Monday, September 17, 2018

Smooth Autumn Sailing from Dubrovnik to Laguna di Marano

When my special crew Andreas and Kurt arrived by plane and provisions from Dubrovnik market were bunkered we left ACI Marina Dubrovnik September 5th afternoon. We tacked northwest in the direction Ston and reached Uvala Kobas late after sunset, but Ante Bjelančić Bjelko waited for us at his wonderful restaurant Gastro Mare and prepared an exquisite 5 course dinner, all based on fresh fish.

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After a nice swim and a healthy breakfast we set sail further west to beautiful Uvala Krisice on Otok Mljet. After a long swim in tourquise waters we continued to Uvala Polace, where we anchored for the night and Andreas prepared pork chops with mushrooms and a spicy paprika chutney. After rounding the utmost westerly tip through Uvala Pomena we set sail to Korcula, where we moored at the ACI Marina and explored the medieval city. After a nice dinner at Aterina we enjoyed a nice baroque concert in the cathedral Sveti Marco performed superbly by Finish artists.

Next day we had excellent sailing weather with nice northwesterly winds - so we sailed alongside the south coast of Hvar, then changed course for Vis and then tacked to the west of Pakleni archipelago and finally anchored after 68 miles in in Uvala Solinska east of Drvenik Veli, where we enjoyed Spaghetti con Colatura di Alici on board. Early next morning we motored south of Hrid Mulo and Otok Zirje. With slight northwesterly winds we tacked through the Kornati Archipelago. Finally we moored at Konoba Levrnaka, went for a walk and a swim and savored a sumptuous fish dinner.

After a good sleep we continued in Kornati National Park passing shallow Vela Provesa and then motoring with no wind on the northeasterly side of Dugi Otok. After passing Otok Premuda to the west with some wind we tacked into Uvala Krivica on Otok Losinj. Somebody had mounted a vast amount of mooring buoys, so we took three of them and enjoyed the quiet waters and a healthy amount of bacon and cheese with a good bottle of Refosco on board.

On Tuesday, 11th we crossed to Susak harbor, where we had a nice walk to the famous lighthouse and the upper village. At noon we continued across Kvarner Gulf and with increasing winds we tacked around Hrid Porer and finally dropped anchor in Uvala Soline, where we prepared a fancy Waldorf salad accompanied by some hearty Kranjska Klobasa. Next morning we passed Pula harbor, motored through Fazansky canal and then alongside Rovinj and Vrsar.

At noon we tacked with some nothwesterly winds to Novigrad, where we moored in Nautica Marina, explored the nice city and grew enthusiastic about a raw fish menu at Damir & Ornella. We declared exit at Novigrad harbor master and police. We motored north passing Savudrija lighthouse, Piran and finally moored at Marina San Giusto in Trieste. We visited the gorgeous Eataly store near the marina, and took a nice walk around the city. For dinner we went uphill into the heart of Trieste to Trattoria da Mara, where we tried pasta and deserts typical for the old city.

After a nice Bircher muesli for breakfast we did a small cruise around the busy harbor, passed Miramare castle continued into Grado lagoon and moored in the old city harbor of Grado at last. After exploring the sights of Grado and a healthy walk on the sandy beach we had a wonderful fish dinner at Tavernetta all'Androna. For the last leg of our cruise we exited the lagoon, passed Porto Buso and entered Laguna di Marano near Lignano Sabbiadoro, mastered the shallows of Canale Cialisia and reached Marina Stella at high tide. We celebrated our safe return at Al Cacciatore with prosciutto, pasta, Prosecco, and Merlot.

We sailed 80h and logged 394sm in 11 days.

You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on GoogleMaps.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

"Sailing to Korcula" - Laguna di Marano to Dubrovnik in 8 Days

On a cold winter night in Vienna at a crew-meeting a visionary idea was developed: "Sailing to Korcula". This idea grew steadily and so my crew (Eva, Evi, Ilse, and Jutta) arrived in Marina Stella on Friday, August 24th for realization. But heavy rain, thunderstorms and strong onshore winds delayed our departure until Monday 27th. In the meantime we visited Aquilea, Grado and Palmanova by car, walked the beach at Lignano Riviera and visited nice restaurants at Ristorante La Darsena and Ristorante 900 all'isola.

Finally on Monday 27th we sailed through Laguna di Marano and set course south. After some hands-on training and MOB-exercises we arrived in Porec, where we declared entry in Croatia and filled our diesel tanks. To make up for our delay we sailed southeast through the night with nice northwesterly winds passing Susak, Premuda, Dugi Otok, and finally entered Kornati islands at Sestrice lighthouse after 28 hours and 155sm. We moored at Konoba Levrnaka , jumped into the clear water, explored this beautiful island and had a nice fish-dinner.

Early on Wednesday, August 29th with good wind we sailed through the Kornati archipelago, passed Otok Zirje and Hrid Mulo and anchored in Uvala Solinska east of Drvenik Veli and prepared pasta con tonno. Next morning after a short stop to buy fresch bread and fruits in the nice harbor Maslinica west of Otok Solta, we explored Pakleni archipelago, visited Hvar harbor and continued to Otok Skedro, where took a buoy in Uvala Moster (Mastir), took a walk to the old monastery, and had a wonderful grilles amberjack prepared skillfully by the friendly Kordic Family .

Friday after some nice sailing and swimming at Otocic Mala Kneza we reached the zenith of our cruise, the harbor of Korcula. We explored the medieval town, its churches and towers, and had a inspiring dinner at Aterina Restaurant. Next day we tacked against a fine southerly breeze and finally moored at Konoba Maran in cozy Uvala Okuklje in Otok Mljet. We enjoyed swimming in this picturesque and secluded bay and enjoyed an exquisite dinner at this Swiss-Croatian restaurant.

At sunrise we walked around the bay to St.Nicolas church, had another good swim and set sail east to Lopud, where we could not find a secure ground for our anchor. So we finally arrived at Uvala Donje Celo west of Otok Kolocep, anchored there and relished a hot vegetable risotto onboard. In the night we encountered some lightening and a short squall.

For our last leg we set sail further east with southwesterly winds, rounded Otok Lokrum, passed the city walls of ancient  Dubrovnik, explored Gruz harbor with the new Marina Frapa , and finally moored in ACI Marina Dubrovnik  in river Dubrovačka. After strolling around the city walls of ancient Dubrovnik we celebrated our ambitious "Korcula" cruise at Konoba Jezuite.

In 8 days we logged 346sm in 66h sailing time.

You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on GoogleMaps.