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September 1 to 7, 2009 ISTRIAN COAST

September 7th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Destiny left Burano, Italy, one of the many islands in the Venice Lagoon early on the morning of September 1st for what turned out to be another rather boring passage back to Croatia.  The wind was light and the seas flat calm—same as our trip over.  We motored just under 9 hours to reach Umag, Croatia just south of the Slovenian border a distance of 52.3 NM.

Umag Cathedral & Bell Tower

Umag Cathedral & Bell Tower

Umag proved to be a great place to clear customs and immigration as there was a quay that we could tie up to and the three offices we needed to visit were close together.  Umag is a rather modern town by Croatian standards and we didn’t find anything so appealing that it warranted a second day.

As is always the case after a passage, there was lots of stuff to put away and something to fix.

Stowing gear after passage

Stowing gear after passage

Always Something to Fix

Always Something to Fix

After a night on a mooring at Umag we left for Novigrad the next major town heading south on the Istrian coast and one that we had not yet visited.  Novigrad turned out to be a popular tourist destination and was quite busy.  It is an ancient walled city at sea level and you can walk the perimeter of the wall along the water.  There are the ubiquitous concrete “beaches” formed by the rocks overlaid by concrete and flat stones to make places for people to sunbath, and in some cases there are actually pools formed in concrete that fill with sea water to create shallow wading pools for children.

Destiny in Novigrad

Destiny in Novigrad

Novigrad Sunset

Novigrad Sunset

Concrete Pool

Concrete Pool

Swimming in Novigrad

Swimming in Novigrad

Novigrad Sea Walk

Novigrad Sea Walk

Every town has its local seaside watering hole with loud euro-rock music, that all sounds the same.  Interestingly, we often hear bad renditions of American songs to a euro beat which makes them barely recognizable except for the lyrics.

Beach Bar Novigrad

Beach Bar Novigrad

From Novigrad we finally sailed to Porec which was only 7 NM away, thankfully since the wind was 17-20 Kts. and the seas increased from 2 to 4 ft. as we were enroute.  It was typical of our sailing here—one day motoring in flat calm, and the next having waves over the bow.  The heavy wind was followed by heavy rain during the early evening, which had the advantage of washing a lot of salt off the boat. 

Kent Finally Gets Wind

Kent Finally Gets Wind

Storm Clouds over Porec

Storm Clouds over Porec

The next morning it was still quite cloudy and threatening to rain, and the wind was still quite strong making the mooring very uncomfortable, but by noon the sun was out.  We toured the town including a fabulous basilica with gold mosaics,  Kent had a much needed haircut and then we had lunch before deciding to head to Rovinj where we could anchor and expected better protection from the wind.

Porec Town Quay

Porec Town Quay

Porec Golden Mosaics

Porec Golden Mosaics

View from Porec Bell Tower

View from Porec Bell Tower

Kent gets a trim in Porec

Kent gets a trim in Porec

We left Porec about 2 p.m. for Rovinj which was 12 NM further south in SE wind blowing 22-27 kts. and gusting to 30 kt.  Another roller coaster ride.  After a second day of high winds, the seas started out at 5-6 ft. and were 7-8 ft. by the time we reached Rovinj.   Unfortunately, the wind and our course were identical which meant motoring into the high seas.  We ran down the coast as much as possible to get some protection from the wind, but we were feeling pretty beaten up by the time we anchored in Rovinj.

On the Nose to Rovinj

On the Nose to Rovinj

Carol at Helm to Rovinj

Carol at Helm to Rovinj

Rovinj has been one of our favorite stops in Croatia, and unlike Dubrovnik, which is a close second, there is a beautiful anchorage surrounded by park and it is a short dinghy ride to the town.

We spent the next three days in Rovinj, relaxing, sightseeing, visiting the cathedral for a Sunday mass and biking through the miles and miles of bike trails through the park.  The days are crisp and the sky seems a brighter blue since we left a couple weeks ago—fall has arrived in Croatia. 

Sunday Morning Cafe

Sunday Morning Cafe

Sunday Bike Ride

Sunday Bike Ride

Jolie on the Rocks

Jolie on the Rocks

Concrete Beach

Concrete Beach

Lunch looks Good

Lunch looks Good

The sunsets never cease to amaze us.

Jolie Sunset

Jolie Sunset

Rovinj Sunset

Rovinj Sunset

Pink Sky at Night Sailor's Delight

Pink Sky at Night Sailor's Delight

One thing that sets Croatia apart from Italy is the social mores around nudity.  It seems that Italians flock to Croatia to take their clothing off because it is verbotim at home. There are “naturist” parks and one resort not far from Porec that claims it can “provide for the needs of 10,000 naturists” at one time. While at a remote anchorage on the island of Cres, a small power boat cruised in with a couple on board that were sans clothing.  Needless to say they had a nice all over tan, but we may have been the only one to notice. 

The interesting thing is that there is no concern about “body image”, and women who are of a size or age in the US that would make a bikini embarassing routinely wear them.  Men as well, no matter how svelt or corpulent, are wearing tiny lycra bathing suits.  The following picture was taken from a well traveled “family” bike path that winds through the park in Rovinj.  Along the coast as we travel from place to place, the rocks are adorned with naturists and trailer parks.  Europeans are also big on camping, and camp grounds are seen all along the coast.

Nature and Naturists Everywhere

Nature and Naturists Everywhere

Seaside Camp Ground

Seaside Camp Ground

Labor Day in the US is just another day here, and we are off again this time to a little anchorage in a bay south of Pula called Uvala Kanalic.  Our plan is to continue around the Istrian penisula and then to stop at several more islands as we head back to Sukosan near Zadar and the marina where Destiny will spend the winter.

More to follow,

Carol, Kent & Jolie

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