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July 30 to August 25, 2009 Dubrovnik to Rovinj

August 25th, 2009 1 comment
We're off to the Islands

We're off to the Islands

Sailing away from Dubrovnik, the only question was “Where do we start?”  There are so many islands that even with three months in Croatia we will never see them all.  Our Plan A was simple—follow the wind.  Problem is, no wind most days, which leaves us with Plan B—motor the shortest distance possible into the wind and motor sail whenever possible.

Our friends on Excalibur and Glass Slipper were days ahead of us now, and we had the benefit of reports from them about places to go.  One of the recommendations was the lovely village of Lopud which was only 7.8 NM from Dubrovnik Marina.  We anchored off the village for lunch and a swim, but after spending two weeks in a marina we were not ready to stop for the day after only 7.8 NM. 

Lopud

Lopud

Lopud Beach

Lopud Beach

View from Lopud Anchorage

View from Lopud Anchorage

The sailing (motoring) is line of sight here and reminiscent of the Virgin Islands in that respect.  By 2 p.m. we were anchor up at Lopud and traveled another 10 NM to Saplunara, a small bay on the SE corner of Otok Mjlet.  “Otok” in Croatian means island.  By 3:45 p.m. we were anchored along with many charter boats.  We had picked this anchorage because our pilot guide (the “bible” of cruising in this area) had suggested that it was less crowded than another anchorage—wrong.  By late afternoon, the bay was packed.  There were a few moorings provided by a local restaurant (free with your meal—usually an expensive meal), but we opted to anchor.

We are constantly amazed by the anchoring techniques of boats in the Med.  They will drop an anchor in 20 ft. of water and let out 40 ft. of chain—sometimes, not even chain, but rode.  At first we thought it was the charter boats with inexperienced captains and crew that were responsible, but over time have realized that even seasoned cruisers use much less scope than we think adequate. In a crowded anchorage, because we have out lots of scope we run the risk that another anchor will be dropped over ours, but at least we sleep at night knowing that we’re unlikely to drag anchor.

Speaking of charter boats, we observed two in Saplunara that were hoisting people to the spreaders using a bosun’s chair, lowering the chair and having the people jump from the spreader into the water.  It was scary to watch.  People on vacation are notorious for being wild and crazy, but this was insane.

From Saplunara, we traveled north on Otok Mjlet to Polace which is the site of a national park.  Along the way we passed many small islands, mostly uninhabited, that make up the Croatian archipelago.  The water is extremely deep, however, and anchorages therefore limited.

Deep Water Channel to Polace, Otok Mjlet

Deep Water Channel to Polace, Otok Mjlet

In Polace we were anchored in a large, very protected cove with numerous other boats in 30-35 ft. of water.  We are just now getting used to anchoring in such depths.  Even with 250 ft. of chain, Kent much prefers to be in 20 ft. or less of water.  Unlike Saplunara, however, the anchorage was so large that there was not a feeling of other boats being with swing range of us.

Polace Anchorage, Otok Mjlet

Polace Anchorage, Otok Mjlet

 We spent two wonderful days in Polace and took a mini-van provided by the park to Mljet National Park where we walked the perimeter of the lake and traveled by ferry to a monastery on an island in the middle of an inland lake.

Kent Cools off at Mjlet Nat'l Park

Kent Cools off at Mjlet Nat'l Park

Relaxing at Monastery, Mljet

Relaxing at Monastery, Mljet

 

View from Monastery at Mjlet Park

View from Monastery at Mjlet Park

On August 2, 2009 we left Polace for Otok Korcula at 9:30 a.m. and were anchored in Ulva Luka, a bay around the corner from the Town of Korcula at noon.  We had traveled only 15.6 NM, which is a pretty typical day for us given the close distances between the islands.  This was a pleasant spot and an easy dinghy ride to the town. 

Arrival in Korcula

Arrival in Korcula

We had dinner overlooking the sea from the town wall high above the water and saw the sky turn a soft pink as it does every night as the sun sets. We particularly like exploring these ancient towns as dusk falls and the lights just start coming on, both because it is cooler and more comfortable walking around and also because of the amazing light from the setting sun.

Dinner View Korcula

Dinner View Korcula

Korcula Fortress

Korcula Fortress

Although Korcula was beautiful and we could have lingered longer, we are still suffering from our desire to see more and more of the islands, and also to catch up with Excalibur and Glass Slipper who tend to travel much slower than we do.  They are likely to spend a week or more in one spot soaking up the local culture, whereas we tend to keep moving.  At this point they are in Hvar—so we are off to Hvar approximately 33 NM from here.

Finally sailing. . .Korcula to Hvar

Finally sailing. . .Korcula to Hvar

Fortunately, we had wind ESE at 20-25 kts. to start the day, and while it dropped to 10-12 kts. later in the day, we had a great sail.  We were anchored in a channel between Marinkovac Island and Borovac by 3:35 after locating Glass Slipper and Excalibur moored in the harbor at Hvar.  The harbor at the Town of Hvar was extremely crowded and there were no moorings so we opted to cross the channel and anchor between islands just opposite the harbor.  We later learned that our anchorage was next to one of the many islands in Croatia that are reserved for “naturists”, which in this case means “clothing option.”  So sun bathing “naturists” adorned the rocks and beaches that surrounded our anchorage.

"Naturists" Abound--all ages

"Naturists" Abound--all ages

At midnight we were awakened by the sound of a thunderstorm approaching and found that a wind shift had put us very close to shore.  Nearly every boat in the anchorage was in the process of re-anchoring—us included—resulting in total chaos.  With all the boats moving, it was nearly impossible to find a reference point for resetting the anchor.  We were up for a couple of hours watching some distant lightning, but were happy to see the weather pass to our east.  By 12:30 a.m. the boat was anchored further from shore, but we stayed up until 2 a.m. to monitor the weather and our position.  Although this kind of weather/anchoring event has only occurred a couple of times since we have been here, we gain confidence with each one that we can handle the next one. 

Before the Storm, Hvar

Before the Storm, Hvar

The next morning, with less than normal sleep, we felt comfortable leaving the boat at anchor and taking the dinghy to the harbor at Hvar to tour the town.  We climbed to the Fortress that dates back to 1551 and were able to see clear to our anchorage, as well as fabulous views of the town itself.  Hvar, like so many of the towns we have visited, has a large piazza with a church facing it.  The streets are marble, so well traveled that it can be very slippery even when dry.  We wandered through narrow little streets and up many steps to the fortress, with its walls that crawl up the hillside at an impossible angle.

