Category Archives: Sailing Croatia

Update #1: Adriatica 2011 – Mission accomplished, returning home

Some five weeks ago I departed from Murter, Croatia, to sail south to the inland sea of Levkada in Greece…

My sailing yacht Helena, a Beneteau Cyclades 39, is very easy to handle and performs well, including the Genaker, one of my trip gadgetsthe ultimate toy. Top speed we reached was 8.7 knots sailing downwind surfing from the waves, faster then the 7.8 knots we reached with the Genaker. I am speeding I think as she was never pushed to before.

The other gadgets are my BBQ – used well – and a Go Pro high definition wide angle video camera. Only my MacBook is not speeding as I wished due to the installation of a Croatian Internet Stick. So I do feel crippled this sailing trip and I cannot upload any of the video’s made.

After 5 weeks one of the lessons I have learned is that I am now an internet addict officially. So my the gadget for my next sailing trip will be  a high-speed satellite internet connection mounted to the boat 🙂

Trip Summary

Since last Tuesday I am heading home, after having thrown my anchor at Ithaca, home of King Odysseus, the ultimate destination of my Odyssean Trail, so time for an update.

The Castle of Odysseus on Ithaka

The Castle of Odysseus on Ithaka

From tomorrow I will be heading back to Croatia. But I have learned from the classics and know never to rush things and unplease the Gods like Odysseus did. So I will sail via Puglia in Italy, enjoy the Italian food and maybe sacrifice some of it to the Gods before returning Helena to Croatia.


Of the first 2 weeks in Croatia worth mentioning are the waterfalls of Skradin, Ancient Split with its palace of Diocletianus, Hvar still the Ibiza of the Adriatic and Stari Grad, the BBQ in a bay in Lastovo, brutely disturbed by a thunderstorm  (Lastovo was forbidden to enter until the end of the 1990’sand we anchored left to departed submarine bunkers and VHF monitor buildings), Sipan (I will retire there once), and Dubrovnik and Cavtat (Port of Entry) in Croatia.

Weather conditions where light the first week and brilliant the second week where we had 28 knots of wind between Hvar and Vis. Fantastic to sail so much wind just in your shorts. Of the 2,5 weeks in Croatia, only one day was with rain. We did get some anchor showers though


In Montenegro I have visited Kotor with it’s immense city walls from around 1500 and also Tivat, where a superyacht marina is being build currently. Nice to be provided with a personal naval assistant.

Perast and the islands “Gospa od Skrpjela” are impressive. Perast was in ancient times the maritime center of the Venetian Empire and the church on one of the islands served as votive center for seafarers.

I see Sveti Stefan as the highlight of the country. Similar to what celebreties of the 1950’s like Sophia Lorenz thought. It attractiveness declined after the death of Tito and the civil war of yugoslavia but now it is being restored to it’s previous glamour. The visit to Montenegro ended in Bar, where we left the country.

The weather was not in favour of us in Montengro, although always sunny and around 28 degrees, we had no wind for almost 1,5 weeks.


Corfu Town was the first city we touched in Greece. It was good to be in Greece but the bureaucratic system is something you don’t want to have to deal with. It took me 4 hours of waiting and formalities to enter the country with my Croatian ship. Later it took me about 2 hours to pay 88 eurocents of taxes in some obscure tax office.

After Corfu town, our destination was Ay Stefanou. A very tranquille bay to anchor and come to strength after the crossing from Montenegro (circa 175 nautical Miles, about 50% of the time 15 – 20 knots of wind from the back). Via Gaios on Paxoi (or Paxos) we arrived at Levkada itself.


Last week it was my intention to have a more holiday oriented week with low profile sailing, just to digest the almost 800 nautical miles already sailed in the first 4 weeks. Finally time to do some decent snorkeling and firing up the BBQ. But also reached my destination: Ithaca.

After Ithaca and having visited the ruins of the castle of King Odysseus (one of the 3 possible locations on the island, not to mention other islands) we went to the Bay of Pandelimon where a Dolphin family was entertaining us during the evening and the next morning. It was the first time I have swum with dolphins.

Weather conditions in the last week was top, no wind in the mornings and around 14:00 the Gods switched on the wind and we got 20 knots of wind almost every day.

Sailing the Adriatic sea of Croatia & Italy

In the summer of 2009 I circumsailed the Adriatic Sea with Sailing Yacht Rosa, an Elan 434, for about 3 months. I left from Murter in Croatia and went north to Pula, Trieste and Venice and back again. After a week in the Kornati Archipel I went south to Dubrovnik visiting places like Split, Hvar, Korcula and the Elephati Islands. From there upwards to Murter again.

