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Published: September 7th 2019
Our Last Glimpse of Marina Preko
on the island of Ugljan - it was a great stopping place
It was time to leave Preko marina and start our journey south. The calendar is telling us we will need to start moving on to allow us time to enjoy our trip to Turkey where we will overwinter Tsamaya. While I went to the marina office to pay the bill and stop at the store for a loaf of bread, Bob warmed up the engine and when I got back we slipped our line and left at 8:10AM. We did head north for a short time as we wanted to get to a bay on the other side of the same island, Ugljan. We knew it wasn’t going to be too long a trip but we also knew that we were going to be getting some stronger winds in the next few days and decided this place sounded good. The protection from the wind would be good, the bottom is sand for our anchor to hold well and there was a trail that we could take to a nearby village. Sounded perfect.
The water is nice and clear and it is very hot here so enjoying our time in the water. We have been doing some snorkeling – not seeing
Always Enjoy Trees, Just Not Sure We Would
want the one going through the garage roof!
too much but yesterday we saw a large starfish, a crab, sponge, a very large bivalve, anemone and lots of schools of small fish. Not bad for a place that has quite a few boats anchoring in. It was nice to see a few things but more importantly the water was great for staying cool.
While sitting out back a paddle boarder came by with a man and his son on it. They stopped and talked to us for quite a while and during the conversation he asked us if we’d meet him later for a beer. Of course we said yes. It is always great to have an opportunity to talk to people from the country we are visiting. We also had 2 other people swim over from a neighboring boat as they saw our US flag and wondered if we sailed over. The younger of the two wanted to ask us if we saw sharks when we crossed the Atlantic. They are here on holiday from Poland on a friend’s boat. We are finding that our US flag seems to be drawing more attention here than anywhere else we have been. We went to shore with our
dinghy last night to meet up with Danijel. We already knew from our earlier conversation that he is a lawyer and is on holiday here with his family. We had wonderful time sharing information with each other about a wide range of topics – everything from educational systems to what is was like to have lived through the war here from his perspective as he was a 15 year old at the time. We enjoyed each other’s company enough that it had gotten quite late, but fortunately there was enough light to see the trail back to the dinghy. We did have a little bit of a surprise though as we had forgotten that there is a tide here so now our dinghy was sitting high and dry on some rocks! Glad we had decided to take the motor off the dinghy and rowed ashore this time as we had to go through the swimming area to get to shore. Without the motor it made it much easier to move the dinghy off the rocks! We will have to remember about the tide next time we tie the dinghy to shore. We mentioned to Danijel that he was welcome to
Anyone Interested in Buying in Croatia?
Here is a place in Muline on the island of Ugljan
come to the boat to see our "home" and to bring his son out as well so the next afternoon that came out by paddle board. Danijel has taken some sailing classes so he was up on the terminology and asked lots of great questions. Always fun to show the boat to people that are interested. His son Ivan, is 13 and seemed to like the tour as well. It was a great time and as always we enjoy getting a chance to talk to local people as we learned more during each encounter.
In the morning we had a lovely surprise. The day before a sailboat anchored in front of us and we spoke to them a little bit and found they were from Slovenia. We hadn't talked much but this morning we had a visit from Mario (I'm very sorry if I have his name wrong but we didn't exchange specific details except for giving him our boat card so hopefully we will get more details later as they promised to email) and he handed me a nice bottle of wine from Slovenia. He said they wish us good sailing and wanted to give us this gift.
The Local Store in Muline is Small
but had the basics we needed to get
How thoughtful of them. We had told them the other day we would like to visit their country some day so when he was leaving I told him we may next see him in his country! We have been having such wonderful interactions with people here we hate to move on. In fact we are planning on staying anchored in this same bay for a couple more nights as we are getting forecast for some heavy winds and thunderstorms over the next couple of days. We figure it is best to stay where we know we have good protection from the right direction and a good hook.
