This time we sailed for a week from our home base in Split. The ship was a Bénéteau Oceanis 311 and the full route can be found below. A week with beautiful weather. Every day well above 30 degrees, and only one (partly) cloudy day. A week also with beautiful wind. Every day a good sailing wind, usually around 15 knots, mostly from the NW direction (Tramontana).
A strong Bura wakes me up at 06:00. Although this bay is well-sheltered, the swell is very uncomfortable. This is caused by water being ‘pushed’ between the islands of Lastovo and Prežba. Around 08:00, the rest of the crew is awake as well, and we make a go for it. Not too bad, given that we have to make it back to the mainland before the weekend. With over 20 knots of wind, and boat speed reaching 7.5 knots, we race towards Korčula (course 330), until…. At 09:00 the wind dies down completely. That is the Adriatic as I know it, always ready to throw another surprise at you!
For one hour, our boat speed ranges from 1 to 2 knots, until (just after 10:00) a light north-westerly wind arrives. Tramontana did not let us down this year. After passing Korčula again, wind speed is well over 20 knots again.
We would not like to risk another night without sleep, so we do not moor in Hvar. Instead, we go to ACI Marina Palmižana. A cute, small, and very quiet harbour. Proper showers for the first time this week. And some extra fun is added when our German neighbour oversteps his dinghy, landing himself in the water. In the evening, we have a great dinner at the Restaurant Meneghello.
An ambitious day today. Upon checking the weather-forecast, I find out that wind expectation is extremely good. Starting early (around 10:00 instead of the usual noon) from the south-west. We decide to try and reach Lastovo, which is over 30 nautical miles away. Neither of us has ever been there before. It is one of the most remote inhabited islands along the Croatian coast.
Around 10:30 we leave Hvar. We hoist the sails immediately outside the harbour, and pick a course of 150 degrees (SE), which we simply keep all day. After a couple of hours, we pass the island of Korčula, with a nice view towards Vela Luka. The Tri Luke bay just around the corner is the ‘spare option’ for the night, but wind and weather remain favourable so we continue. Susač and Lastovo are already clearly visible at the horizon.
The wind speed is 22 knots by now, so our speed picks up to well over 7 knots. Not bad for a Bénéteau Oceanis 311! It is obvious that we have open sea now, there is quite a swell. Fortunately, none of the crew comes down with seasickness.
Around 19:00 we drop our sails. We pass in between the islets of Bratin and Vlašnik into Luka Velji Lago. It is a large bay on the western side of Lastovo, actually a channel between the islands of Lastovo and Prežba (check the pilot guide here). There are various suitable moorings here: Ubli, Jurjeva Luka and the quay at Hotel Solitudo. Our choice is anchoring in Kremena, a bay just around the corner when entering Velji Lago, which is surrounded by pine trees with their wonderful smell.
Upon entering, there is a little surprise. There is the entrance to a huge tunnel. Lastovo used to be military territory during the days of Yugoslavia, just as Vis was. The dark hole makes the bay a bit spooky, but fortunately the beautiful star-spangled sky compensates for this.