In September 2011, we sailed for two weeks along the Croatian coast. The ship was a Bénéteau Oceanis 323 and the entire route can be found below.
We logged approximately 240 nautical miles. From Split to Vis via Brac, Hvar and Korcula then through to Lastovo, then to Mljet. Then leisurely via Korcula and Hvar back to Split. We visited some new places again, and had 8 nights on our anchor (or buoy) and only two nights in a harbour.
The weather was very good, plenty of sunshine every day and temperatures up to 30 degrees Celsius and above. We had good sailing winds, especially from the NW, and the sea temperature was 24-25 degrees Celsius.
In early September the dark comes early (before 20:00). The temperature dropped overnight to around 20 degrees Celsius.
The next morning we are woken up early by the water police. Even in this quiet corner. They check our papers and especially the papers of the boat. In recent years, many illegal charters entered Croatia, and it seems that this finally leads to more controls.
In the company of a school fish we swim around and then have breakfast. Then it’s time to start the journey back to Split. We pick up the anchor around 8:30 and hoist the sails in 6 knots of wind from NW. Outside the bay the wind increased to 11 knots and soon we pass Rt Kabal, the north-western tip of Hvar.
With course 320 we head to Splitska Vrata, where we arrive at 11:00. Then we are heading east to Milna to fill up with diesel. We only consumed 30 litres and we are proud of. The fuel stop takes time, as usual, at the end of the charter week it gets very busy.
Once we leave the bay of Milna the wind lets us down. On this last day we are therefore still forced to use the engine. It does not bother us, we are looking back on another wonderful sailing trip. Late in the afternoon our ship is at its usual place in Marina Kaštela again. For us, unfortunately, the journey home starts.
The day starts quiet as usual, but when the wind arrives around 10:30 we immediately get the anchor up and hoist the sails. With a light SE wind in the back we sail westward through Zaljev Vela Luka. Around 12:00 we pass Rt Proizd. We change course to 320 towards Hvar and Pakleni Otoci. The wind steadily increases to 12 knots and with a speed of more than 5 knots Hvar is approaching fast. We sail between the island and the lighthouse on Jerolim Pokonji by Dol and pass along the harbour of Hvar (busy as always) via the Pakleni Kanal. Less than an hour later, we round Rt Pelegrin, the western point of Hvar. Our course is now eastern, and along the coast of Hvar we sail into the Starigradski Zaljev. The afternoon is already over when we enter Luka Tiha, the collection bays on the north side of Starigradski Zaljev. Here we find our peaceful anchorage. A sturdy sailing day is concluded with a hearty meal.
We sailed along the Croatian coast for two weeks in September 2009. Our ship was a Bénéteau Oceanis 323 and the entire route can be found below.
We sailed approximately 335 miles in total. Starting in Split via Brač, Korčula and Lastovo, then via the Elaphite Islands to Dubrovnik. Taking it easy, we sailed back via Mljet, Korčula, Hvar and Vis to Trogir, after which we returned to Split. Anchoring for 9 nights, and 4 harbours.
The weather was good, sunshine every day and temperatures up to 30 degrees Celsius and even higher. We had one day with rain and thunderstorms during this trip. The Bura winds gave us a great finale. Most days we had northerly (Bura) and northwesterly winds (Tramontana), and one day we had Jugo winds (southeasterly). Seawater temperature was 24 – 25 degrees Celsius – great for swimming.
Darkness came early (20:00) given that it was already late season. During the night, the temperature dropped to around 20 degrees Celsius. It was still pretty busy in the popular ports and bays.
Vis, that beautiful island about 30 miles south of Split. Last year we spent a night in a bay here, but we did not visit the town of Vis for years. Today we go to visit an old friend. He is a sailing instructor at Ultra Sailing, and is currently training with a group in this area.
We stay in bed until after 09:00 am, too late for the weather forecast. Around 10:30 we lift anchor and sail out of the bay. There is enough wind to hoist the sails immediately. There is a light wind from northwest, 6 knots. We make a number of tacks that bring us slowly toward Rt Pelegrin. During one of these tacks we see a group of dolphins about 100 meters from the boat, but they decide not to come close to our ship.