Hvar Port & Fortress

Hvar Port & Fortress

Carol & Jolie at Fortress

Carol & Jolie at Fortress

View from Fortress, Hvar

View from Fortress, Hvar

Hvar is known for growing lavender and it is said that the smell of lavender wafts through the air.  We didn’t see any lavender growing, but we saw many vendors selling various lavender creations, and indeed, the scent is very noticeable.

Lavender Vendor, Hvar

Lavender Vendor, Hvar

After our tour of the town, we moved about 1 NM to another anchorage called Vinogrdisce (the accent marks that exist in Croatian are missing from the name, but we can’t pronounce it anyway).  Glass Slipper was already anchored there having left Hvar harbor and when we arrived the anchorage was already getting full.  The choice was to anchor in the center of the bay in about 30 ft. of water or close to shore stern to with a line to shore.  Since our preference is to swing with the breeze whenever possible, we opted to anchor out, but it took us three tries to get the anchor set properly.  Excalibur came in and after several tries decided to leave and go to another anchorage. 

Shortly after we were anchored a Sunsail flotilla arrived preceded by the lead boat with Sunsail staff.  One by one the flotilla boats arrived and were assisted in anchoring stern to by the staff.  Flotilla sailing is very common here and we have seen them in several locations. 

Sunsail flotilla, Zlarin

Sunsail flotilla, Zlarin

Chartering is big business and most of the major marinas have multiple charter operations with literally thousands of charter boats available along the Croatian coast.  We try to avoid marinas on Friday through Sunday because it is the days that the charter boats are arriving or leaving.  It also means that slips are not as plentiful on weekends if you do want to be in a marina.

Despite the crowd, and difficulty of setting the anchor, we had a nice night that included dinner ashore with John and Cyndi from Glass Slipper.  We shared a large local fish that was grilled to perfection—a tasty but expensive treat. 

Anchorage at Vingordisce, Hvar

Anchorage at Vingordisce, Hvar

We have been surprised by how expensive fish is in the Med.  And forget about catching one—we’ve long since given up on that.  In fact, we have been only one place where we saw fish while snorkeling and that was a little day anchorage off an island in the Bonifacio Straits enroute to Sardinia from Corsica.

On August 5th we left Hvar in the general direction of Split.  Since the wind was on our nose and the prospect was for a long day motoring, we opted to stop at the next island, Brac, and anchored in a bay called Lucice.  This is an area of upscale vacation homes, located very close to Split with ferry access.  This was our first experience anchoring in over 50 ft. of water, and all was well until another boat dropped next to us and then took a line ashore which meant that we might swing into it if the wind shifted.  We were too far from shore to take a line, and Kent had to secure our stern to a nearby mooring as a safe guard.  As is usually the case, preparing for the worst, it never happened and we awoke this next morning with the bay flat calm.

Leaving the next morning our destination was again Split, but the wind was favorable and we sailed past the cut between the islands that went to Split, making 5 kts. and resolved that Split would still be there next spring.  We have decided that we want to save some places to visit on our way south in the spring from Sukosan where the boat will be on the hard for the winter.

We had not taken on diesel since we left Otranto, IT before our 30 hour passage to Croatia, and also needed to fill our water tanks, so our next stop was Kremick Marina near Primosten further up the mainland coast.  Unfortunately, our sailing weather was short lived, and by noon we were back to motoring directly into 25-27 kts. on wind on our nose.  The seas were 5 ft. and we were pounding into them with a reefed main, motor sailing and making only 4 kts—not fun.

We were glad to reach Kremick after 28.8 NM of less than perfect conditions.  We had an opportunity to wash an accumulation of salt from the boat, fill our tanks and do some provisioning, but it turned out that Kremick no longer has a fuel dock, nor the advertised laundry service that Carol was looking forward to.

Laundry opportunities are few and far between in the Med and when there is a laundry service it is very expensive.  While some things can be washed by hand, and we have taken to wearing fewer clothes because of the heat (no we have not become “naturists”) we spend on average 100 kunas per wash/fold load.  At an average of 3-4 loads of laundry a week (when we can find a laundry service), with towels, sheets and clothing (mostly Kent’s t-shirts) the cost is $60-80.  In Italy we often found coin operated self-serve laundries, but not in Croatia.  In the Caribbean we paid as little as $20 per week for the same amount of laundry.  On the other hand, Carol has gotten accustomed to everything leaving the boat in a laundry bag and coming back neatly folded and ready to store.  Coming home to a washer and dryer will be a reality check.

From Kremick Marina we traveled just a couple miles to the walled town of Primosten—a former island now connected to the mainland.  Arriving early in the day we had no difficulty finding a town mooring in the harbor.  The harbor is fairly open to an afternoon sea breeze, but very calm overnight.  We enjoyed touring the town and walking the perimeter along the sea.  There is a beautiful church with manicured gardens and well kept cemetery at the top of the hill and the church tower is visible for miles.

Moorings off Primosten

Moorings off Primosten

Primosten Boats & Bathers

Primosten Boats & Bathers

Early morning Primosten

Early morning Primosten

More than one person had recommended (no, “raved”) about the Krka Falls in Krka National Park, and we were very glad that we made it our next stop.  We left Primosten on August 8th and motored up the east side of Otok Zlarin to Kanal S.V. Ante to Sibenik, another large coastal city on the mainland of Croatia.  From there we took the Krka River upstream to Skradin which is the last town before the park begins.  By 12:30 p.m. we were anchored with our stern tied to shore just south of the ACI Marina in Skradin.  We purchased day passes to the park (95 kunas per person) which included a ferry ride further up river to the Falls.  Private boats are not allowed into the park.  The falls and park grounds are magnificent, and words cannot do them justice.  The following pictures, capture some of the splendor, but not the sounds that accompany the falls and are heard on the wooden trails under which the water flows.

Kent Swims the Krka Falls

Kent Swims the Krka Falls

Krka Falls

Krka Falls

Krka Trails

Krka Trails

The next day we returned to the park and took a longer ferry ride to a monastery on an island further up river.  As we were returning to the falls the sky got very dark and there was thunder in a distance.   When we reached the park, it was a mass exodus of visitors trying to reach their cars and the ferries to escape the weather—which, by the way, passed by without a single drop of rain.

Approaching Storm, Krka

Approaching Storm, Krka

This is what I call a beer! Krka Park Boat

This is what I call a beer! Krka Park Boat

The next morning we were up early and slowly motoring down the windy river to Sibenik, past fish farms that line the way.  It seems that most of the local fish are raised and harvested, not caught in the wild, which may account for the exorbitant prices.  After finally getting diesel fuel in Sibenek we left the river and anchored off the village of Zlarin on Otok Zlarin just a couple nautical miles from the mainland.  Like every other village, there is a church, that is beautifully lit at night, and terracotta roofs on all the buildings.  Oh yes, and a small car ferry that pulls up to the concrete quay and off loads vehicles on what is otherwise the transient boat dock. 

