SailingEurope Blog http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog Sailing, Yacht Charter and Beyond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:27:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 The Most Popular Caves in the Adriatic http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/the-most-popular-caves-in-the-adriatic http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/the-most-popular-caves-in-the-adriatic#respond Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:27:15 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=6803 Read all about Croatia's most visited and stunning caves along the Adriatic coast, each beautiful and special in its own right, as well as with an interesting historical background.

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1) Blue Cave (Modra špilja), Biševo

The Blue Cave is one of the most popular caves in Croatia, located in a small cove of Balun on Biševo, a little island in Central Dalmatia. This beautiful cove is specific due to its two holes: the first one is smaller and artificially deepened, so canoes can pass through it, but it has no influence on the illumination inside. The second one, located on the southern side below the sea, is like a vault and much wider, which allows the sunlight to pass through it. Around noon, if the sea is calm, the sunlight penetrates through that underwater hole, and reflects the water coming from the white bottom of the cave. Thus, the whole cave is illuminated with blue light, while the underwater objects appear to have silvery shine. Because of this unique natural phenomenon, combined with the breathtaking visuals, the Blue Cave has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Adriatic.

Interesting fact: The entrance to the Blue Cave was accessible only to divers until 1884, when baron Ransonet’s proposal was accepted, in which he advocated for building a man-made entrance that would be large enough for boats.

blue cave

Blue Cave, Biševo

2) Green Cave (Zelena špilja), Rukavac

On the southern side of the island of Vis, there is an uninhabited islet called Ravnik. On the south-western side of Ravnik, you will find the famous Green Cave. The sunrays pass through the crack on the cave’s ceiling, and shoot green colored reflections back and forth inside the cave. The cave got its name due to the emerald green reflection, resulting from an abundance of green algae on the bottom of the rocks, situated at the entrance of the cave. The Green Cave is a wonderful natural phenomenon, especially interesting to divers. Swimming is allowed in this cave, which we full heartily recommend.

Interesting fact: During the World War II, a small warship found its shelter in this cave.

3) Odysseus Cave (Odisejeva špilja), Mljet

The Odysseus Cave or Pit is a geomorphological phenomenon, located on the southern side of the island Mljet, in Babino Polje. It is an egg-shaped cave, whose ceiling had broken off, leaving it looking like a pit or a wide well. The Odysseus Cave is used today as a shelter for fishing boats and fishing tools, and it is the most unusual harbor in the Adriatic. During summer months, around noon, when the sun beams strike the cave area, the sea creates a spectrum of colors, fascinating to tourists and nature lovers. In front of the cave, there is a cliff called Ogiran. During the high tides and strong southern winds, the cliff is completely covered by the sea, and thus, represents a huge danger for sailors. According to the legend, Odysseus was shipwrecked on the rocks, but he managed to swim to the cave, where he took shelter. The island was ruled by the beautiful nymph Calypso. Odysseus was charmed by her and the beauty of Mljet Island, where he ended up being “trapped” for seven years before gods released him.

Interesting fact: The Odysseus cave was once a natural habitat of the Mediterranean monk seal, one of the world’s most endangered marine mammals.

odysseus cave

Odysseus Cave, Mljet

4) Grapčeva Cave (Grapčeva špilja), Hvar

Grapčeva Cave is located on the southern side of the island of Hvar, near the village of Humac and it represents the cradle of Hvar’s civilization and culture. This cave is the most important prehistoric finding of the New Stone Age (the Neolithic), and is one of the oldest discoveries in the Mediterranean. The cave consists of a small and a big hall, surrounded by hallways and smaller premises. Stalactites and stalagmites, which dominate the cave, make a magnificent and unforgettable sight, especially when illuminated by candles. The cave is accessible to tourists and the visit is organised by the “Humac” Association that takes care of the cave.

Interesting fact: In 1964, Grapčeva Cave was declared a protected natural monument.

grabceva spilja

Grapčeva Cave, Hvar (source: TZ Jelsa)

5) Biserujka Cave (Špilja Biserujka), Krk

Biserujka Cave has become one of the most visited caves in Croatia in the last ten years. It is located 300 meters north-west from the village Rudine, in the municipality of Dobrinj, on the island of Krk. The cave is accessible to tourists, and what makes it so special is the richness of its decorations: the sumptuous stalactites, stalagmites and calcite columns. Besides the magnificent interior, the visitors are also intrigued by its interesting story, according to which pirate treasure is hidden somewhere in the cave. Biserujka Cave is located above Slivanjska bay, and they are both connected with an educational trail, so this way visitors can find out many interesting details about this landscape through five info panels.

Interesting fact: There are six stenoendemic species living in Biserujka cave (the narrow endemics of the Kvarner area).

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Stopper on a Sailing Yacht http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/stopper-sailing-yacht-2 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/stopper-sailing-yacht-2#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 11:22:12 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=6768 Stopper - in this case, it's not a member of the opposing team in soccer, it's a part of your sailboat, and pretty important at that.

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At the mention of the word “stopper”, one would think of a mean figure running towards you in order to stop your advance with a ball, but in sailing terminology, it has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the dark bars on the deck through which certain ropes are pulled. The sailor in charge of the stoppers is usually called the pitman, also known as the “keyboard player”.

stopper

The role of a stopper is to literally act as a stopping device. So, it is not a player of the opposite team, but the device which stops the rope on a sailing yacht from being pulled uncontrollably. The right timing of releasing and opening stoppers is crucial for gaining precious seconds when turning the mark during a sailing race. We can also gain extra seconds if we keep in mind that it is not necessary to open them every time we want to use a specific rope. They have to be opened only when we want to release or loosen a certain rope. Therefore, there is no need to open a stopper when trimming a corresponding rope.

stopper

The most common mistake with a stopper occurs when the “keyboard player” does not open or close it completely. Sometimes, the whole sail can collapse when the “keyboard player” is in a hurry and forgets to close it completely. The opposite situation, when the stopper is not opened completely, can result in a torrent of curses and yelling from fellow trimmers or the skipper if the sail or some other part of the gear is not loosened or released on time. So, keep in mind, when handling the stoppers, you must always do it ‘till completion and for a good reason. Saving time means saving energy, which is very important on any sailing trip.

