Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Cool Germans!

Fraser aboard Illiria, the cool German boat after doing power circles as crew members take it in turns to swing out on halyard line around the boat!

Illiria en route to Murter from Zadar - 29/9

Skipper Bastian aboard hi 46ft Beneteau catching up to my boat in Zadar Channel

Zadar market - 29/9

Zadar Bridge -29/9

Marla and crew on footbridge to old town

Zadar - 29/9

Saturday market inside old town

A Zadar Moment on the musical steps of the Sea Organ

Zadar - Sea Organ

Zadar is the urban center of northern Dalmatia and one of the Adriatic's most interesting towns with a 3,000 year old history. A sea organ sits at the waters edge under concrete steps and the sea strikes different notes as it laps onto the shore, which sound up through vents in the steps. At sunset an illuminated platform invites young people to linger at the waters edge, as ferries come and go

Zadar - 28/9

Cast off mooring buoy at Veli Rat at 10.15. Weather overcast, seas calm. Powered 20 miles to Zadar on mainland shore, arriving 13.45. Port side docking inside main harbour opposite Jadrolinska ferries.

Thursday, 27 September 2012


Ate out at pizzeria in top left of photo - except no pizza! End of season so meat (pork) or fish (tuna). Fed most of mine to the cute stray cats. Fell in love with a grey one that reminded me of mine back home.

Sali - 27/9

1,000 inhabitants in this picturesque fishing town. Plenty of berths with laid moorings (lazy lines or bow anchor lines that run to shore). Shore power and water, hit showers and supermarket for more provisions! Ferry boat to Zadar.

Problems with in-mast furler and Bastian and Fraser from "Illiria" kindly fixed and agreed to stay overnight 26/9 and sail with us to Zadar as rest of flotilla moved on.

Stern tie at Sali on Dugi Otok - 26/9

Cast off mooring buoy at Mir Lake at 11.58. Unfurled main and genoa but overpowered so reeled quickly! Winds still blowing from S.E. at 25 knots and gusting 30-35 down narrow channel.

Stern tie at town of Sali on East side of Dugi Otok at 14.00. Winds picking up and decided to tuck in early.

Toni's Supermarket - 26/9

Toni came by with his provisions and we bought chocolate donuts for breakfast!

Wonder if Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson did this on their honeymoon here?! (they came to Telascica Park after his abdication from the English throne)

Mmmmmm, donuts!!!!

Mir Lake

The salty lake is 900 meters long and 300 meters wide but only 8 meters deep. It's muddy bottom is said to have healing properties and the salty water makes it impossible to dive under. Group meet for a swim and healing circle!

Telascica Park, Dugi Otok - 25/9

Picked up mooring buoy at 17.00 at Mir Lake next to Telascica Bay (no diving in this time!) Dinner on board followed by hair-raising trip in dinghy - one side of transom broken and dodgy outboard which kept cutting out underway. Made it ashore for drinks and giggled all the way back to the boat in the dark at 10.30pm.

Vrulje to Telascica - 25/9

Cast off Mooring buoy at Vrulje at 11.10 - winds calm. Gorgeous day! Dropped the book at Levrnaka for lunch on deck then launched the dinghy (Roma & Bruce Carroll in photo!). Went snorkeling by the rocks - plenty of fish - guppies, tiny florescent blue fish swimming just under the surface (the kind you see in small aquarium tanks), sea cucumbers, shoals of silver fish. No coral life and sea bed littered with empty wine bottles!

The good life!

Opat to Vrulje - 24/9

Cast off 11.00. Strong S.E. winds building to 20knots + by late morning, gusting later to 35knots. sailed downwind with Genoa only. Poked into Vrulje en route to Piskera and grabbed a mooring buoy for lunch at 13.00. Strong gusts made it difficult to helm boat so dived in to hook line up to buoy, providing great entertainment to other boats (wet T-shirt!). Ended up staying put as winds did not abate and other boats from Flotilla had to dock in Piskera in 4o knot winds with waves crashing on the rocks. Good decision to stay and enjoyed wonderful dinner aboard the 42 ft Catamaran (palace) who were on next mooring buoy. Thanks to skipper Bruce Maunder and his lovely family and friends!
Vrulje is a settlement on the Kornati Islands only inhabited during the summer months with well-frequented restaurant "Ante" and "Robinson".

