Sugar 'n' Spice – Weblog 4

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Split, Croatia


43º 30.14 N

16º 25.87 E

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Beretusa, Nr Skradin, Croatia

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Wind & rain came overnight & Saturday 15th May the bad forecast held true. The wind came in vicious squalls, & the rain poured down almost continuously. One brief interlude when it eased we ventured into the town for provisions, then retreated below again, doing a lot of the round tuit jobs that are always waiting. Only the few boats with deadlines to meet moved, & the pontoons were deserted.

Sunday 16th May. A grey start but the rain had mostly gone & the wind had abated.

We left Mali Losinj, motoring out of the long harbour inlet & between islands until we could sail with the sheets just cracked. We had two brief spells motoring when the wind headed us, then eased sheets as we rounded the impressive lighthouse, at Hrid Porer, the SW tip of Istria, & sailed up a much busier & more developed piece of coast than we have recently been seeing.  Tea time we arrived in Pula harbour & anchored in the N of the bay (41nm), away from the docks & shipbuilding, but with a view of the old town, the marina & the amphitheatre – what contrasts.



The plan is to pick up a friend from Ipswich, Vicky Cook, on tuesday, planes & volcanic ash permitting. All seemed hopeful.

Mid morning next day (17th May) we moved across the bay to the marina, even closer to the amphitheatre! One of the marineros kindly gave Doug a lift to the gas depot, 2 bottles needed, & I got some laundry underway, then an initial explore of the town.

Tuesday 18th May. All seemed well with Vicky’s flight so it was a major provisioning run at the very large market (meat & fish in a covered hall, fruit & veg outside) with more choice than we have had for a while. Then a quick lunch & off to the airport to meet Vicky, & take her to the Harbour Master to be added to the list of people on board. All legit we went out for supper.

Wednesday 19th May. Doug tackled a problem with the holding tanks, fortunately a lot less horrific than we thought, so we were all able to go off & do the tourist bit – a look round the amphitheatre, very impressive, then a walk to the heights of the old town, fortress & roman oratory.

About midday we departed Pula for a short sail S to Soline Bay, where we anchored for the night. 9.5nm. A lovely clear starry night.

Thursday 20th May. A prompt departure from Soline Bay with 1 reef in the main. We put in the 2nd reef as we rounded the lighthouse at Hrid Porer & it turned into Vicky’s baptism of fire (?perhaps I mean water)  as the wind & seas picked up. The 3rd reef went in, the wind gusted to F7 (not to forecast, or to our plan), but at least just forward of the beam, so fairly quick. Early afternoon we anchored in Artatari Bay, back on Losinj, but a deep bay running northwards just before the town of Mali Losinj. 34 nm.



Next day (21st May) we motored the short distance to Mali Losinj (4 nm) & went stern to the quay. Vicky & I went to find a dentist – easy, at hospital just up the road! Nothing to do with sailing, she had lost some filling while chewing something. An hour later we were back with all restored to normal. Then we walked the coast path to Veli Losinj, very pleasant, but the seas were still pounding the shore. Returning we detoured through the old town, bought some provisions & went to supper at the adjacent fish resturant.

Saturday 22nd May. We departed Mali Losinj to catch the 9am bridge (only 2 a day) over the rather narrow (6m – we are almost 4m) canal cutting the island in two. With the wind still in the NE there were standing waves along its, luckily, fairly short length, very disconcerting. Then it was on to Pogana, on Cres. 7nm.

Another deep S facing bay, with woodland down to the shores, lots of bird life, & a small hamlet. Several other boats came in, & one near us set out in a rubber dinghy to lay a 2nd anchor. Their outboard wouldn’t start, & as they didn’t appear to have oars with them & were drifting off downwind I went & retrieved them, to the great amusement of their ladyfolk.

Sunday 23rd May. Left Pogana, shaking all the reefs out of the main, only to have to put 2 back in later. Lunchtime we anchored in Uvala Sv Kristofor on Rab. 17nm. Another nice wooded bay, we swam, watched the world & were the only boat at anchor overnight.

Monday 24th May. We motored the 4nm to the marina in Rab town harbour, collecting fuel en route.



