20 November 2017
Whatever the commercial fishing boats had come to catch was also attracting lots of sports fishermen. I would like to say they were everywhere but they wernt. Whatever they were catching seemed
to like certain spots. It is possible that the fish everyone was after was small and sardine like seeing as one day in pula we found something like that on one of Ice Bears trampolines.
no idea how that happened as the trampoline is atleast 5 ft above the water.
The small boats were anchored which made it easy to avoid them. One thing we have noticed about Croatia is they have rules and these rules are enforced. A couple of the
spots the fishermen seemed to want to fish at were on the wrong side of a park boundary. The fisheries guys seemed to take exception to the little boats and we could see them patrolling the parks border. Everyone seemed to get a warning but it was still early in the day. The mooring ball field in Ravinj was empty so we picked one and tied. The words painted on the ball instructed us to call
on the radio. The person on the other end welcomed us and said the night was free. woohooo. We dropped the dingy and motored into town past the ACI it had been closed all summer due to a
complete remodel it was going to be big all new docks and large buildings on land. We tied the dingy to the town quay and hoisted ourselves to the top. Ravinj was cute, small streets lots
of stores and food plus the remains of the days farmers market. After walking for an hour we circled back to quay and sat down for an early dinner. We chose poorly but being able to watch
the two barges of equipment set pilings in the harbour almost made us forget. The next morning we were off to Porec (porech) about 3/4 of the way there we passed through a large pod of dolphins
well over 20 animals and they seemed to be playing the few that swam near us had big scratch marks on them. The area they were in was quite shallow only 20 ft give or take and we wondered if the
bottom was a good place to rub that hard to reach spot. We took the opportunity to fuel before tying only 188 liters not bad the last place we fueled was Split two months earlier. We spent a few days wandering around the town checking out the old buildings and noting the towns daily progress at hanging Christmas lights. I suspect they weren't going to be lit until early nov as there was still
one more holiday to observe before Santa's big day. We watched a survey team slowly putter around the harbour getting the info to update the chart and learned maybe a little late that Spar with the circle/tree symbol is a grocery chain. Weird I'm positive its the same company that does lumber at home? oohh ya and we met a Canadian couple with their kids on a six month almost world tour they has started in south america and where on their way to Asia. How kewl is that. The day we left Porec is the day we left Croatia. We cast the lines off the Quay and shuffled sideways to the custom dock. The check out procedure was straight forward. They gave instructions on how to leave Croatian waters. typed some stuff into a computer and didn't stamp the passport I guess EU country to EU country no stamp? by 8 am we were slipping our lines and heading out to who knows where. Well actually we know where hehe.
When we talked to cruisers in Greece about going to Croatia we did not receive glowing reviews of the country. We were starting to wonder what we were getting ourselves into despite the enthusiastic endorsement from a friend from home. Everyone started with its really expensive there, Croatians are indifferent to travelers and will take your money before helping with your lines, there are no ship chandleries, the food is boring, they have lots of rules and will fine you at the drop of a hat and the process to clear in and out of the country is complicated. Generally it was felt Croatia was worth the visit because the islands are amazing but they are its only saving grace. After three months in Croatia I feel safe in saying ppffftt. The people were wonderful you just needed to make just a small attempt to meet them and by small I mean small often just saying hi was enough. It is more expensive to tie then Greece but no more expensive then home same with the food. We had no problems finding stores in the larger towns and as for rules all the ones we found were common sense they even pulled their cars over for emergency vehicles which while that seems normal to us go to Italy and see how far a siren get you. As for the food its not fancy but its good who doesn't like meat and fish cooked on a big charcoal grill. While in the Dalmatian coast peka is a must eat at least once and the truffles from Istra are to die for. And for those that drink alcohol everyone makes a home brew grappa, travarica, and rakija to name a few and they really love to share. We have no issues recommending Croatia as a place to visit many of the cruisers we met had decided that this was their idea of cruising perfection and we can see why. As for checking in and out once again follow the basic rules if in doubt ask oohh and They don't care what citizenship your tomato has.
10 November 2017
we left Sali and spent time at mooring balls in Brgulje and Ilovik then stern tied to a dock in Mali Losinj a larger town with lots of restaurants and stores. We took advantage of the time in Mali Losinj to re work how the passerelle connected to the stern. Gone are the blue lines that tied it to the boat now we have a proper looking connection that has easy to remove pins for the times we side tie and need to step sideways off the stern step.
