Trip on Wind Kiss starting 2011-07-02 in BSAAug11
Croatia July 2011 – report by Becky Goddard
Crew for BobCrew for Becky
A new area for us all – over the winter we had decided to look at Croatia for our Spring cruise and as we had too many bidders for one boat initially this resulted in Becky getting her skippers ticket at Christmas in the Canaries.
To give us a few days relaxation we flew on Wednesday June 29th from Gatwick to Split and stayed in the Hotel ‘As’ prior to taking over the boats on Saturday July 2nd. We explored the city including the bars and restaurants over the next two days and also took a boat trip to Trogir which was a lovely medieval town.
On the Saturday morning we arrived at the marina hoping to be able to take over the boats promptly as we had pre-ordered our provisions for delivery to the boats (a great labour and time saving service offered by Nautilus Charters but our order got lost in the melee of changeover day and we finally left just after 17.00 and sailed to Bobovisce on Brac island. The skies darkened and it began raining just as we dropped the anchor in this quiet bay/inlet shattering our hopes of our first meal aboard on deck watching the sunset!
The wind had gone from West (9knts) to WSW (17 knts)
The skies had cleared by Sunday morning and we left our anchorage about midday bound for Jelsa on Hvar island. We had some gentle downwind sailing clockwise round Brac Island til about 16.00 when the SW wind died so we motored til 17.45 when the wind got up again. Now we had to do some tacking against the WSW wind to make our destination. We moored stern to on the town quay about 20.45 right outside a lovely restaurant where we dined that night. The mooring fees weren’t expensive but there were no facilities not even toilets! The little town did however have shops for us to replenish our stores as we intended to spend the next night at anchor.
After some shopping we left Jelsa about 11.30 intending to sail anti clockwise round Hvar but the NE wind died and we motorsailed until 15.00 when about 8 knts of W wind arose allowing us to reach Vinogradisce on Sv Klement in the Pakleni islands SW of Hvar.We anchored up in this lovely but busy bay about 18.00
There was heavy rain and thunderstorms overnight which gave us a legacy of rolling seas with 2 reefs in the main the next day as we sailed to Vis town on Vis Island. Only a short trip (10 miles) but even so there was only one space left on the large Town Quay when we arrived about 15.00. This was a more expensive stop (450 Kuna) with very limited facilities but since a lot of the boats on the moorings were great gin places with their own generators probably not so many people needed facilities ashore ( on neither of our boats would the holding tank controls work so we were quite conscious of this problem!)
On the Wednesday morning we set sail for Hvar town on Hvar Island – again a short trip but the bay around the town was heaving with boats for this very popular destination despite it being only 13.00! We decided to sail back to Palmizana on the north side of Sv Klement (there is a water taxi to Hvar town) and take berths in the ACI marina there- the most expensive mooring at 575 kuna at 7 to the pound! Although quiet when we arrived it quickly filled up and was not the peaceful place we had hoped for. There was a music festival happening on Hvar and nearly all the inhabitants under 50 off most of the boats in the marina seemed to be dolling up for the evening on the big island!! We opted for a meal in a strange but wonderful restaurant on Sv Klement overlooked by peacocks!
The next morning the marina woke up again and was so noisy we opted for an anchorage outside whilst we had a brunch and swim. We lifted the anchors about 12.30 and started motoring to Solta island to the NW. We finally got some wind about 14.00 and anchored in Sesula Bay on Solta island about 18.00.
This was a difficult place to anchor as the bay was very deep right up to the rocks where there was nothing less than 6/7 m depth. We dropped our hook first and Mala Katerina came in on our starboard side and rafted to us, dropping a kedge to her starboard side to stop us drifting onto the rocks during the night.
We were woken the next morning by what sounded like broken glass falling into our main cabin – it was ice cubes from a nearby permanently moored wooden sloop towards whom we were both drifting!! The morning just got more trying when we found that Katerinas anchor chain was wrapped firmly round our anchor flukes! Untie the dinghy again and Bob and Hugh spent half an hour tying a rope to Katerinas anchor chain and trying to move the flukes on our shank – success at last and we motored round to Rogac on the north of the island to refuel before heading back to our home marina in Split.
This thought was in many sailors minds – whilst we were waiting to go on the fuel berth a fight almost broke out amongst the boats queue jumping! We waited for over an hour dodging potential damage and bad-tempered helmsmen and women but decided to anchor in this bay and wait for the queue to subside. The Pilot book mentioned that the bay has very poor holding which was borne out when we had to reset three times!
The fuel berth looked quieter by about 15.30 so we joined the throng again but still took til 16.30 to push our way in onto the pontoon – Cowes week has nothing on this!
We started sailing towards Split but ended up motoring as the wind died. We arrived about 18.15 but there was an instruction to stay outside the marina and wait to be called – another melee of boats with bad tempered helmsmen one of whom had a 50’ yacht across the entry of the marina! He was blocking every boat that was being called in and then yelling at everyone!! Finally we got into the marina and berthed up next to Mala Katerina at the end of another successful trip.
As our flights home weren’t til late Saturday and there was nowhere secure to leave our bags at the marina we had reserved a room in the Hotel ‘AS’ for all our bags and we left them about 11.00 returning for showers about 17.00. Although after waiting in the airport with no airconditioning or open bar the long term effects of the showers soon wore off!
Our general view was summed up by Hugh who shouted out as we queued to re-enter Split marina “next year back to the Canries” – it’s certainly very noisy, busy and quite expensive in the Adriatic!