I am sitting now writing this in the cockpit at 10pm and it is still calm, almost eerily calm. The sky darkened, the clouds covered the moon and we got coolness in the breeze, but then it settled to no wind at all. The forecast was for a storm earlier in the evening so now we wait to see if it in fact materializes. Time will tell. For now I will continue to enjoy the night sky as there are quite a few holes in the cloud cover. I can see some
Our "wildlife" sighting in Muline
as well as seeing plenty of olive trees
of the stars, a little bit of the moon peeking out and the anchor lights on the other 11 boats in this same bay.
We finally figured the storm was not materializing, at least not yet, so figured it would be good to get a few hours of sleep. That was a good idea as the rain started about 3:15 am and we were now seeing lightening and hearing thunder. We both got up and sat in the cockpit watching the light show. Fortunately for us the storm seemed to be south of our location. We stayed up until 4:30 am, but by that time we still didn't have much wind at all so back to bed for a few more hours of sleep. When we got up the next morning it was clearing up and the sun broke through about 10 am with only a few wind gusts. We could easily move today, but as it is now a cooler day than the last two we are thinking we will go to shore and do some hiking on the island. We will leave the anchorage tomorrow and move south as we will have some nice winds for sailing.
We Now Have New Friends in Croatia, Danijel & Ivan
were on holiday & we connected at while anchored out
We figure we could have a nice sail today as well but we figure we don't need to hurry that much and we are enjoying our time here. When we find a good anchorage it sometimes is hard to move!
We took it easy and did make it to shore, this time being more careful about where we left the dinghy. We took a walk over to the nearby village of Muline and found that there was the remains of an olive press that was here from the 1st
C. and used up through the 4th
C. It was quite interesting and they had excellent signage about it. We also walked past a 4th C. ruin of a church here showing that there were settlers here very early on.
There is a very small store here so walked over to get some bread and yogurt before heading back to the village. When walking toward the storm we saw quite an interesting cloud formation over the mountains on the mainland. It was beautiful, but at the same time almost looked ominous. It was a little early for dinner but Bob suggested eating out so we didn't have to bother
A Pleasant Evening Walk Back to the Anchorage
from our evening drink with Danijel in Muline
cooking tonight as we always need time after being in one place to turn Tsamaya from a home back to a sailboat. It definitely wasn't the best meal either of us had, but it filled the bill and we didn't have to do anything in the galley. Shortly after returning to the boat, Danijel stopped by on his paddleboard, this time with a very cold daughter. He came out to check on how we fared with the storm that had been predicted last night and to wish us well. We asked Danjiel about the clouds that we saw earlier and he told us that was quite normal to see. We thoroughly enjoyed our time visiting with him and hope that someday he and his family can visit us in the US.
As we have gone as far north in Croatia as our time allows we were able to take advantage of the north winds the next morning for a great sail to our next anchorage. The winds averaged about 13-15 and then climbed to 20 making for a faster sail today. We thought we would take 4 hours to the anchorage on Pasman Island we were aiming for, but
got there in just over 3 hours. There were only a couple sailboats in the anchorage when we got there, but it started to fill in about noon and they continued to arrive until about 6pm. It really started to get crazy in here and everyone was telling anyone coming in new how much chain they had out and trying to clarify where their anchor was. Quite entertaining indeed especially as the wind was still about 14-15 knots the bay. Finally it started to settle down in the evening and hopefully the wind comes from the direction that is forecast by morning as someone is now anchored over our anchor. We advised them we are leaving at 6am and he told us if needed to wake them up if they are still over our anchor. We told them not to worry as we definitely will! The fun of anchoring in crowded anchorages! Fortunately the wind worked to our advantage and we were far enough apart from the other boat to easily pull up anchor early and not have a problem.