Even though the cruising season was just about done there were still a couple classic rock bands playing in the evenings. Our next stop was Pula.
Pula was placed deep into a bay and very protected from weather. It has hosted navies, fishing fleets, trading vessels and tourists from early Roman times.
President Tito used one of the islands just off of Pula to keep the exotic animals he was given as gifts from world leaders. The island is now a park where a small number of tour boats take people to see the animals. Once past the long break wall there was nothing really remarkable about the bay don't get me wrong there was lots of stuff to look at old buildings, bridges, boats, parks, swimming areas but as we neared the back of the bay we started to see tall structures and big cranes. Pula it seems had a very active
ship yard and they were in the process of building at least three what we guess were oil rigs and two container ships. There were tug boats scooting back and forth with barges of boat parts
and four tugs were repositioning one of the oil rigs. The first thought was kewl the second was ohoh we are here for two weeks how loud will this be? Once again we chose an ACI marina
it was right at the old town near all the things we wanted to see plus they were offering an off season rate how perfect. We were surprised when we arrived. The marina seemed
full of local boats all the other ACI were full of charter boats but like other ACI they were clean and felt safe. The weather was cool enough that we decided that we didn't need the sun shades
so once we were tied and had checked into the office we went for a walk. The first thing we noticed when we pulled up to the marina was the big colosseum situated right behind it so that's the direction we headed. Like many of the cities it was built on a hillside the streets were narrow and if you walked away from the water you went up. We did a short tour of the town to get our bearings and then stopped for dinner. Lucky us there was a band playing in the square. It seems a local School was celebrating its 150 anniversary. They threw a party and we caught the last 1/2 hour
of music. We walked back to Ice Bear and couldn't help but notice all the cranes in the ship yard were covered in red lights it looked really neat then we noticed the lights on the smaller cranes
(still really big) were slowly changing to other colours this went on late into the night. Pula's colosseum wasn't huge just big the exterior ring was pretty much complete but the structure
inside had been scavenged for parts. The seats facing the water were still there and it didn't take much imagination to see the layout of the rooms and halls that would have been under
the colosseums original floor. Through the summer gladiator demonstrations and concerts are held as long as there no really really loud sounds. We walked into the old town it wasn't hard to find the missing pieces of the colosseum all you needed to do was look at the older churches and civic buildings. Along the outside walls you can find carved bits, stones with words carved into them and pieces that should have been a window or door sill stuck in seemingly random spots. It kinda took us off guard but once we noticed them it became a game to see who could find something that didn't belong. Pula is also home to several Roman arches, town walls and a temple that was bombed during WWII then rebuilt as a way of saying sorry. At the highest point in Pula is a castle. It has gone through a few total remodels over the years and now it looks kinda like a smaller version of the fort in Halifax. It has a commanding view of the harbour and surrounding area and just below it not far from one of Pula's arches was an amphitheater it looked like it was still used but it wasn't really being restored. I guess when you have so many historical structures you
cant restore them all at one time. And that kinda got me thinking about the poor guys trying to restore the colosseum they know where a lot of their stone is but how do they get them out of the
churches and buildings? And how would the guys restoring those buildings react if they did try to take them ? While in Pula I found a hairdresser who didn't really speak english and got my hair cut. She did a really nice job I guess she must be good at playing charades and only 70 kuna so around 15 dollars. The weather was starting to get quite cool in the evenings so we decided it was time to get some heat. so we crossed the road walked three paces past the bakery to the marine store which didn't have what we were looking for hmm. The gentleman behind the counter suggested we try the Bauhaus a few km down the road.
The next day we made a list and grabbed the little cart (best purchase ever I should do an ode to a little orange cart) and trekked off to the store. In case we needed more evidence of fall the sidewalk was littered with chestnuts almost the whole way. 3/4 of an hour later we ended up in a big store area three large grocery stores something that kind of resembled a Canadian tire and the Bauhaus.
