Log #22d To Zlarin

September 4, 2001 in Log Series 20 - 29, Logs by Series, Series 22 Croatia, The Logs

Log #22d To Zlarin

Sept. 4, 2001
Sibenik, Croatia
Covers the period Aug. 8 to 12, 2001

Before leaving Split on Aug. 8, we went alongside the outer wall of the ACI Marina and took on water. The local research boat alongside helped us, and fortunately no ACI staff came along. Then we were off at 1100 on a short 15 mile sail (motoring) to spend a quiet night at anchor in Stari Trogir (43 28.8N, 016 02.3E) with good holding and good shelter from most directions. There we also saw our first glimpse of the terracing and rock walls common to many seemingly uninhabited islands along the coast. However, we were learning fast that to avoid the NW afternoon winds we had to leave early and motor in the morning calms to make as much distance as possible before the winds came up.

Leaving next day at 0650 we motored through light force 1 breezes through several islands to Otok Zlarin, noting several good looking anchorages (43 40.86N, 015 52.19E) on its southeastern coast line as we made our way to the north of the island to the only town called, surprise surprise, Zlarin. Just before rounding the north east headland we were passed by another boat waving a Canadian flag at us. We called them on VHF to find out they were Canadians of Croatian origin on the sailing vessel Marano registered in Ottawa.

By 1125 we were bows to on the town docks of Zlarin (43 41.9N, 015 50.1E). Shortly after our arrival we were met by Bob Maclein, a Canadian of Croatian origin whom we met in Split, and who told us of and invited us to Zlarin. We met also a few other Canadians and English speaking Croatians who live in Canada but return to Zlarin for the summers. It was a most enjoyable visit with these people on board, at their home and at a Sardine Festival held there that weekend. Zlarin is a pleasant small community with no cars allowed on the island. The mooring cost only 120 kuna per night, including water and electricity.

We made friends with a couple of other boats in Zlarin. One was an Italian boat next to us skippered by Captain Livio Bisiani on Amicamia out of Trieste. He had two couples with him, the ladies providing a pleasant topless scene, not uncommon in these waters. When he found out we were going to Trieste before heading to Venice, he invited us to stay at Yacht Club Adriaco, his home club. We had an enjoyable time visiting with him and he was quite interested in Veleda and our voyage, one he would like to embark upon some day. Marjan and Mila Mihelin onboard a Slovenian boat that I assisted to dock, came over and were quite interested in our odyssey. We exchanged phone numbers and E-mails to keep in touch. Nice people.

However, the night after the sardine festival we were hit with a BORA, a very strong northwest wind, as we had a week or so before we arrived in Split. We were on a lee pier and bouncing badly. So we decided to head off to a more sheltered bay across the channel. However, upon slipping our lines and in spite of all the precautions, we caught a mooring line in our prop as we were backing off. The mooring line was stretched from our port quarter across our stern to the boat on our starboard, and we could not avoid it. There we were in 30 plus knot winds, one metre swells bouncing us between two other boats, with no line ashore, and two neighbours and myself in the water with masks and snorkels trying to unwrap a two inch line from the prop. Lots of fun!

We finally got it cleared, and holding the line to our neighbour’s boat we edged out, past the crossed mooring line and into a force 8 gusting to 9 wind. It was getting worse. We motored into the wind across the three miles of channel to a large south facing bay, well sheltered from the BORA, Luka Tijatcica on Otok Tijat. The pilot says it has acceptable holding, but don’t believe it! We attempted to set the anchor five times in the upper sheltered area of the bay, only to have it drag on us. Finally I nosed in to the small upper cove, dropped a stern anchor, which seemed to hold marginally, and took two bow lines 50 metres ashore and tied them to rocks about 20 metres apart. Finally we were there. From the time we flashed the engine up at 1015, freed ourselves of the fouled line on departure, motored the 3 miles across to this bay and finally were secure enough to shut the engine off, it was after 1300! So it took over three hours just to depart Zlarin, motor across three miles of channel and finally get our anchor and lines to hold, an operation that should have taken only about an hour!

The holding was a thin layer of mud over rock. All the other 10 vessels had lines ashore, except for one power boat with bow and stern anchors out. We were helped by a Brit boat who also dragged and relocated just before we came in. They said that most of the boats dragged during the night or morning, including a big 70 footer megayacht. The bay was sheltered from waves, but the wind howled though the surrounding hills from different angles, causing the boats to veer back and forth on their anchors. Once stabilized, we were OK, but kept a constant lookout in case we dragged into another boat.

Incidentally, the Brit boat that helped us was Mistress Minta, Peter and Valerie Robinson, who are also members of the Cruising Association. We had a good visit with them, and Judy was able to exchange some books, a task she does every time we see a Brit, Aussie, Kiwi, US, Canadian or any other boat on which the crew speak English. She gets desperate for reading material. Thanks Peter and Valerie.

We stayed there for two days, waiting out the BORA.  Once we were secure, with our lines fast to rocks, it was a pleasant anchorage with no signs of current habitation ashore. The second day, as the weather had settled down, there were at least ten large tour boats that came over for the day from Sibenick or the other offlying islands, as well as several smaller boats with day trippers. At one time I counted over 40 boats in the bay, again, most of them with lines ashore. Under settled conditions it is a pleasant anchorage, but the holding is not good.