June-July '03
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Dates Days Miles Region Locality (Click for log details)
1-2 June 2 0 Greece- Gulf Of Corinth Trizonia
3 June 1 66 Greece - Gulf of Patras / Ionian Sea Trizonia, Navpaktos, Oxia, Petalas (Ionian Sea)
4-13 June 10 133 Greece - Ionian Sea Cephalonia, Meganisi, Levkas,  Paxoi, Mortous (mainland), Corfu, Erikoussa
14-16 June 3 250 Italy, Croatia Adriatic Sea Brindisi, Dubrovnic
17-22 June 6 112 Croatia Adriatic Sea Slano, Polace (Mljet Is), Lumbarda (Korchula Is), Marinkovac (Paklani Is), Stiniva (Hvar Is)
23-28 June 6 7 Croatia Adriatic Sea Starigrad
29 -30 June 2 91 Croatia Adriatic Sea Potkucina (Kakan Is), Kukljica (Uligan Is)
1-6 July 6 143 Croatia (Istria Peninsula) Adriatic Sea Zadar, Maracol (Unjie Is), Kuje, Pula, Porec, Novigrad, Umag
7-10 July 4 47 Italy Adriatic Sea Venice
11- 14 July 4 88 Croatia (Istria Peninsula) Adriatic Sea Pula, Kanalic
15 - 23 July 9 163 Croatia Adriatic Sea Griparica (Skarda Is, Soliscica, (Dugi Otok Is), Rava Is, Telascica National Park (Dugi Otok Is), Krka National Park (Krka river Skradin).
24 - 31 July 8 98 Croatia Adriatic Sea Rogoznica, Trogir, Split (mainland), Solta Is, Zavala (Hvar Is)

 

1st-2nd June Itea – Trizonia Island (Gulf of Corinth - Greece) 24 miles 2 days

 Motored from Itea on a glassy sea with Peloponnisos mtns to the south and those of mainland Greece to the north (all still snow capped). Trizonia is a small Island, a mile or so of the mainland coast with a small marina, a small village and a few holiday homes, all in all a very pretty spot. Dani had his first swim in the sea off the little pebbly beach on the north side opposite the marina. He didn’t flinch in the cool water and enjoyed splashing and making breaststroke movements with his hands, maybe he’s a natural. We followed the swim with lunch at the Ostria café under umbrella’s and the sea lapping at our feet, this is what makes cruising worthwhile!!

3rd June Trizonia – Navpaktos - Patras (Gulf of Patras) – Oxia – Petalas (Ionian Sea) 66 miles 

Reluctantly left Trizonia (no charges in the little marina, no wonder there are a lot of cruisies basing themselves there) and continued westwards through the Gulf of Corinth. We took a turn around the little port of Navpaktos with its ancient stone walls only big enough for a few yachts and only big enough for a tight turn between the many small local fishing boats. The Cruising pilot says “The medieval harbour is one of the best examples of its type in the Med and is where the Turkish fleet refitted before the Battle of Lepanto where they were defeated by the Austro-Venetian forces”, so a visit was mandatory. We continued west passing between the southern columns of the huge suspension bridge being constructed near the city of Patras which will eventually join the Peloponisos peninsula with mainland Greece at this point. Our intended destination was Patras but the big city with ships and ferries didn’t have much appeal after Trizonia and Ratna said “west more” so we continued motoring on flat seas through the Gulf of Patras into the Ionian Sea and anchored opposite Oxia Island adjacent to the mainland. We put up with rolling in the wash from the distant passing ferries for a few hours then raised anchor and continued to the sheltered anchorage of Petalas where we arrived just before dark and anchored beside 3 other yachts (a long day of motoring, last time we had a decent sail was on 23rd May more than 10 days ago).