I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!

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Roll Sail or Full Batten Sail – That Is the Question http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/roll-sail-or-full-batten-sail-that-is-the-question-2 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/roll-sail-or-full-batten-sail-that-is-the-question-2#respond Fri, 18 Aug 2017 13:11:54 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=6753 “To be or not to be: that is the question…” was Hamlet’s famous dilemma many centuries ago; in the world of sailing, ours would read: “Roll sail or full batten: that is the question…”...

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“To be or not to be: that is the question…” was Hamlet’s famous dilemma many centuries ago; in the world of sailing, ours would read: “Roll sail or full batten: that is the question…”

One of the most frequently asked questions when choosing a sailing yacht at the charter company is whether to choose a boat with a roll mainsail or one with a full batten mainsail. Like most questions, this one has no simple answer. The roll mainsail is designed for charter yachts in order to be more practical when setting (pulling out) and reefing, which reduces the number of crew members and helps in case of unexpected wind shifts.

On the other hand, the roll mainsail can never achieve the perfect profile and offers performances of lesser quality in terms of maximum speed, as opposed to the full batten mainsail. A more active and sport-oriented sailor will always opt for the full batten mainsail due to its performances – optimal profile and higher speed of the sailing boat. However, the full batten mainsail users have to take care of the lazy jacks and difficulties with folding them while sailing, as well as opening them after a strip or a race.

Sails

According to the profiles that both sails can achieve, the full batten mainsail usually suffers stronger tensions and, therefore, has to be reinforced by battens inside the sail. Due to their construction, full batten sails seem to be more fragile than roll mainsails, which has to be taken into consideration by both the charterer and the customer. The full batten mainsail certainly requires more care and maintenance than the roll mainsail, but what is important here is to consider which one makes for a more fun experience.

In conclusion, the decision before you is to choose between speed and performance or practicality and fun, and see for yourself what takes priority on your sailing list.

I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!

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Sailing Distant Croatian Islands http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/sailing-distant-croatian-islands http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/sailing-distant-croatian-islands#comments Fri, 05 May 2017 15:34:59 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=5683 Sailed many waters, saw many waters and colours, admired the beauty, respected sometimes dangerous power of the sea, lived by many winds, and still looking for more surprises nature can offer? Sailing along distant...

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Sailed many waters, saw many waters and colours, admired the beauty, respected sometimes dangerous power of the sea, lived by many winds, and still looking for more surprises nature can offer?

Sailing along distant Croatian islands will surely give a brand new dimension and the feel to whatever you might have experienced by now.
A nautical paradise, crystal clear and indigo blue waters, a world yet to be discovered, a mystery and the beauty to be seen and felt are waiting for you at the southern part of the Adriatic Sea.

Among so many of them of the country known as the “country of thousand islands”, seven pearls, proudly standing above the water, are waiting for you, waving to come closer and hear the whisper of the past times, discover the beauty, sometimes wild and merciless nature, sometimes a good example of the nature and human hand cooperation.

List of distant Croatian islands:

1. Sušac Island

You may wish to start with Sušac, (42° 45,0′ N / 016° 29,7′ E), an island located about 20 miles away from Vela Luka on Korčula island, about the same distance from the islands of Vis and Lastovo. Sailing to its southern side is safe for anchorage and protected from the strong northern winds. Decide yourself which way to go around the island, mistakes cannot be made even though the island leaves an optical impression of two islands.

You are on one…Sušac, the dry one! That’s what the name means, the dry island. Umbrellas you won’t need, only 14 litre of rain per year falls on its surface. There was life here in the past for sure, so say the remains of the two Churches from the 4th century.

Sušac

Destination of the fishermen, tourist in the summer, once an important strategic point for the AU monarchy, with the lighthouse from 19th century witnessing the power of the empire, today a place with untouched nature, no cars, apartments and noise, a place where mice are not scared of people, a few goats and sheep are taking care of themselves alone, a place where only three male souls live, with a lighthouse keeper whom you will make happy by bringing the newspaper and probably be rewarded with a piece of good and tasty lamb.

Bring some fresh bread too, and then you might as well hear an amazing legend of two unhappy lovers after whom the islands carry the sad reputation as the island of lost love…

Sušac

Diving lovers, those fit and trained for deeper waters can get into the island’s amazing water underworld and almost hidden habitat of the precious red corals…no matter how much you will maybe wish to see them around the neck of your loved one, leave them where they are. They are a nature wonder and the most beautiful around the neck of the underwater rocks.

2. Brusnik & Svetac

Take photos, memorise corals and sail to the west, to the island of Brusnik and Svetac. 43°00′ N i 15°48′ E. Carrying the official name, St.Andrew, simply called the Saint, that’s what the name of Svetac means.

Getting close, look at them, one to the left, and one to the right and just try to use the imaginary timeline trying to decide how long are they standing there, guarding each other. Do not panic with your compasses going wild – these islands rose above the water after an eruption, probably millenniums ago, with the main constitution of volcanic rocks, and where the iron ore is demonstrating its power.

