This year we went sailing for two weeks in September. Our ship this year was the same Bénéteau Oceanis 311 (Tamara) we used in 2005 and our route can be found below. The trip was a combination of days covering relatively large distances, and days spent in bays for necessary rest & relaxation. We visited quite a few new places.
The weather was good. Again, a lot of northerly winds (Bura, Tramontana and Maestral). Usually between 10 – 15 knots, sometimes a bit more, but never more than 25 knots. We started with some beautiful summer weather, followed by a few days of cloudy, cool and rainy weather. Near the end of the first week temperatures were back at 26 – 28 degrees Celsius and the clouds were gone, and we kept that type of weather until the end of the trip. Because of the cold weather in the first week, seawater temperatures did drop from 23 – 24 degrees Celsius to 20 – 21 degrees Celsius.
We did notice that we were sailing later in the season. Darkness came early (no later than 20:00) and occasionally the nights became very cold. Furthermore, most harbours and bays were busier than we were used during our ‘normal’ sailing period late May.
The wind starts early this morning. We have 15 knots of SE wind (Jugo) in our bay. With a reefed mainsail and half a genoa, we sail on a course of 100 degrees, towards the Pelješki Kanal between Korčula and Pelješac. The wind increases during the day towards 25 knots (Force 6 on Beaufort’s scale), so sailing is hard work today. The grand final comes when we approach Orebic, another harbour that we did not visit before.
The lay-out of this harbour is rather strange. In front of the harbour, the sea is rather shallow – maximum depth is 4 – 5 meters. This creates a rather serious swell when the wind is towards land (like Jugo). The harbour of Orebić has a large breakwater pointing southward, with a lightbeacon at its head. However, halfway that breakwater there is another one at a right angle. It is behind that second breakwater that you find the actual harbour and the moorings.
Just when we approach the harbour, the rain starts pouring. And when I say pouring, I do mean pouring… We cannot see 50 meters, and we are soaking wet within seconds. Fortunately, we do find the harbour entrance. And there we find the next hurdle. In the middle of the entrance a small tourist ship, dancing on the waves, is disembarking its passengers. We do manage to manoeuvre around it and park our boat. No harbour master in sight, no other help, but with just the two of us we ‘execute according to the book’. And just when we tie up the last line, the rain stops just as sudden as it began.
Yes, and there are no pictures of that. Because when sailing shorthanded in circumstances like this, you have other things to do. Besides, our camera is not waterproof…
That evening we had a very nice dinner at the Restaurant Karako. We found it when following the coast in an easterly direction.
Around 08:00 I leave the water after a refreshing early-morning swim. And right at that moment a group of fish goes ballistic. Around our ship, hundreds of small fish jump up from the water. I just about manage to shoot a photo of it.
Around 10:00 we lift our anchor. At that time, there is virtually no wind at all. One hour later, we have a light northerly wind, and we hoist our sails. Our aim is to round Rat Pelegrin, the westerly point of the island of Hvar. We round this cape at around 12:30. It is very busy there, and the harbour of Hvar-town (which we pass half an hour later) is busy as usual. By now, the wind has turned to W, and with the wind in our back our speed is now 4 – 5 knots.
At 16:00 we take our sails down just north of the island of Šćedro. On our motor we enter Lovišće bay. This is a great bay for spending the night, as long as the wind is not coming from a northerly direction. We drop our anchor in the south-easterly corner of the bay, and also put two mooring lines to the coast – the traditional three-point mooring. It really stabilises the boat and makes for a much more comfortable anchorage. Unfortunately, the bay is not that quiet during the evening. There are three restaurants that use generators for electricity.
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