Category Archives: An Adriatic 2009

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


Days at the Office in Amsterdam

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First week in back in the Netherlands was not so hard as I would have expected.

Nothing has really changed. I have coffees and a sandwich at Café Thijssen (my Amsterdam office) instead of a lunch with fresh fish, I am reading the latest financial news in the FD instead of information about harbours and bays in sailing pilots. Work is like working in my Murter office as in the picture above. It is just all the same! Lucky me.

Next days / weeks / months will keep me busy with making a coherent and consistent story – the moments of truth – of my travelling.

You will find the results here through a picture, map or a story  published on this website periodically and I will be  improving the website.

Something I would like to start using is some cool extra functionality I found in the software I use for displaying the maps and pictures (XML Google Maps and NGG Galleries). It basically reads the GPS data from my geotagged pictures managed by NGG and displays it in Google Maps automatically, as you can see to the right.

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Scoop: Adriatic Dolphin Family

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Scoop of the day is the visit of three generations of dolphins to our boat.

It was very close to the island Hvar on the line of the village Jagodni Bd and the islands Hridi Lukavei and they were with about 10-15 of them. I clearly recognized the grandparents and the youngers. The first because of their grace, the last because their playing with the boat, closely guarded by their parents.

Never saw so many dolphins together in the Adriatic Sea. Really hope this will only become more normal with the current efforts for the environment.

Daily Picture: Dancing Clouds

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Clouds can be very happy too!

Picture was taken between Split and Hvar just before going between the islands Brac and Solta.

Before this crossing there was almost no wind to sail. After the crossing it rose to 15 – 20 knots. So the only scientific explanation for this kind of weather phenomenon is off course: happy sailing to be expected because We (the wind Gods) will turn on the wind up to 15 – 20 knots.

To be included in the next edition of the Ancient Coasts Adriatic Sailing Almanac (although I am not sure yet if I should limit it to the Adriatic alone)

Dubrovnik Marina Skyline

After another week of sailing arrived in the ACI Marina in Dubrovnik yesterday.

This marina is one of the most luxorious I have seen until now in Croatia. In any case the first with a swimming pool and a very cool old mansion integrated in the marina.

Next pictures uploaded and ready to be published, herewith the first…

Daily Picture

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Sailing from Murter to Split

Yesterday arrived in Split after a week of happy sailing from Murter to Split.

Google Earth Mania

Below you will find the route we took.

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Download the Google Earth File (unzip and then open in Google Earth)

Off course I had to go to the Kornati Archipel again. This time no nice little Kornatian village but took a mooring at Uvala Kruscevica this time. This very nice bay is located in Telascica on the island Dugi Otok.

The next day we cruised through the Kornati, enjoying every single moment of it. Taking enough pictures to create a bible on though I think I will start with a tripartite.

We ended up that day in Prvic. A very relaxed cosy village on the island… Prvic. The next day was my best sailing day ever. Wind of about 18 knots, sunny and tacking to Primosten, for a good dive into the water. Circa 20 miles sailing and around 10 miles distance over ground. After the cooling down on to Rogoznica using the engine. Next days to Stomorska (excellent relaxed town on Otok Solta), Trogir (you will have to visit the cathedral) and finally Split (with the palace of the Roman emperor Diocletianus).

Daily Picture

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From the upperleft corner clockwise:

Uvala Kruscevica, Sailing to Primosten, Kornati Archipel (again), Rogoznica, an Italian sailing yacht close to Primosten and finally St. John in the west wing chapel of the Cathedral in Trogir.

Sneak Preview: Sailing to Venice in Google Earth

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See above the first sneak preview of the GPS data converted to Google Earth. Once I finalized the above, I realized so much more to be done.

I would like to add the waypoints for the different cities we have sailed, further  add the anchorings, the places we have spotted dolphins and the turtle. I have to find out how Google Earth could present speed and heading. Well and why not add photos into Google Earth? And polar diagrams with speed versus direction. Ai, I need a holiday badly.

For the ones interested, the following color coding for the weeks have been used:

Color Week   
From To
Yellow 1 Murter (Croatia) Pula (Croatia)
Orange 2 Pula (Croatia) Trieste (Italy)
Red 3 Trieste (Italy) Venice (Italy)
Blue 4 Venice (Italy) Pula (Croatia)
Magenta 5 Pula (Croatia) Murter (Croatia)

I tried to add a download to this post, somehow WordPress – the content management system I use – just does not cooperate. Meanwhile you can use the zoom and make a guesstimate what happened there. All guesstimates are welcome in the comments and I will try to reply to them.

Next week I will be going to Split, via the Kornati Archipel again (off course) and some places advised to people I have met.

A Day at the Office #6: Planning the future in Murter

Back in Murter again for some days after a long weekend sailing the neighborhood with 4 friends.

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Provides me therefore with some time to do some office work again. The usual analysing of the GPS data and the geocoding of my pictures. Further I will try to make some plans for next week.  Crew yet to be found unfortunately, although almost found last minute someone. Looks like I have to exercise my single handed sailing skills. Would love to go more to the Kornati and the Island Vis. In between so many beautifull cities.

Another part of my office routines today was having coffee with a Dutch couple two boats further amongst the quay. They are sailing around Croatia for over 20 years now and learned the sweet spots from a friend of theirs sailing the 30 years before. Almost half a century experience. They lend me their pilots with all their annotations but they will be leaving tomorrow. Looks like I have to study until late today.

To finalize one Daily Picture, a picture of the Kornati Archipel again.

Daily Picture

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A daily picture of the Kornati again because lucky enough we (the 5 of us) went there again and ended up in Lavsa, the bay you see in the picture above. The original plan was to go to Striznja but the dark skies with the  thunder and lightning heading to us (no worry, I get rather used to it) made me decide to find an anchoring a little bit earlier.

After the Lavsa went to Vodice and the Contrast between Kornati and Vodice couldn’t be bigger. The last being a full fledged disco village with bars, bars and… bars.

Being together with my friends made me think of Cafe Thijssen in Amsterdam again. Being asked what I would do first when back in Amsterdam, I could only think about a double espresso at Café Thijssen while reading “Het Financieele Dagblad”.

The Future

What will it be next week? Will I be sailing single handed or will I find someone to join the last minute? How will the weather develop? Will the Croatians call this the worst sailing summer officially? I know I have been lucky having lost only one day to the weather (although fled to Budapest because of it). Will I be sailing to the Island Vis next week? I will keep you posted.

Daily Picture 090627

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Picture above was taken close to Mali Losinj in the evening sun. We were heading from Pula a trip of about 40 nM. I like to call Mali Losinj the Monaco of the Adriatic, a later post will show you why… (excellent cliffhanger again :-)) With a sight as above, how easy it is to be very relaxed and totally at home.

Currently in Betina Murter, 4 friends around for a long weekend just sailing a little bit around. Not much more to do unfortunately. Weather could be better again. At least no Bora. A field of low pressure is hanging close above the Adriatic for some time now. Means unsettled weather, not much wind expected and chances of rain, thunder and lightnings. At least after Sunday the weather should be improving I’m being told.

Time to get a double espresso now