September 22, 2010
9/20 to 9/22 Dubrovnik
We had a pretty day to sail to Dubrovnik and see the magnificent fort from the water. We arrived without incident, so felt thrilled and relieved that we had our great adventure without mishap.
Croatia is a wonderful cruising ground with about every type of condition possible.
We had a tour of old Dubrovnik and a final Cruising World Farewell Dinner. We met some interesting people that we enjoyed totally. The Canadian group was one of our favorites – very fun people.
Dubrovnik is huge. Cruise ships come & go all the time which really made it a total different feel than that the rest of Croatia. However, the old city is wonderful with all it’s churches, shops, fort and Maritime Museum. Also the bar on the outside of the wall was fantastic.
All in all a FANTASTICTRIP OF A LIFETIME.
September 19, 2010
One of my favorite days. Bernadette sailed with us to Sipan. The winds were 28-32 knots with higher gusts. Waves started at 6’ then kept building to 12-14’ high. Lots of blustery splashes, but still fun. It was very tiring. No pics today – too rough.
Bernadette shared sailing tips and suggested we go to the Baja to sail and Indonesia. Also, if you do decide to do coastal cruising go from north to south.
After that fantastic rough day of sailing we arrived at Sipanska Luka and ate at a fantastic restaurant named Marka. Beautiful meal and evening. I found a wonderful sailboat pin and the artist made me earrings to go with it.
September 18, 2010
Douglas decided to sail with us today. Rough waves and 28 knots of steady wind. It was fun, but we were sure tired. It wasn’t our most graceful day, but very nice. Sea Salt docked the boat well – we are all getting better, but it’s always dicey with so little room, wind and backing.
Several of the other boaters joined us for happy hour, all mentioning how rough the sailing was. There is an interesting monestary on one of the lakes on Mljet. It was a hike to get to a boat to take us, but we had fun. There was a wedding going on, so I guess that makes us wedding crashers.
September 17, 2010
Well is was a long hard sail here and the old, old city is pretty amazing. We found a Marco Polo shop and bought polo shirts – go figure! Kimberly & Michael found a Marco Polo tower bar that was super cool. They had to go up a ladder.
We met a very neat woman who won several local cooking awards. She took a liking to us and gave us extra pastries and a herb bouquet. I found a cookbook with her picture and several other places that we had eaten along the way.
We found a place with Croatian appetizers – dates stuffed with goat cheese – yummy.
September 17, 2010
We are now in Korcula. Each place has been absolutely amazing. Internet access is extremely limited and down most of the time, but you probably figured that out already. We have been sailing 20-30 miles each day and great winds and reasonable seas. Yesterday seas were a bit higher at 5-10 feet.
Today we just sailed 20 miles to another island. It is absolutely mind boggling how they take buildings 100’s of years old and make them work today.
Hope you’re all well. We are having a magnificent time.
September 16, 2010
Lots of talk at the morning meeting regarding going on to Lastovo, because some sailors were no feeling well. Happily all 5 of us on the Golden Ray vessel wanted to go on. What a sailing day. Great wind 15-20 knots, lots of tacking and sail adjustment, but a pretty day to do it. All 32 miles were fun even with the foul weather gear needed.
We did have a major challenge fixing lunch because we were realy heeled. We ended up doing shifts. We were glad it was at least not raining because that made the day fun.
Lastovo Island is quiet with Zaklopatica for the tiny marina. Only 5 boats could comfortably tie up. We walked to the wonderful old town on the mountain, also called Lastovo. It sets nicely on a very steep hill. It was a 2-3 km walk, mostly uphill, but really worth it. Lots of great picture taking opportunities. Round chimneys were everywhere.
