Sugar 'n' Spice – Weblog 3

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Mali Losinj, Losinj, Croatia


44º 31.99 N

14º 27.97 E

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Mali Losinj, Losinj, Croatia

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In Polace we stayed on board (plenty of boat jobs to do) until we were happy the 40m chain we had out for the deep anchorage, was proof against the violent gusts of wind coming through. A ruined Roman castle sat at the inland end of the little town & the heavily wooded bay. Next, ashore to look over the town, which was quiet - it was Sunday - apart from restaurants looking for business.

Next day (Mon 3rd May) after a squally night we set off over the hill behind the town to walk the 3km to the ‘lakes’ of the Mljet National Park. The 2 ‘lakes’ are actually sea inlets, but with very narrow channels linking first the smaller to larger & then the larger to the sea, & are famed for their clear turquoise waters. Even on a partly cloudy day the colours were spectacular. Park entry includes a boat trip to the tiny St Mary’s island with its Benedictine monastery & gardens, a pleasant place for lunch.



Then it was a walk round the smaller lake & back by a different route to Polace & the boat.

Tuesday 4th May we left Polace, motored out between the rocks & reefs of the narrow western channel, before unrolling the genny for a relaxed sail to Korcula. 17.5nm. Anchoring in Uvala Luka, a sheltered bay to the east of Korcula Town, we watched in bemusement as 5or 6 tourist boats (reminiscent of the gullets of Greece & Turkey) treaded their way daintily between moored & anchored boats to make a huge raft alongside a moored ferry. Then a stroll to look at the walled (almost island) town of Korcula, with its typical narrow streets & half round towers on the seaward side, & back to the boat with some provisions.



Wednesday (5th May) with rain & a bad (wind) forecast we decided we didn’t need to go sailing (unlike the charter boats1) & stayed put, doing a few ‘catch up’ jobs.  Later on when thunder started to roll around we were glad of our decision.

Thursday 6th May. Election day in the UK, but we were floating voters, with an early start for what turned out to be a lovely sail to the island of Vis. Fast, with mostly just cracked sheets & just a brief spell motoring either end. Arriving mid afternoon we anchored stern to quay in the main town of the island, Viska Luka. 41nm.



We watched other boats coming & going, then explored the town & walked the length of the seafront to the suburb of Kut for supper.

Next day (7th May) Some provisioning, mainly from the local market which set up at dawn, virtually on Sugar ‘n’ Spice’s transom! Then off for a mostly motoring (light winds) trip to Primosten, on the mainland. 31nm. As we closed the coast it was lovely to see some dolphins, even if they were concentrating on fishing & not on sightseers.

We anchored across the bay from the town on its island promontory, which a stamping ground of mine years ago. Swam in the seeming very cold water of the bay, then went to review my past with a stroll round the narrow streets & a climb up the hill to the church, & for the views seawards.



Saturday (8th May) started with pouring rain, so after another run ashore, it was a midday departure for the 11nm to Zirje island, where we picked up a visitors mooring in Uvala Stupica. We had intended to anchor, but the bay was too full of moorings, apparently new this year, so that someone can levy a charge.

There was a ruined fort on the hill behind the bay & we climbed up to this before supper on the boat.



Sunday 9th May. A prompt departure from Zirje for another mostly motoring trip (light winds on the nose) through the narrow channels of the Kornati archipelago, a National Park. These bare rocky islands are devoid of trees, & rise starkly from sea, with just a few hamlets in small bays where there is some shelter, & seasonal restaurants. We only saw a very few other yachts & occasional fishing boats, although I understand that in July & August every anchorage or quay is packed out. Once through the main channel of the Kornati, about 15nm long, we weaved through some narrow & shallow channels between islands to Dugi Otok, the next island northwards. There we anchored at the head of the long southern bay, Telascica. 30.4nm.

Another Nature Park, it was delightfully wooded, at night there was not another light to be seen (there were a few people, boats & vehicles during the day), & a donkey brayed loudly from a nearby islet (we never saw him).

Monday 10th May. Reasonable start south again through the 5nm of Telascica, then into a very narrow shallow (less than 2m under the keel!) channel between the islands of Katina & Dugi Otok.



Then north again for a cracking fast sail up the coast of Dugi Otok under main & poled out genny. Early afternoon we turned in to Dumboka Bay, near an old submarine pen & tied alongside a small quay. 25nm.

We seemed to be the only people in the little hamlet of mostly holiday apartments, apart from a lone cat, although there was a flotilla rafted up in the bay. We took the dinghy across the bay & inside the cavernous submarine pen to explore.





Tuesday 11th May. We climbed the road above the hamlet, with views across to other islands & down to the submarine pen, but didn’t find a village.

So it was a mid morning start & with the wind almost dead astern we just unfurled the genny.  Soon rain came so it was a wet 11nm, with fairly murky visibility, to our next stop, Zapuntel, on the northern tip of Molat island.

There we picked up a mooring buoy, did a few jobs & gradually the rain cleared. We went ashore for an early evening walk along the shore & a fish supper. The rain came again as we returned to the boat, & we just beat it back so this time our timing was good.

Wednesday 12th May. An early start, sunshine & no wind, so motoring the 8nm for a mid morning arrival at the port & island of Silba. We picked up laid lines & went stern on to the quay helped by the local restaurant owner. A lovely relaxing place, we strolled up the hill to the town centre for some provisions, then after lunch walked along the shore & beach, watched a snake slither across the path, then up the hill again to climb the watchtower - ask the health centre for permission (it stands in their grounds, or is it to warn them they may have clients if the rickety exterior spiral staircase gives way).



Anyway more good views, then down the other side of the island to the ferry port & back to the boat, before supper at the helpful restaurant.

Thursday 13th May.On again, motoring in no wind, flat sea & thunder rumbling in the distance. A brief view of dolphins on a feeding mission before we entered the channel between the islands of Ilovik & St. Petar. The clouds became so black we picked up a mooring, just in the nick of time before the heavens opened! Less than 2 hrs later that had passed, & we were on our way again, sailing with just the genny for the remaining 4 nm of our 13nm trip to Losinj island. There we anchored in the narrow sheltered inlet of Krivica, the ‘dog’ took a line to the shore – promotion, a dinghy, not swimming this time! Then our nicest swim of the season so far, warmer, & clear turquoise water with lots of little fishes to see. Amazing how quickly the weather changes.



Friday 14th May. Off for a very nice if fairly strenuous walk. A circular route to the pretty harbour/village of Veli Losinj, on the other side of the island.



This meant going up over the spine of the island (200+metres) & back again. In Veli Losinj we realised we were running short of time, so shortcut a loop of coast path, but couldn’t eliminate the second climb of 200+m! How daft is that?  Back at the boat a new weather forecast showed strong winds & rain coming soon, so we moved up the coast & round the corner into the well sheltered harbour of Mali Losinj, going stern to quay on laid lines. We sorted the boat, then some heavy rain came through, which cleared in time for an evening’s explore.


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