The surface is covered with bowl shaped rocks and pebbles. Admire them, take a picture, but do not pick them up as souvenirs, the island is protected as the Nature Park since 1951. Before that year, some stones were collected and used for the production of the sharpeners – Brusnik, equaling sharpener, there you go, and the eruptive volcanic rocks are telling you about the origin of the name of the island.

Brusnik and Svetac

With your own eyes, you will be able to witness the amazing cooperation of nature and a human hand. Besides that, the island is filled with a natural phenomenon of small pools, holes in rocks filled with the sea water, used by fishermen to keep alive every fisherman’s dream, his majesty, the lobster.

During the WWII, used as the training spot for long-range cannons of the British army, Brusnik today is uninhabited, except for birds only, and the only resident – endemic sort of a black –turquoise lizard. When facing a close encounter, don’t be scared of them, harmless as they are, they will probably just very lazy look at you wondering what are you doing at their house at all…some random visitors come during the summers months, guarded by the winds in the winter.
brusnik and svetac

Brusnik and Svetac

The neighboring Saint, sharing almost the same destiny will welcome you with a few souls over there, the Zanki family living on the island for generations, living a simple life with fishing and grooving grapes, yet, happy, relaxed and determined to convince you that such a way of living that they do is the true meaning of life on the water.

3. Lastovo

Wishing to see and feel the wild, unpredictable nature, still with a several souls who would tell how and why the time stands still on the island…then the island of Lastovo (42°44′N 16°50′E) is your next sailing destination. Only 14 km away from Korčula Island, one of the 44 islands of the archipelago, Lastovo is a peaceful pearl of the Adriatic sea.

Lastovo

Sharing its history with the island of Vis, opened for foreigners only after 1992 when the Yugoslavian army finally left, easy to reach, with the length of only 10 km and width of 8.5 km, the paradise of stunning beauty from both the water side and its green side. Green, due to the fact Lastovo is the second runner-up among Croatian islands with the preserved forests, covering almost 70% of the islands’ surface, in 2007 proclaimed a Nature Park.

No concrete, apartments, noise, just endless wine yards, olive groves, fish, the largest habitat of the carob in the whole country, endemic flora and fauna, Mediterranean scent in the air, water and your food will serve you an extraordinary experience.

Lastovo

If when sailing in trough the area you managed to learn some Croatian words, on Lastovo quit further learning. When they speak, it is hard to understand them…the locals on the island are still using a unique dialect, used on the island only and understandable among them only. Exactly 792 souls are living in five small settlements across the island, and all of them will delight you with their free spirit, modesty and their so much positive isolation from the rest of the world.

4. Biševo

The island of Biševo, 42°58′N 16°0′E, a small jewel of the Adriatic of only 6 square km surface, located only about 5 NM southwest from Komiža on the island of Vis, was profiled as a favorite sailing destination soon after the amazing Modra špilja (the Blue Cave), today a natural trademark of the island was discovered and opened for visitors.

Blue Cave, Biševo

With its history going way back to prehistorically times, medieval times when people did live there and cherished the mother nature giving them excellent wines and olives, possibility to get high quality fish for a meal, hard times after the WWII when about 700 people lived on the island, today, only about 10 souls are still there keeping their little piece of paradise trying to protect it from a rough tourism industry.

Silent witnesses of better times are standing in remains of a church of St. Silvester from 11th century, and even a school closed in 1961. Back then, you could hear the laughter of the children over the island, yes. Not the case today anymore.

The modern life has forced majority of the inhabitants to move to nearby Komiža, however, Biševo, with its vineyards and olive groves remain in the hearts of the people, having them to return to the island, if not more frequently, then to take care of the wine and olives, and spend several peaceful summer months over there.

Sailing to Biševo will reveal for you the unimaginable beauty of the sea, little bays and charming pebble beaches, two of them considered as the most beautiful ones on the Adriatic.

Porat, Biševo

The famous Blue cave is a must to see when reaching the island. Once home to the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus ), a cheerful and very rare species of seal, almost entirely exterminated by fishermen for damages they cased to the nets, the discovery of the blue cave also had a humanitarian purpose since the monks found their new and safe home there.

Monk seal cave, Biševo

Sail to nearby Mezoporat bay for anchoring, since it is the best and the easiest way to reach the cave, where the tenders will bring you to the entrance. Recommended and the best time to visit the cave is daily between 9 am to 1 pm, for a spectacular light show of the sun beams and turquoise water working together.

For those wishing to take a hike around the island, Mezoporat bay is also the best recommendation. Enjoy the path and a glass of famous Biševski Plavac, red wine produced by Zaberlin family and available for tastings, just to finish your day with this elixir of Gods.

5. Palagruža

When planning a journey to Palagruža (42°23′28″N 16°15′47″E), the remotest Croatian territory, keep in mind that the closest Croatian land is the island of Sušac, 23 NM away. The island of Lastovo and the town of Komiža (Vis Island) are 32 NM and 40 NM away, and Split, on the Adriatic coast, 68 NM away.

Palagruža

Sailing this far away will require advanced skills, a bit of courage and a love for nature wonders. The crystal Adriatic will then surely reward you with the amazing view of Palagruža archipelago, looking just like the necklace of precious pearls, just here lined on the water.

This line of about ten smaller islands, or better cliffs standing out in the middle of the Adriatic, allows you to have a clear view of the both coasts, Croatian and Italian.
The biggest, the proud King standing among them is the island of Palagruža Vela (Great Palagruža), also known as the “the Island of Diomedes”, an ancient Greek hero from the Trojan War. Archaeological artefacts found on the island show that there was a temple dedicated to Diomedes dating back to the 5th century BC, while historical data confirms the presence of life on the island from prehistorically times. During the Middle Ages, the island was a home to priests, with traces of a medieval monastery still standing on the island.