Not many people speak English on this island. My knee was bothering me so we were looking for a way back to the marina by wheels. An island bus stopped and we payed them to take us to the marina. The driver went past our stop and we shouted out. He felt bad, although he didn’t really understand us. Fortunately a young man was on the bus who figured out what we were trying to say. He called his friend, who was snorkeling at the time, and said he would pick us up in 10 minutes. The driver insisted on giving our money back and let us out on the side of the mountain in the middle of noting. The young man did say there was a goat path we could take that was a shortcut. We looked at it – I don’t think goats could use it, so we waited. We just started walking about 15 minutes later when Ante showed up in his cab, snorkle gear at his side, soaking wet head to toe. He was a delightful young man and he took us safely back to Golden Ray. He told us how the island is totally dependent on tourism in one way or another. No industry other than that. We tipped him big and went on our way to dinner with our new goat trail story.
We have traveled a lot over the years, and we agree that Croatian people are among the nicest, friendliest, honest people we have ever run across.
September 15, 2010
The trip from Milna to Hvar and Paleni Islands was fantastic. It’s like a giant, beautiful passageway with lots of boats, mountains, cliffs and best of all a dolpiins. Several boats were circling and we wondered why. All of a sudden several pods of dolphins started jumping and playing so we knew what was going on. What a delight.
We docked at Pakleni and took a ferry to Hvar. Hvar is a bustling port with a lot of boats, shops & restaurants. Very picturesque and different that the other quiet islands we had been to. There is a large fort at the top of the town – very long walk, but beautiful.
We were glad we had our Canon for the wide angle shots, and my Nikon for the zoom. So many wonderful sights to see. The internet still was a problem because of the mountains.
The Restoran Hanibal is a must do meal. Fresh octopus, shrimp, white fish, scallops for appetizers. Fish with Grapes in tomato wine sauce were outstanding. The museum and church at the monestary were great. Everyone was eating Gelato. That became a twice a day event for most people.
It was dark when we took the ferry back to Golden Ray. Somehow the younger boaters found Grappa – again.
September 14, 2010
Long sail from Vis to Solta. Not much wind so sailing was slow, but still nice. We had a great lunch stop where we found an Italian boat that redefined the term “bare-boaters”. We enjoyed our tuna with lemon, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, oregano & basil while trying to avoid some of the bareness on the next boat.
The ASA school on coastal navigation helped us all chart our course each day. A chart plotted is wonderful, but you should not rely on it, and it occasionally goes haywire.
On the island of Brac we stayed at an ACI Marina. ACI has a chain of nice service marinas up and down the Croatian coast. They are clean and usually are full service (showers, water, electric).
We went wine tasting and found a tiny, tiny place with a friendly Croatian man. It was run by his father & grandfather before him. His olive oil was wonderful. He actually dipped is out of a 300 yr. old square crock and bottled it for me.
September 13, 2010
We were early to rise again and left the dock at 8 am to go to Bisevo and see the Blue Sea Cave. Very cool. Next to the green cave, nice, but not as impressive as the blue cave. We had nice 13 knot winds for some great sailing. Then on to snorkle and swim at Pagan Viel. It was nice to be in the water. There was not much in the way of snokeling delights other than some anemones that blended with the rocks.
Our entry into Vis City was excellent.
The big Croatian Peka Dinner was a fantastic hit. It started with Croatian shots which helped the party atmosphere. Several of us were “out of control” having fun. And then there was the special pole dancing from the guys late that night – we won’t mention who. Undoubtedly a memorable night. Be sure to check out the dinner pics.
September 12, 2010
Great sailing from Trogir to Komiza on Vis. 8-10 knots of winds and 2-3 ft. seas. Cool, but sunny. The new GPS is working great. It reads out the wave highs/lows making it more than a good guess. They always look bigger than they are.
This was our first stern-to anchorage and we didn’t ruin our boat or any others – yeah. Not bad for our first time and we all learned something. We went to a wonderful restaurant where capers were growing on all the walls. I had never seen it growing. Next spring I’ll try to plant it at home.
The plank fell into the water and Michael jumped in after it – he was unhurt thankfully, but it created quite the spectacle. After a great dinner the plank was still in a dangerous position so we just walked over other people’s boats.
NOTE – BE SURE TO LOOK AT Photos as a Slideshow!