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 next day was Friday the 2nd of August, 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 attempt 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.
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.
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.
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.
The wind and waves opened them again! We attempted to force them shut. Torrential rain and waves began to lash the
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. Ever the practical one.
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.
When we arrived back we saw our anchor light 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 the anchor is well 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. They informed us that another boat had recorded 55 knots 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 the 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!
Friends on the other side of the island recorded 72 knots of wind. Clearly the wind had been gathering speed as it travelled South.
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.
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.
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.
Next day, all that remained to do was go to the fuel dock to fill up with diesel and water.
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.
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!!!!
So did we!
Next stop, a lovely anchorage off a nudist camp site on
Murter. It certainly kept Louis
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.
We spent a couple of days in Crotone and enjoyed having a wander round this town with its huge castle and imposing town walls.
We enjoyed briefly meeting fellow sailors on Three Times a Lady (try spelling that with the phonetic alphabet!) and early the next morning we slipped out in the calm morning breeze and wove our way out between the gas rigs and set off south and a reasonable lick. The wind was as fluky as predicted across the Golfo di Squillace and so we slowed right down. The night passed much better than the trip from Corfu and apart from one incident when two sailing boats appeared out of the darkness rather closer than I would have liked, the crossing went smoothly.
We then hit strong winds on our approach to Syracuse but coming right at us on the nose so we had to tack considerably further than we wanted to.
However, we arrived safely after two days and one night at sea and motored towards the incredible bay of Syracuse. We followed the procedure for gaining permission to enter and were allocated a berth, along with one other yacht on the massive town quay. Soon after we were tied up we visited the coast guard to do the necessary paperwork and were pleased with ourselves for doing things right. Next morning the Coast guard came round to check our papers. We were rewarded with a warm handshake and welcome to Syracuse.
We spent the whole day walking round this incredible city.
We visited the Leonardo Da Vinci museum
which has large working wooden models of his inventions and was absolutely fascinating.
The market was fabulous as Italian markets always are. Seeing all the fish and fresh produce made us hungry, even o soon after breakfast, so we had an amazing Sicilian lunch in a little back street café.
I had Pasta Siciliana which is made with a sauce of anchovies, pinenuts, sun dried tomatoes, oil, garlic, and sprinkled with herby breadcrumbs. Mmmm. Ian had Seafood risotto with saffron.
We need to go back to Syracuse because it was just beautiful and there we were, just parked on the promenade in the most enviable spot.
After a couple of nights there we just had a short hop round to Marina di Ragusa to complete. A longish day but do-able. We calculated 56 miles. We ended up doing 81 miles as the wind was, once again blowing right at us! We made it in, in the dark, and tied to the fuel pontoon ‘til morning. The security guards, alerted by the barking guard dog, flew round in a car and quizzed us. Once we had told them that we were booked in for the winter they gave us vigorous handshakes and lots of ‘va bene’s and shot back to their security posts.
Next day, we oh so smoothly, parked the boat in our winter berth – L16. Within minutes we had been invited aboard the opposite boat for coffee and met up with Carl, Amanda, Mark, Peter and Catherine. This is the most sociable place with 162 boats and around 300 live-aboards staying for the winter. We soon heard about a daily radio net, Yoga, knitting and tai chi classes, Italian lessons, olive picking experience, dinner out en masse, happy hours (3 of them per week), music making group, Halloween party, and much more…
What a fantastic, welcoming and friendly international community.