Endless Islands

Crisscrossing the Central Adriatic. Red = Julie and Terry alone. Black = Margie and the Dysons.

During the last two weeks of August we had stunning weather, we made the most of our middle Adriatic cruising the islands off the Zadar coast, they are endless. There’s not much anchoring here, the locals have found a source of revenue by filling beautiful bays with mooring buoys for which you pay various amounts and there’s usually a konoba or two at the head of the bay with a simple painted board “Fish, Meat, Calamari. Grilled”. They have a huge wood fire out the back and all meals are cooked there. Wine is red, white and if you’re really lucky, rose, sold by the half or full litre.

 

Primosten is a beautiful town, included in the buoy fee is water from the dock, perfect time to wash the boat and clothes!

 

 

We sailed south to Primosten, where we’d had nights in past years, then discovered mainland bays heading north.

 

 

 

Uvala Mirine, not in any of the sailing books so very quiet anchorage

As we entered the bay of Mirine we saw huge, ugly jellyfish, the first this summer. The locals assure us they are benign but there is no way we would enter the water with them. Inside the bay Sunday day trippers were lining the shore and happily swimming, thankfully the jellyfish were leaving as we arrived. There is an impressively well-preserved fortress wall from this bay over a hill to the next. It was built in the 15th C to keep out the Turks and in later years acted as a barrier for plague victims. A very sound anchorage with no facilities, heaven.

The Wall of Ostrica

Truly impressive

Exotica at anchor

Sharing the town quay with super yachts. St James’s Cathedral dome

Sibenik again, this time by yacht and tied up to the town quay next to super yachts. We rarely park in such public places but there is something special about being right in the centre of this spectacular city at the foot of the World Heritage St James Cathedral, reputedly the crowning architectural glory of the Dalmatian coast. Juraj Dalmatinac, a Zadar native, was appointed to increase the size after 10 years of Venetians architects from 1431. The Gothic-Renaissance style is built entirely of stone from the islands of Brac, Korcula, Rab and Krk. The world’s largest church built entirely of stone without brick or wooden supports. Finally finished in 1536.

Another fine sunset in Sibenik

Not quite the dining we had when last in Sibenik but the only white on the menu was an indigenous grape from Skradin an excellent drop

Early morning walk in Sibenik

The captain awaiting his breakfast

Farewell Sibenik

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entering Uvala Hiljaca , Otok Zut on a hot and windless day

Our aim is to find water like this

 

 

The island of Zut has two sheltered bays with restaurants providing free mooring buoys as long as you eat in their establishment. We had a night in each. Uvala Hiljaca had aquamarine water and an excellent restaurant.

 

Restoran Trabakul offers free mooring buoys if you eat here

View from our table

Trabakul Dagger, meat lovers heaven

Another bay, another restoran. Luka Zut with more rustic Restoran Bain

So looking forward to his Hake in spicy cream sauce, a hit!

Marina Dalmacija again to collect crew, not too happy about weather forecast

Whoops, doesn’t look good

The calm before the storm, always from the west

An eerie sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the storm a day to let the weather settle so sightseeing in Zadar, Land Gate, 1543, features Venetian winged lion

 

Come September there was a ten degree drop in temperature just in time for our first guests since June! Terry’s sister, Margie, and Lizzy and Tony Dyson.

 

 

 

 

After anchoring in Vela Luka the girls dinghy expedition found this quirky konoba, the only settlement in the bay

Driftwood roofing and bikini top decor

 

The weather report for the week had been dire but each day saw the sun appear, we could mostly sail and spent each night either at anchor or on a mooring buoy.

Instead of placing a bottle of water on the table they plonked a full bottle of slivovitz down, before we even ordered our drinks. It would have been rude not to drink it!

A makeshift jetty, popular with local motor boats

 

 

 

 

 

 

Took the right path this time in Uvala Stupica, so made it to the fortress on Otok Zirje, Exotica the only navy boat in the bay

 

We re-visited many of our favourite bays and islands, cooked on board or sampled more “Fish, Meat, Calamari. Grilled”.

 

Byzantine Fortress Gradina from the reign of Justinian (527-565) played an important strategic role when he regained borders of Roman Empire from the Ostrogoths, who were ruling Italy and Illyricum at that time

Magestic

Sisters-in-law after the climb

Lizzy and Julie awaiting the best calamari of the week in this simple konoba

 

 

 

 

 

A surge in the tiny Zlarin harbour, once the seat of the Bishops of Sibenik. Also the home of coral jewellery, 10 divers have a license to collect the burnt orange coral found in the Kornati islands

Exotica on mooring buoy at sunset

 

 

 

 

 

After a terrific 25nm sail from Zlarin we returned to U Hiljaca and Restoran Trabucol. Talked into sharing this Scorpion fish for 5, at vast expense. Garlic sauce and rosemary an amazingly delicious combination. Note the mouth!

Girls dinghy expedition to the somewhat shabby Vrgada town to choose one of the two restaurants for Julie’s birthday celebration!!

Moet in the sunset….hope all birthdays are this good

A simple restoran, but great view and excellent service

Crew photo

Margie and Terry. They really do calamari well in Croatia

Our last supper, at Restoran Kaciol in Biograd. The meal just as good as it was on our last visit here. Julie’s fillet steak, rare, with truffle sauce was spectacular

 

 

It was not until the last day our 700 litres of water ran out. The first time we have missed the “out of action” watermaker. Guess it’s what everyone does when they’re camping, bathe in the sea and no hair wash for a week!!

 

 

Having waved our guests off at Marina Kornati, Biograd, a strong sou-easterly dried the four loads of washing, safely hung in the cockpit rather than the foredeck, before the next bout of westerly storms bombarded us for 36 hours. It’s cooler here than Sydney now….time we came home!

Our crew has returned to UK and we are safely tied up in Marina Kornati being bombarded with SE gales then westerly storms. Julie only just made it to the supermarket when this one hit!

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