Just as we were taking up anchor we noticed that there was a small section of a rainbow, but
when we got out of the bay it continued to grow and we were treated to a full rainbow – not a bad way to start the day! Unfortunately the day remained cloudy for most of the time and we didn’t have much wind at all so did motor sailing to the next anchorage that Bob had tentatively picked out on the chart. There are a number of factors that go into planning our journeys. Of course, number one is the weather forecast indicating the speed and direction of the wind, but also the sea state, possibility of thunderstorms, rain and any other details provided. Bob then typically looks at the chart to try to figure out where there would be a good protective anchorage taking into consideration the direction of the wind in the evening and overnight hours. We talk about how far we want to travel in a day and check to see if there are particular sights or towns we would want to stop at. Once Bob narrows it down to a few places we then check other resources that we have that give reviews on the anchorages. If you have used TripAdvisor, think of these resources
as being similar as they are comments and reviews by fellow cruisers. The ones that we typically used are” Navily” and “No Foreign Land” but we also are members of the Cruising Association and they have an app called “Captains Mate”” that works the same. Once all of these pieces of the puzzle are put together we plan our travels for the next day. Today we came up with an anchorage on the island of Tijet. Our pilot book stated it is uninhabited, but from the recent reviews we knew it had a mooring field. We typically stay away from these, but the reviews mentioned that you could anchor here as well. We always have a back up location as well, but this day the backup wasn’t the best as everything said that it gets very full and it wouldn’t give us as much protection. This is not a good thing as it is now Friday so many weekend sailors/boaters are out as well.
We made it to the mooring field and there were a few mooring balls still free. The area that is available for anchoring was quite narrow an area and deep. We decided to ask about
the cost for a mooring and it in fact wasn’t too bad so we made a quick decision and picked up a mooring ball for the night. We haven’t done one of these in a long time, but we caught it the first time and we were settled for the evening. There is a restaurant in this bay as well and it seems to be a very popular place as many boats came up to their quay, but we didn't bother taking the dinghy down and just stayed in for the night.
We typically aren't ones to go back to the same place twice when traveling, but in looking at our options ahead we decided to break that rule and went back to a previous anchorage as it fit the bill for the direction we were heading and we knew it had good holding for our anchor as well as a couple of stores for provisions. We have been having problems on and off with our autopilot again. Bob has been doing more research as well as made contact with the company again. It seems that when the marina in Brindisi installed the new pump for the autopilot they
decided to mount it differently. They did tell Bob what they had in mind and at a glance it seemed like it would be better as it was a handier position for servicing it. In hindsight it turned out to be a bad decision as it put the pump and reservoir lower than the ram and as a result it allowed air to be trapped so the autopilot did not work properly. This meant that Bob had to do a lot of work as he had to make a new bracket to hold it in a better location to prevent this from happening. It is times like these that we realize how important it is to have extra pieces on board for those “just in case” situations. We have been storing some pieces of wood under the cushions of our “garage” and now was the time to use some of it. He needed to have just the right thickness of wood and of course we didn’t have one piece that fit the bill so he had to first “manufacture” a piece thick enough by layering a couple of pieces together. Once that was done he could make the bracket, mount
it in the lazarette (not the easiest place to work), and then mount the autopilot pump. As Bob has said many times no job is complete unless you take apart all 3 tool compartments. This was definitely the case here, but this now also included tearing apart the “garage” to get at the wood that was under the cushions. Needless to say, the boat was not very livable during this time. We found that the only place we could even sit to eat lunch was in the bed and even that wasn’t that easy as we had moved some things from the garage into there. Well, the job was completed and the best thing is that the autopilot now works perfectly!! It also gave us a chance to re-organize again as we put things back away. Yes, we have been carrying lots of what we think of as extras, but it is times like these we are happy that we have the materials available to be able to fix problems immediately. Having a safe and more importantly calm anchorage to accomplish jobs like this is also a definite plus with Bob having to go in and out of the lazarette
Always Enjoy Having the Sails Up
and moving again after being at anchor
and the boat torn apart.
Another great benefit to being back in this anchorage was that we finally connected long enough to have a meal out with Sarah and Ian on Linea. We had met them shortly before they were leaving the anchorage in Syracusa, Sicily. They had the burgee up from the Cruising Association which first caught our eye as we are members too. Since our first encounter we have followed many of their suggested anchorages and have benefited from their informing us of another source of information called 'no foreign land'. Sarah was away when we first got to the anchorage, but fortunately we were still there when she returned from the UK and we were able to have a very enjoyable evening out with them. Always great to connect with people that have helped along the way as you then know more about what they are looking for in their travels as well. It is just like TripAdvisor in that sense of knowing who's recommendations would probably match your likes the most.
