Tag Archives: Uglijan

Onward and Northward

Heading North from Uglijan opp Zadar via Molat to Olib and back down to Dugi Otok.

After Paddy and Louis departed for Zadar we headed north towards the island of Molat. There is an anchorage on the east side of the island which is protected from south winds that were expected for the next couple of days.

We had a good sail up and were pleasantly surprised by the space available in the anchorage. The depth was 6 metres, the water clear and the swell non-existent. Perfect.

Next morning, we set off to walk across the island to the west side via the village

Post off ice and Post bike in Molat town.

to the harbour of Lucina on the west side where the ferry comes into.

Harbour front in Lucina.

The harbour front was lovely and we enjoyed a chat with some Yorkshire Tikes (Rondy and Dave on Elise) who were proudly flying their white rose.

David and Rondy told us of the traumas that occurred here during the storm of the 2nd August (we were in Uglian with Paddy at the time) when six boats were washed ashore in the eastern anchorage. Trees were felled and all kinds of damage was done. Again, we realised how lucky we had been to be in a protected anchorage.

We left Molat and headed to Olib.

Again expecting south winds. This bay on the west side of Olib offers good protection. We anchored off near a de-commissioned mooring block and had a quiet couple of days here. We decided to walk across the island to look at the anchorage on the other side.

Setting off down a track bounded on both sides by dry stone walls with styles. Just like Yorkshire!

The main track petered out and soon we found ourselves battling through the undergrowth, brambles, bilberry twigs and overgrown trees and shrubbery in an attempt to reach our destination. After what seemed like an eternity, we burst out of the vegetation on to the main concreted path that leads between the two coasts; sweating, cursing, scratched, bleeding, with leaves in our hair and thorns, spikes in our skin.

Definitely beer o’clock even though it was only 1130h!

We heard about an intriguing sounding Donkey Festival

taking place on Dugi Otok some time in August so we about faced and headed south. We found a great anchorage north of Sali town and whizzed into Sali in the dinghy that evening, arriving in the harbour to be shrouded in wisps of smoke and clouds of cordite from the fireworks display floating off into the atmosphere.

The place was buzzing. We discovered that the following evening there would be a parade, donkey music and a donkey race. We were up for that.


The parade was led by the Old Timers (see pic) followed by a stream of men marching along blowing into cow horns. The noise produced was reminiscent of donkey braying and was accompanied by a beating rhythm created from clanking pieces of metal inside an old fashioned hot coals style of iron.

The marching band playing cow horns and iron!

They beat their donkey tattoo all down the harbour front, sashaying in and out of each other in snaking lines.

It really was quite a spectacle, if somewhat limited in its dynamics, being essentially one note from the horn and one rhythm from the iron. However, what it lacked in musicality it more than made up for in volume. The great cacophony continued to reverberate round the harbour and everyone enjoyed the quirkiness of it all.

Next the donkeys came behind, being alternatively cajoled, tempted and bullied into following along.

One guy leading a donkey had carrots tucked into his belt.

Here we were fortunate to be sitting near a delightful Croatian lady from the island who had lived in California since 1967. She now come ‘home’ every year with here husband Tony who was the flag bearer of the parade.

Then came the donkey race…a mad dash round the harbour on the aforementioned donkeys. This was quite a sight to behold. Poor donkeys.

There was an out and out winner of the eight or so donkeys in the race and he was duly presented with a huge prosciutto ham. I don’t know what the donkey was given.

After all this excitement, we bid farewell to our new best friends and headed back to the boat.

In Murter once more, we refuel-ed, stocked up on provisions and water, did a stack of laundry and prepared for the next few weeks.

We met up with two Brit boats and had a boozy and very late night on Linea with Chris from Windependent and Miles and Bridget from Nirvana.

We then had a good sail south to Rogoznica from where I would be leaving Ian and Linea to pop back briefly to the UK for a reunion with the girls I used to share a house with on Brudenell Avenue whilst at Carnegie – Leeds in the 80s.

Next time, read about my weekend in Leeds and after that about our time with Keira and Lucy as we take in some of the southern Croatian islands.

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.

From Sibenik to Storms!

In Sibenik you can get ‘paid’ to recycle. Such a good idea to encourage people to do it!

We bid a fond farewell to Paula in Sibenik, where she hopped on a bus back to the airport. It’s a shame she wouldn’t be able to eat the mussels we’d bought!  (On the way to the bus station, we spotted this and the ingenious recycling bins.)

We motored out of the Krka River and the short distance across to Prvic island where we anchored off the harbour wall.  (Once more spotting SY Sarasi – we are not stalking them, honest!)

In the evening, we went ashore and walked the short 2km distance to the village of Sepurine to the north and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  The island is car-free bliss.  There were families chatting and people playing petanque and it felt like there was a real community living here and people who return here year after year for their holidays.

We nearly stayed little longer but decided to leave and head north to Murter and it just as well we did because Alice and Ian had completed their tour of Zagreb and were heading back down south.  They were going to meet us in Murter!!!!!

