It is quiet when we wake up in the morning. Still not much improvement in the barometer (981), but the sun is out and there is no wind. Because the long-term weather forecast for the northern coast is not that good, we decide to start moving south again.
Around 10:00 CET we are in the narrow channel between Kornati and Katina. Some careful manoeuvring with a maximum speed of 2 knots, because the channel is less than 3 meters deep at some places, and we draw 1.80 meters. According to the Pilot Guide we should stay on the Kornati side of the channel. The Pilot Guide is right…. Except for the last curve…! The depth meter jumps back from 5 meters to 2 meters. In a quick reaction I pull the gas handle backwards and turn the rudder hard to port towards open water.
We hear a scraping sound and the boat gets lifted a bit. My heart misses a beat. Will we run aground? What will be the damage? It lasts only a single moment, after which we pass the ‘threshold’ and glide into deeper water. A quick inspection under the floor panels shows that the boat is dry, and there is a sigh of relief. On the first possible occasion we inspect the bottom of the keel. A nice scratch, but it is not the first one and it will probably not be the last one.
Thomas Siffer once wrote that every sailor who said that he never ran aground, is a liar. And if not, that the running aground will still occur. It seems that I have become a sailor at last.
We quickly forget the incident when we get company of 3 dolphins, north-east of Žut. They stay with us for quite some time – it is already our second meeting in less than a week. And the dolphins bring something else with them as well: the wind. A little breeze, 6 – 8 knots, varying between south-west and north-west, gently carries us in a north-easterly direction towards Murter. However, there is a serious swell in Murtersko More. That turns this trip into an uncomfortable afternoon. Near the end of the afternoon Tribunj appears on the horizon, and around 18:00 CET we moor our ship on one of the last available spots in Tribunj Marina. After dinner, we visit the town of Tribunj, but take my word on it: you do not miss much if you just leave it like that.