4th-13th June Ionian Sea - Greece 188 miles 10 days (1 night Cephalonia, 2 nights Meganisi, 1 night Levkas, 1 night Paxoi, 1 night Mortous (mainland), 3 nights Corfu, 1 night Erikoussa)

Heading north (motoring as usual) in the Ionion Sea (between Italy and Greece) with pretty islands, lots of trees and nice little towns. At Ay Eufimia on Cephalonia we tied up to the town jetty whilst I had several unsuccessful attempts at cafes to connect the laptop to the internet and bought a few supplies. We then continued on to a little bay on the east coast where we anchored in a “farmyard”, cows ashore and ducks around us looking for scraps making loud quacks, much to Dani’s delight his first real ducks. Cephalonia was the Island that Louis de Bernieres brought to everyone’s attention in his book “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” about the Italian occupation of the island during WW II and the subsequent massacre of 6,000 of the Italian Alpine Division by their “Allies” the Germans in a seven-day period in 1943 when they had refused to cooperate. 24 miles north we anchored for a couple of days at the northern indented part of Meganisi with our stern tied to an olive tree, reminding us of our pleasant days in Turkey tied up to pine trees. We enjoyed swimming (Ratna’s first of the year) in the clear blue water, tho the number of yachts in the anchorages and bays was increasing alarmingly and it was still early in the season. We left Meganisi reluctantly and motored around the almost landlocked Vlikho bay on adjacent Levkas but in the windless conditions and with numerous yachts and motorboats churning the water it promised only heat and claustrophobia so we continued onto Levkas town at the north of the island passing up the narrow canal separating it from mainland Greece. Tied up to the town jetty we stepped ashore and into a little minimarket owned by an Aussie accented Greek and his Philippino wife who were most helpful with supplies including a well stocked section of Asian foods and sauces and information on Levkas town. We wandered around the quaint town with narrow streets and found a veg and fruit market and a nice restaurant where we sat in a narrow alley with candlelit table under overhanging flower pots and enjoyed a very pleasant meal with little D passed out in his pushchair. The next day we cast off and waited a few minutes at the swing bridge north of the town for it to open on the hour for boat traffic. Into the Ionion sea once again and onto the little Island of Paxoi anchoring in the south at Mongonisi bay big enough for about 6 yachts at anchor and surrounded by villas with masses of bougainvillea flower that made the place very colourful. A chap from Darwin came across in an inflatable and had a chat he was waiting for flotilla charter yachts to come and tie up at the adjacent restaurant jetty for the night. North from Paxoi we spent a night at Mourtous on the mainland (tied to a microcarpa tree for a change of vegetation) then onto Corfu where we tied up stern to at Gouvia marina enjoying the luxury of electricity (airconditioning!!) and heaps of fresh water. Adjacent to the marina was a big supermarket where we reprovisioned, a chandlery with Internet access for the laptop (caught up with everyone’s news at last). The marina dominated by lots of Brits on boats the majority of whom stopped by and enquired if we really sailed all the way from NZ and admired “Star of the West” with her traditional lines, a refreshing change from the bulk of the mass production boats floating around they said. Corfu was our checking out of Greece port which required a visit to Corfu town 7 kms from the marina and after missing the hourly bus into town I was hijacked by a taxidriver with a good argument that I would cook waiting for the next bus and after getting him to reduce his price by a third to E10 he sang the praises of boneless NZ lamb all the way to town (available all thru Greece at much cheaper prices than back in NZ!!!). Customs, Harbourmaster and Immigration complete I then tried to time my return to catch the No7 bus back to Gouvia but unsuccessful and ended up walking the 7kms back arriving in a ball of sweat. One bus passed whilst I was in between bus stops but unlike Turkey where they will pick you up at any point the Greek driver showed no interest in my frantic waves and hurtled past. Whilst enjoying the marina and anchorage north, Corfu rekindled sad memories of Heinz and Catherines son Owen’s demise here and more recently Ratna’s nephew Hendy in motorcycle accidents. We motored north from Corfu to Erikoussa, the northern most Greek Island in the Ionion to spend a quiet night before stepping off on the trip to Croatia.

