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.
Early in the morning, at 06:00 hours, I wake up because the wind turned to the north. This bay offers no protection for that, and the swell makes our stay rather uncomfortable. I woke up twice during the night, because it was raining. It seems to be a southern extension of the storms in the northern coastal area. Time for us to go south.
Despite the early hour, we lift our anchor and we sail from the bay. Our course is 100° towards Korčula. The nautical weather forecast at 07:45 confirms this choice. At 09:00 we pass Šćedro island. We see the contours of the lighthouse on the island Pločica on the horizon, we will hold it on our portside.
After a beautiful sunrise through the clouds, the weather clears up a bit. Unfortunately, that means that there is no wind at all. But it is rather busy on the water, with many fishing boats and some cargo ships. The latter are probably on their way to Neum, the seaport of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Later that morning we enjoy a group of dolphins in the vicinity of our ship. They are not very close, but it is still a beautiful sight.
By 12:30 hours, we anchor in the bay behind the rock Plič Vrbovica, a bay about 3 miles west of Korčula. We take our time for a quiet lunch and a round of swimming. There is quite some human activity around the bay (including the construction of holiday homes), and there is (as a result?) not so much life in the bay. Not really an interesting place to dive. An hour later we sail on, and a little after 14:00 hours we moor the boat into the rear corner of ACI Marina Korčula. Time for a shower…
That evening we have a delicious dinner at Konoba Mareta.
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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