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Spectacular hilltop views of Kornati Islands

Opat Island

Moored at shallow bay of Opat Island - 23/9

Marina Mandalina -Sibernik 22/9

Boarded the boats on Saturday afternoon after a morning at Krka Waterfalls and provisioning stop. Dinner at marina. Cast off 11.00 Sunday 23/9 heading to Kornati Islands. Lights winds from S.E. and temps 25 degrees. Lunch underway. Sailed a enrage 4.5 knots for 21.5 miles. 17.00 stern tie with lazy line at Opat - small marina in shallow waters just past Smokvica Island at southern tip of Kornati. Steak and red wine dinner on deck! Great hikes up surrounding hills for spectacular views of Kornati Islands.

Sibernik Old Town Square

Sibernik Cathedral

On The waterfront at Sibernik!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Sea Salt

Visited fresh sea saltworks in - the oldest and largest preserved in Mediterranean history.

Dalmatian Coastline

Typical views along this stunning coastline with its bright primary colours of blue and green interspersed with the red and white villages. Steep slopes covered in vines and fruit trees. Narrow roads with sheer drops down to the sea below. Poplars and pines and everywhere the fragrant smell of lavender!

Fresh fish arriving on Split's Riva

Breakfast in Split

21/9 - breakfast in Sperun with Marla and Marlene and local host! Walked throug the Diocletian Palace to NE Gate to street market and back to hostel. Street life bustling wi local shoppers and tanned Europeans but not as crowded with coach tours as Dubrovnik. Lovely sunny weather!

Local talent

Matusko Vineyard

20/9 - Drive from Dubrovnik to Split via Peljesac Peninsular to Potomje wine region, Wine tasting at Matusko Vina and stocked up for the boat on tasty local wines plus local olive oil. Donkey logo on family crest denotes old method of transporting grapes over the mountain before e tunnel was constructed in 1970's.

Pigeons fly over Market Square, Dubrovnik

Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik

Market Square, Dubrovnik

Market Square, Dubrovnik

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Morning walk!

Hot hot day and the sun bouncing off the stone walls and shiny cobbled paths - ready for my bottle of water - the dive is way too high from here!

Lovrnac Castle from City walls

Sitting on the rock of a bay? This bay was sheer blue water and crystal clear. Kayakers paddled off in groups in the calm waters as yachts motored by, people swam and I walked the walls.


Looking toward Lokum Island N.W. of city above a sea of red roof tiles!

Dubrovnik Harbour from City walls

Hello Dubrovnik!

Arrived here at 5pm on Tuesday 18/9 after 3 planes from Vancouver and a bus to the Old City, wonderful vistas along the coast road but many steps inside the Pile Gate and along the Stradun to the apartment thru the main market square and up by e Spanish steps. Enjoyed a classical concert by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra in Rektor's Palace with its open roof to the skies above - amazing!
This morning hit the trail around the city walls - above a sea of terracotta roof tiles and church spires with the dazzling Adriatic beyond. Vibrant street life below and the aroma of cooking fish in the hazy summer air. Plenty of tourists abound, Brits and Germans mostly. Cares and boutiques and flocks of pigeons overhead. Kayakers out on the calm waters, happy faces and a sense of well-being in such an historical place whose recent history was so appalling but seems to be thankfully fading with time.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Sailing Itinerary

Our 2012 planned itinerary combines a bit of everything - a great sailing destination, quiet anchorages and Croatian villages.

Our base Marina Mandalina is located just south of the city of Sibenik. Mandalina is a perfect starting point for sailing Croatia, whether we choose to sail north or south.

Day 1 - Marina Mandalina - Opat / Smokvica Vela via Kakan 25 nm Our destination is the Kornati archipelago with its natural harbors, inviting bays and secluded beaches.

Along the way, we can tuck into Kakan and anchor in a small lagoon created by this island and the islands of Veli Brnjak and Mali Brnjak - this is a good spot for an afternoon swim.

Opat and Smokvica Vela are located at the south-east end of Kornati National Park, and are wonderful bays with restaurants serving fresh, traditional seafood. At Opat, a challenging walk up the shale hills will reward energetic walkers with a panoramic view of the surrounding islands and islets.

Both places are good anchoring bays, but are exposed to the South. Mooring buoys provided by the restaurants are also available.