14th – 16th June Greece (Erikoussa) – Italy (Brindisi) – Dubrovnic/Zaton (Croatia) 250 miles 3 days

The choice, heading north up the Adriatic sea (between Italy and Croatia/Montenegro) was to sail nonstop (2 nights at sea) or break the trip with stops up the Italian coast, we opted for the latter stopping once in the Italian port of Brindisi. Departing Erikoussa at 0100hrs in the morning an ominous little swell was coming in from the north in the windless conditions as we motored out from the anchorage. Sure enough we had wind building on the nose from the NW and spent the next 17 hours motoring, hobby horsing our way NW in uncomfortable short seas and adverse current along the Italian coast. Brindisi is a large busy port with two inner basins where we anchored in the innermost one in company with a few other yachts (One “Falcon Crest” had anchored with friends Keith & Kaye from “Achates” in Sardinia last year). It was a busy and tight little anchorage and we had huge tugs passing metres from our stern, numerous rowing skiffs (their occupants facing backwards) threatening to spear us as they practiced for the rowing competition the following day, and numerous fishing dinghies and yachts returning from their days activities. Not very relaxing and in the confusion of watching all the comings, belatedly and alarmingly noticed little D beside us trying to enjoy what looked like chocolate. Mmmm, his first attempt to eat his own poo that had squeezed out from the side of his pampers and which in the process of trying to get it into his mouth was covering his face and chair. The unsavoury smells of the harbour were much added to whilst we cleaned the whole act up!! A night in Brindisi was enough and we left early the next morning in lighter winds from a westerly direction but with a huge confused seas for the first hour or so as we made our way NE away from the Italian coast towards Croatia and lil’D’s first overnight passage. The 24hrs to Dubrovnic in the south of Croatia was uneventful with a big full moon and we even managed to sail for 6 hours, a bonus!!! Tied up in Gruz harbour Dubrovnic Croatia at 0630hrs on 16th June adjacent to the veg/fruit and meat market and completed formalities with minimal fuss tho had to chase around looking for someone to write 3rd party insurance. After several misdirection’s got that completed to the satisfaction of the harbourmaster who emptied our pockets of 1615 kunas (equiv to 215 Euros/ 430NZD) for a 12mth cruising permit and whose departing words were “enjoy your stay in Croatia you can bang into anyone you like now”!! We caught up with Bob and Sue off the US yacht “Rejoice” also tied up alongside, who we sailed up the Red Sea with last year and who had also just arrived in Dubrovnic. We stocked up with goodies from the adjacent market which was considerably cheaper than Greece then motored around to look at the ACI Marina up the channel under the huge new suspension bridge. A tight sortie past the marina looking for an anchorage up the shallow river saw us sitting on some underwater obstruction for a few minutes before sliding off and we opted for a nice quiet anchorage a few miles further up the coast at Zaton which was surrounded by waterside villas and an old flour mill peppered with bullet holes. Managed a call to cousin Tony Smyth on the mobile after a previous call whilst in Brindisi trying to coordinate a rendezvous somewhere in Croatia (Tony and sis Shirley were in the north of Italy at a family wedding). The logistics of them getting to a ferry port in Italy and then meeting up in Croatia in the time they had available were too formidable so our anticipated reunion went awry and we planned the next three weeks to accommodate a cruisers get-together in Starigrad on the Island of Hvar at the end of June and our must do sail into Venice. The Croatian coast promised lots of good cruising with huge number of islands aligned NW parallel to the coast and offering the hope of good sailing in flat waters.

17th June – 22nd June Slano (Croatian mainland) to Stiniva (Hvar Is) 112 miles 6 days

