Category Archives: An Adriatic 2009

Sailing the Kornati (again)

One of the highlights of circumsailing Croatia and Venice was (or better is) the Kornati Archipel. Somehow the moonlike rawness of the islands is fascinating and very attractive.

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Murter, where I did start my sailing and chartered my yacht, is also called the capital of the Kornati. For several reasons I guess.

Capital of the Kornati

Once the Kornati was owned by the nobility of the region around Zadar. The land was being used for some agriculture (mostly olives) and sheeps. When in dire straits around the 17th century, they sold it to the peasants working on it. Most of them and their descendants living in Murter or around. Although the Kornati Archipel is a national park, most of the islands are still privately owned. I guess those people can make a quite decent living from it.

Another explanation for Murter being the capital of the Kornati is because the vast amounts of tourist boarding to make daytrips to the Kornati. Another possiblity is renting a house for a week on an island. This is called “Robinson Holidays” locally, as you will be the only one on one of the 1,100 islands. Only to be visited every 3 days by people to provide you with new supplies (food, water, etc.).

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We stayed at Vrulje (see above) for the night when sailing around. It is also a privatly owned little village. One of the attractive thing of this island specific, especially for Dutch people around (including me), is that you don’t have to pay mooring fees or park entrance. Still don’t know if staying here obliges you to eat at the local restaurant. But the food (i.e. the morningfresh fish) is of such a quality you would be crazy not to do it.

Kornati Photo Album

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Sailing conditions

When we were sailing the weather was clearly turning, to the worse unfortunately.  After almost 2 weeks of sunny weather and fair winds, rain was about to come. Best was that we were able to sail the Kornati while keeping it dry. Although that evening in Vrulje it was raining cts and dogs. Clearly another experience, dining under cover.

Unfortunately the clouds were coming already in the early afternoon. In the first picture of the album above it was sunny,  though the clouds came soon to cover the blue sky. This only means I have to go back for the better pictures (what a punishment).

Only two days later Bora would strike again which made me run for Budapest.

A Day at the Office at Murter: Full frontal watersheds

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Back in Murter again. After sailing for 5 weeks from Murter to Venice and back, highlights: First of all Venice off course. I am still a little bit flabbergasted that I have sailed to that city. Almost even impressive: Trieste, Pula and the Kornati Archipel. And what to think about the places like Molat, Luka Krijal, Vrulje and Sali in Croatia and Piran in Slovenia.

Now a week easy going here in Murter, no crew and a lot of rain forecasted for the next week. As I am writing this posts a Bora is slapping my face again. People might think she is secretly becoming my girlfriend. Not in a zillion years! But I getting used to her. Is that  a good start for a steady relationship?

Currently sitting in a restaurant and the rain pours though the roof, really, it is just no joke. Excellent conditions to do some posting about routes, ancient places and the beauty of the Adriatic, analysing the GPS data and getting the route sailed into Google Earth. I am just very happy the weathergods like Helius, Selene, Eos, Boreas, Zephyrus and Hesperus allowed me to sail this roundtrip without any real obstacles through wind and rain.

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As a cliffhanger just the two above photographs as an impression what you can expect the next days. The first being the St. Marks Basilica at Venice, the second a very cosy bay in Croatia named Luka Krijal. Although both quite nice, not even close to a summary of my trip.

Shine a light on Italy

Only a short note from Venice today, off course with a Daily Picture.

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Don’t know when the next will be. Internet access in Italy is hard to find due to anti-terroristm laws. Whenever you want to access the internet it has to be registered, you have to show your ID of which a copy will be made. Off course, as Keynes would have predicted over 100 years ago, internet access is then small in supply, high in demand (maybe I’m a little bit biased in that assumption) and high in price.

Hard thing for me to accept, used to free internet in every bar as in Amsterdam and off course having mobile internet (as in Croatia). Italy, back in the future. And Mr. Future, please shine a light on Italy. But maybe it is just local politics. Belusconi, the media mogul and boss of Italy, has a rather long position in Media… From a financial as well as a more Machiavellian viewpoint.

The Italian Internet access restrictions are a things I didn’t expect on forehand. The same accounts for the high prices of the marina’s and the weather for the last 3 weeks.

Next crew will arrive in about an hour. Meeting point will be the centre of Piazza San Marco. Is the place most close to  my marina. Did I tell you that already? O wait, one more picture in the serie “A Day at the Office”.

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Did you see the Campanile through the sailing yachts? (big smile here)

Next post most likely from Croatia again. If weather permits I would like to go as fast as possible to Pula.

Once in a lifetime arrival in Venice

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After 3 weeks of sailing, I arrived in Venice yesterday!

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Found a place in the best harbour in the world on Isola San Georgio Maggiore. In the picture above just in the left corner.

If you would like to visit me, just go the center of Venice where you will find Piazza San Marco (with the campanile). Jump in the canal there, swim for about 100 metres and you are at my marina for the next four days.

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After the right celebration we had time to walk a round a little bit. What an amazing city! I hope to write more about my visit and the city later. Also because I found out that the Venetians used to claim that the city was founded by refugees from Troy… How is that for sailing the trails of Herodotus and Odysseus.

The coincidence is the Biennale di Venezia is this weekend in Venice. An international cultural festivals which is organized once every to years. So a lot of exhibitions and festivities this weekend. Found some kind of afterparty last night already with live jazz and free drinks (or it was just so crowded around the bar we couldn’t find a waiter to pay).

This afternoon we will join the international opening of the Biennale with all kind of artists, politicians, celebrities and the other so important people of the world.

Why you could ask? The answer is that the opening is next to the boat.

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A double espresso @ Piran, the pearl of the Slovenian Adriatic

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At this moment enjoying a double espresso in a bar while having a view on the harbour of Piran. The weather is recovering from a heavy thunderstorm last night. Always amazing, so much rain in so little time.

Had a good day of sailing from Trieste to Piran yesterday although. Speeding up to 7 knots with only the genua set. Did a swim & sleep in a little bay just around Piran then entered the harbour.

Piran is a very nice little village. It was once a great maritime power until it had to bow to the force of Venice. That was around 1300. Being part of the Venetian empire, the city has been build in line with the design of Venice and it has a nice campanile overlooking the city and an old fort. It has been well conserved which means a lots of tourists walking through the city.

To day will be sailing to Italy again, Lignano to be specific. If the weather forecast is right there will be some wind around 1400 local time which will bring us there nice and easy.

Daily Picture

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Just received an email that the crew for Dubrovnik – Split is training their cooking skills as a team. So much appreciated!

To stimulate them a related daily picture. This nice little fishes were consumed in Mali Losinj, almost 2 weeks ago already. We had bought them from some local fishermen, how fresh can you get it?

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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