18th June: (A blog from back in time – trying to clear a backlog!) After filling up with diesel, it was mid morning before we were away from Vela Luka and a westerly wind had set in. It was a F4 as we motored away from the town and if it stayed like that it wouldn’t be too long a journey into it towards our next destination.
Sveti Klement, Pakleni Islands
That would have been the case if it hadn’t increased to a F6 and changed to a north westerly as we rounded the north tip of Korcula island. There was another boat attempting to make the same journey so weren’t the only mad fools, but most boats were making the most of the wind and having a blast heading east and south. With our poor windward performance we’d have had a very long journey so we chose to motorsail north to give us some shelter from Hvar island, we could then work our way west in the lee of the land. It was only an hour bashing away and it seeming like a different world when we anchored in the sheltered bay of Uvala Tarsce.
There are several options for mooring in the Paklinski group of islands with its many bays and indented coves. We counted about 50 mooring buoys in one of the bays surrounded by restaurants which didn’t appeal to us, so we went for a much quieter inlet further along that only had two boats anchored in it. Boats came and went over the weekend but it never got crowded. We even briefly had it all to ourselves. We started out anchored in 8m further out as a large catermeran was parked in the shallow water, once that left we could move closer in. Light winds blew from the south on Sunday but the swell inside wasn’t too bad.
There is also the Parmiziana marina on the north side of the island; wandering along a dirt track took us from peace and nature to brash and loud. The marina was full of party boats which we were glad of as it meant they weren’t trying to anchor with us! You can take a water taxi from the marina across to Hvar town but we didn’t get around to it as we were too busy enjoying the clear water and the peaceful anchorage.
Thunder threatened to disturb the peace Sunday evening but it rolled around the top of us and left us with just a few fat plops of rain.
Trying to Find an Anchorage
20th June: One of the pleasures of Croatia for me has been the mix of nature and civilisation; after a few days out on the islands a change of scene with a visit to a town or city with some history thrown in made for a good combination.
Our plan when we left Sveti Klement to head for Split was to break the journey with a night in an anchorage on the way, the idea being to go off piste and find a spot that wasn’t one of the recommended anchorages in the pilot guide. The first bay we’d chosen was deep until fairly close in, except for a gently shelving spot at the end. Unfortunately someone else had had the same idea as us and there really was only space for one. So on we went searching the charts for ideas as we went along. The second spot looked great on paper – narrow but with good anchoring depth along it and well sheltered. Unfortunately someone had decided to claim the whole place to themselves with a line tied across the top end of it making access for us impossible. So thinking third time lucky we tried for another bay nearby but that was full up too. Our pioneering day had failed!
Fed up with our failed attempts we plugged on to the anchorage around the back of Split where we found just one other boat tucked into the space next to Slapin marina, just off the rowing club. After all our to-ing and fro-ing between anchorages it was getting late so we settled down to watch the sun set over the hills to the west and the strawberry moon rise on the longest day of the year.
The next morning we woke to hear a strange rhythmic, swishing sound coming from close outside the boat. Looking out we saw rowing skulls racing past at some speed, their oars passing uncomfortably close to Emerald’s hull. A dinghy came over and asked politely if we’d move a little further out. We’d inadvertently anchored right in their race track.
So further out we moved which turned out to be a blessing that night. We’d watched a stage being erected outside the rowing club and wondered what might be happening. Maybe a live band for us to enjoy? Nope, more of a boom, boom disco as the club threw a first day of summer party which went on until 4am. It turned out the next day was a national holiday so all the revellers could sleep it off whereas we wanted to do some Split exploring. Being further out meant the noise wasn’t too bad and despite the bass vibrating through the boat we did get a reasonable nights sleep.
Other than the potential to get accidentally hit by a racing rowboat and the occasional party music, the anchorage is a great spot. A Lidl is under ten minutes walk away, the centre of Split twenty minutes and there is some lovely parkland right on the doorstep. We enjoyed a wander under the shade of the tree lined paths joining throngs of runners, cyclists and fellow strollers.
The centre of Split is dominated by the remains of the Roman emperor Diocletian’s Palace, built in the 4th century. Inside the remains of the walls is a maze of alleys and squares lined with houses, shops and cafes, a lovely space to wander for a few hours.
The most preserved section of the palace is around the courtyard of the peristyle, next to which is Diocletian’s mausoleum, since converted to a cathedral. Underground are huge vaulted cellars now lined with tourist and craft stalls.
Outside the walls of the palace is a large open market. As well as the typical cheap clothes and tourist tat there is a large fruit, veg and flower market. Overflowing stalls vied with the sparse tables of black clad, old ladies selling their home grown surplus. We tried to buy something from as many as possible but their produce was so low priced we would end up paying only a few pence.
Unpleasant Goings on in Trogir
Trogir is a very straight forward trip across from Split. There was no wind so we motored over. As we approached we could see that there were works going on in the middle of the approach channel – it looks like there is a new bridge being built to ease the traffic passing through Trogir. Our plan was to stay in the south of the channel where there is deeper water but as we got close to the works a large barge came over over to us and started gesticulating that we couldn’t go that way and must go to the north. We waved and thanked them then the men onboard started making the international symbol of drinking a beer and suggesting we give them some. We laughed and waved and headed off to check the chart for where they were directing us.
Having looked at the chart we could see it was shallow but just enough water still for us, maybe half a meter under Emerald’s keel, so we headed off to the northern channel where we’d been directed. As we approached the barge came close again, almost bumping into us. The men were again demanding beer and when we ignored them we got some internationally recognised offensive signals and a lot of shouting. Nice!!
So we were a bit disgruntled at this welcome as we looked around for a spot to anchor. We dropped the hook in a place that looked good but as we like to let out a lot of chain, when we set back in the slight current we noticed one of the upside down anchor signs alongside us on shore. Not knowing whether it meant the quay that it was on was private or a cable, we decided to move forward anyway, at which point someone onshore had seen us and started yelling at us to move. When he saw where we’d actually dropped the anchor he stopped shouting, but the damage was done. We were thoroughly narked off now!
I had a good stomp around the narrow, twisty lanes and passages of Trogir to work off the narkedness. It is a pretty town but quite touristy.
18th June: Vela Luka to Tarsce, Sveti Klement; 20nm travelled
Anchored in sand in 6m in position 43 09.67’N 16 22.41’E
A restaurant is about 5 minutes walk away along a track
20th June: Sveti Klement to Split; 33nm travelled (5nm sailed)
Anchored in mud in position 43 31.05’N 16 25.43’E
Shops within walking distance.
We left our dinghy in the marina where there are a couple of restaurants and two chandlery shops.
23rd June: Split to Trogir, 7nm travelled
Anchored in 5m in position 43 31.042’N 16 15.36’E
Trogir is a maze of narrow medieval streets great for wandering. A lot of restaurants and tourist shops. Small supermarket.