After a big steak/salad dinner the previous night and being short on sleep after our long haul up from Greece we awoke late on the morning of 17th June and raised anchor and headed a little way north to Slano in a little bay further up the Croatian mainland. At Slano (10 Miles nth of Dubrovnic) we tied stern to the town jetty on 17th June, helped by Claude and Jackie of the Motorsailer “Phryne” from Monaco also moored there. We spent two very enjoyable days in this quiet spot, comparing notes either sitting on the grass under the trees behind the jetty or onboard the boats. (Claude had also spent many years in Africa mainly the Congo but also South Africa so He and I knew many of the same places). They had the charred remains of their inverter/charger on the aft deck due to a recent fire they had onboard caused by a leaking pressure gauge oil line behind their inverter/charger and after a Mayday call, resolved by their “rescuer” who dowsed the fire with buckets of sea water over their inverter, saving their wooden boat but causing terminal damage to the inverter. Dani became aquainted with their cat, was gifted a large fluffy duck that had been Jackie’s daughters’ and granddaughters’ cuddly toy and he had his first crawl on grass which was treated suspiciously at first as it was somewhat more spiky than his usual teak floor. Slano was a little village of 3,000 people before the 91/92 war and most occupants fled after bombardment from the ridge at the back (Bosnia) or from the Montenegro navy from seaward. The harbour fee collector was a delightful chain-smoking old man of 75 years who would sit and recall (in Croatian/German) tales of the war where most of the town had been demolished. He was one of the few that had remained and he presented Dani with a little car and rubber ring to chew on, hand me downs from his great grandchildren. Slano was in the process of being rebuilt and there was a new post office and a few cafes and minimarkets amongst the remnants of houses pockmarked with bullet/shell holes. The last night at Slano was disrupted by an electrical storm which blew up waves onto the dock and had Claude and myself up checking anchor status and ensuring we weren’t blown onto the dock. An adjacent charter yacht with a Canadian honeymoon couple onboard spent a couple of hours banging her stern on the dock whilst her occupants were sound asleep in the for’d cabin no doubt recharging from similar earlier activity. The electrical storm resulted in several power cuts/surges which had our aircon on and off and did some internal damage to our inverter charger (out in sympathy with its mate on “Phryne”s aft deck) though it still seems to operate but with a flashing warning light (our first expensive equipment malfunction which will need addressing when we find a base for next winter). We left on the morning of 19th June sadly saying bye bye to Claude and Jackie who were heading south to Dubrovnic (to await arrival of a new inverter/ charger) and then onto Greece whilst we headed NW. Over the next few days we motored as the wind was invariably light or on the nose and anchored at Polace (Mljet Is), our first real exposure to Austrian front bums and back bums on the increasing number of yachts we were encountering (Capt Pearce you’d be in your element!!), then Lumbarda (Korchula Is), Marinkovac (Paklani Is) more naturalists the colour and shape of garlic, then Stiniva (Hvar Is), with more naked bodies sunning themselves on the fringing rocks or stony beach, (Ratna says they should have the decency to present their private parts landward instead of seaward, tho this might have dire consequences on blood flow).

23rd June – 28th June Starigrad (Hvar Is) 7miles 6days. 

Arrived at Starigrad (Hvar Is) on morning of 23rd June the venue for a “Med Cruisers rendezvous” 24-28th June. Starigrad, is a small pretty town at the end of a long west facing inlet at the west end of Hvar Is and it has all the facilities a boatie needs to relax and replenish supplies etc. A total of 24 “Cruisies” participated, with the majority of the boats from the US or UK but there was also “Nerissa” from NZ who we knew from Thailand, “Rejoice” who we’d caught up with in Dubrovnic, and two others from Kemer marina where “Star of the West” wintered, Ron & Julie on “Gladlee of Guernsey” and Frank & Taree on “Vision”. We met new people and put faces to voices we heard on morning radio skeds and enjoyed the six day sojourn where we caught our breath after having been on the move most of the time. Little D did his usual anti-social heartbroken cries from his stroller whenever anybody got too close and we were continuously apologizing to disillusioned ladies who dearly wanted to cuddle him. With our stern tied to the town quay we had the usual admirers and enquiries as to whether we had really sailed from NZ but this time in German/Austrian/Italian accents, “Zu kom von Noi Zeeland vis dis shif?”. We also had another pesky thunderstorm, at daybreak on 27th June with the storm blowing in from the west, the sea level built up so it overflowed the town pier and flooded all the shops and cafes further up the harbour and proceeded to flow backwards and forwards every 10 minutes with a rise and fall of up to 2 metres continuing for more than an hour. Our stern oscillated alarmingly above then below the quay and was quite a spectacle but the associated current overturned numerous moored dinghies and small craft and the harbour had to be cleared of half submerged boats after things settled. Electricians were in great demand as they were called out to fix waterlogged fridge/freezers in the shops and cafes whose food would be in danger of going off in the summer heat. The harbour chap in charge of the town quay says this frequently happens in winter when nobody is here but only once every 10 years in summer, I guess this was one of those years.

