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

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

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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  1. Anne Marie Lasoski and Bill Clarke
    September 8th, 2009 at 18:14 | #1

    Happy Anniversary! We are sorry we could not join you! The pictures are fabulous, and the crew members looked lovely on teh second leg. (Those who room together groom together, esp. Jolie!). Travel safely. Bill and Anne Marie

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