Sibenik Waterfront

Sibenik Waterfront

After a very calm night with no wind at all we awoke to dark skies and a threatened thunderstorm heading our way.  Thunder and flashes of lightning in the distance, cause some concern that we were in for some rough weather and the change in wind direction had sent us close to the rocky lee shore.  Kent had dove on the anchor and was sure it was well dug in, so we rode out the gusty wind and waited for the rain—which never arrived.  As before, the weather passed well to the east of us over the mainland.  In fact, since we arrived in Croatia we have not had a single day of rain, and goodness knows we would welcome it from time-to-time to wash the salt off Destiny.

Approaching Storm, Zlarin

Approaching Storm, Zlarin

By noon the weather had passed, and we were off again.  We had read about an “award winning” restaurant on a little bay, Uvala Lojena, on Otok Smokvica which was an island in the southern Kornati chain and decided to make that our next stop.  By 3:30 p.m. we were moored stern to at Piccolo Konoba, in the inner bay of Lojena.  There were actually two restaurants in the bay, and we decided the “award winning” one was probably the one with the most boats—luckily there was a spot for us.  We had a lovely dinner, and very reasonably priced—not often the case when your dockage is “free”.  At this point we were running a little low on kunas and since they didn’t take credit cards (not uncommon on the smaller islands)  and there were no ATM’s (they call them bancomats here as in Italy) we ordered carefully but had a great meal.

Other than the restaurants, there are a few modest vacation homes that surround Lojena.  We saw people washing their dishes in the sea and cleaning fish.  Everything on the island is brought in by boat, including propane for cooking.

Destiny docked at Lojena

Destiny docked at Lojena

Provisions arrive at Lojena

Provisions arrive at Lojena

Destiny Reflection Lojena

Destiny Reflection Lojena

The water was so crytal clear in Lojena that you could see the entire rudder at the dock in 5 ft. of water, and the name of the boat actually reflected in the water.

Categories: Croatia, Europe Tags:

July 30 to August 25, 2009 Dubrovnik to Rovinj – Pt 2

August 25th, 2009 1 comment

Otok Smokvica is one of the southern most islands in the Kornati Islands—much of which is another Croatian National Park. The next day we started up the Kornatski Kanal, which is the main passage through the Kornati Islands. We had no specific stopping off place in mind and decided to go with the wind, which happened to be north at 8-10 kts. and allowed us to sail for a change.

Kent adjusts sails, Kornatski Kanal

Kent adjusts sails, Kornatski Kanal

Sailing through Kornati Islands

Sailing through Kornati Islands

The Kornati Islands are uninhabited for the most part, except for a few small settlements that can hardly be called towns. The topography has a lunar like quality—lots of rock, and little vegetation. It probably accounts for the lack of inhabitants, although scattered throughout the islands are stone walls that have been there for centuries and an occasional monastery.

One of the many Kornati Islands

One of the many Kornati Islands

Kornati Islands Moonscape

Kornati Islands Moonscape

There are many anchorages, although those that have been “designated” as such by the Croatian government charge fees even to anchor. Having that in mind, and also the nice day for sailing—we were making over 6 kts. in 12 kts. of wind with main and jib—we decided to keep going. Just before noon the wind at come up to 17 kts. and we were charging along at over 7 kts.—Kent was smiling broadly to finally be sailing for as long as it lasted.

As if often the case, the wind died, the motor came on and we motor sailed through the channel between Otok Dugi (the largest island in the Kornati Islands) and Otok Katina about 2 p.m. then motored north along Dugi to the village of Sali on the east side of the island. Otok Dugi has several fairly large villages with docks for transient boats and we were moored stern to in Sali by 3 p.m. When we arrived the docks were fairly empty, but shortly after we arrived boats came in one after another. By 5 p.m. there wasn’t a space left. We have timed our arrival in marinas and anchorages to early to mid-afternoon to avoid the rush between 4 and 5.

In Sali, we were greeted by couple from Holland who had lived in Old Town Marblehead ten years ago while the husband was studying at Mass General. They were quite surprised to see Marblehead, MA on Destiny’s stern, as we were to meet someone who had lived in MHD.

Channel  to Otok Dugi

Channel to Otok Dugi

Unforgettable Sali, Otok Dugi

Unforgettable Sali, Otok Dugi

The next morning, while moored at Sali we had the passarelle extended to the dock, and Jolie decided to take a walk–alone.  Kent was filling the water tanks in preparation for our departure and I was below when she walked down the passarelle and disappeared for what seemed like forever, but was probably 20 minutes.  She’s a little dog and never “takes off” so we really didn’t think she could have gone far in the time that had passed since we last saw her on board.

It was quite a scene with both of us running in different directions shouting her name and stopping total strangers to ask if they had seen a little white dog. Carol took a boat card with Jolie’s picture and went boat by boat down the quay asking if anyone had seen her—no luck. It was like she just vanished.

Thankfully a couple of teenage girls offered to help and as a long shot we sent them into the village to look for her even though Kent had already been there. They found her sitting under a table at the local ice cream shop—one that Kent had already passed twice calling her name. She came prancing down the quay with the girls herding her in the direction of the boat. Needless to say, our “baby” gave us quite a scare with that little trick—it was a tearful reunion. She’s not happy being tethered when we’re at dock, but we won’t be repeating this scene.

Jolie's Favorite Wedge Spot

Jolie's Favorite Wedge Spot

With Jolie safely back on board, we were off again, this time sailing down the coast of Otok Pasman to a small anchorage at the SW corner called Uvala Zincera where we anchored in a quiet bay with a few other boats. There were little vacation homes along the shore that appeared to be accessible only by water. We saw a “flotilla” of large inflatable ribs that rafted together for the afternoon and then camped on board overnight with tent like structures over them. Since we have been in the Med and particularly in Croatia, we have seen many of these mega-size inflatable boats.

Our next stop was for mail that was expected at Marina Dalmacjia in Sukosan on the mainland. One of the challenges of living abroad for an extended time is dealing with mail. We have a great mail service called Earth Class Mail that receives and scans the envelopes, scans the contents of mail as we direct and will forward mail to us. In this case our ATM card (our life line to foreign currency) was due to expire the end of August and the new one had arrived in the mail. That requires an address at which to receive it, and the marina where we will be storing the boat was along our route so we had it sent care of the marina. As is the case with shipping anything, it had to clear customs in Zagreb and finally is forwarded for delivery. It arrived in Croatia on August 13th but we never saw it until August 18th.