29th - 30th June Potkucina(Kakan Is) to Kukljica (Uligan Is) 91miles 2 days

We left Starigrad on the morning of 29th June after a very enjoyable 6 days, our batteries were fully charged, water tanks full, gas bottles refilled, fridge/freezer full, lockers bulging and new boats to share experiences with. Our mission was to get up the Adriatic Sea as quickly as possible to Venice before the summer heat and hoards of tourists detracted from the enjoyment, so we motored north west 53miles stopping at Potkucina on Kakan Is, (our first exposure to organized anchorages where mooring bouys were set and had to be paid for nightly though we anchored here and got off free). The next day we did a turn through Hrmina and Betina marinas on Murter Is with a thought to finding a winter base for “Star of the West” but neither appealed, (tho the surrounding islands were pretty and reminiscent of the Kekova area in Turkey), then onto the little village of Kukljica on Uligan Is and tied up to town marina for the night (next to a big Austrian owned Gulet type yacht from Turkey). 

1st - 6th July Zadar, Maracol (Unjie Is), Kuje, Pula, Porec, Novigrad, Umag (Istria Peninsula, Croatian mainland) 143miles 6 days

The next morning (1st July) we “cased” the city of Zadar on the mainland but with a very tight marina/harbour and big ferries coming and going we didn’t hover long and continued onto Ilovik Is enjoying a great 7 hour sail, anchoring at the end of a conjested narrow channel with all 75+ moorings full as yachts sheltered from an imminent blow. The next morning we motored out of the narrow channel into a big and confused sea after a windy night but the wind now had dropped to nothing so we wallowed our way a little way north to Maracol on Unjie Is (more moorings nose to tail with associated crews front bums and back bums). Happy to leave Maracol we left in the morning heading NW and enjoyed a 3 hour albeit lumpy sail to windward arriving at Kuje on SE end of Istria peninsula, a great little spot with only three other yachts but evidence of lots of tourists with Campervans, caravans and tents peppering the mainland shore amongst the trees. Morning of 4th July with wind still brisk from the wrong direction for us we motored in a lumpy sea (no offshore Is’ up here to stop the fetch from the Adriatic) and onto Pula a big town on the Croatian mainland where we anchored off the marina haulout area adjacent to a couple of British yachts, with a big Roman Amphitheatre and big Venetian styled buildings in the background. We spent two nights at Pula, dinghying backwards and forwards to the shore in the inflatable with Mum holding Dani and me in the bow paddling (hadn’t lowered the 15hp Yamaha outboard since Fethiye area Turkey 23rd April), which was fine with no wind blowing but became a major exercise into a head wind with Dani’s pushchair and assorted necessaries onboard. Enquiries at the large ACI Marina for winter berthing were met with raised hands and overbooked exclamations for in the water and a finger pointed to the haulout area adjacent to our anchorage which wasn’t very appealing as security looked suspect and the crane undersized. The Roman Amphitheater (apparently the best preserved to be found and the sixth largest in existence) and other Roman buildings in town were reminders of the long history of this part of the world and we wandered around the town enjoying the sites. We were looking for the vege/fruit market and after getting misdirected to a supermarket saw a likely looking old character with a watermelon in a plastic bag, accosted him in my best Croatian saying “Market,market??” pointing to the bag. He replied in best Aussie “Hang on mate I’ll call me missus”. His wife had done the shopping and was Croatian from these parts so we had a good laugh and headed in the right direction to a huge veg/fruit/fish/meat market reminiscent of Turkish ones. Back at the boat that night we were serenaded to sleep by an Opera being performed in the Amphitheatre. (The rock group “Simply Red” was due to perform on the 8th July, so the Amphitheatre is still doing good service 2,000years after construction!). Morning of 6th July we headed north up the mainland coast enjoying a bit of sailing and popping first into Porec marina to fill with diesel (much cheaper here compared to Italy), then Novigrad, finally anchoring in Umag harbour the northernmost town on the Croatian coast and adjacent to Slovenia, and having to pay the inevitable little man in the dinghy for the privilege of anchoring and him taking the rubbish ashore. The shores on this coast are full of people camping in tents or vans and motorboats compete in numbers with yachts as a huge fleet heads south for summer cruising.

 

7th – 10th July Umag (Croatia) - Venice (Italy) 47miles 4 nights San Elena Marina Venice.

We raised anchor in Umag harbour at 0600hrs and first tied up alongside the Customs jetty for our clearance out from Croatia then cast off and headed almost directly west motorsailing the 47 miles to Venice in flat seas.