Wow a Croatian Home Depot. They even sold Ryobi and an orange house brand that looked remarkably like a Ridgid tool... In the garden center was everything you needed to make wine or olive oil
a claw thing to pick the fruit, presses to get the juice, big vats, bottles and corks. more bits then you could imagine for setting up garden irrigation systems plus all the stuff you expect from a big home improvement store. We found the heater, some calking, assorted hose clamps. I tried really hard to justify bringing home a peka (cast iron dish and bell top designed to go into a charcoal oven) but at over 50 lb it was just to heavy maybe Capital iron will have one. On the trip back we hit the biggest grocery store in search of turkey and the fixins for a thanksgiving dinner. What we found was turkey bits? There were several legs and some breast meat smashed like a cutlet. I'm not sure where the other bits were? We chose two legs found the ingredients for poultry seasoning who knew there was nutmeg in poultry seasoning and a loaf of bread for stuffing. FYI turkey legs make a great Thanksgiving dinner there were even leftovers. Two weeks flew by. One more trip out to the Bauhaus and we were able to complete some of the bigger boat
jobs like re seal the large windows above Ice Bears cabin and fix the galley sink faucet, replace the hose clamps on the hoses you never want to break eeewwww and re run electrical cables
so all the outlets would work ie the new heater. Something thing we didn't expect was the commercial fishermen. One day they all arrived and then everyday after. They were fairly large boats and most had two smaller boats. The whole fleet smooshed themselves onto a section of quay side they were so tight together that we noticed one of them shifting the position of its anchor so it could slide into a spot. They used their small boats like little tugs pushing and pulling the larger boat into and out of its berth. All the yelling and gesticulation attracted its share of attention the boat two births away from us even planed a wine and cheese break around their arrival time. We were even able to attend a craft fair before we left. There was fresh pasta and smoked meats ( boar, llama, bear, horse and elk to name a few) as well as all sorts of sweets and crafts made from olive wood. Plus the standard home heating and cooling options, banks and local environmental initiatives so similar to home yet so different. Two weeks was a long time to spend in one place and we were ready to leave however I'm not sure why most of the guide books gloss over Pula we really enjoyed ourselves and probably could have spent more time exploring the area.
oohh and by the way the ship yard was really quiet we know they were working we could hear the whir of electric motors and the odd thing banging together but for the amount of work being done it was amazing. The main thing that gave them away was the siren I'm guessing it was for beginning of shift, end of shift and lunch break.
31 October 2017
We were excited to go check out a city but the standard boat jobs had to be completed before heading out to explore. The spring lines were attached to prevent us from moving side to side the sun shades were put up and a quick lunch was prepared and then the obligatory nap. The mid day heat wasn't as strong anymore so the mid day nap has turned into more a mid day slow down and putter. Which isn't a bad thing lots of those little jobs that only take a moment but never make it on a to do list get done. While we were in mid day putter mode the boat beside us pulled away from the dock. A Crew member was being instructed in how to drive away from the dock the only words we heard were go fast. Which in the conditions was not wrong however the guy releasing the lines didn't release then he just threw a tangled mess overboard
that mess met the ring sunk into the stone quay. The boat already going forward with some momentum didn't stop much. Something had to give and it was the ring unfortunately we were also tied to the ring. The ring launched into the air then Ice Bear lurched to starboard oddly enough the boat stopped just long enough to retrieve their line. We on the other hand were left holding a big stainless steal ring with a one inch diameter foot long stainless steal bar attached to it. You know it hurt something when it hit us and once we untangled out lines and retied to quay we looked for our new mark. I guess fortunately it was just above a spot on the stern that already needed repair. The look on the Warfengers face when he saw the ring sitting on the dock was one of mild curiosity. Seems its not the first time someone tried to leave while still attached to the dock. With that moment of excitement over it was time to explore we decided to head to a newer section of town to find groceries and that thing that plugs into a cigarette lighter to power electronics seems one of ours got wet. Not long into the walk we came to a fountain the water sprayed up on to a thick carpet of moss we guess the moss was covering a stone but couldn't tell for certain. When we got closer we noticed the small pond around the fountain was full of turtles. You could see where they had made paths into the moss so they could climb onto the top.
I mean the top of the fountain was at least six foot above the water and it seemed they all wanted to be up there hehe and they didn't appear to have any issues pushing each other off the top to get the best spot. We continued walking and found an outdoor market and then a shopping area and mall. We checked the stores out found the power plug and wandered back towards the boat
past the turtles and into the old part of the city for dinner. The table we chose was not level but neither was the street it was on. It was funny to see our glasses with the contents leaning to one side
lucky we didn't order soup. I know this will sound funny but we decided to take the next day off. Except for a quick run to a marine store for some parts for a future passerelle project.
