For our week with Paula (my best woman!), we were to be blessed with fair and calm weather. We decided to take small hops up the coast to Sibenik, from where we could visit the renowned Krka Falls.
After a slow start on Paula’s first morning we set off to explore Old Trogir a little and buy some last minute provisions. (Loo paper). We left the quay at about noon and had a short sail across to Vinisce Bay, which is a fantastic anchorage. Shallow, with facilities ashore, there is loads of room to swing and not worry.
We enjoyed a pleasant evening there listening to the rather strident and raucous band noise from a nearby event. But, luckily it didn’t go on late, this being Croatia, that kind of nonsense seems to be frowned upon.
We set off the following morning for an almost perfect sail north. We tacked into the wind and made great progress. We arrived at our next anchorage and after a quick survey decided that it wasn’t good enough for us. We motored to plan B’s location a little further in. This bay is a large hammerhead shaped bay north east of Rogoznica town.
We chose the east end of the hammerhead and anchored comfortably in sand. There were holiday homes ashore but no other facilities. A short dinghy ride into Rogoznica was worthwhile. It is a lovely town and we enjoyed a cocktail and some local wine whilst watching the sun set.
The following day we sailed about 15nm to Mirine Bay which is a deserted bay with shallow water and a sandy bottom. There is an impressive defensive wall that strings across the headland so this bay is often referred to as Wall Bay.
We had a very quiet night here with, perhaps, two other boats.
The next day, we made our way to an anchorage
that was not listed in our pilot guide but which we had heard about from friends on Otoka. A stunning spot tucked in behind an island fort at the mouth of the Krka River and surrounded by pine trees, a beach and an isthmus connecting the root of the fort to the land.
We shot into Sibenik
in the dinghy and had a wander around the pretty town. Then, we swam, chilled and took a walk across to the fort. The following day, we set off up river for only the second time since departing Portugal. We motored for a while and then managed to sail downwind until we approached the first road bridge. As it is an arching bridge with 26m air draft at its highest point we put the head sail away and aimed for the centre of the arch under motor to make sure our 20m mast plus aerial easily passed beneath.
We sailed for a while across the huge lake and then motored the final section of river until we reached the jetty of Konoba Smokvic where we had booked to spend the night. We swam in the fresh water of the river which was beautifully chilly and marvelled at how much less buoyant we were than in salt water.
That evening, we went to the restaurant to eat. Soon after, Alice and Ian Daggett arrived to surprise us. They had landed in Split that morning and were heading up to Plitvice Lakes in their hire car. They had booked a hotel nearby and decided to join us for dinner. How adventurous they are as there is only a dirt road access to the restaurant. We had a wonderful evening with them.
Next day, we dinghy-ed up to Skradin early and bought tickets to go to the National Park of Krka Falls.
First, you take a river boat up river and then walk around a beautiful circular path and wooden walkways, weaving through fifty shades of green. .
We decided to extend the trip and caught the 11.09am (Croastian precision) taxi boat up to Roski Slap waterfalls further up river. There was glorious scenery all around and it was utterly quiet and deserted. In the midst of all this nature there was an island originally created stone on stone by the sheer hard labour of Franciscan Monks many years ago. Now, the man-made island has a huge monastery, church and beautiful garden. Living here now are a handful of novice monks and a guiding priest. There was an interesting museum too, but for me the gardens and attending butterflies were the most special part of the place.
We continued up river and arrived at the gorgeous Roski Falls and grabbed a quick, refreshing swim and a picnic lunch. We had the chance to look around an interesting flour mill. Totally water driven and in full working order again.
All too soon it was time to return. We all had a little snooze on the way back. We had walked at least 12km in the heat and humidity and we were in need of refreshment!
We were glad to be back on Linea to cool off and share a couple of beers and ‘interesting arguments’ with Goran (and Ian!!) from the restaurant. We went up to Skradin in the evening to meet Alice and Ian after their day at Plitvice and also spotted Gary and Shillini on Sarasi, new CA friends we met in Rogoznica.
Next day, we motored back to Sibenik, we stopped off to buy some mussels from the mussel farm in the river and then I whizzed Paula ashore and we sorted out her bus trip back to the airport.
What a lovely week. Some great sailing, a little exercise, some swimming, sights and scenes.
Next time, read about our stormy week with Alice and Ian!