Palagruža

The largest lighthouse on the Adriatic Sea found its home on the island, built on a 92 meters rock, today turned into an apartment reserved for those searching for a truly peaceful vacation in the company of endemic birds and plants, and occasionally a lighthouse keeper himself.

Prior to the arrival, establish the communication via channel 16, where you will get detailed instructions on safe anchoring. However, the overnight stay is not recommended due to unstable weather conditions and rocky sea floor on Palagruža’s northern and southern beaches. Just as note, one of the pearls of this “water necklace”, called Galijula and a part of this archipelago is officially the most southern point of the territory of Croatia, fighting the strongest winds ever recorded and waves up to 9 meters.

Palagruža

If still staying overnight, simply stretch a friendly hand to the nature demonstrating its power here. Uninhabited, quiet place, visited by brave and experienced fishermen only, especially those searching for lobsters. If you are an early bird willing to be on your feet way before the dawn, you might just get lucky and have a personalised tutorial on dragging the nets out of the water, filled with the richness of the sea.

Reaching Palagruža during summer months requires even more courage and sailing skills, but the journey can be extremely pleasant if you plan a detailed route and pay attention to the weather forecast.

6. Jabuka

Back to the open sea, with more desire to explore and discover, there is one more. Scary. And frightening. One word, Jabuka (N43°05΄30.8˝ / E15°27΄35.6˝), 26 nautical miles away from the island of Vis.

Jabuka

The Apple translated. Just like the poisonous fruit from the fairytale of Snow-white, an island of a stunning beauty from the outside, dangerous, dangerous when you try to even stretch your hand towards it.

Jabuka is a 97 meters high cliff, surrounded with even deeper, 260 m deep waters, whose depth still reveals an amazing dark blue colour, so rarely visited, extremely rich in fish, created by powerful and merciless nature, for some considered the smallest, yet the strongest island of the world. Just like the little volcanic pearl, nearby Brusnik, Jabuka’s constitution is also in the great majority of erupted lava turned into rocks; back in 1958 protected as the Nature Park and proclaimed an IPA area.

Even though far away from the navigation routes, the island once served as the orientation point due to its amazing and high pyramidal shape.

Standing so lonely in the middle of the open sea, impossible to anchor and set a foot on it, except for a tiny southwestern point, possible to reach only in very peaceful times with no wind, which is rarely the case on Jabuka.

Except for endemic birds, lonely inhabitants in shape of seagulls and falcons, the brave ones able to fly and reach it, one strong and long living old lady in a shape of the endemic olive tree, fighting the strong winds around the island, nobody else will manage to do so. And that’s the way it should be.

Still, do sail, and at the point when your compass starts going wild, it is a sign to stop and admire this amazing beauty of nature – from distance.

If what you are reading is appealing, charter a yacht in Croatia and discover the beauty of these pearls for yourself. Plan your trip carefully, check the weather forecast from minute to minute, and once you conquer them all, the return to your charter base will surely grant you bravery recognition and respect!

Wishing you fine and friendly winds and a calm sea!

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Lighthouses in Croatia http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/lighthouses-in-croatia http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/lighthouses-in-croatia#respond Tue, 18 Apr 2017 14:38:19 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=5435 Peace, silence, nature and the sea – if these are the things you are looking for in a good vacation, then you should start exploring Croatian coast and its lighthouses. Apart from having an...

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Peace, silence, nature and the sea – if these are the things you are looking for in a good vacation, then you should start exploring Croatian coast and its lighthouses. Apart from having an important role in maritime activities, they also serve as a monument to the rich history of this beautiful country. Many of them are available for rent, but you can always visit them with your charter yacht and take a walk or a swim in the crystal clear sea. The lighthouses of Croatia are operated and maintained by Plovput, a state-owned company. Plovput lists 46 separate lighthouses, although there are numerous additional towers, lights, and beacons. Here is a list of our favorites.

Palagruža

Palagruza Lighthouse
The most remote lighthouse in Croatia is located on the island of Palagruža, right between Croatia and Italy. The island is famous for its position, history and exceptional Mediterranean beauty. The lighthouse was built in 1875, at the altitude of 90m above sea level. Palagruža is surrounded by dangerous waters, so landing can be difficult. When approaching Palagruža, it is recommended to announce your approach to the lighthouse keeper. Overnight stay is not recommended due to unstable weather conditions and rocky sea floor.
It is uninhabited, except by lighthouse keepers and by summer tourists who occupy two apartments available for renting. The island is a part of a small archipelago consisting of another smaller island and a number of rocks and reefs. Visitors can choose between amazing two beaches, walking tracks and many endemic species of plants.
The legend says that in 1177, Pope Alexander III and his fleet landed there just because the Pope was so mesmerized by the beauty of the archipelago.

Pločica – Prigradica

Prigradica Lighthouse

The islet of Pločica is located around 7 km from Prigradica, on the island of Korčula. The lighthouse was built in 1887 and it is still in a good shape, even though there are no permanent keepers today. However, there is Mr. Petković Ante, who supports and takes care of the lighthouse, organizes the transport and supply of food.
The island is surrounded by a rocky bottom and torn rocks on the southern side and shallow sea with the sand lagoon on the northern side. There is also a boat hoist on the northern side of the island.
The waters around the island are the most attractive in the Adriatic for the variety of fish and underwater landscapes. During the night, it is possible to see the gleam of the lighthouses from the neighboring islands, if you face the northeast.