Anchored off Marina Dalmacjia, Sukosan

Anchored off Marina Dalmacjia, Sukosan

You haven’t seen a marina until you’ve seen one that holds 1,200 boats. We will be storing Destiny here for the winter and we anxious to see the facility first hand. Very impressive, also no bargain. The yard charges in Euros and converted to dollars will cost about three times what we expect to pay in Turkey next year.

Marina Dalmacjia

Marina Dalmacjia

Storage yard Marina Dalmacjia

Storage yard Marina Dalmacjia

So after waiting two days in Sukosan for the delivery that didn’t come, we went to Zadar about 5 NM away and anchored for lunch—we plan to spend more time in Zadar later in the season and are reserving our “city” time for fall when it is cooler and less crowded. But our quick walk through gave us a good idea what to expect when we return.

Roman ruins Zadar

Roman ruins Zadar

Destiny anchored off Zadar

Destiny anchored off Zadar

Zadar Waterfront

Zadar Waterfront

City Gate Zadar

City Gate Zadar

After sightseeing and lunch in Zadar we anchored overnight in a small bay at Sutomiscia, a little fishing and vacation village on Otok Uglijan, an island east of Zadar. Bouncing from mainland to island and island to island is easy and quick as the distances are short. Despite that we will see only a fraction of what there is to see when our time here is up.

We spent the night of August 18th in a sheltered anchorage called Muline on the NE end of Otok Uglijan with a beautiful, panoramic view of several islands as the sun set.

Dusk at Muline

Dusk at Muline

The following day we traveled on 10 NM to Luka Jazi on Otok Molat. Another day, another island has become our mantra. We tried snorkeling in Luka Jazi, but it was very disappointing. The sea bottom looks dead compared to the Virgin Islands, and the only fish we saw were minnow size. There was an occasional mustard yellow coral, but very small, and a creature called a sea slug or sea sausage. As the name implies they are inert, resting on the bottom and are very ugly.

Our next stop, was Uvala Artaturi on Otok Losinj. The islands we are visiting are very large in some cases and it is hard to distingush them from the mainland shore from a distance. One island blends into another and navigating can be confusing because on the chart we know we are looking at an island but where it ends and the next begins is not visually apparent.

Artaturi is a wonderful protected anchorage surrounded by vacation homes and with a small village and one rather large restaurant where we had dinner. From Artaturi you can take the dinghy to the main town on the island called Mali Losinj, which is very upscale and likewise expensive. While anchored at Artaturi we were hailed by a passing boat owned by Americans, Ray and Yolanda Prag who owned a seaside home on the bay. They invited ashore for drinks at their home and we learned much about the island from Ray who was born on Losinj before WWII when it was still part of Italy. They were very charming and meeting them added greatly to our enjoyment of our visit there. Their main home is Southhampton, N.Y. We hope to see them again when we pass back this way returning from northern Croatia and Venice.

Destiny in Artaturi

Destiny in Artaturi

Back in the city-Mali Losinj

Back in the city-Mali Losinj

After a quick tour of Mali Losinj and some provisioning we were off–next island, Otok Cres. Otok Cres and Otok Losinj are adjacent islands separated by a very narrow channel. Our destination was Uvala Ustrine, a small, well protected bay that doesn’t even merit a mention in the crusing guide but proved to be a pleasant overnight stop. We had hoped to have the little bay to ourselves, but apparently we weren’t the only ones looking for a deserted spot to spend the night. By sunset there were several other boats sharing our little spot.

Kent & Jolie Explore in Ustine

Kent & Jolie Explore in Ustine

The town of Ustrine sits up high on a ridge overlooking the bay and the part where we anchored had several very old, seemingly abandoned vacation homes, but nothing else. After we set the anchor, Kent snorkeled out to check that it was secure and came back exclaiming that that were hundreds of fish under our boat. It was as though the fish were attracted to the boat. So, Kent decided to jury rig a fishing pole using the burgee hoist (“pig stick”) and an old fly reel he had on board. Unfortunately, these Med fish did not like our Caribbean lures, with large hooks, and even salami wouldn’t tempt them. Kent had an enjoyable time, but thankfully no fish died.

Kent tries his hand at fishing at Ustine

Kent tries his hand at fishing at Ustine

From Otok Cres we sailed almost due west to the Istrian coast and then north to the town of Pula. Pula is a very large city by Croatian standards and its skyline is dominated by two quite different structures–the ancient Roman Coloseum that rivals the one in Rome by size, and a modern shipyard that can be seen through the arches of the former. Pula was not a particularly attractive city, although it had some stunning ancient buildings surrounded by more modern tenetment-like structures. There are certain places in Croatia, and this was one, where the “old Yugoslavia” is apparent. Entering the harbor there are many large, derelict buildings that appeared to have been government related at some former time. We had hoped to anchor and the guide described a large anchorage, but it was so bleak and unappealing that we opted for the pricy ACI Marina for one night. We did enjoy touring the Coloseum and the town, but were equally glad to leave.

ACI Marina Pula and Coloseum

ACI Marina Pula and Coloseum

Amazing Architecture-Pula

Amazing Architecture-Pula

Carol & Jolie take a break in Coloseum Pula

Carol & Jolie take a break in Coloseum Pula

Why we prefer anchoring--ACI Marina Pula

Why we prefer anchoring--ACI Marina Pula

Pula Antiquity

Pula Antiquity

Pula Shipyard

Pula Shipyard

We left Pula about 2 p.m. on August 23rd enroute to Rovinj, which is our point of departure for Venice later in the week. Unlike Pula, Rovinj is a beautiful town and major tourist attraction. The town was an island fortress until approximately 1780 when it was joined to the mainland.

Rovinj

Rovinj

The narrow streets are all constructed of marble blocks that have become so worn over the years that they are slippery when dry–can’t imagine traversing them in the rain. In fact, we actually took our shoes off and walked barefoot for better traction.

Barefoot in Rovinj

Barefoot in Rovinj

The bell tower of the Church of St. Euphemia which is on the highest part of the old town gives an amazing view of the town–if you are brave enough to climb the 180 steps on old treads that are more the width of a ladder than a stairway. Coming down is particularly tricky since all the treads slope downward. The view, however, was worth the climb.

Rovinj Anchorage from Bell Tower

Rovinj Anchorage from Bell Tower

Rovinj Commercial Wharf from bell tower

Rovinj Commercial Wharf from bell tower

The town faces two bays and there is water activity going on in every direction. Charter boats take tourists to the nearby islands and on sunset cruises through the harbor. We anchored next to a beautiful park area with the island of Katarina providing additional shelter from the prevailing wind and the bell tower of St. Euphemia in the distance.

