It was quite a trip, sailing from Split all the way up to Trieste in the most northern part of the Adriatic Sea and back again. A map with our route can be found below.
At 06.00 we left Trieste, arriving in Umag at around 08.30. Here we moor our boat at the customs pier for clearing. After that, time for coffee, breakfast, shopping, gas and fresh water. We had been out of fresh water since Sunday morning.
After this we continue in south-easterly direction. We do not have any wind again today. Late in the afternoon, just south of the Istria peninsula we were joined by a school of 10 – 15 dolphins. On one photo you can see three of them who swam in our bow wave for a couple of minutes. A bit later we receive a storm warning from Rijeka Radio.
Around 21:30 the wind increases from almost nothing to 30 knots from the northeast. Bura has arrived…! We hoist our sails and start a night of hard work and heavy (but wonderful) sailing. We have gusts of more than 40 knots. Our skipper has retreated to his bunk (flu), so it is just the four of us for the night.
Together with one of the younger guys I take the first watch. I take care of steering and navigation, he takes care of the sails. We have waves of around 2 meters, and the wind reaches force 9 to 10. Around 02:30 the other team takes over. Fully clothed in my heavy weather gear I go down to my cabin and immediately fall asleep. Around 07:00 in the morning I take over the rudder again. At noon the wind disappears just as it came: all of a sudden…
Fortunately our skipper feels better by now, and he takes over the rudder again. It’s a good chance for the four of us to catch up on some sleep – until we arrive in Split around 16:00.
I still wonder who had more fun? The people on the quay watching us, or us watching the people on the quay? I guess it’s us, after all we are the sailors and they are not… During this Saturday more and more yachts enter the harbour to participate in tomorrows’ race. Matko and Emil join our team today as well.
Sunday is ‘racing day’. Although… Given the total absence of wind it is more like a ‘floating day’. It is a strange sense of nervousness just before the start. Tension is building. Between 08.00 and 09.00 thousands of boat left the harbour and got ready to race. Just before the start, some journalists from Croatian TV and sailing magazines had a short interview with our skipper.
Never in my life have I shared one square kilometre of water with 2.000 other boats. Most of which had just one thing in mind: be as close as possible to the starting line at 10.00 AM. Unfortunately, no wind at all came today. By 16.00 we covered only 7 out of 18 miles. Time for a beer. Hardly anyone finishes the race this year.
On Friday we motored to Trieste from Umag. No wind. But Trieste is great. We were moored just outside the Marina. During a regatta, there is usually more fun outside the Marina… In town there were all sorts of concerts to enjoy. On the boulevard you can see the ‘racing village’, and there are all sorts of activities going on in town.