Prišnjak – Murter

Prisnjak Murter
While sailing into the Murter Archipelago from either the south or the west, you will not miss the islet of Prišnjak with a little romantic lighthouse on it. The lighthouse was built in 1886, and today has one apartment studio available for rent. Prišnjak is a popular place for sailors and tourists. It is only 300 m away from the coast of Murter and surrounded with shallow waters, optimal for swimming almost throughout the whole year. There are several beaches on the islet, one with a concrete entrance to the sea.
Prišnjak is a great place for sports fishing and it’s worth a visit just for the amazing sunset coming from the National park Kornati which is only 6 NM away.

Tajer – Sali

Tajer Sali
If you are sailing in the beauty of Kornati, you would be crazy to miss out the Tajer lighthouse located on its northeast corner. The lighthouse was built in 1876 and it is connected to the main building by a covered bridge. The island is easily accessible by a spacious seafront with the stairs rising from the sea. Tajer lighthouse has 2 apartment-studios with all the bedrooms facing the tower. The iron tower itself was bought in France and it took months to assemble the parts. It is the only iron lighthouse tower in Croatia.

Veli rat – Dugi Otok

Veli Rat Dugi Otok
Veli Rat lighthouse is located on the island of Dugi Otok, just 3 km from the same-name village. The lighthouse was built in 1849, the tower is 40 m high with a light range of 22 NM and the house has two apartment studios to rent. It is easily accessible, providing shade in a beautiful pine forest and assistance in a form of a lighthouse keeper and his family. If this is not good enough, this place is great for fishing and has a number of sheltered coves perfect for swimming or scuba diving.

Porer – Premantura

Porer Premantura
A true diamond on this list is Porer lighthouse, located on a small islet, 2.5 km from the village of Premantura on the neighboring island. The islet is only 80 m wide and it will take just a minute for you to walk around it. There are 3 small berths on the islet, but keep in mind the strong currents, if you decide to approach. Porer lighthouse has two apartment studios to rent and a 35 m high tower providing a breathtaking view of the sunset from the top.

Savudrija – Savudrija

Savudrija Savudrija
Built in 1818, Savudrija lighthouse is the oldest and northernmost lighthouse in Croatia. It is located only 9 km from Umag and it is right next to the Slovenian border. Savudrija lighthouse is even more beautiful when you add the garden, nearby stone beaches and 4 apartment-studios available for rent. Strong winds and mild currents are perfect for water sports. There is also a legend of a love story behind the construction of the lighthouse, but we dare you to visit the place and ask the lighthouse keeper about it.

Struga – Lastovo

Struga Lastovo
If you want to admire a stunning view on the edge of 70 m high cliff, then Struga lighthouse is a right place for you. It was built in 1839 and today a third-generation family of lighthouse keepers is taking care of this unique place. The island of Lastovo is a true example of historical Mediterranean culture and architecture. There is a concrete beach next to the lighthouse, which can be used as a harbor, and if you decide to visit the place, apartment-studios can host up to 15 people.

Sušac – Vela Luka

Sušac Vela Luka
If you wish to explore a little bit further, you might get off of navigation routes, but you also might visit the Sušac lighthouse. The main building of the lighthouse is at the altitude of 100 m and the view from this place is amazing. Located on a small, yet specific island, the lighthouse is being run by two keepers. Endemic species can be found on the island if you take a walk, while beaches are definitely worth a visit. The island is far away from civilization so do not expect to find any supplies, stores or ATMs. However, there is an interesting piece of nature for true adventure lovers. On the northern side of the island, there is a seawater lake which can be reached by diving through a cave.

Sv. Ivan – Rovinj

Sv. Ivan Rovinj
On a little rock in the Rovinj archipelago, you can find Sv. Ivan lighthouse whose tower is 23 m high. This lighthouse was built in 1853 and today, like many others, it offers apartment studios for rent. Although really small, the islet has two beautiful beaches, but swimming too far from the shore is not recommended, due to strong currents and winds. Rich underwater and the clean Adriatic Sea are making this islet a great place to dock and scuba dive, especially because there are two docks you can use. If you like peace, solitude, diving or fishing, plus the beautiful view from the lighthouse tower, then you need to visit this islet.

All photographs are provided by Plovput.

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From France to Croatia: Lagoon 42 Transfer Diary, Part 8 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/france-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-8 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/france-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-8#respond Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:29:12 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=5425 The transfer of Lagoon 42 has come to an end. Read the last post of this amazing sailing journey, which includes almost losing one crew member in Croatia!

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The transfer of Lagoon 42 has come to an end. Read the last post of this amazing sailing journey, which includes almost losing one crew member in Croatia!
Read Part 7 here!

Tuesday, 28/03/17

At 10.50 am, we moored up at the customs pier in Dubrovnik. After 45 minutes, the paperwork was done, and we put down the yellow „Quebec“ signal flag. We got an email with the copies of Croatian papers for our catamaran “Galapagos”. Then we took down the Dutch flag, the temporary registration for the transfer and hoisted the Croatian flag on stern, which was in front of the guest land flag starboard under the spreaders. We also changed the home port from Amsterdam to Split underneath the letters of the boat name.

Gruž

Gruž

We got a three-hour time window, where we could moor up for free and the crew rushed to the old city of Dubrovnik to finally see the „Pearl of the Adriatic“. Then we left Gruž, the new harbor of Dubrovnik, and headed to the island of Šipan, which is a nice, calm and idyllic place near Dubrovnik. We had luck – a restaurant opened for us, eight very hungry customers, and we enjoyed fresh fish and some meat. Dessert was “palačinke” (pancakes with sugar and jam). We also visited my old friend Božo in his bar for some drinks.

