Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Italian Adriatic Coast and to Know When to Change Course

 My brother and I planned a cruise to the Tremiti Islands. But weather played some tricks on us. We left Marina Stella on September 15th, 2020 with high tide and motored southwest to Albarella, where we anchored in the quiet lagoon. Next day we rounded the Po delta and moored at Marina di Goro. We visited the village and had a rather uninspired dinner at La Cambusa

Early next morning we started south to Rimini, accompanied by a fleet of fishermen harvesting mussels in the shallow seas south of Goro. In the afternoon we moored in Marina Rimini, bunkered diesel, and explored the city. We had an exquisite dinner at Michelin starred restaurant Abocar Due Cucine

Early in the morning of September 18th we wanted to sail further south to Ancona. But unexpected high waves, bad weather reports on Cyclone Ianos in the Ionian sea and messages about a large fire blaze in Ancona forced us to revise our plan. We had to expect chaos in Ancona and that some boat owners will move their boats to other moorings north of Ancona. As weather got worse, we decided to sail northwest to Ravenna, were we moored in Marina Ravenna and had a nice raw fish dinner at Riesling Vino e Cucina

After analyzing grib data and different weather forecasts showed that another field of depression will soon move from Golf of Lyon into the Adriatic. As we were a small crew of only two we decided to take no risk and to return in time to Marina Stella. So we started early from Ravenna south, rounded Po delta in rather uncomfortable cross seas, entered Venice Lagoon through Porto Chioggia and anchored finally west of Isola Poveglia with Insalata Caprese and Prosecco for dinner.

With nice weather we motored to Piazza San Marco and left Venice lagoon through Porto Lido. With a nice easterly wind we sailed to Caorle, were we moored in Darsena Orologico and enjoyed pesce crudo and tasty pasta with fish at Ristorante da Buso. Next morning we continued to the town basin of Grado, explored the city and were very happy with a nice dinner at Hostaria in Contrada.

Next morning we motored west to Lignano into Laguna di Marano and continued through shallow Canale Cialisia and river Stella back to Marina Stella, where we finally moored at our quiet home place; just in time for the predicted rain and wind starting to rage. We celebrated our safe return at Ristorante Al Cjasal. For the next days we visited Bassano del Grappa, Valdobbiadene and Treviso to explore vineyards, restaurants and to buy some Prosecco. Then we prepared Sea of Joy for a long winter and returned back to Austria.

We sailed 360sm in 58h during 8 days.

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

Thursday, August 6, 2020

From Laguna di Marano to Otok Rab returning with young crew

My wife Ilse and I wanted to sail from Marina Stella to Croatia to pick up our daughter Sophie and her two sons Laurenz and Valentin from Otok Rab.

After filling in the requested forms we left Marina Stella with high tide and declared entry in Umag. The friendly policeman told us, that the harbormaster's office is closed, but we could pay our taxes next day in Novigrad. So we spent a quiet night in Uvala Dalija and visited the harbormaster - a very nice woman - in Novigrad and paid 672 Kuna tourist tax for 15 days and the yearly boat arrival notification fee of 662 Kuna, together around 180 Eur. With very nice westerly winds we sailed south to Medulin, where the wind finally ceased and we anchored in Uvala Bijeca.

Luka Krivica

Next morning good wind continued and we sailed over the Kvarner Gulf, continued south of Otok Unije to Luka Krivica on the southwesterly end of Otok Losinj. We took a buoy, attached a landline. Soon a heavy thunderstorm cleaned our boat very efficiently. We enjoyed the quiet Luka for two nights and then motored east to Uvala Meli in the southeast corner of Otok Cres, where we spent another day and night enjoying the clear waters and the wild deer wandering around. 

On Monday, 27th July we continued east to busy Rab harbor, where we had to wait for an hour to fill our gasoline tanks. In the afternoon we motored into Supetarska Draga, where we moored in the ACI Marina and had a rich fish platter at Restoran Vojko. Next day our daughter Sophie together with Laurenz and Valentin came on board and we anchored in the nice bay south of Otok Maman. In the morning we motor sailed with weak winds back to Uvala Meli, where the children enjoyed Stand-Up-Paddling and swimming.

Our grandchildren dreamed of visiting Otok Susak, so we sailed there next morning and moored for 2 nights in the new harbor. They enjoyed the sandy beach and we enjoyed good food at Sansegus and Konoba Barbara. For the next days weather forecast looked like getting a bit grim, so on Saturday,  August 1st we crossed the Kvarner Gulf, spent the night at anchor in Uvala Bijeca and continued northwest alongside Istria to Novigrad next day. Because we expected thunderstorms during the night we took a mooring in Marina Nautica, had good dinner at Konoba kod Kristijana, and enjoyed safely two heavy thunderstorms during the night.  