After 3 nights at this anchorage we moved on to another anchorage that we had been to before on Klement Island. This is
the bay that had been packed with charter boats before, but fortunately as it is getting later in the season it was much less crowded. With anchoring out knowing a place that has good holding is always a plus. With the number of new places to explore we were of mixed feelings about going back to places we had been before. We had decided we had wanted to go back to the island where the 14th C. Franciscan monastery was as we didn't get a chance last time to go to shore and we wanted to walk the island and check out the monastery more closely. With that as a goal these two anchorages were in the perfect location for us.
The next morning we left the anchorage at 5:50 as we wanted to get to Badija Island early enough to have a good part of the day to go swimming as it has definitely been quite hot lately. We knew this bay has a sandy bottom, we can anchor in shallow water, it is a large area so there should be plenty of room to find a place to anchor and it has lovely clean water for swimming.
On our way to the anchorage we passed the town of Korcula. It was a very busy area with all of the tour boats in the area, but we had the added excitement of wind surfers and parasurfers streaking back and forth in front of and behind boats. They were amazing to watch but also added a little excitement as many came quite close to the boat. We just kept our fingers crossed that they didn’t fall off when in front of any boat (and especially ours!) We made it to Badija Island and it worked out that we found a perfect spot in front of the monastery again in 13 feet of water so we took the afternoon to enjoy the water here.
The next morning we took the dinghy ashore as we had heard there was a lovely walk around the island and wanted to do it before the hottest part of the day. It was very pleasant walking along the tree lined path that circumnavigated the island and taking in the great views. The downside was the biting insects that seemed to love me! They were plentiful and quite persistent. Bob said the best thing was
to just keep moving and not stop. But I couldn't resist taking some photos and unfortunately I did pay for them with having some very itchy bites!
We saw a path that went up a hill on the island and a gate at the top so figured we’d go up to see what was there. It appeared to be the remains of a farm with the stalls for the animals. Next to it was a field that had been plowed recently so know that someone is using it. We found out when we were at the Monastery that the monks are indeed farming it currently.
The walk ends at the Monastery so had a chance to get a closer look at it. It is interesting to be at one that is currently active as many that we have seen have not been used in quite some time. We were admiring one of the doors when a person came out and we asked if there was a way to see the church. He told us we could come in and he guided us through telling us the history of the place. We felt very fortunate as there were others
nearby that asked if they could come in as well, but he didn’t allow them to enter. The people didn’t seem to understand but they were dressed more for the beach than for entering a church. The irony of this island is that there is a very popular beach next to the monastery that many people come here by ferry to enjoy. The juxtaposition of the beach and the monastery is an interesting one. There are even signs telling people not to enter the monastery grounds wearing bathing suits, but not many people seem to read them.
We learned that the Franciscan monks from Bosnia were given ownership to part of this island back in 1392 and they started to build the monastery at that time. Most of what we see today is from the middle of the 15th
C. with the cloister dating from 1477. In 1909 the monks started a school for local boys which was operational until 1943. After WWII the communist closed the school and the monastery as well as took the land away from the Franciscans. Fortunately some of the artwork was given to other area churches for safekeeping and as a result some
Anchored in Zincena Bay on Pasman Island
and a mooring field on Tijet - both good nights out
of it has been returned, but much had been damaged. Tito decided that the island should be set up as a sports center to train athletes for the Olympics. There are still remnants of the playing courts from that time. Fortunately the new government of Croatia in 2003 gave the island back to the Franciscans and they have been working since then to restore it. During the 50 years of non-use as a monastery it housed animals for a time and was even a garage for repairs during the war. The guide showed us there were many oil stains on the stone floor in the chapel as a result of it being a garage.
Even with all of the work that needs to be done, it was wonderful to see what has been done to date to try to bring it back to its former self. There are two chapels here and a very impressive cloister. The details on the columns in the cloister as some of the best we have seen. We are glad we took the time to return to this island and visit the monastery. It is wonderful to see the work they are doing to
revitalize this 14th
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