Umag at 45.26N 13.31E is slightly further north than Venice and as far south as Deep Cove in Fiordland New Zealand, as far north as we are ever likely to sail. As we approached the Italian coast in this part of the nthn Adriatic memories were rekindled of the nth coast of Java Indonesia, with buildings rising behind a low hazy foreshore and we shot through Lido passage at 7-8knots aided by an incoming current into the Venetian waterways. 

The yacht masts in the San Elena yacht club were a welcome sight as the wash from shipping and ferry traffic was increasing and inside the sanctuary of the little marina we were directed to a berth and helped tie up in between a mass of local craft mainly in the 30ft size. San Elena, recommended to us by a couple of Italian sailors from Venice we met in Starigrad as the best of 3 possible places recommended, turned out to be a good choice (the others anchoring off in one of the channels and dinghying ashore or in the San Giorgio Maggiore marina opposite St. Marks square). 

San Elena, located at the Eastern end of Venice in a nice quiet suburb with parks and associated greenery, is far enough away from the hurly burly of the main tourist area of St Marks but close enough via ferry or even close enough to walk. We breathed a sigh of relief as during our first afternoon spent pushing Dani around the parks of San Elena watching the water churned up to huge washing machine or even storm proportions in the Grand canal by the boat traffic charging in all directions. Our little dinghy ride to the main Island would have been a nightmare, later reinforced by Rob and Jill off a British yacht who shifted to San Elena after anchoring in one of the channels and having their dinghy and outboard nicked when they tied it up at St Marks square. 

In all we spent four very enjoyable and relaxing days and nights in Venice, catching an early morning No1 ferry (big enough to take Dani's pushchair without folding it up) to St Marks and doing the tourist things (Bascilica San Marco, Ducal Palace, Polo Houses, Arsenale, Naval Museum, churches, etc etc) marveling at the grandeur of the place and the fact that many of the buildings and feats date back 1,000 years!! The narrow streets and canals crisscrossed by little bridges were a fascinating insight to life in Venice and carrying Dani's pushchair up and down the steps of the numerous bridges or the 4 floors of the Ducal Palace and Navale Museum didn't seem a chore until we felt our weary limbs whilst relaxing at the end of the day at our favourite café (Trattoria) next to the park in San Elena with a delicious smooth red draft beer (Moretti Rosa) for me and ice cream for Mum and D. We walked back from central Venice to San Elena on all occasions and found minimarkets and veg/fruit markets outside the tourist areas where the locals bought and prices were normal. Dani had his first haircut (almost a shave) and I had a trim. Our stay at San Elena yacht club was cheaper than expected beforehand (the marina prices in Croatia and Greece are higher), the weather was hot without being to hot (not smelly as expected) and nights were cool (the circuitbreaker in the marina didn't cope with our aircon so we didn't use it and didn't need it) and whilst busy with tourists (more so when there was a cruise ship or two in port) the place didn't seem overcrowded. Once again with our stern mooring at the San Elena yacht club we had lots of Italian admirers of "Star of the West" who all repeated "Bella, bella" which must mean nice, I'll have to check the translation at some stage. When we decided to leave before strong winds were forecast we were well satisfied that we had made the effort to reach this hub of nautical history by sail and as with all enjoyable spots sad to leave.

11th – 14th July Venice (Italy) –Pula / Kanalic (Croatia) 88miles 1 night Pula, 3 nights Kanalic.

