Gladlee of Guernsey

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Friday August 1st.  Left buoy just before 09.00 and motor-sailed with the genoa only down the east coast of Dugi Otok.  The wind started gusting so we hauled in the genoa and motored through the south channel at Katina and threaded our way through the islands of the Kornati National Park.  Beautiful if barren scenery, quite stark.  Arrived at Uvala Lavsa, an almost enclosed bay and chose a buoy near the entrance.  Pleasant enough but not stunning.  The Park man came around and charged us 100Kn for the Park and 100Kn for the buoy – a little pricey!  Went ashore later for a beer only and ate on board.

Saturday August 2nd.   Leisurely start and then motored round to the ACI marina called Peskera just a couple of miles away.  Tied to buoy and dinghied ashore to do some shopping. Small shop but we got a few essentials and had a coffee. Continued back another 3 miles to another large bay and anchored in 7m.  Lovely surroundings but again quite stark.  Park men came for money but we said our ticket was valid for two days and they accepted this.  Went for snorkel later and found quite a lot of different fish in the protected area of the park though they were all small.  Nice to be in pristine waters.  Just before dark a squall materialised to the SE but managed to stretch towards us with strong gusty east winds.  It started raining and Julie went out to help the rain wash the deck and suddenly realised we were the other side of the bay, so a quick shout to Ron who immediately started the engine and got the anchor up.  No harm done and we re-anchored back in a similar spot.  Other boats on the small quay also had problems and had to pull themselves off.  The storm didn’t last long and the deck was duly washed.  

Kornati National Park

Beautiful barren landscape

Sunday August 3rd.   Late relaxing start, and then went back round to the ACI marina where Ron rowed ashore to buy some cigarettes – phew!!  Continued on down between the islands and then headed for Kakan with the help of some genoa.  Anchored in the lee of the island though it was still quite breezy.  David Witton came over from "Lucinda", who Julie hadn’t seen for 10 years and invited us over for a drink later.  Went over at about 6 o’clock and had a pleasant hour or so with David and Anne reminiscing and chatting.  They had been back to England and circumnavigated the UK before returning to the Med through the canals.

Monday August 4th.   Left reasonably early to get into Primosten by lunchtime before the crowds.  Pleasantly surprised to find lots of space and buoys had been put in so took one and nobody even came to charge us.  All were taken by late afternoon and the quay was full so latecomers had to anchor off in quite considerable depths.  One boat anchored too close to us and put out lots of anchor chain but fortunately a buoy came free very late on and they took that so no worries for us.  Decided to go ashore for a wander up to the church on the promontory and to have some lunch and after scouting around we chose what turned out to be a very nice restaurant and not pricey.  Julie had scampi risotto and Ron chicken.  Did some shopping in a good large supermarket before returning to the boat and relaxing for the afternoon.  Later went back ashore to try and find an ATM machine or bank without success so stopped for a couple of cheap beers in a local café and finished off the money in the supermarket.  

The small town of Primosten

Another angle

Tuesday August 5th.   Early start before 7.00 and motored round to Trogir which took less than 4 hours.  Anchored on the north side of the channel close to "Cinnabar".  A bit breezy in the early afternoon so delayed our trip ashore until later.  Lots of boat movement and wash from power boats even though we were close to the town.  Popped over to "Cinnabar" (Ed and Julie) and had a beer and a chat for an hour or so and then went up the small canal between Trogir island and the mainland – rather fun and different.  Tied the dinghy up and went to find some money then went to check out the ACI marina – not very impressive and a very small chandlery.  Did a bit of shopping and stopped for our usual couple of beers before returning to the boat.

The old city of Trogir

Canal through the city


Trogir looking south

View from the marina

Wednesday August 6th.   Motor-sailed round to Split and dropped the anchor at 10 o’clock.  Dinghied ashore to check fridges out in the chandlery but not quite the right one available and of course quite pricey but it did give us some information to work on.  Upped anchor and headed for the gap between Brac and Solta putting both sails up just before.  Managed to just keep a good course to get through though had to reef with stronger winds in the channel.  Sailed all the rest of the way to an anchorage just outside the harbour at Stari Grad, Otok Hvar.  Strange anchorage as the wind was against the current so we sat stern to wind with the trees as protection, so it turned out quite comfortable although we had to drop the anchor in over 10m.

