Sunday, 12 October 2014

Farewell Croatia!

Flying out of Split 11th Oct

Day 12 - Sunset in Maslinica

Mooring buoys and Stern tie in Hvar

Beautiful Hvar

Day 10 - Hvar

Day 13 - Return to Split

What a gorgeous spot Maslinica is!!! Brand new hotel by marina for those with the money to enjoy luxury and fine-dining. Westerly outlook with setting sun and charming little town nestled around the Harbour. A wonderful way to end our Adriatic adventure!
Sailed for 1-1/2 hours, close teaching in light SE winds, which sadly diminished so we're forced to turn on the iron genny!
Split beckoned in the distance and we motored in at 15.30 to refuel at the dock before heading into ACI Marina to dock one last time.
Thank you MATEA - we sure had our problems along the way - broken/replaced throttle on Day 1 (could finally go in reverse!!!), depth gauge repaired on Day 2, no GPS after Day 5 so chart work and line of sight sailing plus lots of radio contact with other boats saved the day!
Novice crew settled well into their tasks, the daily routine and learned a great deal about life on board. Steep learning experience for them all and one they undoubtedly will not forget. Very proud of them all for being so willing and such a support to their Skipper!!!
Looking forward to seeing all the photos and re-living the whole adventure when we all return home to Gibsons.
In the meantime, First Mate Peggy is off to Budapest and Prague with Joanne, Patti is off to explore the Amalfi coast, Barbara (our galley chief extraordinaire) is off to join a cycling tour of Sicily while yours truly goes home home to UK.

Hope you've all enjoyed reading this Blog. Apologies for the delay after Day 9 - lost Wifi near Hvar.
14 days has flown by but then again, I feel as if we've been at sea for ages!
Life doesn't get any better than this.
So, from my Crew and my boat MATEA, it's farewell from Croatia for another year.

Skipper Gillie

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Day 12 - Maslinica on Solta

Cast off from mooring buoy at Hvar at 10.20 and set sail downwind in channel in SE winds around 8-10knots. Clear skies and seas 1-2 - another gorgeous day in the beautiful Adriatic. Loads of boats out sailing at the tip of the channel at western tip of Hvar island - such a pretty sight!
Crew rested, tanned and overjoyed with their Croatian experience.
Distance of 22 miles across to western end of island of Solta, west of Brac and just south of Split on the mainland. Tried anchoring in little bay along southern shoreline, but ground tackle not behaving on windlass and from the helm I decided not to push a novice crew with safety risks involved. Aborted manoeuvre and instead enjoyed leisurely lunch underway before stern tying early at new marina in Maslinica with gorgeous swim spot other side of Harbour wall.
Dinner at local taverna with local lamb roasted on a spit. Table of Slovenian sailors provided much rapture with wine, accordion playing and Polka dancing. While restaurant ended up dancing conga through restaurant and out into the streets! Best fun all trip!!!
Sore foot following morning as discovered sea urchin spines embedded in toe and had to ask another crew member, luckily a nurse, to remove! Last morning swim and shower before casting off at noon on last leg to Split - our final destination only 15 miles away.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Day 10 - Korcula to Hvar

Cast off 08.35 and headed out into channel between Korcula and Pajelsac Peninsular in course 277m. Clouds darkened, thunder began to roll in and lightening flashes lit up the sky. After about 35-45 minutes under power, with lightening strikes down to the water ahead, rain beating down and white caps building, I decided to turn back. We docked safely back at Korcula around 09.50.
The storm passed and at 11.20am we set off again, minus one crew member who decided to take the local ferry to Hvar and meet us there. This time we were met with blue skies and flat seas, and despite some efforts to sail, we motorsailed for 5hrs40mins, past a pod of dolphins out in the blue.
Arrived in Hvar just in time to grab last mooring ball opposite town wall before setting stern line ashore.
Finally returned here after 3 years to enjoy the riviera-style glamour, trendy bars and hedonists.

