From Cres to Olive Island and Friends Arrival in Dalmacija

Fri 4 Sep 2015 15:08

We were sorry to be leaving Cres but our southing had to begin and it was in bright sunshine that we slipped our lines and headed seaward. Hoisting (well unfurling actually) full main and genoa we swept across the northern end of Cres but sadly it was not to continue for as we rounded Point Pernat the wind backed and eased and we resorted to motor sailing for the rest of the voyage to Mali Losinj (pronounced Losheen) where we arrived at around 16.00, our lines being taken by a chatty and jovial marinero who welcomed us to this once important (the 1700’s being the peak of its prosperity) ship building island. Otok Losinj is seventeen miles long but at its narrowest point only one hundred and eighty metres wide, our berth was close to this waist and but a only a fifteen minute walk to the pleasantly restored town and old waterfront. We spent the day exploring the old town agreeing that whilst charming it did not better Cres.

The following day was hot and sunny but with very little wind so we had no alternative but to motor to Otok Ilovik where for the third time we picked up a mooring buoy in the narrow and shallow passage between Ilovik and SV Petar. Four lazy days were spent enjoying the calm, clear water in glorious sunshine and being treated like royalty at the Dalmatinka restaurant by the ever attentive and cheerful Dee-ann.

This cruising life of ours is as much about goodbyes as it is hellos. Our last evening at Ilovik and Dee-ann presented us with a starter of fish pate, shrimps, octopus and anchovies and followed that with a large baked sea bass caught just a couple of hours before and as a final flourish two of his very special sorbets which we sipped through straws as a huge orange harvest moon rose above the hills of SV Petar. Final goodbyes to Dee- ann and the staff at Dalmatinka and under the light of the rising moon we glided back to Pamarzi on a black glass sea.

We slipped our lines next morning for the short sail to Uvala Luka on Otok Ist where again we picked up a mooring buoy and enjoyed a blissfully quite night aboard. The first of September and my new friend the keeper of the moorings here brought us fresh baked bread for breakfast and wished us well on our journey, goodbyes were said to another to another well found friend. After casting off we negotiated the shallows around the southern tip of Otok Ist and set reefed main and staysail as we beat up in a 30 knot south easterly and headed for Otok Uglian and the Olive Island Marina.

Olive Island marina is probably our favourite marina amongst all those we have berthed in over the last decade and a half of sailing. It is just so stylish, welcoming and comfortable. The excellent swimming pool, cocktail terrace, airy reception with polite and courteous staff, award winning restaurant, private beach but I’m sure you get the picture. If not I recommend that you Google it and have a look at their web site. We spent two nights here and as well as enjoying all its facilities cleaned and prepped the boat for the arrival of Rob and Lilian on the 3rd September.

We had arranged to meet them in Dalmacija Marina on the mainland about ten miles south of Zadar. We had a glorious, gentle downwind sail from Olive Island not using the engine at all. I had booked a berth in Dalmacija and on our arrival were directed to pontoon eighteen where we med moor in a bit of a cross wind. A couple of non-sailing readers have asked what this med mooring is all about and how do Lynn and I moor this nigh on sixty foot boat. So bear with me sailors whilst I explain to those who do not share our nautical exploits. To med moor means that the boat is brought to the dock usually stern first so that she lies at ninety degrees to the pontoon or harbour wall. The space to turn the boat is often very tight and having a bow thruster at the front of the boat helps to turn the craft and to steer it in reverse as well as correcting the movement of the bow caused by cross winds. Before attempting the manoeuvre Lynn and I will have tied on six fenders to each side of the boat, tied on mooring ropes to the stern cleats and coiled them ready for throwing and put the boat hook in a handy position. The secret is to keep the speed slow and once the boat has turned and is moving back at right angles to the dock to keep her straight and under control. As we close on the dock Lynn throws one of the stern lines to a waiting marinero who passes it around a bollard and returns it to Lynn who cleats it off. This is then repeated on the other side of the boat whilst I make any corrections necessary to keep the boat at the right distance from the dock and at ninety degrees. Lynn then takes over this task whilst I pick up the boat hook and hook up the first of the laid lines from the marinero. These lines are attached to a lump of concrete several metres out from the dockside. I walk the line the full length of the boat and haul it tight around the forward cleat and secure, repeating the operation on the other side of the boat. She is now secured in position the correct distance from the dock and the engine can be shut down.

Ships papers are handed to the marinero and essential information; internet codes, best restaurant in town etc. are obtained before we start to reposition and secure the tender on the davits, hoist and secure the passerelle, connect shore power cables, connect water, switch over to mains supply, put on instrument covers, connect the ships router to the internet, wash down side decks and fenders and last but not least pour a beer. Well you did ask.