Next morning the weather forecast reported a small time window for a safe sail across the Adria to Italy, so we declared exit in Novigrad harbor and sailed with nice winds and heavy clouds back to Lignano, where we entered Laguna di Marano just 1 hour after high tide and moored safely back in Marina Stella, where we observed heavy thunderstorms. People reported a tornado roaring from Lignano beach to Grado. We celebrated our safe return for the next days at Ristorante Da Michele, Agli Angeli Ristorante, and Da Boschet.



We sailed 292sm in 54h during 14 days.

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

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Official Corona Procedures for Sailing from Italy to Croatia 2020

Because of the Corona pandemic Italian authorities requested some additional formalities:



  • Nobody ever cared about those forms, 
  • Entry and exit in Croatia same as last year, 
  • Police 24h available and very helpful, 
  • BUT: no harbormaster in Umag, harbormaster in Novigrad only open from 8:00 to 13:00
  • We activated our AIS-Transponder for the whole cruise, so it would have been very easy to intercept us. But no official tried to check on us, neither in Italy nor in Croatia.
So the basic procedure to sail between Italy and Croatia seems to be like it was in the last years

Monday, July 20, 2020

Easy Sailing to Venice Lagoon in Corona Times

When my grandchildren together with their parents came on board, we decided to take it easy and visit Venice and Chioggia. We left Marina Stella at noon on Thursday 9th, July 2020 and anchored in the Laguna Marano at our favorite place. Early next morning we left the lagoon and sailed to Porto Lido, where we had to wait, because they tested the MOSE flood prevention system. So we anchored east of the Lido inlet and went for a swim. In the evening we entered the lagoon and anchored in Canale San Felice.

Next day we visited Burano and Murano, passed San Michele cemetery and finally took a mooring at Compagnia della Vela at Isola San Giorgio Maggiore in front of Piazza San Marco. 

The next two days we visited Venice with only half as many tourists as usual and had nice meals at Ristorante Altanella, Bar alla Toletta and Trattoria Ai Cacciatori.

After getting fresh vegetables, prosciutto, bread and cheese from Rialto market we left San Giorgio Maggiore on Monday 13th, and anchored west of Isola Poveglia, where we had a good swim, gnocchi with two dips and enjoyed a quiet night.

Next morning we motored southwest inside the lagoon to Chioggia, where we took a mooring at Darsena Mosella for three nights. Our grandchildren enjoyed the beautiful beach and we savored good food at Pizzeria Antichi Sapori, Minerva, and Il Ristoro.

On Friday 17th we left Chioggia back northeast and had to tack against easterly winds. High waves took their toll on the crew, but finally we moored in Caorle at Darsena dell'Orologio and had a fine dinner at Ristorante il Centrale. Next day we sailed northeast with nice southwesterly winds and quiet sea and finally anchored in Laguna Marano at our favorite place. We baked delicious pancakes and enjoyed a quiet night. 

To get back with high tide we lifted our anchor next morning at 8:45 and moored at 10:00 at Marina Stella. We took a refreshing swim in the marina's large pool and enjoyed an exceptional dinner at Ristorante 900 all'Isola

With our young crew we sailed 148sm in 33h during 11 days.

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

Sailing only in Italian waters poses no problems at all now; no official procedures necessary, but fewer people and boats on the way. Italians are very disciplined wearing masks in all restaurants, shops and offices.



Friday, June 26, 2020

Late Start into the Sailing Season

Due to the Corona Virus I had to postpone maintenance work on S/Y Sea of Joy 4 times. Until June 16th, 2020 it was just not possible to travel to Italy because of excessive measures of the Austrian Government. They wanted to keep all inhabitants in Austria to increase tourism revenues, violating the European Right to Travel freely. (see my Corona-blog in German).

Marina Stella is located in the river Stella in Friuli Venezia Giulia, where the ratio of new infections per inhabitants was way lower than for instance in Vienna, Austria in June.

Finally on Monday, 22nd I started the engine and motored 2 miles upstream to Marina Stella Shipyard
My boat was lifted gently by my skilled friend Luca operating a 100 ton travellift assisted by the reliable mechanic Erwin.

He cleaned the hull thoroughly and next day after drying artful painter Andrea applied a layer of antifouling Trilux 33 to the clean hull.

 On Wednesday I checked all seacocks, anodes, and repaired a wire for the electric toilet. The MaxProp propeller was greased, antifreeze was checked and motor oil and filters were changed. Thursday noon Sea of Joy was lifted back into the river Stella and I moored her back at her usual place in Marina Stella Porto Titiano.

I was happy to find that most good restaurants are fully open again, for example:
Ristorante Cigno

On Friday, June 26th, I cleaned off the long winter's dirt and now S/Y Sea of Joy is ready for the new sailing season.