42 50.1 N 17 41.8 E
Ston 12th – 14th June
Having had a pretty disastrous night in the river near Dubrovnik and with a forecast of strong even gale force winds we decided to head for a safe port and headed north out of the river towards the Elephite island of Sipan. We managed a bit of a sail although the wind was on the nose and increasing all the time. We had a look at the anchorage in the bay on the NW end of Sipan Spinaska Luka but this was not an option with the wind, the reported buoys were not visible and the quay where there were meant to be laid mooring lines was being renovated so that was no good either! We therefore pressed on to Ston where we found a delightful small quay providing us with excellent shelter from the 50 knot gusts being forecast! The passage up the canal is straight forward and we saw a least depth at the entrance of just less than 4 metres. Young harbour master took our fees and helped us to tie up – the charge is 10 k per metre but this time the figure is rounded up so we paid 130K per night. The ancient town walls wind up the hill above the quay and very close by are the salt pans which date from Roman times. There was even a fortified salt storage building and ruins of the fort and the town’s defensive walls were visible. We walked to Mali Ston about 30 minutes along the path beside the main road (the other option was to climb up the fortified wall but that was too energetic for us!) Mali Ston has a fortified village but there was nothing much to see inside the walls – mostly empty buildings. Around the bay here were mussel beds and a few expensive restaurants. We preferred Ston and on our return we had a late lunch at one of the numerous restaurants – the Oysters were delicious but the mussels we had to follow were disappointing (according to Sondro the harbour man it is too early in the season yet to eat them!)
On our second night we were joined by our newly met friends on Arthur’s Pride Doreen and David – they had been in another anchorage for the bad weather but came up the canal for the second night and alongside us. We had drinks on Arwen and exchanged useful information about anchorages and places to visit in Greece and Croatia. We left on Friday morning and headed for Mljet. We motor sailed with wind (from the NW and on the nose as usual) steadily increasing and then finally freeing to give us a bit of help to reach our destination of Polace which is on the NE side of Mljet and inside the designated National Park of that island.