Sailed to Venice, mission accomplished we now contemplate the remainder of the summer with a decision made to return to our favourite marina, Kemer in Turkey to park “Star of the West” for the northern winter whilst we fly back to Indonesia and New Zealand. The facilities for hauling out in Croatia don’t seem to compare with Turkey and at our other planned possible ports, we were advised that at Rome we would need to find haulout facilities near Porto di Roma rather than in the marina, and had no response from our request for booking on the hard at Malta. Combining that with a pining for the Turkish cruising grounds, plans were set in motion to sail back slowly thru Croatia and Greece and catch up with “Mustang Sally” in Turkey for a September cruise back to Kemer and also the opportunity to touch base with Wattie (+Jill?) on “Cariad” who are also in Turkey after surviving a grounding and sinking in Egypt last year. We left San Elena yacht club in Venice at 0600hrs on 15th July and headed SW to Pula on the Croatian mainland where we had been a week before. Once again motoring was the order of the day as a light Sthly wind was insufficient to sail in and we covered the 70 miles in just over 12 hours tying up at the customs wharf in Pula at 1830hrs. Formalities completed (bods this time weren’t quite as efficient in issuing Ratna’s 1mth visa but once complete we anchored back in our previous spot and the next day did a veg/fruit/meat market run then raised anchor and moved south a few miles to a picturesque little bay at Kanalic where we anchored amongst a myriad of other yachts (as usual Italian/ Austrian/ German flags predominantly and the associated lack of clothes) We’ve come to the conclusion that being over clothed in the long northern winter there is this need to delouse/derash or whatever their porcelain bodies by exposing as much as possible to the suns rays. I’m getting quite adept myself now at bending over in the cockpit at measured times in an unclothed state. We ended up staying 3 nights in almost landlocked Kanalic as winds threw up an angry sea outside and the anchorage had more than 100 boats anchored waiting for quieter conditions to continue. A small boat going around the anchorage had us thinking that this was another of those pay if u anchor spots but it turned out to be a vege/fruit seller.

15th – 23rd July Griparica (Skarda Is) – Dugi Otok Is – Skradin River (Waterfalls) 163miles 9days 1 night Skarda Is, 1 night Soliscica (Dugi Otok is), 1 night Rava Is, 2 nights Telascica National Park (Dugi Otok Is), 4 nights Krka National Park (Krka river Skradin).

Our return down the Croatian coast was to be more leisurely and to visit places we had bypassed and revisit places we enjoyed on our transit north on mission to Venice and with the prevailing NW winds enjoyed some prolonged sailing. We anchored in nice clean water at a narrow little anchorage on Skarda with a renovated castle at the head of the bay and I used a dive tank cleaning the hull of increasing number of barnacles and weed. There seems to be more growth in the Adriatic than the Aegean Sea though its almost 2 years since the last antifouling paint job in Langkawi Malaysia. I filled 3 dive tanks from last years dives and we moved south to Soliscica at the nthn end of Dugi Otok Is for one night, then one night at adjacent Rava Is where we had an owl sitting on the masthead allnight warming his bum on the anchor light tho it wouldn’t have done anything for his night vision. He/she left her visiting card on the dodger sometime in the early hours and we did a Pampers run (not for the owl) to the old town of Sali on Dugi Otok before moving on to Telascica at the sthn end of the Is. We enjoyed an unplanned reunion at Telascica where unbeknown to all of us we anchored together with “Seascape”, “Good Company”, “Starboard Home”, “Invictus”, and “Penguin” all US flag boats who we had met at Starigrad or been in contact with enroute. John and Joan on “Seascape” hosted a little sundowner getogether and we all compared notes. Lil D sadly continued his wailing at the proximity of unfamiliar faces until passing out asleep fortunately missing the toothless smile of Toni from a little boat with square sign “Toni’s market” servicing the anchorage, it was the end of the day and old Toni was well on the way to consuming the remainder of his unsold beers. Telascica at the southern end of Dugi Otok Is is a National park and together with its southern neighbour Kornati Is form an outer chain of Islands about 50 miles long but only a few miles wide. We happily paid 40 kuna (7Euro/14NZD) a head for the 2 nights at anchor at Telascica and headed south on the morning of 20th July under sail enjoying a 10 knot westerly and moving along at a steady 6 knots. A dinghy from Kornati National Park waved us to stop and on my pointing to the sails they came alongside and said we would have to pay 50 kuna a head as we were in their National Park. After looking at our entry tickets to Telascica they said this was a different National Park and I pointed to the open sea outside and they nodded their heads as we changed direction and they sped off to accost other boats, the cheeky buggas. One of the sad things about Croatia is that after paying 215Euro/430NZD for a cruising permit they still wanted fees at every opportunity. Harbours/moorings ok but not anchoring and sailing past surely!! Anyway we sailed on our merry way out in the Adriatic and passed back thru the southern Kornati’s without getting caught on our way to Sibernik then Skradin up the Krka river. We had sailed for a very enjoyable 6 hours before reaching the mouth of the Krka river passed the city of Sibernik with her castles and old buildings and anchored at 1930hrs opposite the little town of Skradin past Prukljansko Jezero (hows that for a mouthful otherwise referred to as “the lake”) approximately 12 miles inland and enjoyed a fresh water swim. Lowered the Yamaha onto the dinghy and went shopping in the quaint little town which a German yachtie informed us was where the first shots were fired in the 91/92 war with Bosnia. Campervans and caravans filled the adjacent camping ground and the place was bulging at the seams during the ensuing days as people filled the ferries running to the Krka falls approximately 3 miles upstream. I took the opportunity on the first day to complete the due filter and engine/gearbox oil change as we had done 300hrs since the last one 2008miles ago in Kemer Turkey. We had another unexpected reunion as anchored opposite in the river were Fin & his wife from Norway on their Yacht “Bemmer” who had been tied up beside us in Kemer marina Turkey during the winter and also a Zimbabwe couple Brian & Pippa on “Venturer” and an English couple Frank & Jill on “Seabreaker both couples we had met at Starigrad. We took the 0900hr ferry to the falls on the 22nd July with Frank and Jill and after circumnavigating the falls (Dani carried by Ratna in a sling) we had a swim in the large pool at the base of the falls and hightailed it back on the 1230 ferry to Skradin before the masses arrived by ferry or bus. We spent 3 nights anchored in the river opposite Skradin and 1 night at Beretusa bay on the north shore of “the lake” before heading out to the briny again, it was a unique experience, a great little setting and an interesting little town with the usual narrow cobbled streets, chiming bell tower, stone houses, markets.

