Tag Archives: Cruising Association

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 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.

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. 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. 

Louis dancing in the rain

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.

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?

Sailing back to Sicily and our winter berth at Marina Di Ragusa

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Crotone to Marina di Ragusa in Sicilia

The huge castle in Crotone

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. img_3525

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.

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Syracuse duomo

We spent the whole day walking round this incredible city. syracuse

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We visited the Leonardo Da Vinci museum

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Leonardo Da Vinci models of his inventions

which has large working wooden models of his inventions and was absolutely fascinating. l-da-v-pulleys-to-aid-construction

 

 

 

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.

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Pasta Siciliana and Seafood risotto

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.

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Syracuse Promenade

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Ancient Roman ruins in Syracuse

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.