Šipan

Šipan

Wednesday, 29/03/17

As discussed the day before, we left the harbor at 8 o´clock. Suddenly, we noticed on the pier a man running, shouting and wildly waving his hands. Oops, we had left behind one of our crew members! He didn´t look at his watch and went for a walk without telling the others. So, we turned around and „saved“ him. What followed was a bright sunny day, but unfortunately, the wind was against us. Therefore, we had to run both engines to reach our destination, the island of Hvar, still in daylight. We had some 60 nm to go. Luckily, we got the last available space at the pier, and moored up stern to pier with two moorings. In the evening, the crew went to a restaurant.

Hvar

Hvar

Thursday, 30/03/17

We left Hvar at around 8 am before anybody came to charge us. There was no wind on a cloudless day and we had to run the engine. We stopped in Bobovišće, a small bay on the island of Brač, for a coffee break, but the two restaurants hadn’t been opened yet. So, after a quick walk around the town we continued our journey to Split. Around noon, we moored up at Špinut Marina.

To sum up, we had done 3.264 nm in 6 weeks! Thanks to everyone who participated! Unfortunately, SailingEurope had only bought one catamaran. We would be ready to start again after a two-week rest.

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From France to Croatia: Lagoon 42 Transfer Diary, Part 7 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/france-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-7 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/france-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-7#comments Thu, 06 Apr 2017 11:35:39 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=5389 Our crew's sailing adventure is getting closer to its final destination - Croatia! After leaving Lipari they made their last stop in Italy.

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Our crew’s sailing adventure is getting closer to its final destination – Croatia! After leaving Lipari they made their last stop in Italy.
Read Part 6 here!

Friday, 24/03/17

We calculated that it’s best for us to be at the northern entrance of the Messina Strait at 10.30 pm. Therefore, we left Lipari at noon, but not before visiting the town of Lipari to buy some provisions, as the plan was to sail for two nights straight. In the afternoon, we had pork cutlets marinated with mustard and cooked butter potatoes with parsley after my mother’s recipe.

Lipari

Lipari

We were able to sail until 8.30 pm, although very slowly. Then the wind increased again, but from the wrong direction. Shortly before the strait, we had gusts up to 22 knots and we put first reef. Immediately before entering we took the sails down, because the wind would be against us behind the cape, and I feared it would be stronger due to the narrow opening. But it wasn’t so. The wind weakened, and we proceeded in the western inner traffic zone through the strait.

Wind (written on paper)

Some ferries and other big ships came very close to us, but everything went OK. One ferry in particular overtook us and then crossed some 50 m in front of our bow. At the end of the traffic separation scheme, we set the main sail and crossed the strait with one auxiliary engine. The rest of the night was relatively uneventful.

Saturday, 25/03/17

In the morning, the sky was sunny with next to no clouds. Around noon we could stop the engine and sail with 10 to 12 knots breeze on the reach. We created a „wind-penny-bank“, but I was the only one who spent 2 €, meaning there wasn’t much wind. At 4 pm, the wind died down again, so we started the engine again. The meal of the day was penne arrabbiata, and as dessert we had strawberries with whipped cream. At sunset, we took in our angling equipment. At the portside, there was a lure missing. Maybe a big fish took it.

Cooking

Sunday, 26/03/17

At 10.15 am, we arrived in Santa Maria di Leuca, which should be our last port in Italy. The crew enjoyed the shower facilities of the marina and went to town to do some sightseeing and shopping. In the evening, they ate at a restaurant.

Monday, 27/03/17

We left Santa Maria di Leuca at 10.20 and set sails soon after leaving the harbor. When we came out of the wind shadow of the land, we stopped the engine. The wind developed as the forecast predicted, so our strategy worked out. First, we sailed easterly to the sea border of Albania, and then we had to tack in the northern direction, but when the wind turned to the right, we could sail close upwind on one bow. Suddenly, we received an SMS saying: “Welcome to Greece!” The island Othonoi, the most northern Greek island, was in sight. The wind and the sea became more heavy, so we had to bind one reef, and the sea sate went up to 4 on Douglas scale. As we were sailing upwind, it wasn’t very comfortable for us. However, there were some sacrifices made to the god Neptune, and the whole boat was coated with salt from “HE” spray.

Tuesday, 28/03/17

It was a bright day with no clouds, and ‘till noon we also had a nice easterly wind. Unfortunately, the wind turned more to the north later, so we had to start to tack again. Again, we lost a lure from our fishing equipment. This time the carabiner broke. I don´t think it was by accident. We sailed more than 200 nm without starting the engine.

Check out the eighth chapter of our story!

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From France to Croatia: Lagoon 42 Transfer Diary, Part 6 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/from-france-to-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-6 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/from-france-to-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-6#respond Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:25:53 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=5304 Misunderstandings can often lead to problems with the immigration police. Read more to find out what happened to our crew!

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Misunderstandings can often lead to problems with the immigration police. Read more to find out what happened to our crew!
Read Part 5 here!

Saturday, 18/03/17

Since 2.45 am we were sailing without engine once again. A blue sky, no clouds, a very good wind, a perfect direction and a very good boat speed. It was like a scene from a movie. Around noon, we noticed three turtles swimming on the surface. A little bit later, we had to bind reef one, because wind speed went up in gusts up to 24,8 knots. The meal of the day was piccata Milanese with a tomato-olive-capperi sauce and noodles.

As a dessert, we had strawberries with a sauce of rum, sugar and cocoa along with some whipped cream. Suddenly, there was a fish alert, but when we put the jib away and slowed down the boat, first the fishing lines were tangled, and then the fish was gone. At 6.50 pm, we put full sails again. What followed was a chilled sailing night.