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Day 10 - Hvar

Best photo of the trip! Beautiful Korcula

Grk vineyard in Lumbarda

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Day 9 - Lumbarda

Fifteen minutes from Korcula town - by bike, we're off to explore the beautiful countryside, through vineyards, past old chapels, Roman ruins to sandy beaches. During the Venetian era, bishops and nobles built their estates here.
There's the Psephisma of Lumbarda, a 3rd BC tablet written in Greek documenting the founding of the settlement, the oldest human written record discovered in Croatia.
We'll be cycling through olive groves and along charming village roads - Lumbarda is where Grk, an excellent white wine, is grown. May be a wobbly ride back to the marina!

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The legendary birthplace of Marco Polo is a world of its own. Splendid 19th century staircase and through majestic 14thC Revelin Tower. The 15thC stone walls surround the entire city where there is a remarkable ensemble of churches, museums, stone carvings, courtyards and cobbled alleys. St. Mark's Cathedral was built from Korcula limestone and its bell tier and ornate ci proud above the main alter are by Marko Andrijic, famous Croatian sculptor. Many of the prominent buildings display coats of arms of notable families, including legendary explorer Marco Polo's house.

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Lunch with Marla on the Adriatic

Lunchtime views from Korcula town

Korcula town - Day 8

Day 8 - Korcula

Rain at 2am caused some leaky windows and wet cockpit for morning tea! Lovely first evening last night with dinner just outside city along wall facing Pajelsac Peninsular. No wind today so day to explore onshore. Dock quiet at the end of season. Church bells ring on the hour. Guys doing Yoga on the wall. Local red ferries crossing between town and peninsular. Wine tours available. Swim holes on other side of town. Narrow cobbled streets meander through the ancient town. Across the water lies the town of Orebic, it's nest of terracota roof tops contrasting the mountain backdrop and blue blue sea

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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Good morning Korcula!

Dinner in Korcula town

Yours truly at the helm

Following Marla on La Stella

Magic afternoon light en route to Korcula

Donkeys at St. Marija

Day 7 - Monastery, Mljet

Mljet National Park

Unique nature and historical and cultural monuments, including marine area, the Park occupies 5375 ha. 90% covered with most preserved Aleppo pine and holm oak forest on Adriatic coast. Known as the Green Island, with abundant vegetation. Now at picturesque little island of St. Marija located on Big Lake, home of ancient Benedictine monastery from 12th Century.
Sitting on old roman stone seat feeding stale bread to a donkey and her goal in ancient barn!
Mljet island's rich history can be traced back from Illyrian tribes, the Roman Empire, and the DUBROVNIK Republic in more recent times.

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Day 7 - Polace, Mljet Island

Sitting in the sun having lazy breakfast looking out at placid water, fish jumping for the insects as jazz music croons gently in the background. What a life! On way to inland salt lake and visit Benedictine monastery by boat with Roman cross. More later!

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Day 7 - Off to DUBROVNIK!

Day 6 - Lastovo to Mljet

Cast off the dock at 10.35 from Antonios dock and restaurant, heading 070m for island of Mljet about 25 miles due East. Cloudy, sunny with winds NE 7kn diminishing. Seas 1-2 slight swell. Sailed on beam reach for 1-1/2 hours before dropping foresail and motor sailing rest of way. One crew member very seasick underway. Docked at 15.35 at Antiques Restaurant for another group dinner! Charming little island with Roman ruins literally yards from the boats.

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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Other boat off port side

En route to Lastovo - 1/2 way!

Day 5 Sailing from Vis to Lastovo

Cast off 08.10 in rain and light winds heading SE past western tip of Korcula course heading 120 magnetic. Distance 35 miles. Wind on the nose so motoring under main only. Following La Stella up ahead with 3 boats in flotilla alongside - seas flat. Visibility poor to start, now clearing. ETA 14.00-14.30. Docking on north shore at Zaklopatica Bay with stern tie. Dinner at restaurant on shore so no mooring fees!

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Boat Ana B. with skipper Bob Davis