When rounding Rt Pelegrin around 13:15, it is very crowded with sailboats, motorboats and a ferry. We quickly leave the crowds behind us and slip between the islands Paržanj and Borovac, heading south this time. We see the island of Vis on our bow already. The wind gradually increases to 11 – 12 knots and turns slightly west. Perfect for our course. We do not drop our sails until deep in the bay Viška Luka. The whole day we’ve seen people going around on engine, even though the sailing conditions are excellent.
At 16:00 hours, the quay of Vis is already very crowded. It seems to be operated as a marina, with rates to match. For 300 kuna (about EUR 40) we can moor our 32-footer overnight, and use of the (not very clean) showers will take another 30 kuna. Anyway, a bit later we sit behind huge mugs of beer to catch up and share the latest news and local sailing gossip.
That evening we eat at Bufet Vis on the quay. The restaurant does not look like anything, but the food is delicious. A wonderful lukewarm salata od hobotnica (octopus salad) and a red risotto, complemented by an excellent grilled fresh fish with garlic and fresh parsley. After this we board the Ultra training vessel for some fine wine. At 22:30 (late for our standards) we are in our bunks. And that while we have early plans for tomorrow morning.
We start the day slowly, these are our holidays. At 10:00 we lift anchor. Between Korčula and Trstenik there is already 8 knots of wind from the northeast. So we hoist the sails immediately. We hardly used the engine since Dubrovnik, the batteries are getting low by now.
After passing Trstenik island and upon reaching the open sea, we sail west towards Rt Velo Dance, the southwestern tip of the island Korčula. The wind is north-northwesterly, so we do not manage to sail our desired heading in a northwesterly direction toward Pakleni Otoci, the islands off the southern coast of Hvar. For the time being we follow a more westerly course toward Vis.
During the morning the wind turns gradually to a northeasterly direction, which gradually brings our course to a more northwesterly direction. Early afternoon we sail just off the island of Sveti Klement. It is lovely sailing weather, in winds of around 15 knots. By 14:00, when we come near Sveti Klement, the wind turns back to the northwest.
Sveti Klement is rather frightening. In recent years the vicinity of Hvar became increasingly crowded, one of the reasons why we prefer to avoid that spot. But never before did we find all the bays on the south side of Sveti Klement already overcrowded with ships on anchor by 15:00 in the afternoon. Uvala Tarsće and Uvala Vinogradisče feel like Spanish Costa campsites in the August high season… We take a look at Luka Soline, but did not anchor there. It is too deep (more than 20 meters) and we find the bay not well protected. There are only some buoys at a restaurant, but all were taken already.
After some discussion we decide to sail to Tiha Luka to the north of the island of Hvar in Starogradski Zaljev, the bay of Stari Grad. The wind by now turned directly west and increased to 17 – 18 knots. We motor west along the south coast of Sveti Klement, which solves the problem of drained batteries as well. Near 16 ° 20 ‘E we sail straight north between the islands Paržanj and Borovac through. After this we hoist the sails. We pass Rt Pelegrin and sail in an easterly direction. At 17:00 we reach the entrance of Luka Tiha and take our sails down. Half an hour later we anchor in one of the smaller bays on the west side of Tiha Luka.
After our previous sailing adventure, we took another week of sailing in September. This time we stayed in the Croatian coastal waters. The ship was a Bénéteau Oceanis 323 and the route can be found here. We travelled approximately 175 nautical miles in total. From Split and Hvar we sailed to Vis and Korčula, where we did a complete tour around the island. Despite having just one week, we did visit some new places. The only harbours included were our starting point Marina Kaštela in Split and ACI Marina Korčula. The other nights we spent at anchor in various bays.
The weather was better than we have ever had during our sailing. Every day we had plenty of sun and temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius and above. We had two rain showers, both fell during the night. And, very unusual in such weather, we had excellent sailing wind. Most days the wind started around noon, usually from the northwest (Maestral Tramontana). The wind usually peaked around 15-16 knots (Force 4), sometimes 22-24 knots (6 Beaufort). The seawater temperature was 24-25 degrees Celsius – a great swimming temperature. In the early morning the water was slightly warmer than the air, ideal for an early morning swim.
