next time, read about our week with Paddy and Louis.