Rovinj Park next to Anchorage

Rovinj Park next to Anchorage

Rovinj Anchorage from Park

Rovinj Anchorage from Park

There is a wonderful outdoor market near the harbor, overflowing with locally grown fruit and vegetables. The local olive oil rivals that from Italy and finding truffle olive oil was a particular treat.

Today we topped up the fuel and water and prepared for our roughly 60 NM passage from Rovinj to Venice where we will spend our anniversary, then rented bikes and traveled the many bike paths that surround Rovinj.

Kent & Jolie Bike in Rovinj

Kent & Jolie Bike in Rovinj

Along the way we saw many people enjoying the “concrete beaches” as the rocks are called (some have actually been enhanced with concrete to make them more “bather friendly”) and rock climbers.

Rovinj Rock Beach

Rovinj Rock Beach

Rovinj Beach Sculptures

Rovinj Beach Sculptures

Concrete Beach, Rovinj

Concrete Beach, Rovinj

Rockclimbing in Rovinj

Rockclimbing in Rovinj

We had lunch under a tree overlooking the sea, and decided that Rovinj is one of our favorite places in Croatia. The town is lovely and the terrain lends itself to camping out on a rock to sun or biking through miles of trails. Even Jolie loved it.

Jolie relaxes after lunch

Jolie relaxes after lunch

Tomorrow, we leave for Venice, a much anticipated destination since neither of us have been there before.

We are looking forward to returning to Italy and stocking up on some favorite foods–octopus salad, fresh pasta and wine–that we can’t find here.

Ciao,
Carol, Kent & Jolie
S/V Destiny

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July 16-30, 2009 DUBROVNIK

August 15th, 2009 No comments
Dubrovnilk

Dubrovnilk

 After a good night’s sleep to recover from our passage from Otranto, we were up early to see Dubrovnik.  There are always a few boat chores to take care of first—Kent washed the boat, and Carol washed Jolie (she gets very salty on these overnight passages).

Since Croatia is not yet part of the EU, we disposed of all our Euros paying fees entering the country (apparently the government likes Euros if merchants don’t) and an ATM to get kunas—the local currency—was next on our to do list.  It takes a while to get used to kunas because the denominations are huge.  For example, 100 kuna is the equivalent of approximately $20 and ATM’s give you standard denominations of 100 and 200 kuna. 

After the ATM we hit the marina grocery store to provision and were pleased to find a fairly good selection of food, including fresh meat, although the favorite foods we enjoyed in Italy were no where to be found.  Croatia is a big producer of wine and olive oil, like Italy, but we haven’t found the quality to be quite up to par.  The labels are all in Croatian and many times, it requires “reading” the picture on the package to determine what you are buying.  And the prices in kuna produce sticker shock until you divide by 5 and find that the can of whatever that is priced at 20 kuna really costs $4.  Overall, the food is expensive.

Next business was getting our local SIM card for cellular service and checking out the availability of wireless internet.  We had gotten very spoiled with excellent service for both in Italy and were wary that Croatia could provide the same.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that we could.  We have a T-Mobile cell no. and a VIP (local government run service) for internet and both proved to be very good after the first few glitches getting it set up.  But since everyone speaks fluent English even the problems were quickly resolved.

On July 17th we celebrated Jolie’s 10th birthday with dinner aboard Destiny with our friends John & Cyndi Martin from Glass Slipper and Jorge and Isabel Zlatar from Excalibur.   We met on the Caribbean 1500 and shipped our boats on the same ship from St. Thomas to Genoa.

John & Cyndi

John & Cyndi

 

Jorge & Isabel

Jorge & Isabel

 

We made a quick tour of Dubrovnik, expecting that we would leave in a day or two and took in some of the major sights.

Pile Gate

Pile Gate

Stradun (Placa)

Stradun (Placa)

Fountain of Onofrio

Fountain of Onofrio

We planned to leave the marina on July 18th for a nearby island—the daily rate of 85 Euros (about $112) was a budget buster, but the weather forecast was for strong winds overnight and we delayed.  The weather forecasting in Croatia proved to be no better than in Italy and the strong winds never materialized although a cold front passed leaving bright blue, cloudless skies the following morning and we were ready to head off.

Destiny Med Moored & Ready for Departure

Destiny Med Moored & Ready for Departure

In typical Med mooring fashion we were tied with our stern to the dock and tailed lines from the dock to underwater moorings secure the bow of the boat away from the dock.  The tailed lines are supposed to sink as you motor away—in theory a good system– in practice a nightmare if you have a rudder like ours that wants to suck in anything that comes near it.  Kent released the tailed line, took the wheel and we attempted to motor away in some fairly strong breeze, the transmission suddenly stopped working and we were drifting down on the boat next to us with no power.  Carol fended off and another boater came to help us get secured to the dock.

The tailed line was wrapped around our prop and worst of all (in a repeat of our experience in St. Bart in January), the transmission adaptor plate had fractured.  We were not going anywhere soon.

Long story short, there were several things that contributed to the breakdown and we were lucky in a way that the prop wrapped when and where it did, as it precipitated the breakdown earlier than it might have occurred and we were in a good location to deal with it.  Kent also determined that the noise we had heard motoring from Otranto was coming from a bearing in the drive shaft which also needed to be replaced.

Will spare you the difficulties of ordering and shipping parts to Croatia, except to say that the shipping cost about the same as the cost of parts, and kept us in the marina for fifteen extra days at a cost that was double that of the shipping and parts.  We’re talking three “boat units”—(boat=”bring out another thousand”)–2/3 of which was dockage.

So here we are in Dubrovnik waiting—not too patiently for the part and doing boat chores.  Kent used some of the time to design and have made a sun cover for the boat that keeps us at least 10 degrees cooler in this hot sun.  Destiny hasn’t been cleaner since we left Marblehead—clean dodger, clean bimini and clean interior cushion covers.  Kent did some varnishing and Carol worked on updating the blog.

Destiny Sun Cover

Destiny Sun Cover

More Boat Chores

More Boat Chores

 We also made several trips into Dubrovnik and attended a chamber choir concert in the courtyard of the Rector’s Palace, part of the summer festival.   There were also more informal musical presentations as part of the festival including a classical group that used an assortment of bottles to make the the most amazing music.   

Chamber Music from Bottles

Chamber Music from Bottles

We walked the wall at sunset (a distance of about a mile with many steps) and enjoyed several nice meals at outdoor restaurants.

