Trip on Lanikai starting 2009-09-12 in BSAOct09

Sunsail Flotilla Holiday in Kornati, Croatia 12th – 19th September – report by Bryan Thomas

Skipper:Bryan Thomas

Crew:Jane Jenkyn, Roger Westacott, Carole Westacott, Terry Grigg and Pam Thomas

The holiday was chosen with a mature crew in mind i.e. easy sailing with winds 5-15 max!!!

The Sunsail base was in Krapanj which following a flight from Gatwick to split, it involved a 1hr transfer by road and a 5 minute ferry crossing to the island. The boat Lanikai was a 393 Oceanis, very well equipped with a chart plotter at the helm. We were in a flotilla of 5 boats and on the lead boat, Trendy Major, was Sue the skipper, Franco the engineer and Anna the hostess.

Following the Saturday evening in KrapanjMap to allow for provisioning of the boat we had an early Sunday morning brief for safety, sailing grounds and met the other crews. Sunday, we departed for the island of Luka. After a short motor (familiarization) we anchored for lunch in a small bay in Krebela. Very relaxing and Terry caught a rare fish (the fish wasn’t rare but the catch was). We then sailed to Luka to the Town Quay of Prvic wind SSE 12-16 kts, a good broad reach. A good evening in a typical croation restaurant with excellent food but not cheap.

Monday the weather forecast was SE 22 kts, gust to 40 kts, Thunderstorms & rain. We stayed in Peivic until after lunch to allow the thunderstorms to pass, then sailed to Murter. The sail was challenging particularly as the furling line/gear kept sticking. We arrived safely on Murter and enjoyed a good team meal at a restaurant called Fabro, but again expensive.

Tuesday, another weather warning, SE gust up to 40 kts, thunderstorms, sea state 5 (small seas – no tide). We had a very good sail to the Kornati National Park, about 30 miles, beam reach and stopped for lunch on the island of Lavsa where we anchored in 3m of water (keel draught 1.9) We then motored to our night destination of Vrulje on Kornati a small bay with 2 restaurants with their own pontoons, stay was free provided you ate at their restaurants – not a lot of choice really as the option was anchor/mooring buoy in F5/6 winds. We were charged a total of £100 for tax and allowing us to stay in the Kornati National Park.

Wednesday – oh dear!!!! The early morning brief confirmed our fears, wind increasing to storm (50 kts) steady 35-40 kts gale with thunderstorms. We then found out the weather pattern was called the Jugo and it builds up winds over 4 days to storm conditions, no wonder the broke up Jugoslavia (the windy place). We were advised (told) to leave Kornati urgently and head to the mainland to Vodice. We left early and started motoring only to see the rear guard rail was fretting where the dinghy and the outboard was attached plus the dinghy started to fill with water (the bung had been kicked out). We made an emergency entry into Lavsa and made good our problems. We then motored for 6 hours to Vodice in gale conditions and a lot of silence (the crew that is!!). So much for level 1 sailing with max winds of 15 kts (this was only the 2nd time the Jugo had blown all season – sods law!!!) Following a challenging docking maneuver in VodiceMap Marina and a lot of help from the harbour master (he was my bow thruster in his rib) we had a well earned drink and shower (hot water and not salty) followed by a good meal.

Thursday – wind dropping and only a short hop to the island of Zlarin. We did get wet though – one isolated thunderstorm and it found us. One crew member dropped the fender on entry to Zlarin so a quick MOB recovered the said fender, drinks all round. A lovely evening in Zlarin which is beautiful and we cooked on board (funds running low).

Friday – weather fine, sunny, winds light NW F3/4 and Sue said no rain this time she was right. We had a good beam reach to Vela Stupica where we anchored for lunch before making the final sail in winds F3 back to our base on Krapani.

Generally – Sunsail lead boat were good with a good sense of humour (especially mooring in Vodice), Franco resolved our issues promptly, but the weather was disappointing and it was quite expensive.

Krapanj  43.6708,15.9154
Vodice  43.7573,15.7782