Sailing from Trogir to Dubrovnik and back

SUNDAY, 15 JUNE 2014 06:54
Trogir Croatia

So back to Croatia with the same crew, Al and Josie, with a mission to get to Dubrovnik this time. So much so that we have invested in some additional propulsion, a cruising chute. For non sailors it is a puzzle why sail yachts mainly have white sails and then for some reason sometimes display gregarious voluptuous head sails. It is a mystery to me as well but a fact. Anyway it is something more to faff with.

Trogir is quaint walled city with a maize of narrow allies and well worth the schlep last night in the quest for the evening fare. Entertainment of another kind came later last night / early am with the England Italy match. The wild lads on the boat next door peaked very early in the exuberance of the occasion (much the same could be said for England ) and nearly crashed and burned before the start of the match. Getting their second wind got them through the night, partly due to Sally’s intervention to calm them down.

Some serious hangovers this morning and were on their boat I would power hose and sterilise the cockpit following a witnessed early morning bladder emptying session. I blame Sal, she should have let them crash and burn early. Weather looking a bit challenging for the next few days so the plan is a bit fluid.



MONDAY, 16 JUNE 2014 22:14
Pakleni Islands off Havar 28 NM

Bit of blue for the Dad’s in a few ways yesterday. We left the overt titty bars of Trogir the day before and part motored and sailed the 28NM to the islands off the west coast of Havar. Bit of blue air on the passage from the crew as the wind was either dead ahead or on the beam so lots of leaning but all in all we made good time. The mooring for the night was noted in the pilot book as a marina.

In reality it is a hedonistic pit stop on a nudist colony and so attracts an eclectic bunch of party animals. We found some culture for the night by taking the ferry over to Havar town where another form of indulgence was evident with serious boat pimping and a bit more blue for the Dad’s.

Bit of a concern over the weather for the next few days (thunder storms etc) and we need to get some miles to do Dubrovnik some justice so blogs may be delayed.



TUESDAY, 17 JUNE 2014 05:53
Lumbarda on Korcula 40 NM

In search for a more peaceful night and to press on south to forward our quest we accepted the less than favourable weather conditions. While excessive wind was not the issue we were skirting a few hot spots for thunder storms. The passage lived up to the forecast and we ended up motoring into the wind and murky sky’s and showers while been treated by a display of lightning in the distance.

We sought out a familiar idealism and cracked on to Lumbarda (a 2 day stop last year – although it took us a week to get here). The quaint surrounding has been enhanced by a goose that has found an easy life living off the pickings from port bound yachtsmen. A quite friendly creature but is in the habit of not really caring where it goes (in more ways than one) and I have given up walking barefoot down the gangplank. The evening was spoiled a tad by the result of the Germany Portugal game.

42.934° N, 17.1595° E •


WEDNESDAY, 18 JUNE 2014 08:09
Okuklje on Mljet 27 NM

Much improved experience yesterday although we did not see the sails the weather is improving and the wild life is more marine than 2 legged with sightings of dolphins on the passage. This place and island is idyllic and I can believe Homer’s view as Calypso kept Odysseus here for 3 years. With all this the mood of the crew has improved and the expectations are rising as we are now just a short sail from Dubrovnik.

A sleepy hollow like this with a few boats has limited activity so when a 50ft Bavaria came in last night with an entertaining level of incompetence it attracted some attention!

42.7271° N, 17.6714° E •


THURSDAY, 19 JUNE 2014 17:25
Dubrovnik 22 NM

Still getting the tail end of storms yesterday, got the sails out but the wind was in the wrong direction to make short work of the trip. So after lots of leaning we relented and motored in to Dubrovnik. We were however treated to sightings of more dolphins. I could liken the approach to Dubrovnik to that of the entrance to the Humber with a passage under a large suspension bridge except there is not an effing big sand bank to ground on (remember that trip Geoff and Mike?) and the scenery is much more spectacular (OK except for the bridge it is nothing like the Humber).

This is truly a magical place, the marina is located up a long river valley between steep hills on both sides and lined with tasteful developments and historical buildings. The facilities are first class and the crew will be really spoilt with hot showers (I know how to treat the crew well) over the next 2 days as we explore the city. There are some v serious motor cruisers in this place but non appear to go anywhere, perhaps like we were today, they are all exploring Dubrovnik but me thinks there are other reasons they were in port and probably the main one being economic.



FRIDAY, 20 JUNE 2014 05:43
Suarez 2 England 1

At least the crew enjoyed the sightseeing in Dubrovnik yesterday, meandering around the compact streets and marvelling at the views from the top of the cable car over looking the jewel of the Adriatic. Starting to plan a meandering return to Trogir and with the weather improving and the thought of utilising our additional propulsion spirits are improving after the disappointment last night. Despite our anticipated turbo charge it is almost certain that the England team will be back in Blighty before we are.


FRIDAY, 20 JUNE 2014 20:05
Slano mainland Croatia 18 NM

In the hot sun and clear blue sky’s we left Dubrovnik via the river valley and under the Adriatic highway bridge (not the Humber bridge). We made way to a nearby island anchorage and Crew #1 and I swam off the boat. After a light lunch (all very civilised) we headed on up the coast to our destination. While the wind was dead ahead and we were motoring it was all very pleasant to be in the sun after all the storms.

The narrowing entrance to the bay was somewhat more challenging as the wind whipped up to 39KN with the swell on the beam. This turned into a “just get in” situation and by the time we were in the sheltered bay everyone was ready for a beer.

