The passage to Croatia
18 June 2013 | The Sea
Our last night on Corfu was spend in a small bay on the north of the island called San Stefano Sinion. It was very picturesque and ashore we had an awesome dinner at the taverna “To Fagopotion”. Christos, the owner, is a real character. He remembered our names and used them after introductions. Instead of simply ordering off the menu, he asked what types of food we liked and he would do the rest. It was very good and also expensive. Not because of the individual prices but boy did Christos think we could eat a lot. It turned out ok because we had leftovers for the next day.
I woke early on June 13th, weighed anchor and started out for Croatia. It was a windless morning as we rounded the northern tip of Corfu and started along the coast of Albania. The territorial limits of countries boardering the Med is 12 nautical miles but I think if you stay far enough offshore you are allowed to make passage inside the limits. We ran about 8 miles out until 10:00am when the wind started to pick up.
If you look at a map of the Adriatic Sea you will notice that the bottom of it narrows between Italy and Albania. The wind and waves get funneled down the coasts and compress at this point. This day would bring fairly strong 25 knot winds and steep confused wave patterns. And of course, the wind came directly from the north, on the nose, always on the nose. Now, this really wasn’t of any problem for Palarran. She pounded right through it just happy to be in the water and free again. I didn’t mind it either because a little salt in my hair gives it better body. But the rest of the crew, well, they did mind it.
It started with Elaina coming up on deck looking green to the gills. “Dad, I think I’m going to get sick”. Luckily we have a few buckets handy for just such occasions. Next came Jeanne. She didn’t say a word to me, just giving me the “You’re a real #$%@! look. Nick tried to keep up appearances but finally admitted he didn’t feel so hot either. Great!, we only have 24 hours to go. Who’s taking the first watch? (and the second, third, forth, etc – take a guess).
It did abate around 9:00pm and Nick took a 4 hours dog watch. That was much appreciated because I was tired and hate the dog watch. By morning we were closing in on Montenegro but about 6 hours behind my anticipated arrival time. We did not sail during this passage except with our jib. The reason as I’ve pointed out in the past is that Palarran, because she is a catamaran, doesn’t point much better than 40 degrees off the wind. In order to sail this passage it would have taken us about 60% longer. When planning near shore semi close passages you should always take the best estimated speed divide by the distance to get hours, and back that up to arrive at your destination in the morning. This way if it’s longer you still have all day to get to a port. This worked well and we pulled into Cavtat, Croatia at 1:00pm, June 14th.