The storm of June 22nd. blew itself out and Exotica weathered it comfortably in the Marina at Veli Rat at the top of the island Dugi Otok.
The next day we set off for a short trip round the top of the island to find the delightful bay of Sakuran where there were plenty of moorings. The water was turquoise and warm enough to swim. We took the dinghy ashore to dine at restaurant which the Adriatic Pilot said had the best mussels in Croatia. However, when we got there we found a ramshackle café, the mussels were off and all that was available was pizza. Surprisingly, the pizza was rather good.
For the next few days we sailed or motored from one magical bay to the next, generally not going very far as these islands, of the Zadar archipelago, and their bays are quite close together. A few of these moorings were so pleasant that we stayed a couple of days.
We are continually bemused by the tendency of German and Austrian yachting people to shed all their clothes as soon as they get on a boat. Sadly this does not apply to the young and attractive ones but rather to the elderly, who like us, would be much better to hide their ageing bodies with a veneer of clothing.
On the tiny island of Rava we took up a mooring belonging to the nearby restaurant, which is free provided you eat at the restaurant. Here we had a lamb Peka, one of the few traditional Croatian dishes. Basically, it is a stew of cheapest cuts of lamb and potatoes cooked in an iron pot over a wood fire. They charge an inordinate amount of money for this so it will be our last Peka this year, but at least the mooring was free.
From there we had another great sail to the south end of Pasman Island. This year has been notable for more good sails than any previously. We found a splendid inlet at Uvala Landin, where we have been before. This time no-one came round to charge us so we spent an extra day in this delightful spot. The stiff nor’wester brought the temperature down and the sea temperature even more. Julie was not at all impressed when she found she’d swum in 17.9C
Two days later we were in a marina at Sukosan just south of Zadar on the Croatian mainland in order to collect our friend Angela Bush, whereupon we set off again into the islands and bays either spending the nights on a mooring or on the anchor.
Terry managed to contract a nasty cold. How could he do this when we have little contact with humanity and live mostly in the open air. However, he failed to pass it on to anyone else.
We couldn’t resist a couple of nights in Uvala Stupica Vela, on Otok Zirje, a favourite from last year.
He has also managed, by dint of some computer wizardry, to find both Wimbledon and the World Cup and transfer them to the television.
We had planned to change crew in Split, with Angela leaving, Julie’s cousin’s grand-daughter Abbey and then Debbie Humble joining us for week. However, on Friday afternoon we were unceremoniously chucked out of the Marina in Split to make way for 200 charter yachts which stream in during the day. It was an impressive mass of boats we had to wriggle our way through as they all waited around the fuel dock and then enter the marina in quite a strong breeze.
On Angela’s last night she kindly offered to treat us to dinner so we asked the marina receptionist her favourite. Matoni, she said. A taxi ride to the other side of town but well worth it. Croatia can produce sophisticated food at reasonable prices.
Angela and Julie had a few hours being a tourist in Split, so many shoe shops but we resisted.
We were happy to return to Marina Kastela where were last over two years ago. It is a good deal smarter now with new buildings and even an indoor swimming pool.
We hadn’t had enough of the islands off Zadar, so headed north again. Our first stop, Rogoznica.
Oh, we seem to be back to our favourite bay on Zirje. We had drinks and dinner with American friends Robin and Bob, whom we met first in Venice, and are making their way south to Greece and Turkey.
We have never taken Exotica into Trogir before. We dropped Debbie to her flight back to Sydney. Watched the Gentlemen ‘s final of Wimbledon and then Croatia, sadly being defeated by France, in the World Cup final at Marina Trogir.
We have two nights before we take a plane to Munich for a nine day holiday from Exotica and four days of Wagner. So back to the safe anchorage of Vinisce where our friend Marino joined us for dinner then an unexpected storm with 30 knot winds hit us at 11.30pm. We were up until 2am watching for boats dragging their anchors.
The wind is abating, the rain heading for Bosnia and we to Kastela tomorrow to continue our endless summer adventures.