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.
We lift anchor at around 08:00 and slowly motor out of the bay. There is virtually now wind outside, and the sea is calm. Our course is ENE towards the northern shores of Šolta. While the sun warms up quickly we have an easy breakfast. Around 10:00 we arrive in Rogač. At the gas station we fill up: less than 50 litres of diesel in two weeks. That is not bad at all.
After this, we move one bay further east: Uvala Nečujam. Our last hours of swimming, snorkeling, picking up some sun and some lunch. This bay is an excellent location for this purpose. It is large, deep inland and an excellent anchoring ground. We are obviously not the only ship that has picked this bay for this purpose. However, I would not want to use this bay during Bura and other northerly winds. It is exposed in that direction
Around 14:30 we lift anchor and hoist our sails. Outside the bay we find a NW wind (Maestral), 10 – 12 knots. Reaching 5 to 6 knots ourselves, we sail towards the entry of Kaštelanski Zaljev (the bay at the western side of Split, home to all the Kaštelas and to Marina Kaštela). From all bays, channels and straits around us, large numbers of sailing boats appear, heading in that same direction. The charter fleets are returning to their harbour. It is a beautiful sight: a large number of white sails in a long line. Because of the excellent sailing conditions this last trip passes way too fast: around 16:30 we sail into Marina Kaštela.
Around ten we leave Milna harbour. Outside, there is a breeze (8 knots) from NNW. We hoist our sails and sail west, along the islet of Mrduja and turn to port through Splitska Vrata.
At ‘the other side’ the wind turns to WNW and slowly increases to 12 – 14 knots. We quietly tack in a westerly direction along the southern coast of the island of Šolta. Around 14:30 we arrive in Uvala Šešula which can be found at the south-western tip of the island. It is a narrow bay and it is busy there, but we are able to moor our boat three-point in the back end of the bay.
Again, we take it easy for the rest of the day, enjoying the beautiful weather and surroundings. That night, 17 ships are anchored in this small bay. It makes me wonder how things were in the real high season (July and August). Later that night, when sitting in the cockpit with a glass of wine, we enjoy the enormous amount of stars as well as the clearly visible Milky Way. Our reward is a rain of falling stars.
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