We just puttered around did some cleaning. The wind picked up but whatever we just tweeked the lines it was all good. Until the boat tied to our port decided to leave. The wind blew him into us and then everything went sideways.
Suddenly his anchor was poking between our lifelines our fenders were no match for the weird angle then there was gelcoat contact crap more repairs. A little after mid day boats started to arrive for the night. For the most part they docked well but the inexperience of the young Warfenger was showing in the more complicated dockings. A boat to our starboard had a rough landing the skipper wasn't happy and was very vocal expressing his displeasure
at both his crew and the Warfenger. Then a boat came along our port side it was obvious the crew were going to have problems so we had them lay against us to help. It was going well until the lazy line tangled around something. Maybe their rudder or a different lazy line I don't know but it wouldn't come to the bow after a bit of a struggle they decided to try a line further up the quay. That's when it happened the Warfenger let the windward line go. The look on the skippers face was almost of pure panic they were still tied to the quay with the other line and they were coming towards us and there was little he could do. We tried but.. smack add a blue line to the hull twice in one day uuggg. To the skippers credit he did come over about a half hour later with beer to apologize. That evening and the next day we enjoyed the old town. wandered around the small streets and checked out the stores went to watch the turtles some more and then bought groceries for the next few days. There was a wind predicted over the weekend and normally we would stay put and ride it out but this time it was decided we couldn't stay at the quay and risk a repeat of the bump and grind from a few days ago. We filled the water tanks and ran away back into the islands. We passed through the Kanal Sv.Ante with its sub pens carved into the cliff then by the Sv. Nikola fort protecting the canals entrance. It was interesting to see all the things that were shrouded in fog and rain on the way in. The predicted wind was already in the islands making for a rough ride i'm not sure why but this place seems to grow big waves. The first night we grabbed a mooring ball in Kaprije bay. This would be the first and only time we would see a Dalmatian dog in the Dalmatian islands (yes I know they wernt named after the dog)this was also the place we watched as a stern tie went very wrong by the time it was sorted out they had two guys in the water and at least ten guys standing on the deck pushing the two boats apart. the next day we hopped to Kakan. This is where we started to realize maybe the summer season was coming to an end. The restaurant in preparation for closing up and had shortened their menu. Tied to a mooring ball in Dragisina bay on the island of Zut. The first time on the whole trip one of us needed pants sad thing was it was still 25c
while here a fleet of 16 near identical charter boats tied on one of the stops of their rally. The next town was Sali. We tied and explored the town a handful of restaurants and a grocery store perfect place to stay for a few days.
We were asked to move seems a fleet of 16 boats was coming this way and they had reserved half the town. So we shuffled to the other side of the small harbour and were soon joined by several other boats that were not part of the rally.
The boat that tied next to us was from Slovenia and it seems they fancied themselves traveling minstrels. They even had several different types of instruments. Not knowing any Slovenian songs they sounded great to us but the proof was in the pudding when a pocket cruise ship tied and the passengers all stood at the quay and urged them on even singing along. Then a crew member from a different sailboat abandoned her ship to join the singing.