24th – 31st July Rogoznica –Trogir- Split (mainland)– (Solta Is) –Zavala (Hvar Is) 98miles 8 days

Leaving Skradin / Sibernik we followed the coast for a short hop to Rogoznica (for clarification purposes referred to as “Rogers Knickers” on the radio skeds) where we sheltered for a couple of days from a windy spell then continued sth down the coast, first to the town of Trogir then a few miles more down to Croatia’s largest coastal city and ferry port, Split. We spent the night anchored in the channel at Trogir and weren’t impressed with the place on the day of arrival as the anchorage was exposed to a fresh westerly wind which had us hobbyhorsing around and dragging anchor making it too difficult to go ashore. But what a difference a day makes! the following morning in quiet conditions we were able to circumnavigate the old town by dinghy and then parked in what once would have been the castle moat and visited the castle, the cathedral with its famous carved portal “Radovan’s Portal”, and the rabbit warren of small alleyways, a mini version of Venice. Then invaded the adjacent markets and cafes and when we departed had very warm feelings about this ancient spot. Onto Split on the afternoon of 27th July enjoying a 3hour sail and on anchoring in the large harbour, there behind us were a couple waving from the nearby Pier, Robin and Miranda!!! A young couple from NZ who we met last year first in March at Abu Tig Egypt and then in June at Datca Turkey when they were skippering “Ocean Science”, an Ocean 60 for the British owners. They were now doing the same on “Kimosabi” a big Farr 65 and were tied to the town pier and we have enjoyed their company over the past 5 days whilst they await the arrival of the owners. Split was an interesting place where we once again bought the market out (Dani contributed his pillow to someone as he threw it out of his pushchair at some stage unbeknown to us), and wandered back thru the maze of alleys with Roman palace ruins (pilfered Egyptian statues). The harbour smells during the night (like Tg Priok Jakarta) and the wash from the ferries however prompted us to move on (Robin needed disinfecting after he had to snorkel in the harbour water to free his anchor which snagged a mooring) and we first anchored for the night of 28th July at a peaceful little spot, Gornja Krusica (try that one on a radio sked) on Solta Is then headed to Bobovisce (Brac Is) but the anchorage was full of moorings nose to tail, so raised sail and had a very enjoyable sail to Hvar Is where we’ve been for the past 3days anchored side by side with sterns tied to pine trees in Zavala Bay just around the corner from Starigrad where we spent a pleasant time a month ago. Sadly big fires of the last few days caused by the hot dry conditions are burning on Hvar Is in front of us and seaplanes scooping up seawater are attempting to douse the progress of the flames but haven’t had much impact so far.