Enjoying Our Time Anchoring Out in Croatia - July 20 - 26, 2019

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July 26th 2019
Published: August 10th 2019
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When we left the marina of Korcula, we had great views of the walled city that we just visited. You can see how well defended the town was with its fortifications with the entire town within its borders. After being in the marina we figured we would anchor out tonight. Bob found a great little bay to do that in on the island of Scedro. We anchored in a little deeper water than we would have liked but it still wasn’t bad at 34 feet as we thankfully have plenty of chain on our anchor. It wasn’t crowded, the water was nice and clear and we had a great time snorkeling. A good spot to overnight.

The next day we made a 3 ½ hour move to an island near the town of Hvar that we planned on visiting. With many charter boats here in Croatia this time of year we are finding that if you get to an anchorage before noon many of them have cleared out and are headed to their next location. We would normally spend more time on the water, but the short hops seem to be working out to get a good anchorage before it gets too crowded. From what we read it would be better to anchor at a nearby island and then take a water taxi over to Hvar rather than try to get into Hvar by boat ourselves. In checking out the options there were a few bays we could head to in the Paklani Island chain. The first bay we went into we knew had lots of mooring buoys. We were aware that they would be about 50 Euros per night but figured it would be the best way to go as it was the closest to the point where we would get the water taxi and the boat would be secure when we left. We were met by a guy in a dinghy and were told that they were completely full. This was hard to believe as there were lots of mooring buoys empty but were informed that they were all reserved. We didn’t see anything in our research that told us that we could have done that, but now we know! Oh well, on to the next option of our plan as you always need a plan B and many times a C and D as well. The very next bay was much smaller and had quite a few boats in it already so on to the next. The last bay we checked was Tarisce on the island of Klement. This one looked more promising and indeed worked out for us. There were quite a few boats anchored already as well as some were med moored (with an anchor out and a stern line to the shore). The center of the bay was quite deep but around the edges there was a ledge with depths of 20-30 feet. Fortunately we found a space that was 25 feet deep so dropped our anchor and got a good hook. It looks like there are some signs on shore telling about a couple of restaurants so we may stay for a couple of days.

The day was quite hot so decided to jump in the water to cool off – the water here is so clear it is very inviting and was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. By the late afternoon many of the boats that had been anchored in the bay left, but more came in between 5-6 so by evening there were 33 boats staying overnight. Crowded, but enough room for everyone to swing on our anchor.

The next morning we decided to do some hiking on the island as wanted to do it before it got too hot. It is great to stretch your legs and explore on land when you have a chance. We found the two restaurants near this end of the island. They are both open for lunch and dinner – not sure if we will eat there but the reviews sound good. You would just want to eat early enough to get back before dark as the trail is good but parts are quite rocky and up and down hills. We did stop at one of them for a coffee and had a chance to meet a family from Denmark that have been staying at this location for vacation for a few years on a charter boat. Always fun to meet new people and somehow it quickly leads to us telling various stories of our travels over the years. It reminds us when we do of how many great places we have been. We do have to remind ourselves at times how fortunate we have been to have gotten to some
It Is Definitely Tourist Season It Is Definitely Tourist Season It Is Definitely Tourist Season

as you see many of these on the water!
wonderful places on Tsamaya.

There were some trail markers that we kept following, but we had no idea where they were leading us, just that they were the ‘yellow’ trail. We made it to the top of a hill and the trail seemed to end. We had some great views of the numerous bays, but had hopes that the trail would circle around and lead us down a different way, but unfortunately we had to backtrack and come down the same trail. When at the restaurant we were told the yellow trail takes you to a high point on the island to see the sunset – we should have guessed!

