Sailing in Croatia – Week 1

Let’s think back, how many things did we do until today? How many places did we visit? How many persons did we meet?
Again amazing! I will not go over every single one, but just the most important events.

We celebrated at “La Cambusa di Bacco” in Marina di Ravenna (I definitely recommend it – www.lacambusadibacco.it) the night before our departure. Usually boats leave for the passage to Croatia in the evening or at night, but we planned to leave in the early morning instead and so we did. We crossed the Adriatic Sea for 80 miles with light winds and we arrived in Losinj around 8PM. We were not sure about the opening time of the Harbour Master and the Customs.

I phoned Mauro, a friend from Marina di Ravenna, who kindly explained us that the Harbour Master is open 24h and that we could choose to do register immediately or wait until the morning. We opted for the first one and entered Losinj Bay during a wonderful sunset.

Funny enough … we were in front of the Harbour Master and none was responding either on the VHF or by phone … what to do, we read a lot about the Croatian Police and how strict they are. We went back to the fuel station as the 777 said we can negotiate the night and in the same time we asked for information about the Harbour Master… We were told to go back to the Police dock and wait there.

So we went back and moored in front of the Police, alone without any support (we did quite well) and then we were knocking at the door but none was responding, a TV was on inside, none there. We even thought that the officer had an heart attack and was lying on the floor dead, simply we couldn’t see him… So we were in the right place, but none was there as expected. Oh well, let’s have dinner, a proper shower and then catch some sleep. Indeed, we had just fallen asleep and someone was knocking on our hull … it was midnight! To make this story short, Marco did the entrance and they asked us to leave the pontoon even if they knew we should go to the Customs the morning after and that is prohibited to anchor inside the bay. So we ended up at the Marina, which costed us an astonishing 100 EUR for 7 hours, just to wait the opening time of the Customs. OK, lesson learnt! Next time try to avoid Lussino for the entrance and the bureaucracy and also for the not so friendly welcome!!!

After the passage we were quite tired and so we opted to stay moored in Losinj the maximum we can, fill-up with power and water and of course, give a proper “shower” to our beloved Kismet too.

While we were washing Kismet, a gentleman passing by on his sailing boat asked information about the marina and we promptly shared our experience to let him choose the best for himself … this is how we met Vito from Chioggia.

[Marco’s note: Chioggia, is in Veneto, the same region Desirée’s family is originally from. People from this region are known to be wine lovers and good drinkers. Important for the following. 🙂 ]

Vito is a real sea dog, gentle and charming man, sailor from generations, single-handing a beautiful custom built sailing boat. We helped him to tie-up in the marina and I asked him hints about the locations in the surrounding. I told him “You look like someone very experienced about the area, isn’t it?” He nodded.

So we invited him to drink something on board and I got embarrassed two times:

1) What to drink at 2PM under an hot sun? Beer? Water? No, inside me, it was time for the first great bottle of Cartizze that my father gave me as a present for this holiday! Glass in hand, we talked a lot about locations to visit, about Vito’s story and he left us a lot of himself, his beautiful blue eyes that can look inside you and are a display of his story and experience …

2) Vito asked: do you have a map? S**t, I have to admit we don’t have any paper map … we have the 777 cruising handbook and two different electronic maps, one on the chart plotter and one on the navigation computer… that is how “modern” sailors do it, right? Well, I felt a bit of shame in front to a such experienced sea man expecting to get some paper maps…

Anyway, it was a wonderful, incredible and great time spent with Vito. And remember, he told us, in this area if the air pressure increases really fast, it is not a sign that good weather is coming, rather is the BORA wind approaching. Better to look for a place protected from N and NE strong winds!!!

We spent the first two night in two different bays near Losinj … great and fresh water, with a lot of fishes … and of course taking care of Kismet…

Finally we sailed off for 20NM in a day from one location to another, and in one of these, it was so funny to stumble upon two men on their motorboat asking us about our boat and her name and finding out two hours later that they are close friend with the first owner of Kismet!!! Would you have imagined this in a non touristic island as Unije? Chances were minimal.

As I am writing this, the sun is low on the horizon and we are in anchored in the fabulous Previka Bay. Our dinghy needed some minor repair to its towing rings so we were not able to anchor with lines to ground as everyone does here. We decided to anchor instead in the middle of the entrance, where we have enough room to swing around… Such a wonderful bay, protected from N and NW winds, surrounded by pine trees, with a fresh smell and full of fishes.

Tomorrow we head toward Ilovik. We will pass through the channel and then turn right to a wonderful beach. Will have other stunning landscapes to watch and beautiful sunsets.

Last but not least… the sky at night is incredible here… I can’t remember having seen so many stars and the Milky Way in a long time.

Sweet dreams!!!

Love,
Desiree

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