René – Skipper
Thorsten – Second - navigator
Tamara – Piano - etiquette
Pascu – Driver - diver
Rafi – Spinnaker - Cook
Sile – Oars - Cook
We arrived by car Saturday ( a 2 day trip - to take it easy), 14th of September, early afternoon. Part of the crew had already done most of the shopping. After checking in the boat, we left the harbour around 7 PM in little wind. We crossed over to the island and moored along the quay on the North Eastern side of the entrance of the port of Kukljica.
The rental agency loaned us a smartphone (included in the price) that served (sometimes) as a WLAN Hotspot. J.
Wind: ESE 2 - 3 bf . Beaufort scale).
Sunday, 15.9. Kukljica – Kaprije. SSE 3 to S 5, with a lull around 10:30. 40 NM.
direction: 120o, with many tacks with course 180o-70o, later 220o-100o.
At 7 :30, I am awaken by a crew telling me we had to leave in a jiffy : the trawler, whose nets we saw in the evening on the quay was coming home (we did ask a diver’s boat moored on the same quay, but nobody knew any details about staying or not). We leave the harbour after having hoisted the main in the harbour (avant-port). We moored on a buoy (for 40 SFr.) (among many tightly packed boats).
Monday, 16.9. Kaprije – Mala Luka 30 NM. W2-3. General direction : S
Lazy start around 10:30, little breeze, motor for a while. Dolphin sighting then we set the spinnaker (spi) for an hour. Around 2:30, we anchor E of Rogoznica for 2 hours. More spi in the afternoon (2 hours) and we drop anchor in Mala Luca bay (Drvenik Veli).
Tuesday, 17.9. Mala Luka – Marina Kremik 20 NM, NW7 / N7-8. Direction W-NW
We sail on the engine as we receive a storm warning over SMS. We decide to aim for a mooring on buoys in the bay of Rogoznica. We get tied up and a crew goes to get some provisions across the bay. On the way back, the outboard stops and he is not able to start it again. It starts to rain and the wind has picked up. We leave the mooring (leaving one rope on the buoy) and go fetch the poor sailor. On the way back, the wind picks up some more and, partially because the helmsman is a bit too “energetic”, the prepared food and plates fly off the table. We rush to capture the mooring in strong winds and rain, have to shoo off another boat trying to moor on our buoy. All ends up well. It is just past 2 PM. The boats shift from side to side almost 180oC in the gusts (up to 33 knots). It is impressive, especially that they are not moving in parallel, rather in opposition.
2 hours later, the wind decreases and we leave the mooring with a Northerly 4. We sought that was it. At 8 PM, we measure winds of 7-8 bf, and read 42 knots on the wind meter. We roll the Genoa about 70 %, but the traveller is now too far back (can’t be moved past the shrouds) and take the 2nd ref. We get into the Kremik marina around 7 PM. The sun is gone and the marina is in the darkening evening shade. The hills are pretty high around the marina (which is built in an area looking like a fjord). Very nice welcome.
Wednesday 18.9. Kremik – Luka Zut (Otok Zut). 30 NM. 2-3 SW->S. Heading: 300o
We leave around 10 am, set the spinnaker and we fly it for over 5 hours. We take a buoy at Luka Zut (Strunac les Bains) shortly before 6. Nice evening. We hear an accordion on a boat then 4 trumpets (yes, we have a very good hearing – no, 2 of our guys took the dinghy and went trading wine bottles for beers, going from one moored boat to another and ending up pretty drunk, I am ashamed to say. But they had counted the number of trumpets before collapsing. It was a very nice evening, sun set and night, the water was so calm, the ambiance so romantic. The moon was full, soft light over the bay, no wind…
Thursday 19.9. Luka Zut – Privlaka. 51 M. 3NE then 8 N/E then 7 SSE. Heading North
We expect a long day so we leave early. At 7:10 am we are under main and Genoa partially rolled by about 30%. After one hour, we come across a field of yellow markers (special purpose) and in their middle we see a number of circular structures (floating nets for aquaculture). It is unclear whether we can traverse the field and where. We end up going around them in the East. The wind decreases to almost nothing. We sail over water turbulence due to currents (it seems we had at some point close to 2 knots of current, but it is difficult to be that affirmative (as it seems to be a pretty high value for a region without tide). We get some heavy rain and the bimini top (the cockpit cover under the boom) is very leaky (on most boats I’ve been on they were water tight). But the rain is soon over. Only to start again around 13:45 (that is 1:45 pm on a California watch J - sorry, I agree, on a true watch, the time is GMT). 20 minutes later the rain stops and at the same time, the wind wakes up and get strong and hits 30 knots. 2 refs and a 50 % Genoa reduction get us a boat able to affront, confront and maybe prevail over this northerly wind. The clouds roll down the mountain to the North East. The wind was not forecast. The waves build up. Since the final destination is behind us (south of us) and the mileage covered this week is enough for the one of us to obtain the certificate of capacity – his personal goal of this cruise (the certificate requires 1’000 NM, covered over a number of cruises), we decide to round a very small island and head back South. It is 15:30. Within the hour, the wind dies where we are (seems to blow, albeit less, North of our position and there is much less clouds over the mountain range). We end up running under the engine and we dock parallel to an older, outdated metallic ketch in the small harbour of Privlaka with very few other sailing boats at 18:15. Time for a beer at the local bar and for a walk in the village (looking for some octopus or mussels).
Friday 20.9. Privlaka – Marina Dalmcija. 18 M. Max. 3 NNW. Heading South East
We leave the harbour under engine then stop for breakfast then later for a swim (and a pull on the fenders). We sail along Zadar (not sure if under sail) and we cross over to where we were the first night for lunch, drifting. Then we head back to the marina (motor), fill her up (100 lt.). We had to wait in line while 4 boats ahead of us were finishing and for them to make room.
We are welcomed by the Elan charterer crew, a bit roughly. We do the check out without problems and the crew becomes very friendly – probably linked to my remarks concerning the boat, that the spinnaker was in impeccable shape (despite the fact that is was partially swallowed in the block of the toping lift of the pole – we got very lucky on this one), that there was no good place to hook up the blocks for the spinnaker sheets. There are also no life lines (not mandatory in Croatia) and I complained about that.
Very nice cruise. The boat was well equipped, very sturdy, and certainly (a bit) too heavy. The main was new (but the owner will regret that it was ordered without full batten). The Genoa was ok and easy to roll. We had Internet on board (well sometimes, based on a cellular phone (GSM)). The fore cabin was wide and deep. The bed a bit high (hey, we are not 20 years old anymore, since a long time). There was an attached shower and toilet room. We could eat at six (not six o’clock, six persons) inside or in the cockpit. A stool would have been nice. The aft cabin bunks were large. 4 had to share a bath and toilet. We mostly took showers outside using the aft shower. The shower water was warm (after running the engine, it stayed warm for hours) and we filled the water tank up only once in the middle of the week.
The stern space for storing the fenders was very useful (designed as a seat on the stern end). Access to the sea was easy.
Lots of storage space. 3 light stove (with oven) and one large fridge and one large freezer (we didn’t use it for lack of marinas, can’t use those when not plugged into shore). We spent only one night in a real marina.
Temperatures where rather warm during the day. Fresh in the morning. Fresh under showers (needed a sweater and a windbraker). Sea temperature was over 20oC almost all the time. Few periods without wind (we never tested the night weather).
2 days with very strong winds (>30 knots). Once with a warning from the charterer, the strong wind of the second day was unexpected (no wind forecast over 5 bf for the whole week on the Internet based weather services). That is a bit unsettling. We stayed inland, in between islands, so the waves never became a factor.