A diver was at work replacing laid lines on the same pontoon we were directed to! After a provisioning run we spent the afternoon climbing the heights of the old town, excellent views & lots of church/monastery towers, plus narrow shady streets below. Finally a fish supper, before a prompt start next morning (25th May). The wind had turned to the southern sector so it was a beat, with reefs being put in & taken out again as the wind rose & fell, but a nice fairly quick sail. Early afternoon we reached Premuda, & anchored close to the head of the long narrow inlet of Uvala Premuda. 32nm.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on maintenance – tape a split leech on the mainsail, & a loo job. The small anchorage filled as 3 other boats came in, & then it was people watching & listening to the bird song.

Wednesday 26th May. A relaxed start for the short trip, mostly motoring because of light winds, to Luka Jazi on Molat. 14nm.  Here we walked past flourishing gardens, across the narrow neck of land to the ferry harbour on the other coast of the island. Tractors were acting as taxis & buses for the locals from the ferry. Later while swimming we found some worms that looked like small ornamental trees.

Thursday 27th May. A prompt start for another quick, pleasant beat down the channel between the Croatian mainland coast & the island of Ugljan, opposite Zadar. About 1pm a front & vicious squall came through, so with only 2nm to our destination of Kukljica the sails came down & the engine went on. At Kukljica we went stern to quay on laid lines, rather tricky in a cross wind. 26nm.

It was apparent that this was not going to be a comfortable overnight berth, especially if the wind increased as forecast, so it was lunch, shop & fill water tanks before departing. By then we had another boat to leeward so it was a tricky manoeuvre to leave without fouling their laid lines, but all went well & we were away for another 2nm leg down the coast to anchor in Prolaz Mali Zdrelac, the channel between Ugljan & the next island, Pasman. A very shallow anchorage, so 15m of chain was overkill, & it was gluey mud, just like our native English east coast.

That evening a thunder storm raged to the north of us with spectacular flashes, the wind did a sudden 180º shift, but the anchor held in its mud! Later, as the clouds blew away, a full moon shone silver.

Friday 28th May. The new day showed us that major works were underway on the bridge & channel between Ugljan & Pasman. With the channel closed we had benefitted from lack of wash from passing ferries or waterborne traffic during the night. We wondered if the new bridge would be higher than the old, which was too low for our mast. The pilot did not even show work in progress.

So a leisurely departure, in no wind, motoring down the length of Pasman island, with some very attractive shoreside towns. One bay at the S end now had mooring buoys in the anchoring space & so was already full. We carried on between some small islets to anchor in Uvala Veli Luka on the mainland, S of Pakostane. 18nm.

Once again fairly shallow, so warm, & we actually got Vicky in for a swim!

A cuckoo called for most of the evening, only us & a motorboat stayed overnight, & a few small fishing boats passed by.

Saturday 29th May. Another leisurely departure, motoring out through a very narrow, shallow, channel between two small off lying islands. Just through the channel we were lucky to sight some dolphins, as seems usual round here on the serious business of feeding with no time to play. We hoisted sail & headed S. Lunchtime we anchored off the quay at Tribunje, an attractive small town on an island with the church on the hill behind. 14.5nm.



We failed to find anywhere we fancied for lunch, so after a quick visit to the supermarket we moved on another 3.5nm to anchor at Tijascica bay on the supposedly uninhabited Tijat island. There were several boats in the anchorage, & one particular group were having a very noisy party on the shore. Unfortunately they were not among the boats that departed before nightfall, but I suppose it was saturday night! The bird life took no notice, & we heard what we think was a nightjar ‘churring’ away, as well as the almost routine call of the scops owl.

Sunday 30th May. We left Tijascica motoring in no wind, headed back to the mainland & past the looming fortress of Sv Nikola into the Kanal Sv Ante, leading to Sibenik. At Sibenik we turned N into the Krke river, winding its way first past mussel & oyster farms & then through a magnificent gorge. Coming to the large freshwater lake of Prokljansko Jezero we anchored in the narrow bay of Beretusa. To stop us swinging the dog rowed ashore with a line. Later we rowed round the little bay & strolled up the ridge separating us from the lake.



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