Below you will find an impression of the route I sailed and the different islands and cities I have visited. If these islands and cities are described in one of my posts, you will find the link to the post below it. This paga is a living thing so come back for updates.

Heading North to Venice

Week 1 – Sailing from Murter to Pula

Route: Murter – Sali – Brbinje – Silba – Mali Losinj – Sosak – Pula

Crew: Emanuel, Betina & Bas

A Night at the Office in Betina, Croatia
Some Highlights

My trip started in Bettina Murter where I have spent many days to plan the trip. Often I had dinner at this pizzeria located in a former shipyard. The family running the restaurant still had the same blood running through the vains as the original founders of the shipyard back in the 18th century. From Murter you have an excellent starting point for sailing the Kornati Archipel… wich I didn’t. I would head north to Venice, with the first stop in Sali on Dugi Otok.


Mali Losinj is the island known as the Monaco of the Adriatic whith it’s city is laying gentily at the end of a bay. This place offers everything luxury you appreciate having sailed some days. From bakeries, a fish market and some excellent pastries (you have to try the deer sausage) and the best showers of the Adriatic. It is told that on this place the Medea, the wife of Jason (of Jason and the Argonauts), ambushed her brother. An action the brother didn’t survive.

Pula, ancient Rome in Croatia

I would call Pula little Rome in Croatia. The city is so rich of Roman monuments like the Temple of Helena, an triumphal arch and the amphitheater lying next to the marina that I will always look forward to return. It was also the endpoint of my first week sailing providing me a warm feeling of mission accomplished.

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 1

Week 2 – Sailing from Pula in Croatia to Trieste, Italy

Route: Pula – Rovinj – Porec – Umag – Trieste (Italië)

Crew: Bas & Alex

Some Highlights

Rovinj of Croatia

The first city we sailed was Rovinj in the second week and what a start. First of all the view off the city is breathtaking. It is lying on a peninsula with a distinctive Campanile on top of it, legacy of it’s Venetian roots. For the fresh crew it was also breathtaking to try the quay, a mooring and finally a marina for berthing.

Bora in Umag

Although Umag is the place I wouldn’t be found death being a cheap tourist trap providing only hell-lighted arcades, loud disco’s and cheap restaurants. This was the place where we first met Bora, the fierce northern-storm this part of Croatia is notorious of. So we sheltered here for one day and measured windspeeds of more then 50 knots.

Trieste, Italy

Trieste, our destination of the week, won my unconditional love without a warning. Besides being a monumental city with a rich history with the ups and downs, the people are so relaxed, the food fantastic (I never found a Manzo similar to what I have tasted here) and Marina San Giusto had the best espresso I ever found in a harbour.

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 2

Week 3 – Sailing from Trieste to Venice

Route: Trieste – Piran (Slovenië) – Lugnano (Italië) – Venetië

Crew: Willem

Some Highlights

Piran, Slovenia

The prelude of heading to Venice is called Piran, pearl of Slovenia, and a well captured Venetian city. Before it fell under Venetian control in 1283, it was an important maritime trading centre. The whole city breaths ancient Venice and on top of the hill is an impressive Campanile modeled on the famous campanile in St. Marks Square. The view of the Campanile is fantastic as a reward for the more daring ones.

A nuked beach in Lugano, Italy

From a sailing perspective Lugnano has no significance. It’s economy is fully dependent on beach-focused people from Austria and Germany arriving in the summer. We arrived before the season had started and the millions of empty beach chairs gave me the creapy feeling of a nuked summer holiday.

Marina Isola San Giorgo Maggiore

Venice, were should I start? I guess the beauty of the city speaks for itself. For me it was the realization of a dream project that started a year earlier, a fantastic feeling. I will never be prepared though to be anchored in an harbour for which I will not find an equal for the rest of my life.

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 3

Week 4 & 5 – Returning to Murter and the Kornati Archipel

Route: Venice – Porec (Croatia) – Rovinj – Pula – Mali Losinj – Luka Kraijil – Molat – Iz Veli – Sali – Vrulje – Murter

Crew: Boele, Emke & Oscar


Some Highlights

After leaving Venice we crossed the Adriatic Sea immediately for Porec in Croatia. After having done the customs and other formalities for our entrance into Croatia (I have learned here to take this more seriously) we sailed southward along the coast to Pula. From there we left the Istrian peninsula for the islands in the Kvarner Gulf. First to Mali Losinj and then we had the opportunity to sail into the unknown…


First to Luka Krijal, a small village lying on the west coast of Otok Premuda. The village is protected from the pounding gulfs of the Adriatic by a small chain of rocks and islets. This channel between the island and the off-lying reefs provides an excellent anchorage to enjoy the sunset.

