Log #22c Split, Croatia

August 30, 2001 in Log Series 20 - 29, Logs by Series, Series 22 Croatia, The Logs

Log #22c Split, Croatia

Aug. 30, 2001
Uvala Telascica, Dugi Otok, Croatia
Covers the period July 31 to Aug. 8, 2001

I am almost a month behind in my logs and have to keep up because of the many places we visit every few days. We have met several cruisers who have sailed the Dalmatian Islands for up to 12 years and are still enjoying the exploration of them. We will spend only about six weeks to two months here, unless we return after sailing back to Otranto, Italy, to return  our guests and then to Levkas, Greece to pick up our new replacement Plastimo cooker stove. Anyways, on to Split.

We had just left Monastir (Monastery) Bay on Scedro, going WNW into a light headwind in the morning until we rounded the west end of Hvar Island when we turned north towards the channel at the west end of Brac and  the east end of Solta. This stretch provided a lively broad reach, with winds reaching force 5 and 6, causing us to put in a double reef. However, the wind died between Brac and Solta, and did not really pick up again, giving us a light sail the last 10 miles up to Split. I was a bit disconcerted when on starting the engine, we had no water again! This was the first time since we lowered the water strainer in Malta that we have had problems with it. Hopefully it was just an accidental blockage that won’t happen often.

On entering Split harbour, we went in to the Labud Yacht Club alongside their travel lift at about 1800. No one was working around it, and we wanted to be by the yacht repair yards there that we had noted in the pilot, so that we could get Sprite fixed. After a bit of wandering we found a chandlery that phoned a repair person who would meet us at 1930 to see about patching Sprite. We also found a Quicksilver dealer from whom we got a proper repair kit (which incidentally cost more than the repairs carried out on Sprite a day later).

We then had supper alongside with the hope of staying overnight and then going to the town dock next day, or in to the ACI marina. However about 2130 we were very bluntly told to leave and go into the ACI marina (in the dark). Apparently the yacht club is under the thumb of the ACI marina and did not want a foreign yacht seen to be staying there free overnight. However, their brusqueness was not appreciated.

We immediately left, uncertain as to the entrance into the visitors dock of the ACI marina, and while motoring around trying to identify the proper entrance, noticed a yacht anchored on the north side of the harbour off the fuel dock, in a space indicated on our charts as anchorage area. So at 2200, we dropped anchor fifty yards off the only other boat lying at anchor in the harbour. It was fine, other than a bit of swell in the morning as the ferries started their trips. As we had no dinghy to get ashore, at 1000 we shifted to the free town wall, using our 25 pound CQR anchor as a stern anchor, and securing bows on. We were right in the centre of Split, across from Diocletian’s Palace. The ACI marina was at the opposite side of the harbour, away from the main part of town, whereas we were now in the middle of it.

We spent the day touring the palace and out to a marine museum which was closed. However, we were concerned about the amount of swell caused by the ferries and the afternoon winds. We made sure Veleda was far enough off the wall. However, around noon hour a German 36 foot sailing sloop was coming in beside us, but badly miscalculated the drift before he dropped his stern anchor, and managed to drop it over our anchor line. When he hauled up his anchor to try again, he pulled ours up, and drifted downwind with it before dropping it again. We were now swinging on to the boat down wind of us! When he finally anchored and secured to the wall beside us, he then launched his dinghy to try to redeploy our anchor. He couldn’t pull it up. So we had to let go our lines to the town wall, back out to our anchor, haul it up and re-anchor before returning bows on to the wall. I was not impressed by his seamanship!

Split itself was most enjoyable. The palace outer walls were mostly intact with many ancient temples and plazas dating back to Roman times, although the quarters have been continuously occupied for over 2000 years, and still hold a vibrant community of high and low rent residences, tourist shops, boutiques, markets, museums, restaurants, bars, temples. churches, colonnades, and ruins. We even found an internet shop from which I sent a couple of logs.