Dubrovnilk Restaurants

Dubrovnilk Restaurants

Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful cities we have seen on our travels.  The architecture is very homogenous and everything is clean and very well maintained.  It is shocking to think that in the early 1990’s it was devastated during the Serbian-Croatian War.  At the Pile Gate, the entrance to the city, there is a large map that shows the areas of destruction during the war.  In fact, throughout Croatia there are many reminders of the war including buildings with bullet strafing, monuments honoring those who died and museums that document the horror of the war.

Bullet Damage to Church

Bullet Damage to Church

Since we were in Dubrovnik on two Sundays, we attended two different churchs.  The first was directly across the river from the marina and we went by dinghy.  The entire mass was in Croatian, but the church and choir music transcended the language issue.  Most surprising to us was that the little church was filled to the rafters, with people actually standing and nearly half of them were young people—teenagers or 20 somethings.  

 

Church across from Marina

Church across from Marina

The following Sunday we attended a Franciscan Cathedral in the old city for an English service conducted by a visiting Irish priest.  When they called for volunteers to do a reading, not being bashful and a former deacon, Kent once again stepped forward.  After the service we were invited to view some of the church’s relics kept in a private area and to visit with the priest.  We find that visiting local churches for Sunday Mass (we are in predominantly Catholic countries) is a pleasant experience.

Our forced stay gave us an opportunity to explore Dubrovnik in more depth than we might otherwise and that was a plus.  We spent one early evening walking the fortified City Walls which surround the City of Dubrovnik.

Onofrio Fountain from City Wall

Onofrio Fountain from City Wall

Lounging on City Wall

Lounging on City Wall

View from City Wall

View from City Wall

Inner Harbor from City Wall

Inner Harbor from City Wall

No cars are allowed in the walled city, except for small motorized delivery vehicles.  The main street of the City is wide boulevard of marble called the Stradun.  There are a multitude of fountains that date from the 1400’s and the City itself dates back to 7th Century.  Until the 11th Century Dubrovnik was an island, subsequently joined to the mainland. 

At night the city comes alive with young people on their way to restaurants and clubs.  We generally dined at 8-8:30 and invariably there would be people waiting for tables when we left at 10 p.m.  The scanty clothing and extreme high heels on the young women made for interesting people watching, especially as they negotiated the slippery marble streets.  During the day the dress code is very casual–most everyone appears to be wearing a bathing suit with some flimsy coverup.  Bare chested men are not uncommon even in the city. 

Stradun at Night

Stradun at Night

Our parts finally arrived on 12:30 p.m. on July 29th and by 7:00 p.m. Kent had successfully installed them and we were ready to leave Dubrovnik.  There is little question that if Kent was not able to replace a transmission without assistance from the marina service department that we would have been another several days at the dock.  Our adventure is made possible by his mechanical skills, which never cease to amaze.  We had dinner ashore at a little restaurant on the river to celebrate.

River Sunset from Restaurant

River Sunset from Restaurant

We left Dubrovnik Marina on the morning of July 30th, a little poorer but enriched by the time spent in Dubrovnik.  From here we head for the islands–there are literally thousands–off the Croatia coast.

We're off to the Islands--finally!

We're off to the Islands--finally!

More to follow.

Carol, Kent & Jolie
S/V Destiny from Dubrovnik

Categories: Croatia, Europe, Uncategorized Tags:

August 14, 2009 One year Anniversary of “The Adventure”

August 14th, 2009 No comments
Onset Sunset 8/14/08

Onset Sunset 8/14/08

One year ago today we sailed out of Marblehead Harbor as the Eastern Yacht Club cannon sounded colors and spent the first night of our travels in Onset at the end of the Cape Cod Canal. 

Since then we have sailed over 5,000 NM down the U.S. east coast, through the Caribbean and the Med.  In the past year we spent less than thirty days on shore, and are still having fun.  Some days are challenging (e.g. Kent had to rebuild the aft head today, and yesterday Jolie hopped off the passarelle and went missing for nearly thirty minutes before she was found under a table at the local ice cream shop), but in the end everyday is rewarding.  We have seen amazing sunsets, breathtaking scenery and made wonderful friends.

Aug. 14, 2009 Sunset at Marina Dalmacjia, Sukosan, Croatia

Aug. 14, 2009 Sunset at Marina Dalmacjia, Sukosan, Croatia

During the next twelve months we’ll take an extended break from the boat from November through March and spend time on land.  While we look forward to seeing family and friends, there is a nagging question of whether we will be happy in one place after being on the move. 

Destiny will be “on the hard” in Croatia, at Marina Dalmacjia in Sukosan and we will spend time in Marblehead and Missoula planning for the next chapter of our “adventure” in Greece and Turkey. 

 When we left Marblehead we said “we have a plan but not a schedule” and for the most part that has been true.  There are days that we set out intending to go to one port only to divert to another because the wind was blowing in that direction and we could sail.  Overall there was a lot more sailing in the Caribbean than the Med, but the Med experiences have been as unique as the individual towns we have visited and more than made up for the lack of wind.

The hardest thing to adjust to living on the boat is escaping the feeling that you are on an extended vacation.  We haven’t gotten past its being an “adventure” to a “lifestyle”—who knows, maybe that comes in the next year. 

We’ll keep you posted.

Carol, Kent & Jolie
Aboard S/V Destiny
Sukosan, Croatia

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July 15, 2009 Amalfi, IT to Dubrovnik, Croatia

August 10th, 2009 No comments
After a day of laundry and other boat chores Destiny sailed (or more accurately motored) out of Amalfi on June 30th with barely three weeks to go on our 90 days in the EU.  FYI there is a little known immigration law—the Shenigan Treaty—at limits our stay in the EU countries that are signatories (which includes virtually all of them) to 90 days out of any 180 days.  Which means that we face fines if we leave the EU after the 90 days expires.  We have heard that this is little enforced, but when it is can be costly, so we plan to comply since Croatia is not in the EU (at least not yet) and it is next on our itinerary.
Amalfi Departure

Amalfi Departure

 

The distance from Amalfi (which is just south of Naples) to Croatia is several hundred miles and there is a lot to see along the way.  Our first stop after Amalfi was a pretty anchorage at Capo Palinuro.  Much to Kent’s delight the breeze came up in the afternoon and we sailed with the gennaker for much of the day.

Kent Flies Gennaker

Kent Flies Gennaker

Capo Palinuro Anchorage

Capo Palinuro Anchorage

Night Fall Capo Palinuro

Night Fall Capo Palinuro

 

The weather pattern is predictable and a little boring—flat calm seas and no wind—typical for the Med this time of year.  We have decided there is a reason that we see so many more power boats than sail boats here.  It is frustrating to be a sailor.  On the other hand the beauty of the place and the joy when the wind comes makes up for the disappointment. 