Of course it could have been the slivovitz they were sharing. I must admit whatever was in the straw coloured drink wasn't to bad
22 October 2017
We woke to sun perfect for the days adventure the reason we came up the river was to go to Krka national park. We had been told this place is amazing. We let the sun burn off some of the moisture in the ground and then made our way to the other side of the marina. We couldn't help notice the man in the small fish boat laying out his fish net in the marina he was using the cleats on the dock for one end of his net and his boat for the other effectively preventing 1/3 of the boats tied in the marine from leaving. He hit the water several times to herd the fish into his net then he slowly pulled it in we were unable to watch him pull in all of his net but we did see at least one fish. The boat ride to and from the park was included in the entry price. The boat left for the park every hour for a 30 minute trip it easily held the 100 or so of us that had collected at a strategically placed cafe. the shoreline varied between wetlands and cliffs. We left the boat and walked towards the lower water fall there were food carts, souvenirs, picnic tables and people lots of people. The number of tickets sold to enter the park each day are restricted now I can see why the area below the lower fall was packed with swimmers. We had no intentions of swimming in the cold water so we continued to follow the trail. The first thing we needed to do was cross a big bridge it was full of people taking pictures which of course we also wanted to take
so it was a slow process. Once on the other side the path started to climb when we came to the first of many landings there was a lady manning a table full of local seasonal produce including grapes, dried figs, nuts, olive oil and several different types of Grappa or whatever the local name for the thick burn the top of your mouth liquor was. The Krka falls were a collection of many falls none were very tall but several were wide and they filled large pools before spilling over creating the next level. As we continued to climb we came to the original power station built on the river it was designed by Tesla and turned on a day after the station in Niagara falls. However Sibenik the town it was made to power was the first town to ever have electric street lights. We couldn't go inside
because they were in the process of restoring it but there was a turbine and a shaft outside we could look at and touch. We walked past more lady's and their tables and up two big flights of stairs to a heritage type area where they had an "Ethno presentation" people in traditional regional clothes some rooms set to show little vignettes of everyday life plus watermills powering equipment there was a blacksmith and a weaving display some restaurants and of course more souvenirs. A little further up stream there was a mill grinding corn and two rooms dug into the rock used to beat wool to clean it and make it soft. From this point on we walked mostly on a raised wooden walkway which was good the water lvl looked high due to the recent rain and I suspect most of what looked to be solid ground wasn't. The wooden walkway crossed above the falls everywhere we looked the pools were full of big trout and they had no fear I'm guessing people fed them.
There were several look out points on the way down. At one spot you could see the heritage site looking all cute village like. The path ended almost where we started and we could see
that there were even more people swimming at the base of the falls. We wandered back to the parks dock and waited for maybe 10 minutes to load back onto the boat. The trip back was uneventful we parked ourselves at the bow
and could see fish, swans and the odd duck (hehehe I amuse me) that was until we stepped onto the dock where two swans had set up shop and decided several of the passengers wouldn't be permitted to pass. While the swans were preoccupied the rest of us made it without any drama. The next day we headed back down the river due to the speed limit and the limited space to pass the three boats in front of us and the four or five behind us
slowly wound our way towards the sea. Both sides of the river were lined with fish farms from what I have learned on this trip sea bass and bream seem to be easy to farm so I'm going to guess they were in the pens and well the oyster and mussel farms had big sale signs so it wasn't hard to figure out what they were growing. As we neared Sibenik the river opened and the race was on for anyone that could go faster then the first boat which I think was everyone. The powerboat behind us passed us like we were standing still. The sudden turn of speed didn't even seem to phase the 6 ft pink inflatable flamingo hanging out on the upper aft deck. Sibenik has a lovely sea wall to tie to right near the old part of the city the Warfenger saw us coming and showed us to our spot. Sibenik had everything an outdoor market, some malls and of course the old town. We decided this would be a good place to be for several days. We could restock the boats supplies and buy things for more boat jobs.
Up the Krkn river
13 October 2017
Our next stop was the town of Zlarin it was another small town population about 100 in the winter i'm going to guess it doubles in the summer. We tied and had a look around found a few restaurants a school some kind of public works and no cars several of the rototiller fronts pulling trailers and a few golf carts.
We would later learn the town had decided to be car free. We helped a dutch boat tie next to us and invited them for a drink. They brought some wonderful Dutch cheese and peanut butter cheeses who knew. We discussed the coming storm and things to do in the islands and where to go when boating in the Netherlands it was a lovely pre dinner conversation While we were talking a man walked past the boat and asked the standard question. Are you really Canadians and did you sail the boat here from Canada? We answered and asked the standard return questions if he was from here or a boat. His answer surprised us he was from Winnipeg and he was home visiting his Mum. wow We invited him aboard and plied him with drink and questions about the area. The people of this island were once known for red coral they were the only ones allowed to harvest it but the old methods were very destructive (tie a net under a big pole and drag it through the colony) and eventually the beds were extensively damaged. They still have the only permits to harvest the red coral in the area but is done in a sustainable way by divers. He talked about the war in 1991 how the town actually got hit by artillery and how he had been conscripted into the army but was already in Canada
so he didn't have go. The next day the winds picked up and we watched as several boats had difficulties tying one finally got it on the 10th or maybe more try. It wasn't that the skipper or crew were doing anything wrong and there were lots of people trying to help on the dock. It was just the way the wind was blowing. It was hard to watch and we really wanted to help but adding more voices to the mess would have well just added to the mess. The next day the weather was still kinda yucky so we decided to go for a walk and check out the coral museum. On the way their we met up with the man from Winnipeg and he invited us into his home it was really big inside. What we thought was several homes
was one there was a small courtyard behind the wall facing the street this didn't have a roof but a big grape vine made up for that and a large garden at the back. The house had three floors now divided into two apartments his mums and his aunts.
