Tag Archives: Croatia

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

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.

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 😛