Over the next couple of days we motored to Cetraro, a town most notable for a large marina that was newly constructed and had virtually no boats in it,

Clouds Off Centraro

Clouds Off Centraro

 and then on to Vibo Valentia where we stayed at a charming family run marina for two days while we tracked down a problem with our wireless card. 

In Vibo Valentia we docked next to another SSCA member, Dick Pieper, on Agape.  Dick has spent a lot of time in Croatia and had some good recommendations for us.  Oh yes, and Dick is from Milwaukee and is friends with our daughter-in-law, Molly’s parents—put this under “small world” category.  Dick made Kent an honorary Cheesehead.

Cheesehead Kent

Cheesehead Kent

 

Speaking of the wireless internet connection, we have been amazed by the range of the wireless card we purchased upon arriving in Italy.  We have had internet in the most remote places, which allows us to check weather, keep up with news and make Skype calls to family.  There are cell towers everywhere, and every Italian seems to have a cell phone glued to his or her ear to justify them.  We have had our cell phones unlocked so that we can insert local SIM cards for the carriers serving the local area.  Calls to the US are much cheaper than roaming on AT & T.

Vibo Valentia was a stopping off place for fuel, water and provisioning before we headed to the Aeolian Islands off the north coast of Sicily. 

Vibo Valentia Sunset

Vibo Valentia Sunset

 

We arrived in Stromboli, one of the largest of the islands on July 4th, and celebrated by hoisting a large American flag from the spreader and putting up our dress flags.  Stromboli has been an active volcano for centuries and our evening “fireworks” display was viewed from the dinghy as the volcano erupted.  That together with our dinner of hot dogs and watermelon made for a festive, albeit low key day.

Destiny flying Colors for July 4th in Stromboli

Destiny flying Colors for July 4th in Stromboli

 

Hot Dog it's July 4th

Hot Dog it's July 4th

 

Our other July 4th HOT dog

Our other July 4th HOT dog

Traveling between Stromboli and Lipari we saw some amazing rock formations and caught a glimse of Maltese Falcon, the mega-sailboat at anchor.  We last saw Maltese Falcon under sail off St. Bart in January, and thought she looked pretty impressive just sitting still as well–note how mast rotates.

Rock formations in Aeolian Islands

Rock formations in Aeolian Islands

Maltese Falcon in Aeolian Islands

Maltese Falcon in Aeolian Islands

 

While the main feature of Stromboli is the volcano and a small residential village that is reminiscent of Greece with its white concrete buildings trimmed in periwinkle blue, the next island we visited—Lipari—was a picturesque harbor under the shadow of castle with towering walls. 
Lipari

Lipari

Lipari Harbor

Lipari Harbor

We anchored near the town and went ashore by dinghy to explore the town with its narrow streets and the castle.  Despite the similarities of the ancient towns we have seen, each one has its own unique character that deserves exploring.  We tend to keep moving, so our “exploration” is rather superficial but enjoyable.

The island of Vulcano, our next stop in the Aeolian Sea was only a couple miles from Lipari.  In fact, all of the islands are close together and the sailing/motoring is “line of sight”.  Like Stromboli, Vulcano has an active volcano which you can see smoldering during the day, but unlike Stromboli no night time show.  The little cove we anchored in was surrounded by black volcanic rocky beaches and clubs with chairs and umbrellas in myriad colors.  Our friends aboard Excalibur and Glass Slipper were there when we arrived.

Vulcano Sunset

Vulcano Sunset

We left Vulcano about 4 a.m. on July 8th for our 40 mile passage to the Straits of Messina, having to time our arrival at the Straits to tide and current. 

Early morning Moon over Sicily

Early morning Moon over Sicily

Dawn Breaks on Way to Straits

Dawn Breaks on Way to Straits

 

Motoring the whole way we entered the Straits about 10 a.m. with favorable current and continued down the west side of Sicily, past Messina, to Taormina where we picked up a mooring just under the town.  Along the way we saw a school of dolphins and sword fishing boats with towers that stood a good 50 ft. over the deck and bow pulpits nearly as long.  Our friends on Excalibur and Glass Slipper arrived shortly after us and we began planning a long passage together as we head across the boot of Italy in a few days to position us for the Croatia leg.

Swordfishing in Straits of Messina

Swordfishing in Straits of Messina

 Since we visited Taormina on our honeymoon, it had special meaning to return on Destiny.  Being moored in the turquoise water that we had seen from the town last visit was a dream come true–Destiny is the blue boat in the foreground. 

Kent finds a sign in Taormina at sums it all up!

Kent finds a sign in Taormina at sums it all up!

Mooring field at Taormina

Mooring field at Taormina

 This time we rented a car and drove to Mt. Etna, another active volcano, which was about 100 km from Taormina.  The lava fields at Mt. Enta are amazing, and while we could not go clear to the top because wind prevented the tram from running, we wandered through old craters and collected a lava rock.  The road winds through the park, with wonderful views of the top of the volcano in the distance. 

Mt. Etna

Mt. Etna

 

Carol & Jolie at one of many Craters

Carol & Jolie at one of many Craters

 

There is much more of Sicily to see but we are saving that for our planned “island hopping” across the southern Med when we are ready to return to the States.

About 7:30 p.m. on July 9th we left the mooring in Taormina with Excalibur and Glass Slipper for a two-day passage to Otranto on the east side of Italy, some 200 miles.  As we often find here, the weather forecasts and the actual weather are never the same and we found ourselves in 5-6 ft. seas with 22 kts. of wind on our nose just outside the protected anchorage at Taormina.  Not only couldn’t we sail, but we were making 4 kts. at maximum rpm’s with the prospect of motoring for many hours.  After about two miles of pounding, Destiny turned back to Taormina and was secure on the mooring we had just left before dark.  Excalibur and Glass Slipper continued on for another several miles but were back in Taomina by 10 p.m.

What were we thinking

What were we thinking

The next morning we headed out again at 6:30 a.m. with a favorable current to cross the bottom of the Straits of Messina and although the seas were still 6-7 ft. we were making 6.5 to 7 kt. with reefed main and jib—a real “Nantucket sleighride”.  By 10 a.m. we were in the lee of the mainland and the wind was variable as we reached the toe of Italy.   

The Gulf of Taranto covers the expanse of Ionian Sea between the toe of Italy on the west side and the heel on the east.  We had been told that the area was not very interesting and that protected marinas were few and far between, so we decided to go straight across the gulf rather than follow the coast.  This proved to be one of the most challenging and uncomfortable passages since the Caribbean 1500 in November.

