Continuing South Through the Islands of Croatia

Favourite breakfast after weathering the storm

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.




Veli Rat Marina and wide sheltered bay after the storm

Uvala Sakarun


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.

Mussels are off, it’s pizza and Greek salad. Wine, red or white, the carafe was glass but one drank it out of a plastic cup. Plastic plates and “cutlery”!

Exotica on a buoy from the salubrious Konoba Amarcord





Sakarun has one of the few sandy beaches in Croatia and turquoise water

Uvala Sakarun







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.

Delightful sheltered bay in Brbinj

Easy fore and aft mooring in crystal water


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.




A swim before we leave, water temp 22.5C

The only shop in Bribnj was closed from 1100 – 1700. A sleepy hollow








Restaurant Rava on west coast of Otok Rava provides mooring buoys if you eat there

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.

A cut above the last meal out!

We ordered Peka, without checking the price!







Moon rising over Rava

Sun setting in U Landin, O Pasman

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

The best looking boat in the bay!



Happy sailor after a great sail

Back to U Landin for another free night on the mooring. We dined with Saint Angela


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.

Tuna steak excellent at Konoba Gajela, Landin

The crystal water of U Kakan after a bracing two and a half hour beat. The swim also bracing at 20C








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.

Stupica means trap. This bay is very sheltered until the southerly blows, many seafarers have been trapped here in the past.


We couldn’t resist a couple of nights in Uvala Stupica Vela, on Otok Zirje, a favourite from last year.



A girls trip in the dinghy in our favourite bay of Stupica Vela

An unpretentious entrance to the one restaurant







To an unpretentious restaurant. However, the dour ladies serve excellent pork chop, fish or calamari to at least 100 each night.

I love the ruins of Gradina, the Roman fortress on Zirje






The history of Gradina during the reign of Justinian 527-565 AD

And what it looked like






Angela and Julie after a swim…..Rose o’clock

Senta departing Stupica Vela







A fortnight of Wimbledon and the World Cup. This was the exciting bit World Cup-wise



He has also managed, by dint of some computer wizardry, to find both Wimbledon and the World Cup and transfer them to the television.



After a night at anchor in Vinisce, on the mainland near Trogir and Split

A night at Split Marina, expensive but a terrific view of Diocletian’s Palace


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.

Locals enjoying an evening swim on the sandy Bacvice beach in suburban Split, near Matoni


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.

Tourists enjoying an Aperol Spritz at Bacvice beach

Matoni restaurant, where the locals eat, atmospheric and a cut above t

166 steep stairs up to the top Split cathedrals bell tower



Angela and Julie had a few hours being a tourist in Split, so many shoe shops but we resisted.


You need a head for heights

Bell ringers would be extremely fit









The only family member, apart from our boys, to spend a night on Exotica. So lovely to meet Abbey



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.


A windy sky but excellent meal in the Kastela Yacht Club on Debbie’s arrival

Sunset over Kastela







We’d planned to pick up one of the moorings in the distance, a sparkling bay, only to discover there was a 13metre limit so had to settle for the town quay.



We hadn’t had enough of the islands off Zadar, so headed north again. Our first stop, Rogoznica.



The crew goes shopping in Rogoznica

The busy tourist town of Rogoznica was deserted at 8am

We try to bring all our guests here….Stupica Vela….again


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.


Dinner with American’s, Robin and Bob, whom we’d met in Venice

Last lunch in Stupica, will we ever return







We stumbled upon yet another idyllic bay, Nozdran, on Otok Kariije

Terry invented the antidote to buoys bumping in the night






So we just had to have cocktails on the foredeck

As the sun set





The pretty town of Primosten was heaving with tourists and the bay was full. A bumpy night, a westerly had created waves in the bay

Back to the safe anchorage of Vinisce, a convenient stop before dropping guests back to Split





The afternoon nap

Vinisce in the early morning







Fishing boat returning with the night’s catch

Trogir at night


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.


and at day

It was calm when Marino departed on Homeless this morning with his new Aussie flag on the main.



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.

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