Darkness fell early (20:00) given that it was already late season. During the night, the temperature dropped to around 20 degrees Celsius. It was still pretty busy in the popular ports and bays. However, various charterers complained that the summer had been relatively quiet. Due to the economic situation, there were fewer Italian tourists than in previous years.
On this last day we can feel a change in the weather coming. During the day, the clouds increase slowly but steadily. The wind is changing. We use the morning to sail to Rogač (on the north side of Šolta) and to refuel. This queue at this gas station is usually not as long as the one in Milna (Brač), where the service station sits next to the exit of the marina. Yet even here there are seven ships waiting in line.
Then we sail to the bay Uvala Nečujam, slightly further east. In this bay we did some great snorkelling last year, but this year the situation has deteriorated. The water is less clear, and the sea life has decreased. Even the colours of the coral are gone. It seems that another piece of seabed has been lost.
Around 14:30 we depart from the bay towards Marina Kaštela direction. At first with the wind right from behind, which makes great sailing. Unfortunately the wind dies after an hour or so. We continue on the engine. By 17:00 our ship is moored safely to the pier in the marina and it is time wash off the week’s salt.
Early that morning (06:30) I am in the cockpit to experience the beautiful sunrise. There is no sign of life on the other yachts, nor at the various houses around the bay. I always find this one of the most beautiful moments of the day. An hour later, the nautical weather report tells us that an area of high pressure will stay firmly above the Adriatic Sea for the next few days. In short: it’s great summer weather, and also in terms of the wind we expect no change.
Around 08:00 we leave the bay and motor around the peninsula and the cape Rat Velo Dance to Vela Luka. We want to refuel to ensure that we need no harbour during the coming days. A small tanker ship is just bringing in new supplies, so we have to wait for half an hour.
Vela Luka looks beautiful from a distance, but up close it seems messy and not very authentic. We feel no urge to stay around longer. By 10:30 hours we anchor in the lagoon behind the island Gubeša. That bay can be found some 3 miles west of Vela Luka on the north side of Zaljev Vela Luka. It looks like a very promising bay on paper. It is shallow with an open connection to the sea. But even here there is a lot of human activity around the bay, and there is not much life in the bay. It is, however, an excellent place for anchoring, with a depth of 6 meters and a sandy bottom.
Around noon the wind starts to blow, 15-18 knots from NW direction. We hoist the anchor and leave the bay. Once we round Cape Rat Proizd we sail a course 320 – 330 degrees toward the island of Hvar. Purely out of curiosity we sail a round in the harbour of Hvar town around 16:30. It is extremely busy, the port is literally brimming with yachts of all shapes and sizes. The port authorities have put mooring buoys at all possible places in the harbour, and they are all taken. Even outside the port you see sailing yachts and motor yachts everywhere. Five years ago, this was a nice place drop by occasionally, but for now they will not see me here.
We continue in a westerly direction through Pakleni Kanal. By now we are using the engine, because the wind has decreased and changed direction, straight on our bow. After rounding Rat Pelegrin we continue ENE towards Rat Kabal. By 19:00 hours we anchor in Luka Tiha. We still have time for a pasta and a glass of wine before it gets dark.
At 07:45 I listen to the nautical weather forecast via Split Radio via VHF (announced on VHF Channel 16). The weather looks good again for today. No change in temperature, and during the course of the morning a good sailing breeze is expected. However, for the evening and night a storm is forecasted in the northern coastal area. We will monitor how far this storm will extend to the south.
During the morning we take it easy. Some swimming, some snorkeling, and catching up on some sleep. There are large groups of small fish in this bay. A great sight while snorkeling.
Around noon we leave the bay and head W to Rat Pelegrin, the western tip of the island of Hvar. The first hour the wind is still unstable. Headsail on and off and on and off… Conditions change after we pass Rat Pelegrin, and the island Vodnjak (the most western of the Pakleni Otoci, the group of islands south of Hvar). The wind is now from SSW direction and increases to 15 knots average.
Sailing with a pleasant speed we head towards the island of Vis. We decide not to go to the town with the same name, but go slightly further east to Uvala Stončica, a bay on the northeastern tip of the island of Vis. Here we anchor around 16:30 in the small bay on the west side. Given the high temperature (over 30 degrees Celsius), it is time for a dip in the water.
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