Monthly Archives: May 2009

And Trieste, ah Trieste ate I my Liver!

Arrived in Trieste on Thursday and now, two Bora’s later, time for some reflection.

My relationship with Bora

First of all, I Bora is a hard way of life. And it is officially confirmed that she is a maneater.

I’ve been able to learn you have three ways of Bora coming by. She can stay for one day, three days and even ten days. To make things worse you never will know for what she is up to. It is often said that she is born in the Velebitski Canal in Croatia and dies in Trieste. Sleeping with Bora in your yacht while she is going wild, is another special experience. Be sure you are well protected. Bora comes always from the North East so your harbour must be safe for that direction. And no matter how tired you are, you will get up time by time and look up what she has left of you and your stuff.

At this moment it looks like the Bora will stay here for the week with me. The weather forecast I just received shows NE winds up to 9 Bft for the next week in the night of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There the forecast stops…

There is something about Trieste

Back to Trieste however, to quote Cook’s Handbook for travellers:

“The average traveler would not make a point of staying long in Trieste”

It is just not true.

Continue reading

Sweet memories in the afterstorm

Today waiting for a window to leave Umag, simply said it  I think it is the most depressing city among the further beautiful coast of Istria.

At this moment still in the afterstorm. Wind is around 20 knots but still gusts. Should decrease later in the day (around 1400 local time). Depending on when the wind will decrease, we will be heading for Trieste in Italy (about 20 nM) or Piran in Slovenia (about 8 nM).

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The Bora of yesterday makes you long for the bay of Brbinj. And it was only just a week ago…

A very peaceful bay on Dugi Otok of the Kornati. There is a small village with 5 houses, a supermarket and a restaurant. A 15 minutes walk through the hills brings you to a similar village. There we had the best Dorade from the grill. Life can be simple.

But one thing I found out yesterday is  the Bora beer. This you drink when you survived the Bora to replace the anchor beer after a fine day of sailing.

Bora came by

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Today Bora came by… better not to have as girlfriend, she’s a maneater. She prepares herself for some time in the highlands of Croatia, to sweep out with enormous force suddenly. James Joyce wrote that she drives men to suicide in Trieste during wintertime.

A giant storm with guts between 45 – 60 knots (circa 8 – 10 Bft). Thunder and lightnings all around us.

Saw it coming for some time thanks to the forecasts made based on Grib files. Decided yesterday to go to Umag instead of Novigrad for this reason. Closer to Trieste – the destination for this week – so we could loose a day sailing.

Worked hard to secure the boat with all lines we had aboard. Think we did quite well.

Tomorrow should be fine again. A nice sun and fair winds. Easy going to Trieste I hope.

Have to say that I find Grib files very good in forecasting for this area, much better then Bracknells. Even better than the local forecast from Croatian Meteo. They forecasted Bora for the evening and Grib files for around 1400 local time. Nice to be prepared.

Daily Picture: Mali Losinj – Susak

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Daily picture of today is shot between Mali Losinj and Susak. We sailed there about 8 miles just to change harbours. Mooring fees were twice as high as we were used to in Mali Losinj. Low hanging evening sun and a beautiful yacht with Spi coming by. Not much needed to make you happy.

Today in Porec in Istria, Croatia. Has an old church with some mosaics of the 3rd century,UNESCO heritage, amazing what you can find when sailing around.

Probably sailing to Novigrad today. Have to make plans. Bad weather is coming with thunder and wind over 25 knots.

But first going for the Croatian gold: a double espresso.

Another Day at the Office #2

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Today another day at the office. Some say that when you are working on Sunday, you have to quit. Well to be honest, it seems I become a workaholic :-) I guess nobody would have ever expected that.

Plans made for the next week with Trieste as destination. Basically first to Rovinj, then Porec, Novigrad and Umag. In Umag I will be leaving Croatia to enter the European Union. I am wondering if the authorities will be hard to handle, the Italian or the Croatian?

Bad weather is forecasted for Wednesday and Thursday so I have an alternative plan just to skip Novigrad and wait in Umag for a good weather window to go to Trieste.

Will keep you posted.

Arrived in Pula

Yesterday we arrived in Pula. After a week of excellent sailing milestone number 1 is achieved. Check the box. Almost proud to be here. Found a place in the ACI Marina under the shadows of the old Amphitheatre of Pula. How ancient is that?