The entrance to the second floor was shaped a little odd until you realized that the opening to the water cistern was sharing the same space. Through the nice sized kitchen was the balcony and what a view you could see right down the harbour and across to a small island. We mentioned that we were heading for the museum and he offered to show us where it was which was good because i'm not sure we would have found it. While the signs at the museum were in several languages including english having him there totally changed the experience. Because he was a local the lady that was looking after the museum joined and told us stories and explained exhibits in greater detail in as much for us as him seeing as many of the pictures where of his family. Above the museum was a red coral jewelry store and workshop the things in the shop were beautiful and the artist was in the workshop polishing a piece. It would have been nice to have bought something but wow when your the only guy that can harvest and work local red coral you know its special and can price accordingly. We said goodbye to our new friend and walked back to Ice Bear for lunch. We noticed that the weather seemed to be having moments of calm and we
had somewhere we wanted to go. So instead of lunch we watched the wind and the second there was a lull we made a break for it. We through off the dock lines and headed out everything seemed ok until we looked back and realized the weather was now chasing us where we were was now a heavy rainstorm. We were headed towards the mainland and the rain was gaining on us this was going to be ugly. As soon as the rain overtook us everything disappeared the fog and sheets of rain were impossible to see through but that's why we have electronic navigation every once and a while we would see a tree or a glimpse of a really big fort. We were entering a river and the banks were probably no more the 200 m away on either side and we still couldn't see them. We know we passed the city of Sibenik because as the weather cleared for a brief second we saw a sign welcoming us. Then up ahead we could see a big bridge as we got closer the weather started to break the rain stopped and we could see again. There was a speed limit up the river so we slowly puttered inland. We observed the mussel and oyster farms lining both sides of the river noting many had open signs on them. We thought about stopping but figured we would on our way back. At about the 8 mile mark the river opened up into a large lake. We could see several towns on the lakes shores but they wern't our destination.
We had booked two nights at an ACI marina we thought the last one was expensive ppfft. Once we crossed the lake the river carried on. A few more bends and another bridge and we were here Skradin. The town looked cute although they seemed to have a swan problem. As we neared the dock one of the attendants asked if we had a reservation we said yes and a few minutes later we were placed between two very large yachts. We were barely tied before several swans came to check us out and see if we would feed them. It would seem if you want to stay at this marina you must book ahead it was full. Once the Marina office took its pound of kuna and the boats was set up for a two day stay we decided to check out the town. It was a little bit of a walk but it gave us the opportunity to see how busy this marina was. It seemed safe to say that there was over 250 yachts secured at the docks with probably 20 more anchored nearby waiting for someone who had reserved to no show. wow..
Once we had crossed the foot bridge to the town side of the basin we started to peruse the offerings of the konoba's and local stores. Then we saw it a little pig on a spit we knew this must be the place
we were going to eat dinner but alas we were almost two hours early and it was starting to sprinkle. Whatever a little water never hurt anyone and we were still in our foul weather jackets. It wasn't long before we had a full fledged Noah flood event. When it rains in this country it doesn't fool around. We managed to explore just long enough to return to our little pig even though we looked like drown rats they still let us in and omg it was sooooooo good they even had potato wedges baked in a peka. How could it get any better.
