Sailing Journey around Croatian Distant Islands (Part 2)
As you could read in our previous post, the goal of our sailing journey was to reach Croatian distant islands. The remotest island in Croatia is Palagruža. It is a small group of islets and rocks towards Italy. Sailing around Palagruža is quite an accomplishment, at least if you are not a professional sailor.
We sailed to Palagruža during the night. The night shift was rather smooth, but not without excitement. A beautifully clear night gave us an opportunity to combine out knowledge of astronomy with standard nautical navigation, while plenty of lights in the sea made us feel like we were in the middle of busy traffic. The lights came from fishing boats, which mostly catch fish during the night. Therefore, keeping a watch is far from just keeping an eye on the course. A lot of avoiding and maneuvering is required, regardless of smooth sailing conditions.
The dawn finally arrived as soon as we reached Palagruža. A breakfast on the beach was substituted by a sip of champagne and a quick swim to the shore. This time we did not visit the lighthouse keeper and bring him fresh bread and vegetables, as it is traditionally done. We just delivered our best regards via radio and wished him to return home soon, and then we hoisted the anchor and continued our adventure. All of us wanted to spend some time on Palagruža, but the thing is, the island is so far away from everything.
Since we did not have much sleep the previous night, we rushed towards Vis island. Upon the arrival in the town of Komiža, we visited our dear friends in Žena Glava village, on the top of the island, and celebrated our conquest of the distant Adriatic islands with lamb roasted under peka (the traditional way of preparing food under a hot iron bell, covered with embers). The combination of the lack of sleep, excitement, excellent meal and even better wine resulted in an early bed-time.
After Vis, we left for other distant islands in the Adriatic. First, we sailed to the neighboring Biševo and its famous Blue Cave, and then to Svetac and Brusnik, an “endemic island”, created by volcanic activity, unlike other islands in the Adriatic. The only rock left to sail to was Jabuka, so the decision was made not to return until we conquer that island as well. We reached this pyramidal rock in the middle of the Adriatic easily, since the winds allowed us to perform spinnaker trimming all the time. After the traditional photo shoot with apples (“jabuka” means “apple” in Croatian), we had to return to our base in Jezera.
At the end of such a remarkable journey, I must admit that it was the first time I sailed without a general plan for a week. We just followed the wind and enjoyed the journey. Everything we achieved was possible due to the weather conditions. Last but not least, a pleasant company and inspiring mood are also some of the factors that are very important when sailing with other people. To conclude this, I would like to emphasize that this journey consists of many miles and many hours under sails and great organization in terms of “food and beverage management”. To sail such a journey, you must be very well prepared.
I wish you a calm sea, fine wind and a strong mast!