Strawberries with cream

Sunday, 19/03/17

The day started the same way the last ended. Awesome sailing. At 8.50 am, reef one, at 11 am, reef also in the jib because the wind reached 28 knots. At noon, we put the sails down and moored up alongside in Ustica Harbor, a nice harbor with a small village. For dinner, we found a pizzeria which was the only place open for business.

Ustica Harbor

Monday, 20/03/17

At nearly 10 am, we left Ustica after being checked by the Coast Guard. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much wind, so we had to sail with the engine on to Palermo. At 6.15 pm, we moored up in Palermo Harbor near the old town. After 748 nm covered, that was the end of leg 4.

The receptionist at the marina called the immigration police because she didn´t know how to handle a crew member with a Canadian passport. The police said that the skipper should immediately show up with all the passports and the ship papers. A mariner gave me a lift with his car. At the station, a long discussion ensued. All passports were cross-checked via police computers. Especially the Canadian passport. There was a stamp from Columbia in it, which immediately led to the question: “What does he do for a living?” In short, all these problems were caused by a misunderstanding over the phone. The lady had asked the police what she should do with a „Canadese“ passport, and the police misheard „Ghanese“. In the end, 45 minutes later, I was finally allowed to leave.

In the evening, we had a very nice farewell dinner, feasting on local food. Afterwards, there was live music in the street at a nearby café. Some of us stayed there until 2 in the morning…

old crew Palermo_farewell dinner

Tuesday, 21/03/17

The old crew left, and the new one boarded. Our crew is now made of 4 Germans, 3 Austrians and a Belgian guy. In the evening, we had dinner at the same restaurant and got acquainted.

Palermo

Wednesday, 22/03/17

I went thought the safety and technical instruction with the new crew, while Edi and Bernhard, my co-skipper, and the only regular crew member for the entirety of the journey, went to buy provisions. Around noon we were ready to leave Palermo.

Once out of the harbor, we set sails and did a quick introduction to reefing. Unfortunately, there was so little wind that we had to start the engine very shortly. With the last light, we moored up alongside in the old harbor of Cefalù. The surrounding old city gave us a great view. Later, we took a walk down the narrow streets.

Cefalu

Thursday, 23/03/17

We left Cefalu after buying fresh bread early in the morning. The forecast promised no wind, so we used our engines to get to Lipari. It was a bright and sunny day, along with some haze on the horizon. The meal of the day was spaghetti carbonara.

Spaghetti Carbonara

In the evening, we moored up in Pignataro Marina on Lipari. Then, the whole crews made a plan for the next few days to figure out a good time to pass the Strait of Messina with currents in our favor. The weather report for the following days wasn’t very promising: if there would be any wind at all, it would be against us. Part of the crew went to town, while the others stayed behind.

Check out the seventh chapter of our story!

The post From France to Croatia: Lagoon 42 Transfer Diary, Part 6 appeared first on SailingEurope Blog.

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From France to Croatia: Lagoon 42 Transfer Diary, Part 5 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/from-france-to-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-5 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/from-france-to-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-5#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:51:18 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=5277 The crew had some difficulties with the wind and the jib at night, but managed to spend a beautiful day on the island near Sardinia.

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The crew had some difficulties with the wind and the jib at night, but managed to spend a beautiful day on the island near Sardinia.
Read Part 4 here!

Monday, 13/03/17

At 1.45 am, we had to bind reef one. We had up to 25 knots of TWS, and our catamaran was rocking and jumping like a roller coaster. In the morning, it calmed down a little bit, but we still had a rather good wind direction. At 7.50 am, we put full sails again. We had “eggs in a basket” for breakfast. Around 11 am, a fish bit on our portside rod, where we had a squid-like lure. Unfortunately, after turning the boat, I lost the fish with the lure.

So, no tuna steak – instead we had a potato salad with sausages. During our lunch, a large container ship overtook us and was at a distance of one mile from us. Near the front of the ship, a private jet flew very closely above the sea. Maybe they wanted to see us a little bit closer. So far, it is a nice sailing day, and I´m impressed with the upwind sailing abilities of our catamaran, which is for sure better than any catamaran I’ve sailed in the past.

A real dutch

Around 6.30 pm, we reached the”middle” between Mallorca and Sardinia – 145 nm on the Trip Log and 145 nm more to go. At 8.30 pm, the wind direction got up to 070°, which was the planned mark to tack, so we did. Around 10 pm, the crew woke me up, because we had lost a shackle which connects the roller of the jib and the jib. The jib was at risk of breaking. We tried to wind the jib up, but the whole system had come loose. Sea state was 4. Sh*t always happens at night. We changed the course from upwind to a deep reach to make the working conditions in the bow better. Still, it was a very wet job for our two „heroes“. After about 40 minutes, they finished their job. A new shackle was mounted, the jib halyard stretched, and the roller was repaired.

Tuesday, 14/03/17

As expected, the wind turned further to the right, and we could sail in a nice „banana“ shape course. In the early afternoon, the wind weakened, and we started our engine again. The positive effect was warm water and the change of batteries after 48 hours of consumption (autopilot, fridges, lights, etc.). The meal of the day was “Zürcher Geschnetzeltes” (stir fry Zurich style) with rice. The night was very dark with nearly no light, so we started the radar. At 9 pm, an orange ball appeared in the dark sky. The moon was rising.

