Maltese Falcon's winter berth in Grand Harbour Marina for the month of August. Inward clearance was painless and organized by the Marina staff.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
We had a nice five day second stay in Rogoznica with walks around the island, around the bay to the marina to view the mega-yachts, past dragons eye lake up to the to the top of a hill overlooking the town and marina, across the isthmus to a beach, and to the produce and fish markets near the Konzum (safe shopping) supermarket. Uvala Saline offered all around protection and we even tried the anchorage at the head of the bay that would be good in a NE blow (55 ft, 43d31.81'N, 15d58.32'E).
We decided it was time to begin extracting ourselves from Croatia so on Monday we headed for the island of Vis some 30 miles south. Vis is a summer clearance port and we could clear out for Malta from there. Sailing there we pulled out our 180% 'Code Zero' headsail which had not seen the light of day for over a year. On arrival at Otok Vis we anchored at 1700 in Uvala Stonka, Viska Luka. We avoided Komiza on the west side because they reportedly charged for anchoring. However, at 1920 we were hit up for a 200 KN ($US 40) anchoring fee. Sticking with our anchoring fee boycott we promptly refused, hoisted anchor and moved around a point to a marginal anchorage out of sight from the port concession boat (100 - 130 ft, 43d04.20'N, 16d11.82'E) just clear of a no anchoring sign marking an underwater cable. This has been the second time we have been asked to pay to anchor the first being the Otok Murter. As on Murter we did not go ashore at Vis and left the next morning for Otok Lastovo. It may be a bit silly but we believe in supporting only the businesses in anchorages that do not charge. We might feel different about this matter if the $20 or $40 or more dollars a night (depending on the size of your vessel) were going toward the local government for public works, but the fees are collected by government licensed private concessions that offer no added value and are just capitalizing on the shape of the coastline.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
We spent three nights on Dugi Otok in the Telascica Nature Park anchored at the head of Luka Telescica in Uvala Pasjak (30 ft, 43d55.19'N, 15d07.95'E). Motoring thru the desolate Kornati Islands we were glad we opted for the less expensive (for us) Telascica Park. Our tickets were actually good for day anchoring in Kornati National Park and included rubbish pickup. The Rangers came by every afternoon to collect and the produce boat came morning and afternoon. We took two hikes, one half way to the town of Sali on the east coast and the other to a lookout station/cell tower on the west coast. We could only manage this in the mornings due to the heat and have taken to sleeping in the afternoons or running the air conditioning while charging systems. We have been playing guitar in the late afternoons for about three hours until it gets dark at 2130.
Today we waited until 1100 to catch a light afternoon breeze most of the way back to Rogoznica on the mainland and anchored on the east side of the causeway again (55 ft, 43d31.81'N, 15d58.32'E). This time instead of 2 sailing yachts and 2 motor yachts we had 24 & 8. Tourist season has arrived and August must be a zoo around here. We also passed dozens of charter yachts on our sail down the coast today. The west coasts of the Kornatis were very scenic with dramatic uplifted cliffs.
We may stay here at Rogoznica a couple of days again especially if meet up with some friends.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Somehow running the river back down thru the bridges and power lines was not as exciting as going up - probably because we knew all the clearances were OK. A few miles up the coast we anchored off the town and marina at Tribunj (26 ft, 43d45.07'N, 15d44.63'E). The old city walls now gone Tribunj is a charming seaside fishing village that recently received a face lift with an upscale marina, encircling quay and pleasant walking trail up the nearby hill to the Chapel of St. Nik affording a great view of Interlude at anchor. There was another Konzum (we call it safe shopping) supermarket that was well stocked and we picked up some white Croatian wine (Laguna) at $6.00 US a bottle that was the best we have tasted since New Zealand. At the marina office we inquired about the fees to visit the islands in Kornati National Park and Telascica Park on Dugi Otok. The National Park officials in Krka were unable to answer this simple question (not my park man). Evidently tickets can be purchased at some marinas in advance at a discount or in the Park on arrival. For those following in our wake here are the per day fees:
LOA Advance Purchase On Site
up to 11 m 150 KN 250 KN
11 - 18 m 250 KN 400 KN
over 18 m 450 KN 750 KN
60 KN per person (no charge for boat)
For Interlude the discount Kornati fee translates to about $US 90 per day so we have decided to give those islands a miss. Their claim to fame is very clear water which we have seen plenty of in our travels. They are also completely barren as the landscape increasingly is as we head north.
While at the marina office we inquired about berth rates for Interlude. Our 23.5 m daily rate for this time of year would be $US 255 and a yearly contract would be about $US 21,000. These are by far the highest rates we have seen.
Making our way to visit the less expensive park at Luka Telascica, we anchored at Uvala Potkucina, Otok Kakan. This bay had dozens of moorings and one taverna. The cruising guide said there is no fee for anchoring but at 1600 we were approached by a uniformed man wielding a receipt book in a very nice inflatable and asked to pay about $US 50 per night. Refusing to pay, we were given five minutes to leave and had a nice sail to anchor with no fee at Uvala Kosirina on Otok Murter (40 ft, 43d47.69'N, 15d36.60'E). The island of Murter is connected to the mainland by a bridge allowing dozens of campers access to the beach and bay at Kosirina. Trailers and tents line the shore and there are also a dozen yachts anchored here. The water here is clear and just warm enough for swimming.
We will be boycotting the Kornati National Park and bays that charge for anchoring. After paying nearly $US 700 to enter and cruise Croatia for 90 days we feel all areas should be included. If they are trying to limit environmental impact in the Parks (a resource which should benefit the nation) with high fees then Croats should get a discount but this is not the case. By avoiding those areas we all will hopefully have an impact on the additional fee policy.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Skraden is a small old town repaired after the 1990's homeland war to service tourists visiting the Park. The modern metal and glass Park office building though nicely done seemed an extravagant expense for what appears to house administrative offices and a ticket counter. We walked the docks in the marina finding yachts following our route since Greece including 'Big City' a mega motor palace with its tender 'Small Town'. Drinks at a bar overlooking the marina and dinner at the Skradinski Buc Hotel (set menu KN 80) finished off this fun day.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Friday we inspected and cleaned Interlude's bottom using some new plastic trowels purchased at the local hardware store. We rented some tanks from Diving Center Pongo just around the point from where we are anchored and kept them in the dinghy for connecting our hooka hoses. Our compressor needs a new safety valve and although there is a good shop in Split at the ACI marina we are are trying to wait until August in Malta to do any repairs when Interlude will be in a marina. We considered doing some dives with Pongo (they will pick up from our yacht) but the water is cold (7mm w/hood) and the touted small fish, gorgonian sea fans and wrecked freighters just did not excite us that much.
Tomorrow is Independence Day and Katie has a patriotic program planned.