02 October 2017
From Pucisca we continued north and stopped at a place called Drvenik Veil. We med moored to a concrete breakwater. You could tell whoever made it had a plan but it just didnt happen
there were posts for power and water but neither thing was plumbed in. There were rings for lazy lines but no lines hence the med moor ( drop anchor back up tie to dock ) It was a quiet town
a small store a ferry terminal and two restaurants. Perfect for more boat jobs we took the opportunity to re seal two more windows. Watched as two sailing schools used the breakwater and Ice Bear
to teach the new sailors how to park with only a few bumps and grinds during the side tie portion ouch. This was the place we saw a person try to tie their boat to the pilars holding the porch roof
of a house. We figured they must have owned the house we were wrong and with the direction and strength of the wind they abandoned the attempt and tied next to us. This was also the same evening we helped teach two different boats how to med moor. To be fair except when we tied to an island near Hvar and when we picked up mooring balls everywhere we have been here has used lazy lines so this break wall was a bit of a surprise. The funniest part was the crew on the first boat 3 of the 6 were not happy and they were not hiding the fact. Once the boat stopped moving they were off like a shot. I didn't think the docking was that bad so it must have had something to do with the white caps we could see outside the bay. The 3 remaining crew realized they were in trouble and set to making dinner and cleaning the boat. When the 3 crew returned they seemed to have calmed down a little and a clean boat and hot food went along way in what looked like was going to be a complicated apology process.
Our next stop was Primosten a really cute walled city. We chose to grab a mooring ball instead of try to tie to the town quay it was a good choice. When we arrived the weather wasn't to bad. We drove up to the mooring ball and with little fanfare grabbed it and tied. To be fair we have two engines and the ability to let the ball go a little bit between the hulls if we overshoot. which gives us a second chance to grab it if needed. Once we were all secure we dropped the dingy and checked out the town lots of restaurants, bakeries and a nice big grocery store what more could we ask. We even finally got to try peka. Which is a whole meal prepared in a single pot/dish then placed in a fire with a bell shaped lid then its all covered in coals and left to cook for several hours. It was really good. Back on Ice Bear we decided that this would be a good place to stay for a few days. The Warfenger came out and we had a chat about the weather and other boaty things he mentioned that a Jugo was on its way. Hmm a New type of wind for us
a little one would hit tomorrow with 2 meter seas and rain he recommended we move to a different mooring. Ummm we were in a bay and with the direction of the predicted wind there was no way 2 meter waves could build so we figured it was a translation thing and he ment 2 foot no big deal Ice Bear doesn't really feel 2 foot waves we decided to stay put but we have learned to never dismiss local knowledge so someone dove to the bottom of
the mooring ball and connected a line to the concrete anchor. He was right about the wind and rain. The next day we had wind coming from the south I think for the first time since we arrived in Croatia. We spent a portion of the day watching boats grab their mooring ball we learned several new techniques. Several boats chose the back up to the ball careful to not spook it method. I have never seen someone back up to the ball and not once did it seem to go all that well. Admittedly it did seem to be an easy way to get near a ball but once you had it then what? With the wind and waves getting the line to the bow and cleated seemed very difficult
Every boat that tried this method had their lines pulled out of their hands. Leaving the captain to contend with a mooring ball, excited crew and a line in the water near his prop and or bow thruster.
The other popular method was to come alongside the ball and grab it midships. The boats that tried this all had the end of the line cleated to the midships cleat so all they needed to do once the caught the ball was get the other end cleated to the bow.
This seemed to lead to the boat being side tied to the mooring ball and with the wind and waves I couldn't imagine that being comfy. I guess the plan was to end up with both ends of the line cleated to the bow but this caused its own issues. One boat somehow managed to tie the ball under his boat another found a way to tie it around his keel through much of this the Warfenger was out in his dingy trying to help untangle boats. He also took advantage of the waves to launch himself over the waves and generally have fun in the wet and wild weather. For lunch we went to an Irish restaurant and had a very nice bacon cheeseburger and enjoyed a different view of the quay and the carnage the wind was causing there. The dock had mostly powerboats tied to it most of them have electronics to help them park but even they were getting pushed around by the wind one side swiped a day rental boat on a mooring ball near the beach nearly sinking it. We shared the restaurant with two Italians they seemed to be enjoying the chaos as much as we were. The waves were bigger then 2 foot but nowhere near the 2 meters predicted but the wind definitely made the 25 kn +. The fun stretched into the night. I really felt for the crews trying to grab balls in the dark. On the third day the Warfenger strongly recommended we leave for a new place he said that the next Jugo was going to bring potentially
50 kn winds. We didn't fell the need to doubt him. He showed us a video on his phone of a similar wind and the carnage it caused at the Quay it was awful one sailboat tried to climb sideways onto another sailboat. They were both about 40 ft long so there really was nothing the crews could do but watch.