All days sun and a nice breeze between 15 – 20 knots and a fine crew. Weather forecasts with zyGrib and Meteo Manager works very well. The Croatian islands and food (grilled fishes!!!) prettier then expected.

Today managing GPS data, pictures, changing crew and planning the next week.

Will keep you posted next week about the sailing around of last week through this website (yes you can subscribe through RSS and mail) and Twitter.

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Day 3: A Day at the Office

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Another Worlds Most Wanted Job

Sailing preprations this day. First the basics, got a Croatian mobile number (a prepaid T-Mobile costs about 100 Kuna which gives you with 150 kuna calling pleasures) and an internet dongle (service of the charter company). Further did some route planning for the next week at my temporary office of the day. Damn, I love this job :-)

Adriatic Pilot by Trevor and Dinah ThompsonWill go northward with Pula as next weeks destination. For the in between places I had a look at the different possible destinations  in this area. For the research I use “Adriatic Pilot: Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, East coast of Italy, Albania” by Trevor and Dinah Thompson. Todays research gave me the impression that this is an excellent pilot. If you want to buy one, make sure you have the 5th edition.

After the planning I did a check on the weather. Seems like the weather will be very friendly with us.  Although Sunday will be cloudy and possible no wind at all but some forecasts talk about 5 knots East for which I will be grateful. The rest of the week looks much better. When climbing up hopping from island to island, the wind looks to go for a NE direction with a force of about 15 knots. I would say perfect with me.

The tools I use for my weather investigations are Meteo Manager (about EUR 50,= for a license) and zyGrib (freeware).

Meteo Manager is a application to download Bracknell files for the next 7 days automatically. This makes it very easy to analyze the behaviour of the weather systems. One minor thing would be that the sofware is in Dutch only. zyGrib is a tool to use for Grib files. It downoads the Grib file for the selected area and is very good in presenting the wind, temperature, cloudiness and different to other applications it is even capable to make some prediction of fog.

Tonight and tomorrow could be rainy, well if that what is take to get such a good week as forecasted, I am a very happy guy.

Day 2: Snow & Mountains changing into Sun & Sea

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Awakening in a snowy, cloudy Austria

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Took a break for a highway espresso

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Settled for  Sea & Sun in Murter, Croatia

Synopsis

Left early today, as in Gasthof Gruber was not much party going on. After an hour or so in Slovenia for a total rip-off of EUR 35 for a road vignette. That amount would be fair if a) the roads are in good condition and b) you will make a fair mileage in that country. After an hour left the country so not much more to tell about Slovnia. In Croatia the weather improved finally. From a mediocre 12o C in Autria to a very fair and nice 25 degrees. Highland of Croatia so beautifull, as were the first views of the Adriatic Sea (Ta Thalatta, Ta Thalatta, Ta Thalatta, I was crying out aloud).

Before leaving the highway I though to go for some more fuel. Unfortunately my fuel cap seems to have broken somewhere among the road (probably due to the bad condition of the Slovenian roads!). So with the last drop of fuel I was able to reach the Sun & Sea. I have to admit I did not really enjoy the last miles among the coastline of Croatia in the sun looking out over the sea to the Kornati Islands. Certainly not when I found out that TomTom had sent me to the wrong village to take a ferry that didn’t exist anymore…

Route Analysis

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First the route, later the analyis 😛






Day I – Tchüß from Gasthof Gruber

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Today I took off as one would expect on day 1. Drove about 1,000 km, from Amsterdam to Gasthof Gruber, Wald am Schoberpaß, Austria. I’m afraid you cannot call this place a real metropole, times have stood still as you might see from the daily picture of today (or better todays triptique)

Always nice when you leave for sun and sea but first you have to pass mountains and snow. Trip could have been slightly better. The German roads are certainly not the best when its raining, and it was raining all day. No visibility at all and some aquaplanning. Took the A3 but lot of road blocks due to maintenance.

Need to sharpen my blogging workflow. Forgot the USB cable in my Saab 900 T16S so I cannot upload the GPS data for some geomapping.

But targets met, sleeping in Austria tonight.

Leatherman says I’m ready (part II)

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So this is the wonder tool.

After today I hope it’s fixes problems with Croatian authorities too. What would the world be without regulators? How many things people want to know about crewlists? Why always something unexpected, when does it end?

Ha ha ha, would sailing be the same without this kind of last minute stress?