With this many boats coming and going in the bay you definitely have plenty of entertainment as many of them are on charter boats. This is not to say that those that charter aren’t familiar with anchoring, but between not knowing their particular boat and not knowing how to med moor, it makes it interesting. This second night here we realized that there were 43 boats staying overnight. Guess the previous night was not so crowded. We did see one unfortunate incident while here, but luckily it ended
They Sure Built Those Churches in Interesting PlacesThey Sure Built Those Churches in Interesting PlacesThey Sure Built Those Churches in Interesting Places

we always wonder how people get to them!
well. A charter boat with a young couple on it were med moored with a stern line tied to the rocks behind them. The wind had picked up and they were trying to keep the boat steady with the engine, but all of a sudden they wound up going in reverse and were hitting on the rocks. Many of the neighboring boats quickly came to their aid and finally with the power of a jet ski that came over they were able to pull them off the rocks and get them settled again, but still quite close to the rocks behind them. We weren’t sure what had happened but apparently from what we saw when the repair people came the next day, they had problems with their gears and it got stuck in reverse. Not sure if there originally plans were to stay as long as they did at this island but they did stick around for quite a few more days after that. That sure could definitely put a damper on a week’s vacation – just glad everyone was OK and that when they did finally leave it appeared everything was OK. It really is amazing how quickly things
The Anchorage at Klement IslandThe Anchorage at Klement IslandThe Anchorage at Klement Island

and Tsamaya comfortably there
like this can happen and reminds us of why we typically do not like to tie our stern to the surrounding rocks as it really is too close for comfort!

We were enjoying our time being on anchor and swimming/snorkeling so decided to stay a few more days in this same location. We figure we are not in any real hurry so why not enjoy where we are! We knew that there was a marina at the other end of the island and had heard that water taxi’s leave from there so figured we’d check it out if indeed we wanted to get over to the town of Hvar. The trails are suppose to have trail markers and we would many times find them, but then they would just “evaporate” so part of the time on this hike we were bushwhacking our way trying to find where the trail was leading. We kept trying to back track and we’d find a bit of what looked like a trail and then it would vanish again. We were definitely getting our legs scratched up some and were about ready to turn around completely but finally with a little more pushing we got to a trail that was definitely what we should have been on – not sure where we made our mistake, but oh well… On this hike we got a chance to look down into the first bay that had all the mooring buoys that were reserved. Now that we have seen it, we were very glad we couldn’t make it into that bay. There was lots of activity at a swimming area and restaurant near by making it a very noisy place. Even though the bay we are in is crowded, it isn’t that noisy and definitely quiets right down in the evenings.

We had been warned by others that we should watch out for what is called “Yacht Week” – we looked it up and found that it is a very large group of sail boats that travel around together for the week and “party”. When we were on the hike the previous day we saw a large flotilla of boats with large banners waving taking up quite a large area of a bay. We weren’t sure at the time but figured this might be the boats on “Yacht Week”. Well, it was confirmed when we made
"The Daily Fresh Boat" at Klement - What a Great Idea"The Daily Fresh Boat" at Klement - What a Great Idea"The Daily Fresh Boat" at Klement - What a Great Idea

they had lots to offer those of us at anchor!
it to the marina as the boats from “Yacht Week” were there. Just walking around the marina we felt like we had crashed “spring break” somewhere. Most of the people were young and each of the boats had between 8 – 10 people onboard. Some of the boats are made up of people that they didn’t know each other before so they spend the week bonding with each other and by the looks of it even before noon they are “partying hardy”. After taking time to get a cold drink for ourselves of ice tea we decided we needed to leave the party crowd and head back to the boat. We did see some water taxis which was one of the main reasons we walked here. We found that the cost wasn’t too much but the catch was that they would only leave if there was a minimum of 5 people or you’d have to pay for all 5 yourself. When factoring that in we decided a day trip to Hvar wasn’t worth it. It looked like there were a few things to see, but there wasn’t any real strong draw to visit. Oh well, back to the boat and
When I Mean An Anchorage Gets CrowdedWhen I Mean An Anchorage Gets CrowdedWhen I Mean An Anchorage Gets Crowded

this gives you an idea of how close we get!
jump in the water – not a real hardship.

We had decided it was finally time to leave and move on, but the evening before a boat came by advertising a water taxi that would take us from our current location to Hvar for a reasonable price. We talked it over and decided that we would stay another day and book the taxi as a result. We made the arrangements to be picked up the next morning at 8:30 AM, but they hadn’t shown up. After 10-15 minutes I called to check on them. They said that they would pick us up at 9AM which we said was fine, but then told us that we would have to pay the equivalent of 6 tickets!! To say the least we were not happy as we were definitely not told that and I mentioned to him that his salesperson knew very well where we were anchored when he gave us the price. Oh well, couldn’t do too much about it. Our next decision was do we now leave the anchorage later than we normally would and get to a new place later in the day taking a chance of not having enough space OR do we stay another day. We decided we’d stay – there is always more we can do with cleaning our stainless and the anchorage was a safe one so why not.

