Zadar and back

Sun 19 Jul 2015 06:44

After a breakfast of croissant and marmalade filled doughnuts we prepped Pamarzi and cast off from Zadar Marina. The exit every bit as tight a squeeze as our arrival but we successfully negotiated it. Our destination was but a short hop across the Zadarski Kanal to Olive Island Marina on the island of Uglijan but first we went to play sailing south , reaching in thirty plus knots of breeze and as the wind rose and veered slightly we were close hauled under staysail and reefed main. One of The southernmost islets of the Pasmanski Kanal hove into view in the early afternoon and we anchored in its lee for a swim and a spot of lunch. We headed north after lunch up the coast of Otok Pasman and on to Otok Uglijan and by 18.00 we were med moored in Olive Island Marina. Ships papers in hand I strolled over to the marina office which was as smart as I had heard a glass, limestone and dark wood building, cool and airy and surrounded by shady terraces on three sides and an open fronted restaurant overlooking the swimming pool on the fourth.. The restaurant was mentioned in the Gourmet Cruise guide so once berthing formalities were completed I booked a table for that evening. The prosciutto wrapped monkfish did not disappoint and before we had finished dessert the decision had been made to spend another night here.

Rob Liliane and Lynn spent the day around the pool. I assembled my bicycle and took to the road. Uglijan is a long narrow and quite mountainous island and I enjoyed a pretty good workout touring its almost empty roads. The main road winds along the spine of the island between hillsides clad with olive trees, stately cypress and many other trees and plants beyond my knowledge of Mediterranean flora. In places cicadas filled the air with their chirping leg rubbing whilst myriads of swallows swooped and dived.  On a number of occasions I left the main road to gratefully swoop down to hamlets and fishing villages on the sea front then wished I hadn’t when I had to climb back up to the main road. The villages were very small with little tourist development. Most had a small fishing fleet and some catered for visitors from the sea in smaller boats.

After a leisurely breakfast the following day we left Olive Island Marina in light airs and motored north to the channel of Protaz Zapuntel between the northern end of Otok Molat and the strangely named Otok Ist where we picked up a mooring buoy in Uvala Siroka. The mooring buoy keeper visited us shortly after asking for his 340 Kuna fee and upon enquiring he recommended Katy’s restaurant a couple of hundred metres up the bay. Katy herself greeted us that evening, a somewhat rotund woman who appeared to be attempting a queenly air. Her clothing of white jeans with multiple frayed slashes in them might have looked good on a lithe eighteen year old going to an Ibizan discotheque, on chubby, middle aged Katy they looked ridiculous. Whilst the food was good if not exceptional Katy’s air of ‘you are very lucky to be eating here’ was tiresome. The woman was far too much up her own pretty substantial bottom! Still full bellied we returned to Pamarzi and a peaceful night.

Onwards ever onwards, Otok Ilovik our next destination, we arrived around 16.00 in the narrow channel between Ilovik and Otok SV Petar, plenty of mooring buoys but a bit close to each other for a boat of our size and the waters are shallow, sometimes only one metre beneath our keel. We found one with vacant buoys either side and there was sufficient room, just, for us to swing between them. We took the tender and explored ashore on Ilovik before returning to eat aboard Pamarzi. The wind picked up after 23.00 and when we checked we found that we could no longer swing between the buoys! When next day I dived the buoy I found that they had a couple of metres of massive chain attached to the concrete blocks. This normally did not lift but with the strong winds and Pamarzi’s thirty odd tons it stretched out. There was nothing else for it we had to move. We cast off around 23.30 on a dark and windy night in shallow water with boats all over the place! Fortunately there was one spot right at the end of the ferry quay on Ilovik and with some yachtsmen taking our stern lines we managed to get ourselves in and snugged down. We knew we would have to be out of the way by 09.30 before the ferry arrived but our heads hit the pillow gratefully around midnight. Next morning we crossed the channel and found a suitable now vacated buoy to moor to and returned Ilovik to have a hearty bacon and egg breakfast followed by a hearty sugar and lemon pancake breakfast. We had seen some being served to another table and could not resist!

A short sail to Otok Losinj where we dropped the hook in Uvala Artaturi. Pleasant place with a small amount of development mostly holiday homes around the three lobed bay. A somewhat longer sail next day as we headed for the Istrian mainland and the town of Pula. Our destination was Marina Veruda just south of the city which I wanted to check out to see if it would be okay to leave Pamarzi there for a couple of weeks whilst we returned home. It was well sheltered and looked secure, not up to Olive Island standards but we arranged a twenty five day stay there from the 26th July.

It was time to start south again to deliver Rob and Liliane to Zadar from where they fly home to Belgium. We retraced our northward route and berthed in the vast D-Marin Dalmacija marina. This huge and very modern marina can berth over one thousand five hundred yachts. Fortunately Rob and Liliane’s taxi could drive right up to the end of pontoon 34 so they did not have to far to walk with their luggage the following morning. After waving them off we set to with boat jobs for tomorrow we start heading north again.