Day 2-3 Kornati National Park
For the next couple of days we'll enjoy great sailing, swimming and wonderful cuisine in this truly sailor's paradise. In contrast to the barren landscape above the water, the marine life is one of the richest in the Adriatic. It is strongly recommended not to plan a fixed route as what awaits us is a labyrinth of 89 islands, islets and reefs that make up Kornati National Park. There are numerous possibilities: Kravljacica, Levrnaka, Lavsa... The area is largely uninhabited except for a couple of smaller communities. There are plenty of good bays for anchoring, mooring to buoys or piers with fixed lazylines. Almost all good coves have a cozy restaurant serving delicious fresh seafood (e.g. "Kvarto" at Striznja and "Ante" in Vrulja).

ACI Marina Piskera located in beautiful surroundings in the middle of the Park offers 150 berths and is sheltered from the worst of the winds. Facilities include: Water, electricity, showers and toilets, restaurant and provisions.

Day 4 Telaščica Nature Park
Telašćica Bay is located in the southeastern part of Dugi Otok, a long island that is a natural extension of the Kornati. The 8 km deep and 1.6 km wide bay surrounded by pinewoods and steep-sided cliffs is one of the largest and best protected bays in the eastern Adriatic coast. This is a perfect place to snorkel and discover the rich sea life and marine habitats. A 15 minute stroll to Lake Mir, a saltwater lake that is warmer and saltier than the sea is alleged to have great healing powers.

Day 5 Sali / Bozava
Follow the east coast of Dugi Otok to the island's largest settlement, Sali (pop. 710) a fishing centre with plenty of shops, internet cafes, bars, restaurants and a large supermarket. Scooter and bike rentals are available privately or from Sali hotel to explore the island. The road connecting all places on the island offers magnificent views.

Further north, Bozava (pop. 127) is a pleasant resort destination with souvenir shops, restaurants, bars, a diving centre and other sports facilities. Enjoy an evening stroll along the seaside promenade and a morning walk or cycle on one of the many wooded trails. The clean sea and beautiful beaches are ideal for those looking for peace and quiet in a small, friendly atmosphere. Saharun beach is well-known for its white sand and 400 m long shallow sea.

Day 6-7 Zadar
Zadar is the urban center of northern Dalmatia and one of the Adriatic's most interesting towns with a 3000 year old history. Within the walled peninsula-town are narrow cobbled pedestrian-only streets lined with Venetian-style houses, cafes and shops. There are plenty of historic and cultural sites to visit by day and at night the city's university students fill the eclectic bars and nightclubs.

Marina Zadar is located 10 minutes by footbridge to the Old Town. The facility includes: electricity, water, showers, toilets, laundry service, ice, café, restaurant and casino.

Option: If the transition from nature to cosmopolitan is too drastic for some, Ugljan Island is directly across from Zadar and offers a gentler transition. Kukljica has retained its local rural character and is a popular destination for locals.

Day 8 Murter Island
We'll sail south-east through the Pasman Canal, one of the more challenging cruising areas in the northern Dalmatian Coast.

The village of Murter has a selection of supermarkets and bakeries, as well as a fruit and vegetable market conveniently located close to the marina at Hramina Cove. A 15 minute walk to Slanica cove, features the most beautiful beach of the Sibenik Riviera. Tic-Tac Restaurant is highly recommended.

Hramina Cove is protected from all winds and makes for a safe shelter for yachts. The facilities include: electricity and water, showers, toilets, laundry, internet café, restaurant and hotel.

Uvala Kosirina is a popular anchorage with good holding in sand and weed in depths of 3-13 m. A mile NW of the bay is a suitable spot for an afternoon swim.

Day 9 Vodice Tribunj
Vodice is a popular seaside resort that has retained its 11th century charm. Old buildings along the seafront have been converted into lively bars, seasonal cafés and pizzerias. The pleasant coastal walk leading north to Tribunj is lined with concrete swimming areas giving easy access to the water. The aquarium in town is worth a visit.

The ACI Marina facilities include: Water, electricity, fuel, showers, toilets, laundry and internet café.

Option: Zlarin Island lies 1 M off the entrance to the canal leading to Sibenik. Zlarin is renowned for its coral jewellery and ornaments. The car free island has a few restaurants, bars and shop, a hotel, supermarket, coral museum and art gallery.