All very character building. Slano is quite remarkable, virtually destroyed by the war in 1991/2 it has mostly been rebuilt with the main sea front feature being a large luxurious hotel. This is a really nice spot with a large sheltered bay and I can see it once again being the top holiday destination in Croatia with the right sort of development – so far they are heading to achieve that goal. England will now be home before we are ;-(



SUNDAY, 22 JUNE 2014 05:48
Polace on Mljet 24 NM

It was sun, sails and smiles yesterday for Crew #1 the birthday girl and as a treat we sailed to Polace. This must be a special place to spend a birthday as the super yacht the Mayan Queen, owned (according to the gospel of Wikipedia) by the Mexican billionaire Alberto Baillères who is worth $16bn from muck shifting and extracting silver, is anchored at the entrance of the bay. It is delightful and very peaceful.

We found a spot near the 4th century ruins of a Roman villa next to a restaurant with laid mooring lines. The promised treat of a hot shower could not however be delivered as I had failed to obsess too much about water to the point that we ran out. The restaurant owner did kindly put a hose on for us at midnight and after building a roof over his BBQ and feeding all his customers including us (he did exhibit the signs of a man under pressure so thought it best to go with the flow).

Anyway the birthday girl enjoyed the day despite the crew’s hygiene.

42.7863° N, 17.3778° E •


MONDAY, 23 JUNE 2014 06:20
Lumbarda on Korcula 16 NM

The boys got the toys out today, light airs and up the chuff wind were ideal conditions to play with our multi coloured cruising chute. We are obviously going the the right places as old Alberto has followed us in the Mayan Queen and anchored on the other side of the bay. Must have taken him a while to round up the crew as we counted at least 20 ashore in fragmented groups this morning all in their matching monogrammed black polo shirts and cream tailored shorts. What a way to live and all from digging holes.

Readers will note we keep returning to this peaceful spot, it is ideally located as cross roads to a number of routing options it also has excellent showers, a beach to swim off and a beach bar to while the the time. We spent the evening in the beautiful town of Korcula and paid another visit to the cocktail tower (also important in the decision process) Some debate about another night in port – decide later.



TUESDAY, 24 JUNE 2014 06:12
Begging Letter

Spending too much time on land with a second day in port is not good for the soul. If anyone has £0.75m spare for one of these (or £0.5m secondhand for cash) you know how to contact me. Moving on today when we can get out – the small marina got packed full and with tight births and V tight turning space it could be a challenging morning (crew insisted that I ensure we are full with water to maintain hygiene standards)


WEDNESDAY, 25 JUNE 2014 07:00
Sucuraj on Havar 23NM


Back to rain and storms through the night, while alongside we were safe but bouncy. I slept but I was the only one who did and Al spent most of the night adjusting fenders. Our trip over yesterday was much better with a good wind behind us, Al got the sails to goose wing using the cruising chute block.

At one point we were running at 8.5KN, not bad for a 33ft sail boat. Took the main down and ran on the genoa when the wind increased. The skipper and a stunned crew are having a slow start today as we study the weather and overnight alternatives.



THURSDAY, 26 JUNE 2014 06:29
Jelsa on Hvar 24 NM

Plucked up courage and made a run for it to get out of the harbour at Sucuraj – did not want to spend any more time bouncing on the quay. With the wind behind us for most of the time we made good way in the squally showers that appeared to be pursing us. Had lots of debate with Al about the current wind which could have been mistral, sirocco, bora or garbina. Decided we were experiencing a sirocco.

While this did little to ease our passage, it did help us in our choice of harbour for the night by heeding the warnings on other choices in the pilot books and to avoid being dashed aground or swept up a road on a rising flood.

Anyway the crew remained in good spirits through all this and even later in the afternoon when we were treated to a monsoon type downpour likened to those experienced by Crew #1 on her recent trip to see Laura in Malaysia.

Wind abated and the high pressure has moved in and brought the sun. That and a good nights sleep has lifted spirits even more.

43.1627° N, 16.6936° E •


FRIDAY, 27 JUNE 2014 06:35
Milna on Brac 21 NM

V good sail yesterday, our colourful turbocharger saw the wind again and the goose was on the wing. The sun was out as we departed and so were the exponents of the ancient art of naked ti chi, a rather surreal sight. All this got us in in good time to Milna and with plenty to talk about, the time passed quickly on the T1ts and T0dger Tour.

While an outwardly attractive little town with a Venetian feel, on close inspection it is somewhat run down in places with a number of prominent derelict buildings. It has also been almost totally taken over by the ACI Marina company to the point that the whole bay became a sea of yachts as folk flooded in for the night, this, along with an element of rowdiness in a few flotilla groups has somewhat spoiled the ambiance.

It is however a key crossroads on the return to the charter bases on the mainland and so to some extent it is an unavoidable necessity. Still it provided some entertainment and an opportunity to observe as many ways to moor up as not to.



SATURDAY, 28 JUNE 2014 06:49
Trogir via Rogac on Solta 20 NM

So we left the hubbub of Milna and thought we would fill up with diesel on the way, circling boats and little progress made the decision for us and we pressed on to Rogac, a swim stop visited last year. This delightful little village also has fuel dock that proved less manic, although I was near fuel dock rage when I hung back to make it easy for a boat to spring off only to witness half the crew leave the boat for takeaway coffee and ice cream – unbelievable. Many words sprung to mind and mouth but none are likely to pass work profanity filters.

The return to base saw the now predictable high winds on the nose and making way in the lumpy sea was just a slog. The evening was spent roaming the narrow back streets of Trogir in search of a recommended restaurant. Back to Blighty today with fond memories of an excellent trip.

Trip total 263 NM

43.5135° N, 16.2486° E •

Text by crew of Beneteau oc 323, June 2014

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