Sunset

Wednesday, 15/03/17

We arrived in Carloforte on the island of San Pietro in the southwest of Sardinia at 9 am. Then we had breakfast and some very good fresh bread. In the morning, we repaired the jib roller. It’s almost incredible how the guys were able to save every piece and screw during the night when the damage happened. So, it took us only about one hour to fix it. In the afternoon, we had lunch on the boat and then took a nice walk in the small town. On Thursday, easterly winds were supposed to be blowing. The weather report recommended staying one more day on San Pietro, because on Friday westerly winds would rise again, which are in our direction.

Sailing route

Thursday, 16/03/17

We slept long, had a big breakfast with that very tasty fresh bread. Later, we made plans to rent two cars and explore the island. The cars were wrecks, but cost only €25 per day.

San Pietro

The island is beautiful, so the investment paid off. In the evening, we had a nice dinner in the restaurant Galaia, which we warmly recommend to anybody who visits this island.

Lighthouse

The crew

Friday, 17/03/17

As agreed the previous day, we left Carloforte Harbor at 9 am, after buying some fresh bread. As soon as we put away the fenders and ropes, the crew had breakfast. Soon after, we set sails and stopped the engine. A good and steady westerly breeze developed. It was a perfect sailing day: cloudless sky, warm sun, nice wind.

Member of the crew

At 4.20 pm, the Guardia Finanza approached us. We put away the jib and slowed the boat. After a brief conversation via VHF on Channel 72 about the crew, our nationalities, the last and next port, they left. We jibed on the reach of our next destination. Sicily in general, but we could also make a stop on the islands of Ustica or Favignana. In the afternoon, we had couscous with spicy vegetables. Around 9.30 pm, the wind weakened, and we had to start the engine again.

Check out the sixth chapter of our story!

The post From France to Croatia: Lagoon 42 Transfer Diary, Part 5 appeared first on SailingEurope Blog.

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From France to Croatia: Lagoon 42 Transfer Diary, Part 4 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/france-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-4 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/france-croatia-lagoon-42-transfer-diary-part-4#respond Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:53:32 +0000 http://www.sailingeurope.com/blog/?p=5261 Catch up with our crew sailing in the beautiful Spanish islands. They got to do some sightseeing and eat delicious Spanish food.

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Catch up with our crew sailing in the beautiful Spanish islands. They got to do some sightseeing and eat delicious Spanish food.
Read Part 3 here!

Monday, 06/03/17

In the morning, we were in front of Cabo de Gata near Almeria, part time we were sailing, part time we had to run the engine. During the night the starboard engine was on duty, later in the morning the portside one. Sea state was 2-3, partly overcast. The wind from 4-12 knots from the west. From noon on, it was a steady sailing – jibing on the reach. The delicious meal of the day was penne al giardino with a tasty salad. At 6.30 pm, we had to start the engine again.

Tuesday, 07/03/17

At 3 am at Cabo de Palos, we could set sails again, and enjoy our night sailing without the engine noise. The breeze was around 13 knots from the northwest, and our course was 054° towards the island of Formentera. There was a constant change between the motor and the sails. Approximately at 11 am, we passed the Greenwich meridian. In the morning, we had a noodle salad with tuna with some homemade mayonnaise. After noon, the wind got more steady, so we could sail calmly ‘till midnight. The meal of the day was spaghetti aglio et olio, with fruit salad as dessert.

Wednesday, 08/03/17

At 7 am, we arrived in Sabina, the main harbor of the island of Formentera. We got some fresh bread for breakfast. During the day, we did individual sightseeing and shopping trips. In the evening, we ate at the local hotel, because it was the only restaurant open.

Thursday, 09/03/17

We had our first breakfast on the „patio” of our catamaran-crib.

Around noon, we sailed in the bright sunshine 13 miles to Ibiza. In the harbor of Ibiza, an enormous ferry nearly rammed us, even though we steered very close to the adjoining marina to give it enough space. We even got scratched by one moored boat to avoid this ferry.

Afterwards, we took individual walks through Ibiza. The city was in the state of spring awakening and preparing for the coming season. People were building and cleaning everywhere, but not many places were open for business.

Friday, 10/03/17

We left Ibiza at 8 am to get to Palma de Mallorca on time. The wind was first against us, but eventually it winded down. At 7 pm, we moored up in Palma Harbor in the Marina Cuarentena. That was leg three of our journey – we sailed 460 nm. In the evening, we had a farewell dinner at a nice restaurant near the harbor.

Saturday, 11/03/17

The old crew left, and the new crew came, so we did some minor repairs and general cleaning. When everybody was on board, we went through our safety and technical instructions, which usually takes us around two hours. Our crew was very international again, and that is always fun. Two Germans (one with Ukrainian roots) a Swiss couple, a Canadian, who has also a residence in Curacao and two Austrians. In the evening, we had dinner at a nice Tapas Bar in the old part of the town.

Sunday, 12/03/17

In the morning, I had my yearly medical check for seafarers, and got a new ENG1 for my English professional license. In the meantime, the crew went to a supermarket to get provisions. The weather report for the upcoming days said nothing good. The whole time easterly winds = against us. So, we decided to sail out as soon as possible, because we should then also have a northern component. We refilled both tanks with diesel to the max to be prepared for all circumstances.

We left the harbor of Palma de Mallorca around 1 pm, and did our reef training. Soon afterwards we set sails, and not much later we stopped the auxiliary engine. The meal of the day were sandwiches, as nobody started cooking on time. We have a rule aboard that even cleaning the dishes should be finished by dawn.

Luckily, the wind was more northeasterly, so we could sail. It got pretty rough later because we had sea state 4-5 from the side.

Check out the fifth chapter of our story!

The post From France to Croatia: Lagoon 42 Transfer Diary, Part 4 appeared first on SailingEurope Blog.

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