We got a call next day to pick up Sprite at the Yacht Club. It was repaired with three patches for only 400 Kuna ($80.00 Canadian), and the chap helped us put in the floor boards, inflated it, and helped lowering the 10 hp outboard into it. We were operational again and able to stay at anchor rather than on the town wall.

We had an interesting time meeting with Henry Lotin, Judy’s cousin, who works for the Canadian government in Vienna. He drove all the way from Vienna (about 950 Km) for the weekend with us, however he miscalculated the driving time, thinking it would take about 9 hours, but actually taking 14 hours! He planned to arrive about 2200.

He phoned while en route to say it would be closer to midnight. When he had not shown up by 0030, Judy called him from our mobile to his, to find he would be another hour or so. However, that call used up our mobile credit. We couldn’t call him again, and were uncertain whether we could receive a call from him with our credit used up. So when he had not arrived by 0200, we went ashore in Sprite hoping to meet him. We wandered the waterfront for an hour, then I had the brilliant idea of calling him fro a payphone! Why not? Well, we then found out that     in Split all payphones were card operated only; they did not accept cash! And, of course at 0300 we could not find a shop open selling phone cards. We were impressed by the amount of activity going on at that hour. There were cars lined up for the first ferries of the morning, and many producers bringing their vegetables and fruits to the market located on the outside wall of Diocletian’s Palace. Several coffee shops and bars were open. A busy place. Finally I said let’s go back to Veleda for some sleep and come back at dawn.

At 0530 we got a call from him from the town dock. He had arrived, hyper and happy to have made it. We dinghied over to pick him up, but did some marketing before returning to Veleda. We found out that the highways through Slovenia and down the coast of Croatia are not the fastest or straightest. After a couple of hours sleep, we weighed anchor at 1430 for the 14 mile sail to anchor off the ancient walled town of Trogir.

A small island, linking Otok Ciovo to the mainland (43 30.9N, 016 15.2E), Trogir is an active, attractive ancient walled museum of a town. with settlement dating back to the Stone Age and the Greek colony of Tragurion prior to occupancy by the Romans, destruction by the Saracens in 1123, conquest and Venetian rule from 1420 to 1797, and Croatian linkage since; Trogir is a living archeological/historical site. We wandered the town, enchanted by the narrow stone-walled lanes, the cathedral, small plazas and squares, medieval houses used as art galleries, restaurants, residences, or left semi-derelict, the inner channel lined with fishing boats, and the mainland side with market stalls. One of the buildings used now as a town hall was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Henry treated us to a fine meal in a cloistered terrace at Alka, a restaurant mentioned in our Lonely Planet guide, before returning to Veleda for a quiet night’s sleep at anchor.

Next morning we motored down to anchor in Uvala Krknjas off Otok Drvenik Veli (43 26.4N, 016 10.7E) for lunch and a swim. This is a popular channel and bay between a couple of islands, with clear shallow water, and dozens of weekenders — powerboats, sailboats, jetskis — plus a couple of megayachts. However, we noted problems with our new Simrad Wheelpilot. A short string of yellow plastic threads was dangling out of the steering ring. It may have been part of the drive belt. Then we noted that the Standby switch was no longer working, and we could not engage the steering system. We hand steered back the 12 miles, motorsailing most of the way to anchor in Split by 1845.

Next day we called a Simrad dealer in Funtana, north of Pula on the Istrian peninsula, who indicated a willingness to look at it and repair if possible. So Judy, the Wheelpilot slung over her shoulder, left with Henry who had to return to Vienna, and was dropped off at Funtana. Again the geography proved deceptive, and she didn’t arrive there until after 2000. However the repair shop was in the gentleman’s home and he accepted it after hours, and Judy found a hotel room for the night. I enjoyed having Veleda to myself for a day, and got out a couple of logs on the laptop. The day after Judy returned we set off from Split to wend our way up the Dalmatian coast to rendezvous with our friends from Vancouver in Venice in two weeks time. We would be able to pick up our Simrad Wheelpilot en route. More about our delightful sail up these lovely Adriatic islands in my next logs.