Monday, August 5, 2019

Croatian Summer Sailing with some Thunder

After some relaxing days in Marina Stella my wife Ilse and I set sail south to Novigrad on Saturday, July 20th 2019. We anchored in Luka Cervar Porat with tomato and tuna salad for dinner. Next morning we tacked against a nice southerly wind to Otok Susak, where we moored alongside the new harbor pier at sunset and had dinner at Hotel Sansegus. In the morning we walked the sandy hills up to the lighthouse, visited the nice village and took a long bath along the sandy beach.
At noon we sailed south to Otok Skarda, where we took a buoy in cristal clear Uvala Griparica.

Next day we motored with southerly winds south to Otok Molat, where we anchored in beautiful Uvala Jazi, spent the afternoon swimming and cooked Spaghetti Carbonara for dinner. Next day after some 20 miles southward we took a buoy in Uvala Vodenjak in the south of Otok Iz, where we savoured  on board a nice meat grill delivered to us by boat by a nice girl from a near konoba.

On Thursday, 25th July we sailed into the Kornati archipelago, passed shallow Vela Provesa, rounded Sestrice lighthouse and finally moored at Konoba Levrnaka, where we met our friends Vera and Michael with their children and grandchildren, and enjoyed a nice fish dinner together.

After the usual morning walk around Otok Levrnaka and a good swim we motored through Mali Provesa back to Otok Iz where we moored in Marina Veli Iz in the harbor for the next three nights because of ferocious weather forecasts. Between showers and thunderstorms we took some walks and enjoyed the nice restaurants Lanterna and Luzarija.
On Monday 29th we bought some bread, vegetables, ham and cheese at the advisable Pekarna and sailed northwest to Prolaz Zapuntel between Ist and Molat, where we took a buoy in Uvala Mljake, enjoyed the clear turquoise waters and had Fusili con Funghi for dinner on board. Next morning we tacked against some northerly winds to Uvala Tomozina west of Otok Losinj, where we anchored for the night and had Kranjska Klobasa with Kupus Salatu for dinner.

Early next morning we crossed Kvarner Gulf with weak northerly winds, passed Porer Lighthouse, sailed through Fazana Kanal to Uvala Polaris, where we spent the night at anchor. At noon we sailed to Rovinj to bunker diesel and then motored through Limski Canal. Finally we anchored in Uvala Fabjan north of Vrsar and enjoyed Spaghetti Pomodoro and a quiet night on board.

On Friday 2nd of August we left Vrsar in rainy weather. In the afternoon we anchored in Luka Cervar Porat east of the mussel farm in 7m depth with 40m chain (surrounded by depth of 12m). Because we had contradictory weather forecasts between some rain and heavy thunderstorms, winds from northeast or southwest, from cosy 20 knots up to heavy 50 knots we checked the anchor again and mounted our chain claw to damp jerks and 6m more chain to work as a riding weight.
In the evening strange black clouds appeared and the wind got very strong onshore from northwest. Suddenly the anchor alarm sounded. My wife yelled that we are getting to near to shore. In the last second we started the motor and went into the gale-force wind. I jumped to the anchor and found the rope of the chain claw broken. I was able to raise the anchor while my wife motored against the storm and then to a more sheltered place, where I dropped the anchor again. We spent the rest of the stormy night happy about our narrow escape. Next morning we got a lot of news  about boats beeing lost in northern Croatia due to heavy thunderstorms.

We discussed what we could have done better and found that:

  • with bad and contradictory weather forecasts it is better to go to the next marina
  • as long as a chain claw holds it is very helpful in stormy weather, but when the rope breaks the resulting strong jerk may loosen the anchor
  • it is no good idea to anchor on an underwater hill, the danger of  anchor dragging is high
  • when you are not comfortable in your actual anchor position, better change place before conditions get really uncontrollable.

Early in the morning with slight sea and no wind we motored to Novigrad, where we declared exit and sailed with a nice norteasterly wind via Lignano to Marina Stella, where we moored with high tide early afternoon. We celebrated our lucky cruise with a exceptional dinner at Da Boschet.

We sailed 380sm in 74h during 14 days.
You may download our track in gpx-format or view it directly on GoogleMaps.

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