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 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.
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