We knew before coming to Croatia that the busy season would be July and August. We are just hoping that August doesn’t get busier than it is now, but time will tell as we heard it probably will as that is when people in southern Europe have their holiday. We are just trying to work out when is the best time to move, when to stop in the day to try to get an anchorage and where to go to try to stay out of the mainstream of charter boats. Quite a challenge, but knock on wood we have done OK so far.

Traveling in Croatia has been quite a bit of a change from the traveling we have been doing in other countries. Previously we would usually be in a town and we would then quickly find out what there was to see in that particular town. Now in Croatia we are typically anchoring out and as a result not in towns as
Spotting Wildlife (or in Some Cases Not So Alive)Spotting Wildlife (or in Some Cases Not So Alive)Spotting Wildlife (or in Some Cases Not So Alive)

on one of our hikes on Klement Island
much. We have stopped in a few, but much less than in other countries. We have been enjoying relaxing at anchor in one place for days at a time. It reminds us of when we would spend time on both Cayuga Lake and Lake Ontario on the weekends and vacation. Sometimes during the day a bay will have over 40 boats either anchored out or med moored so you don't swing on your anchor. Fortunately we have found out that many that come into the bay are only here for a few hours and then leave probably to go to a marina at night. The anchorages can be quite noisy in the evening with people on vacation enjoying their music and celebrating. Fortunately at other times it gets so quiet that we have been able to hear the owls at night. Quite a contrast. One other benefit of being on anchor is that you can benefit from the breeze. We have a wind scoop that we put on the hatch over our bed which makes it comfortable in the evenings.

We get lots of information from other cruisers, forums, blogs and FB groups about places to cruise, anchorage details
One Restaurant We Saw Was Dionis One Restaurant We Saw Was Dionis One Restaurant We Saw Was Dionis

but they weren't open yet - a nice setting
and towns to see. One thing we have heard a lot about Croatia in recent years was how expensive it is to travel here as they have a cruising tax and a tax to enter the National Parks. We also had heard that in most places you drop a hook you will have someone come out and visit you to collect money for anchoring. Needless to say most people are definitely not happy with that idea. Others have stated that the food is expensive. With hearing all of this over the last couple of years, we kept wondering if indeed we should come. One reason that many Americans, Canadians and Australians come here is that Croatia is not part of the Schengen agreement. I have mentioned this before but for an explanation it states that we are only allowed in any of the countries that signed the Schengen a total of 90 days out of 180 days. With Croatia being “out” it helps us with the ability to move around the Med. We decided we would see for ourselves what Croatia was like. We are glad we did as we have been anchoring out since being in Croatia and only
We Did Stop for Coffee at  "The Fisherman's HouseWe Did Stop for Coffee at  "The Fisherman's HouseWe Did Stop for Coffee at "The Fisherman's House

and Pension" - looks like a great place to stay
once so far have we paid to anchor as the first spot in Lastovo was part of the National Park and as such paid there. Since that time we have found some wonderful places to anchor without paying at all. We also have found that the people that we have met have been very helpful and we have enjoyed learning more from them about their country. As for the expense of food – we have not been shocked by the prices – of course some things are more expensive when you are buying food on an island (which is no different than any other island where things have to be shipped in), but overall we have not found the prices out of line at all. When going out to eat, the prices range considerably depending on if you are at a higher end restaurant or not – again not any different than in the US. The scenery is beautiful and we are thoroughly enjoying the relaxed pace we have chosen to travel through Croatia. We could push faster and see more of the coastline, but decided we have done quite a bit of pushing in the past and we are happy with enjoying what we are getting to see. We have seen a few of the bigger cities which I will cover in another blog. They are a nice balance with the time we spend anchoring out. We are glad we made our own decision and came to see this beautiful place for ourselves.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Passed One of a Few Vegetable GardensPassed One of a Few Vegetable Gardens
Passed One of a Few Vegetable Gardens

and a view from our walk on Klement Island
A Variety of Trail Types - from bushwackingA Variety of Trail Types - from bushwacking
A Variety of Trail Types - from bushwacking

to paved walkway on our hikes on Klement Island

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