Ian set off in the dinghy to fetch them from the sea front.   By then we had completed a few boat jobs.  We had wandered along the sea front carrying our copious quantities of dirty laundry and an empty gas bottle.  We soon found a petrol station.  We walked inside and waited to be attended. Before we could even ask the question about refilling gas bottles the attendant had thrust a piece of paper in Ian’s hand stating the name and phone number we required. (Bude on 0918983227 for those that may be in need of gas!)

What great service. 

We rang the number and the man said he would come in 5 minutes  and ‘look’ at the bottle.  If it was ok, he would fill it.

He came, he saw, and he filled!

Within half an hour we had a new gas bottle for 100k and we were very happy.  He said he was very happy because he had the only gas bottle filling station on the island!

We sussed out the laundry near the marina and were delighted that they would wash and dry for 90k per load.  It was all so easy!

The only thing we had to suss out was water – also easy.  The fuel pontoon would be happy to give us free water when we filled up – sorted!  So far, so brilliant!

Next day, we headed to the fuel pontoon south of the marina and filled up with water which I tasted and pronounced delicious; and fuel, which I did not taste!  All set now.


We decided to head north towards Zadar.  First stop was a lovely anchorage north of Mljane on Pasman Island.  We had a peaceful night there despite a noisy bunch of lads on a charter yacht cavorting about beside us. In the morning, we set off to a protected anchorage between the two islands as electric storms were predicted for the night ahead. 

We arrived and anchored in clear water to the north side of the bay.  We were just about finished putting the boat to bed  when we noticed that the yacht that had been anchored beside us the previous night seemed to be approaching the low bridge at the western part of the bay.  We all held our breath…. Surely they weren’t thinking of going through? 

The air draft under that bridge is only 16.5m and theirs was a boat that was easily as tall as ours.  It seemed as if the tide or current was dragging the boat through and there was nothing they could do.  The mast struck the bridge and scraped and bounced its way underneath as the current dragged them beneath.  Of course, the boat tipped right up and through the binoculars we could see crew scurrying up the now almost vertical deck.  Ian and Ian deployed Thunderbird 2 in the hope that they could help.  Alice and I sat on board having kittens. How embarrassing!  How awful!  And, how lucky…in a way….

The two Ian’s were away for ages and we could not see them at all. Finally, they returned and we received minimal information about the crew but they did relay that the rudder was f….d, the mast head was f….d,  and, quite probably the rigging was, yes, you  guessed it, f…..d!!!

 It was a charter yacht, on their second day.  No, they probably won’t sail again!

The two Ian’s had manoeuvred them on to a mooring buoy until they could be picked up by the charter company. 

With all that drama and the prospect of an inbound electric storm, we needed a game of Bonus Whist or Black Mariah to give us more important things to worry about!

Before we had eaten the flashes began.  We had quite a sound and vision show.

We had all our electronics in the oven (I kid you not – Faraday’s Cage is a technique designed to protect your electronics, etc., from a lightning strike) and were just finishing supper when the wind hit and the wine went for a burton….from no knots, to forty knots, in an instant.  The boat tipped up and span round but we were fine.

Ian stayed up on anchor watch for a while but things quickly settled down.  Next morning, we set off to Preko on Uglijan.  We anchored off this small resort and walked around the bay to catch the Jadrolinija passenger ferry to Old Zadar.  On the way, we met up with Gary and Shillini on Sarasi. 

Turquoise on tourquoise

We had a lovely walk around Old Zadar and found a delightful place to eat.  All too soon, it was time to head back to the ferry.  It was very warm and we decided we needed ice but not before we had walked all the way back into the village, where upon we were informed that ice could only be purchased from the ferry terminal. 

Old Zadar

Not to worry, we set off on Linea and Ian went ashore in the dinghy to purchase two huge bags of the stuff!!!  He really is the Milk Tray Man!!!  We scuttled back to the Prolaz Mali Dzrelac between Pasman and Ugljian and prepared for another stormy night on board.

The storm passed us by, although we saw plenty of lightning again and heard the thunder claps that sounded all too close.  The next day, we arrived back in Murter with the wind building from the NE but decided to anchor.  There was some strong wind forecast, up to 30 odd knots.  We were subject to some fetch but it was fine if bumpy at anchor.  We needed to get off.  Heading across the bay to the car would have been a mad idea as we would have just got absolutely drenched.  So we went with the waves and wind in the opposite direction and jumped ashore to walk around to the car. Ian decided that he ought to stay on board.  Ian, Alice and I enjoyed a walk and then a drive around to Betina where we had a delish lunch.  After the last thirty six hours of bouncing and rolling at anchor we were all feeling a little wobbly on our land legs, especially when going round the very interesting Betina Boat Building Museum.   

Pretty balconies and stone buildings in Betina

We completed a quick driving tour of the islands two roads and then headed back to the boat.

We had bought some sea food and rustled up a huge risotto and hunkered down for yet another blowy and stormy night.  By now, we were accustomed to the noise and flashes of light and largely ignored them.  The wine and the distraction of Black Mariah helped, of course.   

The following day, Alice and Ian disembarked and we set off for a brisk and rolly 40nm downwind sail towards Trogir and the next stage of root canal treatment for Ian. (It was about now that we learned of the truly frightening thunder storms that had so badly affected cruising friends and people in the area of northern Greece which put our stormy nights into perspective.)

Next, read about our wonderful week in Brac with the Clements – Hunts et al.