As we rounded Capo Spartivento at the southern tip of the toe about noon, the seas were fairly flat and we were mostly motoring. 

Flat seas off Capo Spartivento

Flat seas off Capo Spartivento

A forecast NW wind shift came in about 3 p.m. and after three hours of motoring it was blowing 12-15 kts. and we were making 7-7.5 kts.  Not wanting to miss the wind, we decided to continue on through the night rather than putting in to Crotone which was a possible stopping off point.  We had a magnificent sunset, but by 10 p.m. the seas and wind continued to build as we reached the open waters across the Gulf of Taranto. 

Sunset on 200 NM Passage

Sunset on 200 NM Passage

At this point, what had been a sleigh ride was turning into a wild ride.  Kent was hand steering because the direction and size of the waves challenged the autopilot.  The waves were 5-7 ft. and closely spaced so everyone crashed over the bow.

Are we having fun yet

Are we having fun yet

For Carol, this was a “what was I thinking moment” that comes every so often, and admittedly she was a little frightened.  Not that the boat wouldn’t be able to handle the seas, but the “what ifs” included Kent falling overboard, the engine failing, the rig breaking and myriad other catastrophes none of which occurred.

When the moon rose, as a little speck on the horizon that looked like an approaching boat and then grew into a bright orange ball in the lower sky, the “what ifs” were put at bay.   The moon cast welcome light on the otherwise forboding seas and it somehow seemed safer.  Throughout the night and into the next morning the wind blew a steady 25 kt. with gusts to 35 and the seas continued to build.  Destiny handled the 10-12 ft. seas just fine, but we took quite a beating. 

Enough already--its been over 24 hrs.

Enough already--its been over 24 hrs.

OK we're going over 7 kts--who cares

OK we're going over 7 kts--who cares

We decided to make landfall at the first harbor we reached, which was Santa Maria de Leuca on the heel of the boot at noon on July 11th.  We had traveled 202.3 NM in 29 ½ hours which was our longest two-handed passage to date, and had motored for only 13 hours.  The marina had no space for us, so we anchored just outside the harbor which was protected from the wind, and crashed.

Thank goodness we're here

Thank goodness we're here

Santa Maria de Leuca

Santa Maria de Leuca

Santa Maria di Leuca from Mussolini's Steps

Santa Maria di Leuca from Mussolini's Steps

After two days rest, and some sightseeing in Santa Maria de Leuca (there are some steps built by Mussolini as the “Gateway to Italy”) we left for Otranto on July 13th which was to be our final port in Italy before leaving for Dubrovnik in the company of our friends on Excalibur and Glass Slipper. 

The trip to Otranto, which was only 40 NM was dead into the wind and slow going.  Our friend, John, on Glass Slipper took this shot of Destiny underway.

Destiny Enroute to Otranto

Destiny Enroute to Otranto

When we arrived,  we found space at the town quay where we could wait out a weather window for our overnight passage to Dubrovnik rafted together.  We did not have to wait long.

Rafted in Otranto

Rafted in Otranto

After touring Otranto and having a final Italian dinner ashore, the three boats departed Otranto on July 14th at 10:30 a.m. for an overnight passage to Gruz, the entry port at Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

Carol & Kent in Otranto

Carol & Kent in Otranto

 

Unlike our prior passage from Taormina, this trip was marked by just under 30 hours of motoring.  Kent was beside himself—there is no happy medium here.  You are sailing at 7-8 kts in 25 kts. of breeze, or more often motoring in no breeze.

The crews (make that wives on board) were very happy to be motoring at this point, and we had a rather slow and boring (make that pleasant) passage on flat seas.  The sunset was amazing with gorgeous layers of red, orange and blue, but despite no clouds on the horizon there was no green flash—we can’t decide if that occurs in this part of the world, although we have seen it in the Caribbean more than once.

Crossing the Shipping Channel at Sunset

Crossing the Shipping Channel at Sunset

From midnight to 3 a.m. we motor sailed with the main and jib but by 5 a.m. the wind was so light we couldn’t carry.  As the sun rose we were off the coast of Albania, passed Montenegro and finally arrived at our destination at 1 p.m.—Gruz, Croatia the port of entry.  Our trip lasted 27.5 hours and we covered 161 NM.  Unlike the passage from Taormina to Santa Maria de Leuca, we had company on this passage with Glass Slipper and Excalibur in sight and radio contact the whole way.

Destiny & Excalibur at Dawn

Destiny & Excalibur at Dawn

Jolie smells land as we approach Croatia

Jolie smells land as we approach Croatia

The last several hours of our trip into Dubrovnik was spent vacuuming the interior, shaking rugs and otherwise doing the clean up that would be required after a long passage.  At that point we were too “wired” to sleep and decided to put the time to good use.  Jolie got some attention too.

Jolie Gets Groomed for Arrival

Jolie Gets Groomed for Arrival

We had been told to expect a friendly welcome in Croatia, but our entry into the country was amazingly easy, although we had to visit several offices.  Our first impression was that not only were the officials friendly and helpful, but they all spoke fluent English.  This was quite a welcome change from Italy where English speakers were few and far between—or if they understood English, preferred not to use it.

Arrival in commercial port Dubrovnik

Arrival in commercial port Dubrovnik

After visiting the harbormaster (to purchase our cruising sticker that is good for one year), customs to declare that we had nothing to declare, and the polizia to check and stamp our passports, we were off to the Dubrovnik Marina which is located up a steep sided inlet up the Dubrovacka River. 

Up river to Dubrovnik Marina

Up river to Dubrovnik Marina

By 3 p.m. we were settled into Slip B31 next to an Italian powerboat that was in the midst of a traditional late lunch.  We had not even tied off all our lines when they passed over a large plate spaghetti and told us “eat while it is hot.”  We had already had one lunch, but graciously sat down to a wonderful plate of pasta.  The marina is quite nice, with restaurants and a swimming pool.  We could get used to this, except for the price which is more than we hope to pay in the future.  On the other hand, Dubrovnik is a 10 minute bus ride away and we have a lot of exploring to do.

Destiny at Dubrovnik Marina

For now, we are happy to sit at the dock and rest—oh yes, and do laundry. 

Laundry day in Dubrovnik

Laundry day in Dubrovnik

 

More from Croatia to follow.  The adventure continues.

Do videnja (“Goodbye” in Croatian)
Carol, Kent & Jolie
S/V Destiny Marina Dubrovnik, Croatia

Categories: Croatia, Europe, Italy Tags: