Selection of logs of motor boat charter trips in the eastern Med
>> CROATIA CHARTER 2000 our first post-war trip; a favorite cruising region emerges
>> CROATIA CHARTER 2003 our first visit to the Kornati island, a very good trip in briliant weather
Our Med charter years 2008 - 2010
>> CROATIA CHARTER 2008 Kornati, Sibenik islands
>> CROATIA CHARTER 2009 Central - , south Dalmatian islands and Dubrovnik
>> CROATIA CHARTER 2010 Krka, Kornati, Zlarin, Dugi Otok, Zadar
>> TURKEY CHARTER 2008 the Carian coast
>> TURKEY CHARTER 2009 the Lycian coast
Charter Cruise CROATIA 6.-13. September 2008. Central Dalmatian Coast and Islands
THROUGH THE KORNATI AND THE SIBENIK ARCHIPELAGO
Crew: Jane, PK, Wilhelm
Base: Marina Kremik near Primosten, central Dalmatia.
Boat: “Grazia”, Yaretti/Horizon 46, semi-displacement flybridge motor yacht with aft cabin (approx. 49 ft / 15.0m), 2x Caterpillar diesel 425hp.
Chartered from Offshore-Boote
Flight London Heathrow to Split, arrived 15:30. Usual taxi service to Kremik marina; we stop at a supermarket en route, in Rogosniza, for catering.
After check-in and yacht briefing we get the taxi to Rogosniza, restaurant Atrium, and have very nice first fish dinner.
The weather is hot, about 30deg C; forecast to get even warmer the next day; SE winds 3-4 during day.
I register the crew at the marina reception (Kn5/£0.58 p.p.), we do some catering in the marina market, and have the air-conditioning system fixed (a blockage of the cooling water filter had stopped it working).
We leave berth at midday and head for Lojena cove on Smokvica island in the Kornati. The SE wind has got up but does not impact us much.
In Lojena we choose restaurant Piccolo, where we are directed to go alongside the small quay. This feels a bit scary due to its low level and rough rocks sticking out underneath. The restaurant boy - who doubles as berthing helper- is adamant to pull the boat along the quay instead of securing our ropes first, causing further concern.
Anyhow, Piccolo proves a good choice; we have fish dinner with skarpina one of our favourites; the quiet balmy night invites for a late swim, a true treat.
Konoba Piccolo, Smokvica island
Evening in Lojena cove on Smokvica
A short walk up the path, which starts near the second restaurant in the cove, Mare, offers amazing views of the Kornati channel to the NW and all around.
View to NW towards the Kornati channel, main island Kornat on the right side
180deg panoramic view from Smokvica towards West. Sculj island in the centre
We leave berth and cruise into the Kornati, passing Opat, and along Kornat island.
Restaurant in Opat cove
Along Kornat island
Lunch stop at Vrulje cove, anchored in the E part of the cove protected from the NW.
Kornati national park officials came along in a rib to collect the visitors’ fee (Kn400 for an 11-18m boat)
Vrulje on Kornat, the largest settlement in the Kornati
Later in the afternoon we continue NW through the Kornati channel, past Silo island, and have a look into Telascica bay on Dugi Otok.
This includes a tour of the popular Mir cove.
Toreta (6th century fortress ruins) on hilltop
Tourists' cove, Mir, part of Telascica nature park
Finally, we make for restaurant Aquarius in the N of small Katina island, directly overlooking Mala Proversa passage.
We had expected that there would be buoys in the small cove opposite the Aquarius restaurant, as in the past, but there aren't any.
There is space on the inner part of the small jetty; but the presence of a catamaran moored alongside the short quay makes access difficult.
Adverse wind from NW does not help!
Somehow we squeeze past and moor with the assistance of the restaurant owner along the ragged wall, all without causing scratches on the boat.
We have a good meal, and hear from our host, Zoran, that he had just removed the buoys, in reaction to his neighbour who had started an illegal makeshift restaurant next to his, and was enticing customers moored on Aquarius’ buoys away and to his (still crappy) place.
We wish Zoran best of luck with his restaurant and feel disturbed that rough people have arrived and started unethical practices on these idyllic bare islands where business is not easy anyway.
"Grazia" moored at restaurant Aquarius’ jetty on Katina, Proversa Mala
A trip boat has passed the Proversa Mala passage heading for Mir cove
The weather is clear, starting with a bright and calm morning; some NW of 3-4 bf getting up during the day.
Our plan is to anchor in a cove on nearby Zut island during midday and go to one of the restaurants in Zut cove over night. We anchor in the bare small Bodovac cove where the wind seems to come from WSW whilst outside it is NW. I notice that the voltage of the engine starter batteries is showing low, apparently not being charged by the alternator, the corresponding charge control light is out. I try to call the base to discuss but there is insufficient network coverage inside the cove. So we decide to go to Zut marina (ACI) on the other side of the island where we expect to be able to use our mobiles and be well positioned in case we need shore power or help.
The base confirms that the alternator might have an issue; I will monitor it, and meanwhile charge the batteries from mains power or generator.
We spend the afternoon in brilliant sunshine in the pleasant Zut cove with sunbathing and swimming.
Later we explore the large bay by dinghy; followed by reasonable dinner at the marina restaurant (its design reminds us of Piskera marina).
It feels like late in the season, only few boats on the long marina pontoon, although weather and sea temperature could not be any better.
Berthed in ACI marina on Zut island, where the water invites to swim off the boat
The forecast for the next couple of days is again for fine and warm weather.
We leave Zut by 10am and cruise in calm seas towards Murter island, passing Vrgada en route. The ladies enjoy sunbathing on the front deck.
The boat feels comfortable and quiet at 9 kn, although being capable of up to 18kn when pushed, creating a big unpleasant bow wave.
We prefer the relaxed and fuel saving displacement speed.
Prisnjak Lighthouse on a rock at the NW end of Murter island
Along the West coast of Murter island, the small cove of Vucigrade is mostly blocked for yachts by swimming area markers, with just 2 buoys for small yachts left in the centre.
We proceed to Kosirina, a much larger cove, and anchor at 6m in front of the beach and camping site. Sandy ground and good holding.
Swimming is good; at 3 pm we decide to leave for Tribunj marina, to explore the old town and tourist resort.
When using the deck-shower a corroded mixer tap disintegrates, hot water is splash out: No way to turn it off other than by switching off the domestic water pump; this means no water available nor working toilets on board(!); a solution is needed urgently.
After arrival in Tribunj marina (with fresh NW) I get in touch with Offshore Boote; helpers arrive by 7:30 pm and block off the hot water supply to the deck shower. Ah! The domestic water system is restored and so is the crew's morale.
Marina Tribunj is mainly occupied by annual berth holders, a collection of expensive craft; we were just able to get a visitors' space.
The upmarket marina looks modern and its facilities appear to be first class; prices are, correspondingly, high.
For dinner we walk along the harbour towards the Old Town and choose the original looking Simuni taverna; it is fine place, but it's sad to see there are hardly any guests any more at this time in the season.
Approx. 17 + 8 = 25 nm.
Tribunj's Old Town situated on a small island
Tribunj's old fishing harbour with Simuni restaurant across the water
The day starts warm and sunny; the weather forecast is for a fine day with little wind.
We visit the resort of Tribunj, and find the location of the Old Town on a small island, its stone bridge and town quay with cafes and bars very pleasant.
I take a walk to Sv Nikola church on the hill behind the Old Town.
The splendid views over the Old Town and marina make the short hill climb, along a Way of the Cross, rewarding.
View from Sv Nikola church over Tribunj Old Town (right side), harbour and marina
We leave berth at midday and cruise leisurely to Tijascica cove in the S end of Tijat island. The uninhabited cove is pretty and large, protected from the NW and obviously popular with yachties.
However, there are swarms of intrusive wasps, so we decide to weigh anchor and look elsewhere; we try U Smetnja on the S central part of neighbouring island Zmajan, equally pretty, uninhabited and protected against the wind, but - alas - wasps again!
Escaping the insects we head to Vela Nozdra on Kaprije island, a mile across to SW. This time we are lucky and able to spend a fine afternoon lunching and swimming.
At 4 pm we head round the corner to Mala Nozdra (Little Nozdra) cove, where Matteo's restaurant has been recommended. We moor stern-to to his small quay. Mala Nozdra is a pretty and partially wooded cove, offering good swimming, and excellent cuisine and friendly service at Matteo’s rustic place.
The cove is open to SE, but for the coming night there should be no issue.
Just to mention, there is of course no electricity or water supply on these island restaurant moorings.
G8' is the second restaurant in Nozdra, maybe worth a try one day
Moorings at Matteo’s konoba in Mala Nozdra
.. tied up on Matteo’s jetty
The high pressure weather has changed as a frontal trough approaches slowly from NW. During the night the wind has changed to a light SE. We leave Nozdra at 10am.
The sky is greyish with hazy sun but very warm. Looked at U. Tratica on Kakan (SE of U. Potkucina), no protection from SE, some mooring buoys.
Potkucina is an ample uninhabited cove, one mooring buoy was spotted; good anchoring in 8-9m.
We then change to small U Vanjska on Kaprije, protected from SE, for swimmung and lunch.
Cove Vanska on Kaprije
Around 2pm clouds gather and we leave the anchorage; go round the N tip of Kaprije and towards Zlarin for a harbour tour; light drizzle starts so we take to the inner helm.
Zlarin harbour looks inviting and worth a visit at some stage; hardly any boats at this time.
Grey skies on our way back to Kremik; the SE is blowing stronger and raising some swell.
We make a harbour tour at Primosten, where there are still many yachts, but vacant spaces on the town quay and buoys.
Berth in Marina Kremik at 4:30pm.
Back to the forest of masts in Marina Kremik
The weather has cleared and the sun is out again, for the time being. We have dinner at the marina restaurant.
Taxi picks us up at 12:30, our flight departs 14:10, and by 16: 00 we are back in London.
Total mileage 115nm, most of it at 9kn displacement speed, some at 16kn.
Diesel fuel used 446 ltr (about 4 ltr/nm): Kn 4281.60/ €621/£495 (9.6 Kn per litre, approx €1.4 or £1.12 per litre)
We have been very lucky with the weather, with temperatures more like high summer than Sept; had just one half grey day (which cleared up later).
We have enjoyed wonderful nature, sun, swimming and good food; explored new islands and coves, including the enjoyable Sibenik archipelago.
We also revisited places in the Cornati islands: Much to do and to see without having to travel far from the base at Primosten.
Jane quite liked Tribunj as a mainland resort, but thinks that Primosten has more to offer.
Eating in island restaurants with jetties appears expensive (660-980Kn for 3, lower price is for meat, higher for fish dinners), but considering the savings on marina or harbour fees (maybe 480-580Kn) it still seems good value.
Exchange rate (9.2008): 1 EUR= 6.9Kn / 1Kn=EUR 0.145; 1 GBP =8.6Kn/ 1Kn =0.116 GBP
Kornati national park entrance fee Kn 400/€58
Dinners Kn 180-320/€ 26-46/£21-38 per person. (1st class fish Kn 380-400/€58 p.kg)
Finally, a few more impressions from this holiday:
Fishing boats in Tribunj
>> CROATIA CHARTER 2010
Motor Cruise 6.6. – 20.6.2009 Central-South Dalmatia
2 weeks' round trip from Split to the South including Dubrovnik
Crew: Jane, P.K., Wilhelm
Boat: “Star Two” Star Yacht 1310 (trawler style 13m / 43ft semi-displacement motor cruiser, with aft cabin and aft deck), 2 x Volvo AD41 Diesels.
Chartered from Offshore-Boote based in Primosten/Kremik Marina
Sat 6.6 ARRIVAL
Flight London Heathrow to Split with Croatian Airlines. Arrival in Kremik Marina late afternoon and check in with Offshore-Boote.
We test the systems of the boat and find some bugs which the helpful engineers need to rectify before we can go out. The boat has not yet been taken out in this season.
Sun 7.6. STAYING IN KREMIK MARINA
The weather is clear but quite windy (Jugo); it is suggested we depart a day later, on Monday, when the Jugo would have blown out and we could expect a pleasant journey.
So we spend the day settling in, having all apparent bugs on the boat sorted (defect windlass and remote; front bilge pump; wrongly wired anchor/navigation lights.) Sadly the auto pilot is defunct and cannot be restored for our trip.
In the afternoon the Jugo recedes but clouds appear and some drizzle sets in which clears towards the evening. We take the shuttle bus to nearby Primosten and have dinner at Konoba Mediterran.
Location of Marina Kremik
Mon 8.6. KREMIK – PALMIZANA/HVAR
The weather has cleared, only light Southerly winds. We start out at around 11:00 and anchor for lunch in Solinska cove on the South of Veli Drvenik island. We are the only yacht at the time, and find the cove pleasant enough and good for a first swim.
Anchored in Solinska cove on VELI DRVENIK
In the afternoon proceed along the South side of Solta and down to Hvar, Palmizana Marina on the Sveti Klement islands, one of our favourite marinas. Enough spaces available; the weather is fine and I have a dip into the water in the Palmizana, one of the few island marinas, where one can swim off the boat.
We have dinner at famous Meneghello’s. We appreciate the “artists’” atmosphere, but feel that the food (at least our choice) is on the rustic side rather than sophisticated as we had experienced it in previous years; still a very enjoyable evening.
STAR TWO at Palmizana marina
Tue 9.6. HVAR – KORCULA Town
Depart at 10:30. Lunch stop on Scedro, Smokova bay in SE, pleasant (but I do not swim as the water seems cold). In the afternoon proceed to Korcula town; we find the ACI marina full (flotillas?), so go to nearby Luka bay and anchor in the central S part at ca. 10m. The water is not clear enough, so I cannot check the bottom and anchor visually, but trust it will be ok for this (calm) night.
Dinghy out and off to the ACI marina to go on land; dinner at another of our favourites, Adio Mare (has extended and renewed in the last 2 years but maintains its good standard of food).
On return to the boat Jane insists on studying the night sky and explaining it to P.K.; bright lights from the quay and restaurant do not help our night vision.
I can never help being a bit restless at anchor, and get up a couple of times during the night to check wind conditions, just in case; it has veered all the way from NE to SW but is very light so all is calm and safe.
Passing HVAR town, on the way South
'Selective sunbathing' on the way down the Korcula channel towards Korcula town
View of KORCULA Old Town walls (cruise ships permitting...)
In Luka cove (near Korcula town)
Wed 10.6. KORCULA – OKUKLJE / MLJET
A fine day starts, after having breakfast we leave the anchorage at 9:30, and pass between Korcula and the islands of Badija (with its old monastery) and Planjak to the South, heading ultimately for Polace bay on Mljet. Anchor in N part of cove on 12m.
Polace is a nice spacious cove. Several restaurants/houses can be seen on S side. Have lunch (as always on board) and swim.
Restaurants are not only found within the bay, there is even one in the E of Polace in the approach channel between the main island and the longish Kobrava island (Borat).
In the afternoon we proceed along the N coast of Mljet towards Okuklje.
Prozura bay looks interesting, with its bizarre rocks at the entrance.
In pleasant Okuklje bay there are about four restaurants and some small room letting/B&B places. In early season however there does not appear to be any business for most of them; only Maran restaurants, which has been recommended, seems to be popular and attracting yachts.
The person in charge of the small public quay next to Maran’s tries to solicit yachts to his moorings without luck, until, in the evening, he strikes gold when a luxury motor yacht of 25m or so squeezes into the cove, which has no chance to go anywhere else, and takes all the available space. Typically, none of the guests or crew seems to leave the boat anytime.
We had been directed to take a mooring position on the ‘corner’ of Maran’s pontoon, which is bit awkward to get on land but so be it; we have good dinner and service (a strange 100kn item appears on the bill, which gets wiped out instantly upon enquiry, always check your bill).
The popularity of the place also means it attracts noisy sailing crews, as we can hear next berth, but it is not developing into a problem.
This reminds me of an incident at a restaurant on Mljet several years ago, where noise from a neighbouring boat got intrusive. This has nothing to do with noise from restaurants, those close at the usual time. Are the bays of Mljet a favourite spot for sailing hooligans, party revellers and drunks who come here to “enjoy” themselves shouting and chanting in the night in a way they could not get away with in marinas and harbours?
Anchorage in the North part of POLACE cove, MLJET island
Passage out of Polace cove to East, between islets
OKUKLJE cove on MLJET, moorings of Maran restaurant in the centre, small public quay to the left
Jane and P.K. watch the arrival of a yacht
Evening in Okuklje cove
Thurs 11.6. MLJET – DUBROVNIK
A fine sunny day, again. From Okuklje we cruise across to Sipan island and visit Sipanska Luka. Westerly wind has got up and blows into the bay as NW, so we decide to try to anchor in Sunj bay on neighbouring Lopud island, which is open to the South. We go down the East side of Lopud and, when turning W after rounding its end, to approach Sunj, the W wind gusts surprisingly strongly from ahead and shakes the bimini hard.
We anchor at Sunj, where there are already many yachts. Luckily the gusts of wind get lesser over the day.
After lunch and a swim we go to the ACI marina at Dubrovnik (Miho Pracat) and are asked to tie up to the inner part of the first pontoon on its West end, just opposite some “Super yachts” on the outside of the pontoon, facing West. Most of those boats are in use by owners and are keeping in a normal quiet way, but the largest of all, a on the huge 50m ship called JeMaSa (C.I. registered, no guests or owners to be seen anywhere anytime) the uninterested crew is lounging about and has the generators running noisily all day and night.
We go to Dubrovnik by taxi, as the bus service is very infrequent (45 min wait).
Have dinner at Ragusa II restaurant in Prijeko street (parallel to Stradun). Delicate food despite the tourist setting; however, we need to complain about the poor tasting wine which is quickly replaced, without quibbles, with a much superior bottle.
For the way back to the marina we take the bus which happens to turn up just when needed.
During the night the wind from W continues blowing up the river valley and into the marina.
At about 4:00 in the morning however the wind turns to NE, gusting against the bow of our boat. We have only got one mooring line so the boat is not ideally moored; one stern rope conflicts with the line from the davits holding the dinghy, causing noise in our cabin so I need to get up and rig an additional rope. An unpleasant and unexpected experience; the forecast had not warned of nightly gales!
SIPANSKA LUKA on Sipan island, beautiful old villa, apparantly one of many in need of repair (this photo is now historic).
In Dubronik ACI marina (Miho Prakat) up the Dubrovacka river
"Star Two" next door to gin palaces in Dubrovnik marina
Fri 12.6. DUBROVNIK
In the morning the wind dies down. A hot sunny day starts, today’s agenda is sightseeing at Dubrovnik.
We walk the walls, have lunch at a pizzeria in the old port in between the South and North walls, finally buy souvenirs and have coffee in Gundulic square.
After returning to the marina Jane and P.K. decide to try the marina’s swimming pool; this evening we are not walking any further but have a simple and value for money dinner at the restaurant near the marina entrance.
P.K. as tourist, with brand new hat and Orlando in stone
This yacht has been cheekily moored in Dubrovnik's Old Port - it won't get away with that for very long ...
Rain? No, Japanese tourists
STAR TWO's Competent Crew seen here as landlubbers in the Stradun
A couple more views of Dubrovnik's beautiful Old Town ...
Sat 13.6. DUBROVNIK – SIPAN
A bright and hot day. After refuelling at the marina fuel station we head for Sipanska Luka, where we had had unfavourable wind a couple of days before; this time the weather is calm. We moor at the harbour quay (moorings, but no electricity, apparently no toilets).
Sipan harbour seems a bit of a forgotten place, low key tourism, hardly any modernisation.
Today is P.K.’s birthday, so I suggest to try fish dinner at Konoba Kod Marka, which turns out to be quite special (no menu - the host chooses for you, trust him!).
They have, by the way, three mooring buoys for customers, but, anyway, the moorings at the town quay are inexpensive and yachts can also anchor in the harbour.
Do not try to go along to the pier; not only will gulets chase you away, but a big steamer (the Dubrovnik ferry) stays on the inside over night.
Judging by its looks this vessel has been in service for at least 50 years.
"STAR TWO" on the town quay in SIPANSKA LUKA
View towards the bay of Sipanska Luka which is open to the Northwest (town quay on the right side)
Sipanska Luka - a Seeping Beauty ?
Restaurant Kod Marka on the West side of the harbour
Sun 14.6. SIPAN – OREBIC / PELJESAK
Some boat handling training for P.K. and Jane, before we get moving on our way back North.
In light NW wind we cruise along the coast of Peljesak peninsula. “10 more minutes, on the left side” I hear Jane say to P.K. Ah!! The boat training has led to increased navigational awareness of my crew (well, that's skipper’s wishful thinking); Jane has only been timing the sun bathing for her daughter for a her perfect tan...
We anchor in Trstenik, at 6m in front of the sandy beach; this looks a pleasant small resort.
Have lunch and swim; in the cove the wind causes some surprising gusts from SW; later outside at sea it is actually more calm.
From Trstenik we carry on along the Peljesak to Orebic; the NW wind increases over the last five miles towards Orebic and the Korcula channel. Under awkward side wind we demonstrate our acclaimed mooring skills (boat has no thrusters!) and tie to the harbour quay for the night. The harbour is shallow, only 3m depth. There are just four or five visiting boats, a friendly harbour master, electricity + water, no toilet facilities.
Orebic is a small local resort and ferry harbour to Korcula. The views from the berth across the sea and over the Korcula are nice.
We have dinner at restaurant Amfora: Very disappointing food quality, overcooked chewy tourist stuff served proudly on big plates, appalling house wine. Anyhow, this is our only bad experience with food so far; we disinfect ourselves with coffees and Travarica in the local café overlooking the harbour.
We sleep well, despite the ferry. The large car ferry actually does not cause much noise, she does not even use ropes when mooring.
Anchored in front of TRSTENIK's sandy beach
More leg tanning, abeam to port is Sestrice lighthouse
"STAR TWO" in OREBIC harbour
Mon 15.3. OREBIC – SUCURAJ / HVAR
Forecast is for a hot sunny day with little wind.
We leave port at 10:00 and go W through the Korcula channel close to the Peljesak coast.
We leave the Peljesak behind and head N across the channel towards the South coast of Hvar, to explore some of the anchor bays there.
We see hardly any boats, despite the brilliant sunshine. Smarska seems suitable for anchoring but we find it polluted with waste. Turning E, Pelinkovic and Smokvina are really too small for us to anchor comfortably; the same for Zaglav, where the shallow area is only at is very end tip. These tiny bays are suited to small sailing craft, larger craft will find them very narrow and may have to use landlines which is not convenient for short stay.
Turning to E we try Mrtinovic cove but cannot get the anchor to hold for some reason.
This worries me, and – having had a similar experience in a bay on Sipan – I wonder why our anchor appears to hold us only sometimes. It’s a Danforth, so it works - once it has hit the bottom - by its large flukes dropping down from the shank and hopefully burying themselves into the seabed when pulled along.
I have already checked that the shank can move freely. But there is a short rope tied to a ring on the crown, which is used to secure the anchor to the windlass cleat during cruising. Maybe there is a slight risk, that this rope gets caught and jams between the shank and the flukes effectively blocking the flukes from dropping and digging in?? Just a weird guess perhaps, but I ask to take that rope off before anchoring, and – guess what - the hook grips first time each time from now on. (Or, if no other effect, it has at least helped P.K. perfect her skills of tying a bowline…).
Reaching a further bay, Rasovatica, we are finally happy and manage to anchor. This cove is small too, but maybe the most pleasant of those we have tried before. More sun bathing and swimming.
For the night we decide to try the nearby harbour of Sucuraj at the E end of Hvar; (Jelsa would be more than 2hours away given our modest speed of just 9kn in displacement mode.)
We are directed by the harbourmaster lady to go alongside a pontoon with electricity and water available.
Sucuraj is a small fishermen’s village and ferry port too; we marvel at the Jadrolinja car ferry which turns up in regular intervals and hovers over the yachts moored close by. It does not cause much disturbance though.
The weather is hot and almost wind still.
There are about three restaurants; we choose the simple looking restaurant (Gostionica Fortuna) opposite side of the breakwater and ferry pier; our expectations are exceeded, seafood and fish are fresh, tasty and value for money.
Anchored in RASOVATICA cove/ island of HVAR
On a pontoon in SUCURAJ/ island of Hvar
The ferry hovering close to yachts in Sucuraj
A few berths have been blocked
Tue 16.06. SUCURAJ – JELSA / HVAR
During the early hours SE wind has got up, which sends some swell into Sucuraj harbour and rocks our boat gently. White horses are seen outside, but no large waves. We go shopping and have coffee; by 10:00 the wind has practically died down.
We leave port and head to the E, round Sucuraj point, the end tip of Hvar, and then along the coast to W.
There do not seem to be many bays on the first few miles in this part of Hvar; we carry on to Pokrivenik and anchor in the South bottom of the cove for lunch and swimming. Pokrivenik is an attractive wooded cove surrounded by steep cliffs and rocks, and good for swimming. In the outer part of the cove there is a restaurant with some moorings, which is open and canvassing for guests.
We are the only yacht in this part of the cove. The weather is bright, hot and completely calm.
After 15:00 we leave and head for Jelsa. It feels strange to cruise on a completely calm sea, like glass, with no other yachts in sight anywhere. The only encounter we have is a dolphin, which playfully swims with us, diving before our bow and our sides. It seems disappointed that we are not a fishing boat offering him food, so turns away.
A dolphin can swim much faster than our comfortable cruising speed of 8.5-9 kn which keeps noise down and saves fuel.
Here is Jane’s account of the incident, more poetic than I could do it:
Willi spied a dolphin, far out at sea ,
Breaking the water he leapt and swam
Oblivious of the sight of man.
The droning engines of our boat had lured the
Solitary dolphin to our path;
Appearing across our bow he led us from the front and now,
Faster than us he steamed ahead
Waving from side to side with sleek but scarred back turning this way and that
To catch a glimpse of this strange mover of the deep
And then with one swift spurt he veered away,
Perhaps he sensed ‘no fish’ today,
But happy to ride the ripples of our wake,
He journeyed on through his vast lake
As still as a mill pond, proud to be
The master of all that he could see. “
"Our" dolphin; note the reflection of our boat's bow above.
Berth in Jelsa on the quay on the North side. An unexpected small gust of W wind makes the berthing manoeuvre less smooth.
Jesla is a pretty tourist village around its harbour; we fancy dining with views over the port and watching the sunset, so choose the ‘Buffet’ in the SE of the harbour with its terrace for dinner; quite reasonable food and glorious sunset.
Afterwards have coffees and drinks in the charming village square.
Going round SUCURAJ point with its lighthouse
Anchored in POKRIVENIK cove (Hvar) looking North towards Brac
Glassy calm sea in the HVARSKI KANAL
On mooring in JELSA (island of Hvar)
Yacht moorings in Jelsa / Hvar (beware of Northerly swell into the harbour)
In Jelsa village
The entrance to JELSA port (looking Northeast)
Wed 17.06 JELSA – VRBOSKA / HVAR
Forecast was for cloudy weather, NW winds; clearing during the day and wind getting less.
In the early morning NE wind starts, which sends an unpleasant swell into Jelsa harbour, rocking and rolling our boat on its mooring. The fact that the neighbouring sailing yachts appear to be thrown around even more does not please me. Jelsa harbour is poorly protected against swell from NE.
The wind diminishes from 8:00 but the swell keeps going for a while.
We have coffee in the town square and do some shopping.
Going back to the boat the NE wind has got up again; Jane feels there was no point in leaving under these conditions; cloudy weather. I am keen to get a more detailed weather forecasts and work on my PC; Jane starts doing a wash of her and P.K.'s clothes despite the swell which makes the boat bounce and roll (!) - a movement I strongly dislike.
By 12:20, having enough of the rocking and rolling, we leave port; if seas feel too tough outside we could just turn into neighbouring Vrboska, a safe harbour.
Once outside we find favourable conditions and anchor in the bay just North of the entrance of Vrboska, protected from wind and swell.
The skies clear and we have a calm afternoon and swim in the bay.
With the weather getting close and hazy later we leave for Vrboska. Past the ACI marina, and to the town quay, where there is still plenty of space around 16:30. A very friendly and welcoming marinaio helps us moor up.
We walk around the village, visit the quaint old fashioned fishing museum and marvel at the unusual mighty fortress church.
Dinner at the restaurant above the ACI marina, very pleasant. Later clouds return and there is a little bit of drizzle.
Vrboska is a nice relaxed place. They have improved the quays, and ‘little Venice’ looks cleaner. There are however several abandoned houses/ruins, even in prime positions, same as 2006. The ACI marina has this year been extended with a new pontoon using more space in the centre of the cove.
St John's church in Jelsa
The town pier in VRBOSKA
The fortress church in Vrboska is impressing but there are several abadoned houses nearby in a state of disrepair
Thu 18.6. VRBOSKA – STOMORSKA / SOLTA
Forecast is for NE winds. We leave Vrboska 10:00.
Some rubbish floating in the sea (as observed frequently during this trip: Never before have we spotted as many plastic bags and debris in the Croatian coastal waters).
We follow the North coast of Hvar and anchor in the inner part of U Zokova ca. 11:30. By this time wind has got up, changed to SW-W and is felt in the cove. We have lunch and at 13:00 decide to leave for Solta/Brac hoping there might be less wind.
We cross the Hvarski Kanal westwards towards Solta and go along the coast of Brac. The Westerly (up to 5 Bf) raises moderate waves (1-1.5m) and makes for a bumpy ride. The marine forecast had been for wind 4-14kn (2-4 Bf) only, but, as often, the afternoon wind is stronger.
We go into bay Lucice on Brac, for ‘shelter’. Anchoring would be difficult because of the depth but there are numerous mooring buoys belonging to the restaurant. There are already many yachts on buoys; we take up a free one. A guy comes along in a dinghy and asks whether we were staying over night; we say no, only want to have a swim, couple of hours. No fees asked. It's a blowy but bright weather. We leave around 16:00 for Stomorska on Solta.
The ride is still bumpy with waves of some 1.5+m; as usual the crew cheers to the fun ride and the skipper has to do the work, hmm.... but after a couple of miles we pass Rt Ratanj, get in lee of Solta and all is quiet again.
We complete the short journey at 17:00, and moor at the public peer (with electricity and water). Stomorska is a friendly small place. The close by church is not easy to spot (it is above the public quay), but prominently heard at 6:00am in the morning.
Have dinner at restaurant Turanj, on the opposite side of the public quay, who serve a good fish dinner. The neighbouring O-la-la restaurant is a noisy “live music” place, that means a one man local band, who seems to try to entertain the whole cove until midnight.
We have the impression that, maybe due to the early season or the economic crises, there is not much business around (yet).
However, today we have spotted more yachts outside than the previous days when there were hardly any to be seen.
Tourists in this part of Croatia include Italians, Croatians from other areas (and other Slavic language people), Austrians, Germans, Antipodeans, even S-Africans we have spotted.
Leaving Vrboska in the morning
There are numerous restaurant buoys in deep LUCICE cove, Brac island
STOMORSKA village and quay (SOLTA island)
STOMORSKA harbour (Solta)
Evening in Stomorska
Fri 19.6. STOMORSKA – KREMIK
Our last day at sea of this holiday, we need to return the boat in Kremik marina this afternoon.
The weather forecast is for moderate to fresh SE winds increasing to 4-6Bf in the afternoon along the coast. In view of the experience of the past days I am concerned the wind might get even stronger, so decide to leave earlier and go to a protected bay on the way to Kremik where we can monitor the wind.
In fact, the morning is almost completely calm with flat sea and it turns to a perfect sun cruising day.
We cruise to Veli Drvenik, tour the small harbour (few boats, the moorings behind the breakwater appear fine), about three restaurants.
Then go to Mala Luka cove (South of Veli Drvenik harbour), and anchor in the East tip, at about 6m; good swimming cove, unspoilt, albeit getting a bit narrow for larger yachts at its shallower end.
After we arrive there we hear loud cries of seagulls from the end of the cove, and later become witnesses of death in wildlife: A young gull, apparently injured, is floating in the water gradually giving up its ghost. Another gull flies around in circles crying, and only turns away after the one in the water has finally stopped moving.
The weather remains calm and sunny, perfect for swimming; we have lunch and stay until after 15:00; then it’s time to depart for our charter marina.
Very light Southerly wind, and hot.
It’s Jane’ birthday next day, so we take the taxi to Primosten for the evening and dine on seafood and a large skarpina (the red scorpion-fish) at Stari Selo.
We find Primosten a charming and lively place; at this time it’s not overcrowded.
Anchored in Mala Luka cove, Veli Drvenik island
Escape of the mutinous crew! No, temperature has exceeded 30 degrees C
Sat 20.6. Home bound
The weather has deteriorated; the forecast SE wind finally got up and is blowing across the marina.
We hand the boat back by 10:00; taxi to Split airport at 12:00.
A very enjoyable two weeks’ holiday has finished; we have been very lucky, with no accidents, injuries, bad encounters or technical problems, but lots of hot and sunny days and mostly perfect cruising conditions.
The only losses are my old sun glasses which have found a final resting place on the seabed in Sipanska Luka.
ACI Dubrovnik – Luka/SIPAN – Trstenik/PELJESAC – Orebic/PELJESAK – U Smarska/HVAR – U Rasovatica/HVAR – Sucuraj – Pokrivenik/HVAR – Jelsa – Vrboska – U Zukova/HVAR - U Lucice/BRAC – Stomorska/SOLTA – Kremik: 153 nm
Kremik – U Solinka – Palmizana ACI – U Carnjeni/SCEDRO – Luka cove/ KORCULA (town) – Polace /MLJET – Okuklje/MLJET – Luka/SIPAN - U Sunj/LOPUD – ACI Marina Dubrovnik : 132 nm
TOTAL 285 nautical miles
Fuel used 756 litres, consumption 2.65 litres per nm; mostly at (displacement) cruising speed of 8.5- 9.0 kn
COSTS in Kuna as of June 2009 (7.1 Kn = 1 EUR)
Harbour/marina fees, for a 13m motor cruiser
8.6. Palmizana ACI 400
9.6. Korcula Luka bay (anchor) -
10.6. Mljet Okuklje (restaurant) -
11.6. Dubrovnik ACI 430
12.6. Dubrovnik ACI 430
13.6. Sipan town quay 130 (10 Kn p.m.)
14.6. Orebic 180 (ca 15 Kn p.m.)
15.6. Sucuraj 260 (20 Kn p.m.)
16.6. Jelsa town quay 240
17.6. Vrboska town quay 240
18.6. Stomorska public quay 220
Refuelled at Dubrovnik ACI and Kremik marina (still no fuel station in marina, truck delivery organised by charter company)
Total 5299 Kn (average 7 Kn per litre)
>> back to Croatia 2009
10 Days Cruise through Central Dalmatia and its islands, June 9-19, 2010
Itinerary : Kremik/Primosten - Skradin – Lavsa (Kornati) – Molat – Veli Rat (Dugi Otok) - Zadar - Tkon(Pasman) - Zlarin - Kremik
Total mileage 190 nm
Crew: Jane, P.K., Wilhelm
Boat: “Blue Star”, Star-Yacht 1520 (15.2m trawler style cruiser, semi-displacement hull, 2x Volvo TAMD61A diesel engines). Chartered from Offshore-Boote, based at marina Kremik, Primosten.
Wednesday June 9 Arrival
We arrive from London Stansted 21:00 at Kastela/Split airport, by taxi to Marina Kremik, arrival after 22:00, in time for a meal in the marina restaurant. It seems very quiet; we assume this is due to the fact that Kremik is a charter marina with all turnover activities on weekends, but today is a midweek day.
We sleep on the boat the first night.
Thursday June 10 Kremik to Skradin
We take our boat over formally. The procedure is relaxed as always, and the staff helpful; some technical quibbles on the boat get fixed quickly.
A power cut in the Primosten area at 10:00 means all that computers are down; we have to wait until power is back before we can go food shopping. Luckily power is restored soon.
We leave berth around 14:00 and head for Skradin. We pass Sibenik and following the Krka river upstream. We berth at Skardin marina (ACI) around 16:30.
A particularly welcoming and helpful marinaio explains the village and the excursions to the Krka falls to us, for next morning.
It’s excellent and hot summer weather, with just a breeze from SE, the scirocco/maestral.
Skradin town is pleasant, we dine at restaurant Bonaca and enjoy quite a good dinner.
Approach to Skradin, at the end of the navigation of the Krka river. The ACI marina is welcoming and practical for the town
Friday June 11 Skradin, Krka falls and river trip
The hot summer weather (high pressure above the Adriatic) continues; we buy tickets for the Krka national park and take the boat from Skradin to the falls.
We take the full circle walk around the falls, which impress with lots of water after heavy rain falls in earlier spring.
Then we turn back uphill and continue the road to the bus stop, to catch one of the small boats to the “lake” above the falls, stopping at Visovac monastery
and Roski Slap. We find it odd that no information or tickets for these trips are available at the main entrance to the National Park.
We choose the nearest departure time, which is a taxi boat for 12 people. Our captain is quite a character and does his best to provide his guests an entertaining and memorable trip through “Croatia’s Grand Canyon”, shoehorning his boat into cliff crevices and spraying his passengers under waterfalls.
It's getting a long tour with the little boat, from 13:15 to 18:00. At 130 Kuna per person it’s not cheap, but a good day out and worth doing on a balmy
sunny day like this.
This evening we have dinner at Konoba Dalmatino in Skradin town, which we find enjoyable, too. We meet the owner & wife crew of a large catamaran
berthed next to us in the marina; they seem nice people and really experienced sailors.
For one day, the competent crew is having holiday as landlubbers
Below the falls, swimming in the Krka is possible
The falls impress with a lot of water at that time
Visovac monastery is situated on a small island in the lake the Krka river forms in its upper reach
Canyon, going upriver with a trip boat
Exploring cliff crevices
The upper falls at Roski Slab
Historic mills in Roski Slab
Saturday June 12 Skradin to Lavsa
We leave berth at 10:00 and head down the Krka, which has a speed limit of 5kn; finally through Sv Ante channel to sea and across to the Kornati.
Through the main channel we reach Lavsa, where we take a buoy in the bay.
Lavsa is a nice bay, and after the lengthy trip from Skradin we decide to stay here for the night.
A boat from the Kornati national park authority arrives and charges us 400Kn. We are told that it would have been only 250Kn if we had bought an advance ticket in one of the national park offices.
Jane and Willi take the short walk, or actually climb, to the hilltop above the empty house opposite side of the restaurants; there are good views over Lavsa and towards Piskera islands.
This evening there aren’t many boats here; Idro, the only restaurant, looks so quiet that I wonder whether it operates at all; anyhow, we get into the dinghy and go over, and find the owner only too happy to serve us. It’s Saturday and this means turnover day for charter boats, hence fewer boats out here. Plus, sailing crews often save money and eat on board he says. We have fish dinner and find the service pleasant.
Kornati, Lavsa Bay. There are now several buoys; towards the end it gets very shallow (lighter water colour)
View towards Piskera; the pontoons of the ACI marina can be spotted in the distance. It seem quite empty.
Lavsa bay. Restaurant Idro in the background. Our boat to the right
There are several mooring buoys in the bay. They certainly make mooring easier than with an anchor, and give a sense of safety.
(Whether the rope on the concrete block is strong enough to hold a heavy boat in a gale force bora for long remains to be seen).
Mooring buoy arrangement
Moored in Lavsa bay, a beautiful morning
Sun June 13 Lavsa to Molat
Today is PK’s birthday, and the sun fully plays its part; sunbathing and glorious cruising through the Cornati channel to NW, and leaving the Cornati through
Proversa Mala. We note some additional buoys near restaurant Aquarius.
On the way further along the E coast of Dugi Otok we decide to anchor for lunch on the W side of Krknata island which is meant to be an ‘anchorage in front of ancient olive trees’. We spot the trees, but the water here is too chilly for me to go swimming; maybe because it flows through the channel, same as in the main Iski Kanal.
We carry on along the E side of Dugi Otok, finally arriving at Molat, where we moor at the town quay with ease. The small place is welcoming and by no
The choice for eating out is only between one restaurant and a pizza outlet. After an exploratory walk through the village we choose the restaurant, Grill Mare, for dinner.
The football championship is on, which means a lively evening for the quay side cafe which has got a TV on. We too, though not into football, sit down for after dinner coffees.
Panorama of the Kornatski Kanal to NW, on a glorious morning. Piskera to left, Kornat to right
Through the Kornati, passing Toreta
The small harbour village of Molat. The quay for yachts is behind the ferry/public landing
Molat inner harbour for small local craft. Grill Mare, the only open restaurant, in the background
The crew under Molats' larger than life historic heroes
Evening setting in Molat harbour
Mon June 14 Molat to Veli Rat
Bright sunshine wakes us up early. Molat is a friendly place but after the hours of motoring on the previous day we want to have a good day swimming and lazing at anchor; so we leave berth and head for nearby Pantera bay at the N end of Dugi Otok.
First, of course, we do a tour of the well known wreck in vista of Veli Rat lighthouse.
The large Pantera bay offers numerous buoys which are easy to pick up; it provides excellent swimming possibilities and nice views.
We decide to stay over night nearby; the first idea is to try the new Veli Rat marina, but once under way we venture past the marina and through the narrow passage into the more shallow Cuna cove. The head of the jetty of ‘DM’ restaurant is just what we need, offering enough depth to go stern-to the end, at a water depth of 2m. We are helped by the friendly restaurant staff.
The mooring rope here is not the usual silty “slime line” but quite sharp on the hand, covered with edgy tiny shells; maybe it hasn’t been used much recently.
DM restaurant surprises us in a very positive way: The service is of high standard, and the cooking (bass cooked in a foil) truly excellent.
Quite reasonable too, especially when considering they offer a free mooring with even mains power available.
A starry and completely calm night follows; just the moon, the quayside lights, and Veli Rat lighthouse flashing in the distance.
Off the N end of Dugi Otok, the remainders of an Italian merchant ship run aground 1984. Veli Rat lighthouse in the background
Mooring in the large beautiful Pantera bay. There are plenty and convenient buoys
Done the proper way, the rope goes through the ring on the bottom of the buoy. But some buoys are different, it isn't that easy...
'A Good B(u)oy'
Moored on the jetty of DM restaurant in Cuna cove.
Evening in Cuna cove
Tuesday June 15 Veli Rat to Zadar
Start of another sunny hot day; we want to use it for swimming and sunbathing, mooring on a buoy in beautiful Pantera bay just outside.
The weather forecast for the following night is for some wind maybe a little rain, so we leave in the afternoon and head for Zadar, where we choose the (expensive) town marina.
We stroll through Zadar Old Town, there appear to be many more locals than tourists. It seems more difficult to find a nice restaurant for al-fresco dining here than in one of the small island harbours! We have dinner in a restaurant with tables outside in one of the squares; followed by coffees in a cafe overlooking the bridge to the Old Town.
Leaving Cuna cove through its marked channel - seems to get narrower every time. Veli Rat marina to left.
Pantera bay, overlooked by Veli Rat lighthouse
Zadar, Old Venetian harbour
Wednesday June 16 Zadar to Tkon
There has been slight rain over night, but the morning is clear and getting hot quickly, with an increasing SE breeze.
We stock up in in a small food shop nearby and leave the marina around 11:00 heading for the anchorage near the Zdrelac passage.
We notice that there very few boats here; there is a range of yellow buoys on W side and we decide to take one of them: It is now that this year’s minor drama happens, to remind us that boating is an “adventure” holiday: The buoy turns out to have an awkwardly small ring on top, in which our boat hook jams while the fresh breeze pushes the bow over the buoy swiftly. “No hook any more” PK announces stoically, then dives off the bow to rescue the elusive boat hook.
Dropping an anchor in this spot does not seem an option to me due to the presence of the field of buoys, and rocky looking ground.
To get PK back on board Jane takes the helm to keep the boat in position whilst I launch the dinghy and get the bathing ladder down. It’s amazing how long such a procedure takes when you try to be fast!
We then let the wind push the boat towards PK who is clinging to her buoy; as soon as close enough she gets aboard using the bathing ladder; after that, we catch a buoy just floating past, from the bathing platform. From there, adjusting ropes and mooring properly is a matter of routine.
Back to normal, that means lunch and swimming!
Our plan had been to pass the Zdrelac passage and head for Iz. However, there are work boats and cranes around the passage (apparently engaged in widening it), and the passage is closed for traffic.
We turn back and proceed SE through the Pasmanski kanal until the ferry port of Tkon on Pasman. On the W jetty about 20 new berths for yacht have been created with moorings, but there are only few boats and no people around. We go alongside the half finished quay, and make fast in an NW (off-land) breeze. There is even electricity available; but no one turns up and asks for money.
Tkon appears to be a simple fishing village and ferry port, but there are several konobas and cafes, maybe because it’s a short hop across the channel from Biograd, a main tourist resort. We have nice dinner al fresco at Aquarium restaurant, directly on the water with views across to Biograd.
Super-yachts in Zadar town marina (Tankerkomerz)
Not-so-super (but more used) ships moored in the Zdrelac passage, S end of Ugljan island
This passage between Ugljan and Pasman islands, under a road bride, gives access to Iz, Dugi Otok and the Cornati from Zadar.
Zdrelac passage closed for widening works in June 2010.
Blue Star moored at the new quay for yachts at Tkon on Pasman island
Thursday June 17 From Tkon to Zlarin
Sunshine cruise from Tkon along the Pasman coast to SE.
For the first time we note a busy anchorage (the small bay Zaklopatica), where all four buoys are taken, so we go to nearby Triluke bay, round the S end of Pasman, for a swim. We notice the presence of numerous gulls at the tip of the cove, and realize that there is a waste dump site on the slope above the bay (who can be careless enough to do this right there?). Anyhow, with on-shore wind and being anchored far enough outside, it does not affect us today.
After a swim we venture on to Vragada. The fish farms between Vrgada and Murvenjak take a substantial amount of surface space; they seem to have grown; yellow markers with crosses on top deny access respectively passage.
The bay on the S end of Vrgada, Kranje, is a popular and fine day anchorage; we have lunch and another swim.
The Bstaendig guide mentions a nearby camping site but there are no signs of it at the time.
We notice more yachts than in the earlier anchorages, we seem to have finally reached yacht tourism territory.
At 15:00 we leave for Zlarin harbour.
The weather is very hot, we estimate it must be 30 deg C.
The guide described Zlarin as a nice village, and it certainly looks picturesque.
Unfortunately we come across a harbour master who has his very own plans where we should berth, and changes them in the course of our berthing manoeuvre! He does not appear to have a good judgement of how to handle heavier boats in on-shore winds; by trying to accommodate his intentions I pull my right arm badly hauling in a tough mooring. This guy has no knowledge of languages either, apart from proudly shouting the amount of mooring fee he's charging in Italian. I am getting very annoyed with his poor performance, but this does not help the crew morale. Anyhow, we recover swiftly.
We are unable to spot any toilet or shower facilities for "Zlarin Yacht Club" guests; but the village has about 4 restaurants and a couple of cafes. We have dinner in Konoba Aldura, directly overlooking the quay, it's ok.
The moorings on the main quay are plenty but exposed to swell from NW and from passing yachts. There are many yachts here tonight, several with Austrian crews; we are the only motor boat on the quay. By midnight the noises have settled down, the night is starry, and the outlook from the end of the quay across the bay and to Prvic is nice.
Triluke cove, S end of Pasman island. Would be nice, if the waste dump site at its end was not there
Kranje cove, S end of Vrgada island. A popular day anchorage in beautiful surroundings
View from Kranje anchorage to SE
Nudism has a long tradition in Croatia respectively former Yugoslavia.
Just a sun hat ...
Sailing flotilla heading to the Pasmanski Kanal towards Biograd
Prisnjak lighthouse on Murter island
The approach to Zlarin is straight forward. The main quay for yachts is sticking out in front, with the church seen behind.
Inner harbour moorings may be less exposed to NW swell.
Moored at Zlarin's main yacht pier. Prvic can be seen across the water.
Walk through the traditional village
Inner harbour of Zlarin
Friday June 18 Back to the base
It’s the final day of this cruise; the sun is bright in the morning but the forecast has been for slightly cooler and cloudy weather with light W wind due to a low pressure area deepening.
From Zlarin we head to a bay SE of Zmajan, which is good for a swim. The sky is getting grey.
For lunch we choose to anchor in a different bay, Mala Stupica on Zirje, before setting course back to our charter marina.
We anchor in the N tip of Mala Stupica which is a nice swimming cove - but missing the sun we do not feel like swimming today.
The S end is occupied by fishing nets. A couple of sailing yachts are mooring here with landlines.
Around 15:30 we weigh anchor and make our way back to Kremik; the weather is brightening up and upon our arrival the sun reappears.
It’s time for re-fuelling and doing the usual paperwork with Offshore Boote.
This evening we take the shuttle bus to Primosten and have dinner at Staro Selo; Jane’s favourite fish, skarpina (dragon fish), is available and tastes as delicious as we remember it.
For the night we stay on the boat but will vacate it Saturday morning.
Anchored in Mala Stupica on Zirje. Grey skies and sea look unfriendly
Back at our charter base at Kremik. We have safely completed our cruise.
Sat June 19 Primosten
Day out in Primosten which is a picturesque and friendly holiday resort; taxi to Split and flight back to London Gatwick in the evening.
We were very lucky with this year’s turn of 10 days; mostly sunny days, very hot for mid June, and no storms or rain.
Blue Star, our 15m (50ft) aft cabin semi-displacement 'trawler style' motor yacht, although an older model, proved comfortable and performed to expectation. It offered lots of space and relaxed cruising at 9-10 kn with very good fuel economy. At semi-displacement speeds, however, the engines produced increasingly unpleasant noise and vibrations, so we didn’t open the throttles much. We did not experience any mechanical breakdown.
We found that this year’s yachting season in Dalmatia was starting late, we encountered very few boats cruising, mostly sailboats, and few people in restaurants. It might be an effect of the low economy; however, for us the lack of crowds was welcome and reminded me of cruises nine or ten years earlier.
Croatia slowly moves towards more regulations, more organized and/or charged for moorings, and even higher prices in restaurants; but one can still find good value for money and extremely pleasing cruising grounds.
10/6 Kremik – Skradin 21
11/6 Skradin/Krka –
12/6 Skradin – Lavsa 32.5
13/6 Lavsa – Krknata – Molat 38.5
14/6 Molat – Pantera (Dugi Otok) – Veli Rat/Cuna 9.5
15/6/ Veli Rat/Pantera – Zadar 21.8
16/6 Zadar – Zdrelac – Tkon (Pasman) 17.2
17/6/ Tkon – Triluke – Vrgada – Prvic - Zlarin 27
18/6 Zlarin – Zmajan – M.Stupica (Zirje) – Kremik 22.7
Total 190 nm
Fuel 551 ltrs (2.9 ltr per nm); Kn 4600 (8.35 Kn/ltr)
Payments in restaurants, harbours and shops are usually only accepted in cash, Kn or Euro.
Credit cards are accepted in marinas and large tourist resorts.
Numerous cash machines are available, even in smaller villages; but some have limits of how much they dispense (2000Kn should work).
Tourist tax 231Kn
Marina Skradin ACI, for 2 nights, 955,21 Kn
Molat harbour 293 Kn
Zadar Tankerkomerc 527Kn
Zlarin harbour 338 Kn
Who says sail boats should all be white or blue?
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>> CROATIA CHARTER 2008
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>> CROATIA CHARTER 2010
back to early experiences:
>> CROATIA CHARTER 1991
>> CROATIA CHARTER 2000
OUR CRUISES IN TURKEY, 2008 and 2009
>> go to Turkey Lycian Coast Cruise, 2009
TURKEY Carian Coast Cruise, June 7 - 13, 2008
Crew: Jane and Wilhelm. On Wednesday and Thursday joined by Catherine and Sevket.
Boat: 'Kimberley', Rodman 41 flybridge motor yacht (LOA 13.7m/45ft, 2x 430hp Volvo TAMD74 Diesel engines), chartered from Sunshine Cruising based in Marmaris.
Start and return: Marmaris
Itinerary : Blue dots - Marmaris to Kurucu bay, Saturday to Tuesday (days 1 - 4)
Brown dots - Wednesday to Friday (days 5 - 7)
Friday 6 June
Arrive Dalaman airport 21:45, obtaining a visa (GBP10/Euro 15) and passport control take time. Arrival duty free shop is disappointing, but the taxi proves reliable.
Leave airport 22:40 and arrive, after some Balkan style driving, at Netsel marina, the base of our charter boat, by midnight.
Despite the late hour the staff at Sunshine cruising is awaiting us and provides a warm welcome; we are even offered a light meal at the restaurant near the pontoons. Kimberley, a Rodman 41 motor yacht, is presented polished and gleaming as new.
Our charter officially starts Saturday but due to the boat not being used the previous week we are allowed to spend Friday night on board.
Roaring discos are noticed in the distance in Marmaris town. We hear that tourism generally is not that good in Marmaris in these days, was better once. Maybe Marmaris has grown too big (yes, I must agree!), but yachting tourism was not affected.
After checking our luggage into the boat we retire at about 2am.
In Marmaris Netsel Marina
Touristic Marmaris' Town Quay and citadel (right)
Saturday 7 June
Breakfast and checking out the boat; lengthy boat briefing by Ahmet, the helpful Sunshine boss (very well meant but not always easy to follow), then food shopping. A guided test/demo drive starts at about 2pm; obviously, this is a test of our skipper's skills, too. Fair enough!
Finally, by 3pm we head out of Marmaris; going slowly across the bay we open the throttles once outside, about 22kn is comfortable towards Kadira Burnu where we meet wind and swell from SW. The meltemi is blowing at 4-5bf; concerned about the fly-bridge canopy's stability we throttle back to 9kn; decide to go to Ciftlik cove for the first night instead of Bozuk Büku further down the coast.
We find most of the restaurant jetties empty, and the staff waving to invite to berth; we decide for the simple looking Mehmet restaurant pier berthing stern to with a mooring. Jane's a bit hasty when mooring, leading to a small bruise on her arm but nothing serious. Friendly people around; there are 4 other yachts, two of them older type boats owned by Germans. The rocky cove looks more pleasing than we had expected; there is only one, not too huge, hotel to be seen in the distance; the large restaurant (Club Fanya?) in the S corner does not have business.We have heard that people experienced problems here in heavy weather, but in our case it looks perfectly safe.
Meal at Mehmet's (at TRL 76 for two) included starters, meat mains, bottle of very drinkable wine and coffee, and free mooring.
Mehmet's jetty in Ciftik cove, in the evening
Sunday 8 June
First stop is Bozuk bay, ancient Loryma, an interesting large bay; we anchored near NW corner with good holding. Using the dinghy to explore the bay and get nearer to the fortress, the outboard stopped working. We row back (exposing ourselves a bit more to the sun than we had expected).
We decide to go to Bozburun harbour for the night to meet Fatih, the helpful and capable service guy from Sunshine to look after the engine. The yacht quay on the West side is full with some gulets and yachts but the quay in front of the restaurants and bars is almost empty; we go stern to with an anchor. Bozburun is a pleasant fishing harbour; there is a harbour fee of TRL 40 for our boat, but it is possible to anchor outside for free. Right across from our berth is Safak's Place, where we have a nice dinner. Thankfully the restaurants close at around 11pm restoring peace for a good night's sleep.
Kimberley in Bozburun harbour
Anchorage outside harbour
Barber shop at Bozburun
Monday 9 June
After using the toilet in the morning I discover an embarrassing flow of some waste water from the boat. I can only conclude that the holding tank must be full, despite the gauge reading empty; we later verify the defect gauge which obviously had led to the boat being handed over to us with a nearly full waste tank.
From Bozburun we head South past Kizil Ada and West and around the Atabol headland to Dirsek cove for a swim and lunch stop. The anchorage in the Eastern part appears to have dodgy holding ground. There is a restaurant with jetty in the South West corner. We try out the dinghy but unfortunately the engine stops again and I cannot get it to work, so it's rowing time.
In the afternoon the Meltemi gets up as usual and blows across the bay from the West, but going East towards Keci Bükü and Orhanyie makes for an easy ride. Martti Marina looks big and busy, we give it a miss and go further to the S of Keci Bükü, past the sand bar. Mooring alongside the jetty of the small Ersoy restaurant in SE corner of the bay, a pretty setting and looks over the bay. There are even ducks.
....almost feels like back in Blighty
In the evening helpful Fathi from Sunshine visits again, checks the outboard – and finds the fuel shut-off partially closed (it's an inconspicuous plastic lever on the side, only marked “open”). So, it was handling mistake, this call-out could have been saved.
We have a good dinner of traditional cooking at Ersoy's, excellent value at TRL 66 for a large meal and free mooring. Several locals dine here as it is approachable by car. Jane is worried about mosquitoes.
Generally there does not seem to be much business yet, nearly half of the mooring space still available.
I can just about pick up a weak signal from the free Wireless Internet of Martti marina across the water.
Ersoy restaurant jetty in Keci Bükü, Orhanyie. Martti Marina across the bay.
Anchorage S of fort in Keci Bükü - Orhanyie
Bencik cove looking S
Tuesday 10 June
On our way out of Orhaniye bay and West we visit Bencik cove, a very pretty wooded cove which is well known locally. It is a long inlet but quite narrow in places so we anchor with a stern line to shore. A local guy who trades from his small boat comes along and offers help getting the line ashore, which is gladly accepted as there are only two of us on-board. There are some rocky ledges in parts of the cove, so care has to be taken not to get too close to shore.
Anchored in Bencik cove
After a good swim and lunch we leave for Kuruca Bükü (Kochini bay) where we have agreed to meet friends and join them in their house in Datca Aktur, the holiday village next to the bay.
We anchor in front of the beach at 10meters. At that time there are no buoys, but we spot some rope ends in the water coming from the ground which are probably used for buoys during the holiday period. Careful navigation is advised.
We enjoy hospitality at our friends' house, where Sevket's mother has prepared a delicious meal.
We spend the night at anchor in Kuruca bay.
Entering Kuruca bay looking NW towards beach. Beach cafe in the centre
Wednesday 11 June
We are taking our friends Catherine and Sveket on board for a couple of days, and leave for an exploration of bays.
We start with Azmak Bükü just to the East of Dilburnu , a shallow swimming bay with palm trees, which apparently cannot be reached by road. It offers reasonable holding ground.
Next we visit Kuyulu Bükü further to the East into Hisarönü Limani, and anchor in the most Northerly of the two anchor coves, near its South end. The water is muddy, and on the first attempt the anchor only picks up weeds and mud, but a bit further North it's then ok.
Interesting slopes with red soil and pine trees.
Kuyulu Bükü looking SW
For the evening we head South, across and into the bay towards Selimiye, where we choose the well known Sardunya restaurant for dinner and overnight. This has been described as a large fish restaurant with high standards, and we are not disappointed. The pontoons are sophisticated, too, they provide not only water and electricity but deckchairs, steps into the water and showers.
Evening in Selimiye bay
I am surprised by the short twilight period at this Southerly latitude, the sun seems to set faster than expected.
Sardunia restaurant and jetty
Thursday 12 June
We start the day exploring the surrounding coves and islets in completely calm seas, as always in the morning.
We pass through the channel between the mainland and Kameriye Ada, looking at the remainders of an old monastery on its South side.
We find it difficult to anchor off this island, although, it seems, gulets do it. We continue West leaving Koca Ada to starboard. The scenery is very pretty but the bays around this island are often unsuitable for anchoring, quite deep or too small, maybe local knowledge would help.
We set anchor in a small bay opposite Kargi Ada for a short stop and swim, and then go on to Dirsek where we anchor towards the South West end for lunch.
Kameriye channel looking W
Monastery ruins on Kameriye Ada(left), Small bay opposite Kargi Ada (right)
Anchored in Dirsek cove looking S towards the restaurant
Then it's time to take our friends back home to Kurucu Bükü, where we arrive around 3pm.
The next day will be the last of our cruise, so we want to stay overnight closer to Marmaris.
We cross the Hisarönü Köfezi (Hisaronic gulf) to SE. The island of Simi to starboard offers protection from the meltemi; we use the power of the boat for a fast yet comfortable ride past Kizil Burnu and round the headland at Karaburun with its lighthouse.
Rounding Karaburun headland
This night we stay at Bozuk Bükü, there are three restaurants and we choose the simple looking Sailors House. The people are very friendly, but the food is average and the price for dinner for two of TRL100 is on the high side compared to others we had before. Maybe the reason is lack of road access to this cove, or maybe it's just very popular with yachting folks and gulets? No electricity or water available, anyway this is no issue to us.
Bozuk cove (ancient Loryma) with fortifications
Bozuk cove looking N
Restaurant Sailors House' jetty in Bozuk cove
Friday 13 June
In the morning we explore the bay on land, but find walking difficult due to rocky grounds and no paths.
On the way back to Marmaris we have a brief look into the rocky cove Serce Koyu which appears to be a protected anchorage with mooring buoys to restaurants in the Northern part.
Rocks at the entrance of Bozuk cove looking N (left); only few gulets are seen using their sails (right)
Going further NE, past the Kadirga Burnu headland and closer to Marmaris, we try to anchor in Kumlu Bükü, a large bay, partially built up. Gulets have taken the spaces in the SE corner in front of wooded slopes using shorelines; further South and Centre there does not appear to be good holding ground, but there is a hotel with a jetty. The anchor picks up rubbish. We don’t find the placed inviting and move up North to Turunc Bükü, a built up bay, with a large hotel and beach occupying the South corner which once would have been an anchorage. In the West is a busy quay for trip boats, we anchor in some distance in front of it and, over lunch, watch the hustle and bustle of coming and going trip boats and water activities.
Anchored in Turunc bay (left) . Closer to Marmaris' tourist zone the usual water sports entertainment is available
After lunch we leave for Marmaris. Crossing the wide bay, the sight of bleak concrete hotels all along the Western shores up to Marmaris town is not attractive; the Eastern and Southern sides of the bay have luckily been spared from such development. Marmaris town quay is overflowing with gulets; we arrive at the Marina fuel pontoon at 4pm.
Refuelling and handing back the boat go smoothly; by 7 pm we get into the taxi to catch a late evening flight to London.
It was our first cruise on the Turkish coast; the purpose was to explore this part of the Mediterranean and to meet friends who own a holiday home in the region.
Yachting in Turkey seems mainly based on sailing yachts and the ubiquitous (skippered) gulets.
Gulets do not seem to use the smaller restaurants for overnight stays so there does not appear to be too much conflict or fighting for spaces. However, several anchorages are occupied by gulets, and there must be more in high season.
Our boat was usually the only motor-yacht among sailing yachts on jetties; Diesel fuel prices in Turkey are high, at Marmaris we paid TRL 3.36 (£1.41) per litre. However, climate, wind conditions and coast line are very suitable for motor cruising.
We were lucky and had warm sunny weather with blue skies all week. Day time high temperatures around 30 deg C, rising towards the end of the week; night low temperatures around 20 deg C. The only few drops of rain we saw were inland when going back to Dalaman airport.
Always be aware and protect yourself against the strength of the sun.
WIND : The meltemi got up regularly around lunch time, reaching its maximum at 4 or 5pm in the afternoon and dying down in the evening around 8pm allowing for calm nights. In the middle of the week it was stronger, about 5 bf, less towards the end. In our cruising area it raises a Westerly swell following the coast lines, which can cause an uncomfortable ride and spray if going against it in the later afternoons.
We found the local people, in particular the restaurant staff who double as marinaios during the day, very helpful. The food was usually good and reasonably priced, with fresh salads, vegetables and fruit. It is generally based more on meat than on fish, we noted that some fish is farmed which means you can expect lower quality. The white wines we tried were simple but dry, and better than we had expected from descriptions. I was concerned about the quality of the tap water, so we only used bottled or chlorified water. We did not experience any digestion issues; maybe my concern was unnecessary.
Distances (in nm):
7 June Demo run in Marmaris bay; Marmaris- Ciftlik: 15.8
8 June Ciftlik - Bozburun: 31.8
9 June Bozburun - Dirsek - Orhaniye: 20.5
10 June Orhaniye- Bencik - Kurucu: 16.5
11 June Kurucu - (various bays) - Selimye: 19.5
12 June Selimiye - (various bays) - Kurucu: 17.2 Kurucu- Bozuk: 17.0
13 June Bozuk - Turunc: 25.8 Turunc - Marmaris 6.2
Total mileage covered in this week 170 nm
Bozuk cove - restaurant
inside Bencik cove
Bozburun outside harbour
End of log (2008).
ONE WEEK ON THE LYCIAN COAST Sept 26 - Oct 3, 2009
Marmaris - Ekincik/Caunos - Skopea Limani/Kapi Creek - Gemiler island - Göcek
- Skopea Limani/Tomb Bay - Wall Bay - Gerbekse Cove - Marmaris
Total mileage 149 nm.
Crew: Jane, Wilhelm. At Göcek, on Wednesday, joined by Catherine and Sevket.
Boat: 'Kimberley', Rodman 41 flybridge motor yacht, chartered from Sunshine Cruising based in Marmaris
Fri 25 Sept Arrival
We arrive at Dalaman airport late evening and take a taxi to the Marmaris Netsel marina.
Friendly welcome by the team of our charter company. As in the previous year, we find the boat perfectly prepared and in excellent order. We are allowed to sleep aboard this night, our charter starts the next morning.
VIEW FROM THE FORTRESS OVER THE TOWN QUAY TO MARMARIS MARINA
Sat 26 Sept Marmaris to Ekincik/ MyMarina
We take the boat over; as we are customers returning to the same boat this goes without introduction formalities.
The weather forecast is for calm settled weather during the next days.
I have been to Caunos on a land based holiday many years ago, we are now interested to do the Dalyan river tour from the sea: The most practical way is by hire boat from Ekincik, and Mymarina is the best place to stay and start from.
So we leave Marmaris harbour and turn E, steering a course to the South of the Turnali Kayasi buoy and Yalincik island, to give the prohibited Karaagac bay area a wide berth.
Mymarina is an amazing place, quasi a "boutique" marina with a lot of attention to design details and fancy landscaping including a fake antique ruin. On their T-jetty they offer electric power and water, but boat washing is prohibited.
The large restaurant above, though not cheap, has a high standard, too.
THE SETTING OF MYMARINA IN EKINCIK BAY
MYMARINA, UPMARKET AND UNUSUAL DETAILS. COVERED POWER AND WATER POINTS; NEED A LENGTH OF ROPE ?
Sun 27 Sept Caunos tour by taxi boat, Ekincik
The Dalyan river and Caunos tours by trip boat are organized by the Ekincik cooperation, who appears to have a monopoly.
The services are well organised and safe but prices and choices are dictated by the coop.
If you want to save money you can talk to other boaters and agree to form a small group before booking a trip boat.
Öz Ekincik Tourism Coop, Tel. +90 0252 266 0192 GSM +90 532 331 5964.
EKINCIK COOP BOAT AT MYMARINA
We book a day trip including the archaeological site of ancient Caunos and past the cliff tombs up to Dalyan village, but are not interested in the sulphury mud baths further upriver.
We are only two of us, so the price of around 100€ seems expensive; anyhow, it is a long trip, the captain is friendly, and there is no time pressure on us.
We start at around 9am to avoid the heat at the archaeological site.
Passing small Delikada Island confirms that there is no safe and easy anchorage for private yachts. The pontoon is only used by large trip boats and gulets.
DELIKADA ISLAND OUTSIDE THE DALYAN RIVER ESTUARY
The entrance to the Dalyan river, next to the 'turtle' beach, is so shallow, it can only be safely passed by local boats or by dinghy.
Anyhow, we do not spot any private craft anywhere inside the entrance.
TURTLE BEACH, A TOURIST ATTRACTION. THE SHALLOW ENTRANCE TO THE DALYAN RIVER IS TO THE LEFT.
The ruins of ancient Caunos provide a good impression how this once sizeable town was laid out, with its public buildings and harbours. This
is helped by the fact that the site is surrounded by unspoilt nature.
RUINS OF ANCIENT CAUNOS, THE THEATRE. THE DALYAN RIVER IN THE BACKGROUND. THE PORT (NOW SILTED) TO THE RIGHT.
CAUNOS, ROMAN RUIN
RUINS OF ANCIENT CAUNOS. MAIN ROAD TO AGORA, AND PORT. RIVER BASIN AND THE SEA IN THE DISTANCE.
We continue the river trip through marshes towards Dalyan village and the Lycian rock tombs.
The captain takes us to a riverside restaurant he knows; a visit seems obligatory, but it's lunch time anyway and we need refreshments after the sightseeing. Dalyan village is worth a visit for the views to the rock tombs across the river. It has however been absorbed by mainstream tourism and thus is not very attractive to us.
DALYAN TOUR REFERENCE SHOT
IN DALYAN VILLAGE
In the afternoon our taxi boat takes us back through the maze of river marshes; on the final passage between Delikada island and Mymarina the usual day wind gets up and increases the sea state.
Despite all points of critique, we find the tour unique and are glad to have done it.
Dinner at Mymarina restaurant.
Mon 28 Sept Ekincik - Kizilkuyruk Bay- Kapi Creek
We leave Mymarina in the morning and make our way towards the bay of Fethye.
Along the passage, there is a possibility to detour and anchor at Baba island, in front of Sarigerme holiday resort.
Being on a fast boat, however, we decide to go directly to one of beautiful coves in the Fethye bay area.
We pass Kurdoglu point and try Kizilkuyruk cove.
There are a few boats anchored but there is still more than enough space in this nice swimming cove.
The usual way of mooring in Turkey is anchoring with a stern line ashore. This not only helps saving space, but is a necessity where water
depth increases sharply away from the shore. The downside is having to get on a (rocky) shore with a rope and finding where to fix it, e.g. round a
dodgy tree or lump of boulder (the tree variant is not well liked by locals I hear...). Purpose made metal mooring posts have recently emerged in some places, they help a lot.
We are only anchoring here for a short stay - plus, we are short handed - so don't bother with a land line.
Boating is not always safe around the rocky coves. A spooky reminder can be seen across, a brand new motor yacht has sunken at the tip of the cove. People are around in a dinghy and appear to evaluate the damage and take items off. The yacht might have hit a rock, or the anchor didn't hold.
We do not spot any sign of fuel pollution from the accident, so feel it's safe to swim.
For the night, we go round the cape and enter Skopea Limani, the large bay South of Göcek with its numerous coves.
The first cove we visit is picturesque Kapi Creek; we are offered an alongside berth on the inner side of the restaurant pontoon.
We are amazed, when minutes later a catamaran gets squeezed in in front of us. Using every inch!
Most of the yachts are sailing boats, apart from one very large American motor yacht.
The sea is transparent and turquoise, reflecting the lush vegetation around; there are rocks and fragments of old walls in and under the water.
It's a wonderful late afternoon and we go swimming straight from the boat's bathing platform. Swimming here is like in a heated swimming pool, only much better.
Jane spots an old sea shell on the ground, in just 3m depth, and sets her ambition to dive for this "huge" treasure. Finally the trophy emerges, but turns out to be quite weathered and far smaller than it had appeared under water. Still a nice memory.
After a walk around the cove we have a good dinner at the restaurant.
ON KAPI CREEK RESTAURANT JETTY
KAPI CREEK. SUNSET
Tue 29 Sept Kapi Creek - Gemiler island - Gocek
Our final target for today is Göcek, where we will choose a berth in a marina, to be joined by our friends Catherine and Sevket the following day.
For the day we fancy visiting Gemiler Adasi (St Nicholas island), described as an ancient pilgrimage site with Byzantine ruins, to South of Fethye and the Karadag peninsula.
LEAVING KAPI CREEK
The route leads along a craggy coast with rocky small islets (the Karakaören Büku).
Guide books warn that the anchorage along Gemiler island is often crowded by gulets and trip boats, and difficult due to a rocky underwater ledge.
We still try, right in front of the site entrance, and find that on this late morning there are hardly any boats.
As soon as our intention to anchor is clear, helpers rush to us on a small boat and offer to take our landlines ashore (prepare 30m lines).
In return we buy a pancake from mum who is preparing it on their boat, and offer the guy some tip.
However helpful they are, remember you are a welcome guest, not an old friend.
There is a small entrance fee to the island; the small longish island is steep and the path leads along a range of church ruins, with impressing views from the top.
We have the site almost to ourselves; the location and views, its quietness, with some hovering clouds over the mountains on the mainland, create a memorable atmosphere.
MOORED AT GEMILER ADASI (ST NICHOLAS ISLAND)
GEMILER ADASI LOOKING W
THE KARAKAÖREN ANCHORAGE (SW OF GEMILER). LOTS OF ROCKS
THE APSIS OF ONE OF THE BYZANTINE CHURCHES. THE ONCE FULLY COVERED STAIRWAY THAT LED ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TOP SANCTUARY.
GERMILER CHANNEL. KIMBERLEY IS THE NEAREST BOAT.
GEMILER , VIEW FROM TOP TO E
After our sunny and hot walk round the island, and relaxing with tea in the shadow of the small place at the entrance, we have an excellent swim and snorkel over the underwater walls of sunken buildings; then cast off lines.
The clouds have come closer and, keen to stay in the sun rather than getting into a storm, I open the throttles and go round the peninsula and back to Göcek bay (by which time the clouds seem to have mostly disappeared..).
Slow cruising around Tersane, Yassika Adasi islets and Göcek island, admiring craggy cliffs and nice coves, finally arriving at Göcek.
We call Skopea marina and are advised which berth to take.
Deciding to use the anchor, a small embarrassment ensues: Having put down the anchor and letting out chain going astern, the chain jams in the locker, obviously a stubborn pile and loop must have formed that needs toppling to untangle; I try but cannot get it loose just with the winch, and am stuck some 15m away from the pontoon.
So, it's anchor up and starting again, this time using their mooring line. Later, I let out the whole chain to untangle it.
GÖCEK ADASI, LIGHTHOUSE ON THE MAIN APPROACH CHANNEL TO GÖCEK
BERTHED IN SKOPEA MARINA, GÖCEK
VIEW OF GÖCEK TOWN FROM SKOPEA MARINA
Göcek is a clean modern place, thoughtfully developed with no high rising concrete, and with four or five marinas and growing.
We have a walk along the sea promenade with plenty of restaurants to choose from.
Countless idle gulets are moored along the quays. If they all went out with customers in high season I imagine the coves must be crowded.
Wed 30 Sept Gocek - Yassica Adalari- Tomb Bay
With our friends on board, we set out to nearby Yassica Adalari anchorage.
The anchorage in the N of the group of low lying tiny island, looks beautiful and seems very popular; we are carefully watching the depth and choose a space, but on first attempt the anchor does not hold well. We look for a better position and anchor again.
With Sevket, as second guy on board, who swims ashore with a landline, the manoeuvre is much easier.
YASSICA ADALARI ANCHORAGE
For the night we choose to go to Tomb Bay (Bedri Rahmi Koyu).
Restaurant Nomand is relatively quiet and we easily find a berth on their jetty.
We notice a drop in temperature compared to Göcek, maybe because the cove is facing East so has no evening sun.
APPARENTLY ABANDONED JETTY IN TOMB BAY. NOMAD RESTAURANT AND JETTY BEHIND
Dinner in Nomad restaurant.
Thu 1 Oct Tomb Bay - Ruin Bay/Wall Bay
The cove is a scenic place and has its name after a couple of Lycian rock tombs in the cliffs on its N shore, which can be seen from the cove.
After breakfast at Nomad's we make a nice walk to the tombs, leading through unspoilt nature. Of course, the tombs are empty shells, but worth visiting, if for nothing else than for their dramatic setting and beautiful views over the bay.
TOMB RAIDERS (THE COMPETENT CREW)
CLIMBING TO THE SECOND TOMB
From Tomb bay we venture on to S and have a look at Sarsala Isk and Manastir Koyu, and decide to go to Wall Bay, where we find an inviting restaurant with a long jetty. We moor alongside.
Taking out the dinghy we venture over to Ruin Bay (Hamam Koyu), named after its half submerged ancient ruins called Cleopatra's bath.
It is a magical setting under pine tress, and we swim around the ruins.
The restaurant, that in 2006 was reported to be here, has disappeared. Gulets anchor off the shore E of the baths' ruins.
WALL BAY RESTAURANT AND JETTY
WALL BAY JETTY VIEW TOWARDS RUIN BAY
SERVICES AVAILABLE ...
We have good dinner at the Wall Bay restaurant.
Fri 2 Oct Wall Bay - Gerbekse Cove - Marmaris
It's our last day at sea, and we need to get back to Marmaris.
The wind forecast has been for stronger winds with an increase in the afternoon. Given my experience of afternoon winds even with no warnings, I want to get out early and cross to a place nearer to Marmaris by noon to ensure a comfortable passage.
When we asked in the evening, we were told that breakfast and fresh bread by 9am would be no problem, but the staff in the morning has different ideas of timing. After a considerable wait we are finally served, and shortly later leave the cove.
Thankfully, the weather forecast is proven wrong and my worries unnecessary. Our passage is in calm seas giving a delightful ride.
MORNING IN WALL BAY - DISUSED JETTY
WAITING FOR BREAKFAST
NO SIGN OF SEA STATE
Being early in the Marmaris area, we decide to explore another cove.
The Gerbekse Cove (Ince Creek, Byzantine Creek), near Ciftlik cove, S of Kadirga peninsula, is a safe anchorage, yet again with some historic ruins, including a Byzantine church.
It is visited by trip boats from Marmaris, which anchor off the beach on its end. There is enough room to anchor elsewhere.
We have lunch and a swim; I make the short walk to the ruins and find nice views.
BYZANTINE CHURCH RUIN
From here it's a short trip back to Marmaris where we arrive in time for our friends to catch their bus.
The obligatory visit to the fuel pontoon ensues.
This time there is a bit of a wait due to a queue of sailing boats.
BACK IN MARMARIS - VIEW FROM FORTRESS OVER MARMARIS BAY
Sat 3 Oct Marmaris and return
We spend the day as tourists in Marmaris, visiting the fortress and walking around Old Town and Quays.
Evening flight to London
This concludes a week of almost perfect cruising, in beautiful nature and with the best possible weather, balmy clean waters, picturesque ancient sites, and tasty cuisine.
I do not speak Turkish and find the names of places sometimes confusing; I am generally using those in Heikell's Turkish Waters Pilot.
There are local names which are not in the guide, and differences in translations.
E.g. Tomb bay is called Quellenbucht (Spring cove) in a German log.
Kizilkuyruk bay is called Drachenbucht (Dragon cove) in the same log.
As a guidance, do not rely strictly on descriptions of small restaurants in coves, they change rapidly.
Within Skopea Limani there is much choice, and distances are small, so you can always try the "next bay".
The usual way of anchoring in coves, with a stern line ashore, is not always easy for short handed crews. In narrow spaces, in case of adverse winds, the manoeuvre can be very tricky.
Not to forget the issue of finding secure fixing points ashore, given the scarceness of mooring posts.
Anyhow, in the vicinity of restaurants the owners will help with anchoring.
In other popular places boats of locals will come along who sell bread, pan cakes, or merchandise etc and they offer help too.
* Distances motored (nm)
Marmaris - Ekincik 21
Ekincik - Kartoglu Burnu 21
Kartoglu B - Kapi Creek 7
Kapi C - Germiler island 14
Germiler - Gocek 21
Gocek - Tomb Bay 7
Tomb Bay - Wall Bay 4
Wall Bay - Gerbekse cove 41
Gerbekse Cove - Marmaris - 13
Total: 149 nm
Fuel consumption 703ltr (4.7 lit/nm @ 2000rev/21 kn approx)
Chart: Imray G36 Marmaris - Geyikova Adasi
Guide: R.Heikell Turkish waters and Cyprus Pilot
Other brochure: The Bay Express (commercial, 2007). bayexpress.info
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