Tranquile Molat

About 12 miles further to the south-east lies Otok Molat. The highlands of the mainland behind the island are impressinve. There are three villages on the island and one of them is Molat. This village main goal is providing ease for the Croatians of the mainland arriving by the ferry in the weekends. It has a church, post office, a supermarket besides around 20 houses and a graveyard. The village is the proof that tranquility is something to aim for.

From here we sailed further south and returned to Murter via the Kornati Archipel (see further below).

Click this link to see the pictures of this week

Hungarian Intermezzo

Week 6 – Looking for Shelter for the Bora

Route: Murter – Zagreb – Budapest – Murter

Crew: Saab 900 T16S

The third encounter with Bora made me visit a friend in Budapest. Having been boated for more then 6 weeks, it is such a joy being in the city again. Good food and espresso’s, large terraces and fast internet do belong to my life necessities more then I would like to admit.


Heading South to Dubrovnik

Week 7 – Roundtrip Kornati Archipel

Route: Murter – Plavsa – Vodice – Murter

Crew: Bas, Mariola, Job & Sanne

The Highlight

On the last day of the Creation God desired to crown His work and thus created Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath.

George Bernard Shaw

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 7

Week 8 – Sailing from Murter to Split

Route: Murter – Telascica – Prvic – Rogoznica – Stomorska – Trogir – Split

Crew: Kate

The Highlights


Telascica Bay on the island Dugi Otok is a national park on itself. On the south-west side of the bay you can go ashore for a walk to a Jerezo Mir a saltwater lake cut off from the sea by a norrwo barrier. In the east side of he bay you’ll find a small bay called Uvala Krusevica. There is a small pittoresque restaurant where you can have fresh grilled fresh if you are lucky. The owner and patron of this place is known for shutting down the restuarant and leave for a hike on Dugi Otok for several days. So don’t expect too much when visiting the bay…

Otok Prvic, Croatia

It was the unexpected meeting of a long time friend which made Prvic one of the hghlights of the week. About five years earlier I was here before and had the tradional Croatian meal called Pecca. It is the stew of squid, potato and tomatoes and some secret ingredients and needs to be put under hot coal for circa 2,5 hours to prepare.


The old town Trogir, built on the foundations of ancient Greek Tragurion, is one of the most seductive towns on the Dalmatian coast with it’s fortress, Venetian-kind of palaces and houses along the streets. The Cathedral Sv Lovre is famous for it’s 13th century carved doorway (known as Radovan’s Portal) but personally I like the north aisle of the cathedral most. There you’ll find in St John of Trogir’s Chapel at the centre of the ceiling God the Creator surrounded by hundreds of angels, under God’s view tens of life-sized statues of saints are placed.

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 8

Week 9 – Sailing from Split to Dubrovnik

Route: Split – Hvar – Vis – Vela Luka – Korcula – Sipan – Dubrovnik

Crew: Rutger, Robert & Alex

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 9

Week 10 – Sailing from Dubrovnik to Split


Route: Dubrovnik – Ston – Korcula – Loviste – Hvar – Lucice – Split

Crew: Robert-Jan, Thomas & Jeroen

Click this link to see the pictures of Week 10

Week 11 – Returning S/Y Rosa to Murter


Route: Split – Vinisce – Zlarin – Murter

Crew: José


Sailing from Molat to Iz Veli

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Todays Daily Picture was taken when sailing from the tranquille Molat to Iz Veli in the fourth week of my trip in Croatia.

The sailing was wonderfull. We were heading south and had between 15 – 20 knots wind from the south. We were sailing between islands and could make nice tacks. Because we had no water in the tanks anymore, it was sailing with Speed with the capital S switched on.

We left Molat totally relaxed, however we had to expect bad compay in Iz Veli.

We got Austrian neighboors there, ai, about 2 boats with 8 people each. They kept us awake up to 03:30 hours by drinking, stupid jokes and loud laughing, despite being asked to silence up frequently. I never go to Austria again! But maybe that has more to do on some stupidity on my side when driving back to the Netherlands. I didn’t by a vignette (of ca. EUR 10,=) at the border for the Austrian highways and I was checked before buying one. They fined me with EUR 120,=, how inappropriate ; – )

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Sneak Preview: Sailing from Split to Dubrovnik

Part of the trip Adriatica 2009 was sailing from Split to Dubrovnik.

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Full Screen View

The zipped KML file to be opened in Google Earth can be found here.

In between I visited the islands like Hvar, Vis, Korcula and Sipan before arriving in Dubrovnik. Later more on the different places and bays I have found during the trip. The places I liked most were the Island Vis and Sipan.

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