Thursday August 7th.   After watching half a dozen boats leave the harbour we went in and found a space on the quay near to our previous spot.  Backed in  no problem with no help.  Tried to get our gas containers filled without success.  Filled up with water and cleaned the boat and did some washing and changed the oil etc. etc.   Busy day so beers deserved before eating on board when it was cooler.  Paid 100Kn as expected.

Friday August 8th.   Left early for long passage to Otok Kortula and anchored mid-afternoon at  Kneza.  Quite breezy in afternoon and had small run-in with French on charter boat who anchored far too close to us.

Saturday August 9th.   Wind changed to the east during the night and sent in quite a slop so we waited for that to stop before heading off.  Motored past Korcula town and then put some genoa out to Otok Milljet and after checking out  Uvala with little space we double-backed against strong wind to Uvala Prozura and dropped anchor.

Sunday August 10th.   Earlyish start to get to Ston, very pleasant in the cool of the morning.  Wound our way up the fairly shallow channel and tied up alongside the wall by 10.30.  Very pleasant spot, walked along the road to see if there were any birds and eventually saw a little Egret and a Heron.  Norwegian boat rafted alongside us, very chatty and gave us their last Norwegian beer.  Later a South African boat rafted outside them.  Went into the village to shop but only the bakery was open due to it being Sunday.  Had a beer and then lunch on board.  Quite a mess when the Norwegians left as the SA boat was going to go in front of us but the problem was that the boat that was there was still there.  So lots of pushing off and ropes everywhere before finally settling, no damage done but no thanks to the SA’icans.  Went ashore and walked up the walls of the old fort, quite a lot of steps but nice view from the top.  For dinner decided on a restaurant up a side street that was advertising fishy things.  Nice restaurant though Ron had a bit of trouble getting service and his steak was pretty rare and had to be sent back for more cooking.  Julie had half dozen oysters to start and then pork medallions.

The old fortifications at Ston

Channel up to Ston


The village of Ston

From the fortifications

Monday August 11th.   Left early and saw lots of herons and egrets along the sides of the channel.  Arrived at the ACI marina,  Dubrovnik but had to queue for fuel in strengthening winds but managed with no problems.  Continued up the river past the marina and after backing rapidly off the shallows dropped anchor in the middle of the river and tied a line to the island, Ron having bravely jumped in with the line to find that the water was almost fresh and quite cold!  Very pleasant spot with lots of birds and very peaceful. 

Dinghyied across to the marina and finding the office closed went and found Hank and Kelly on "Horizon" and caught up with news over a couple of beers.  Picked up the couple of letters Mum had sent.  Did a final shop in the supermarket to spend the rest of our Kuna’s then spent the rest of the afternoon doing correspondence and  took the letters over to Kelly to post in the UK.  Breezy night.

Tuesday August 12th.   Leisurely start then went over to the marina for a packet of cigarettes and a shower. Motored round to Gruz harbour to check out.  Tied-up conveniently alongside the wall and went and found the officials.  Very easy though the harbour master was a bit strange in that having established that Julie was the owner directed all his questions to Ron.  We were away again by 11 o’clock and anchored in Molunat Bay just before 4 o’clock, in about 8.0m which turned out to be on top of a rubbish dump!  Pleasant enough place once the water-skiiers had gone home.  

The road bridge at Dubrovnik

and anchorage upstream

Wednesday August 13-14th.   Left the anchorage at 06.15 just as it was beginning to get light.  A slight breeze from the south to start with which turned WNW later, we did put the main up but not enough wind to sail.  Uneventful passage with only a few ships or ferries about during the night.  We kept about 10 miles off the Albanian coast to avoid any trouble and arrived at Errikousa  just before 3 o’clock the following afternoon.  Dropped anchor in the middle of the large bay on the south.

Friday August 15th.   Quiet night except for the occasional wash from passing ferries.  Found the small anchor for the dinghy and went across to the rocks and snorkelled for half an hour.  Very pleasant but not too much to see.  Left at 12 o’clock and put the sails up and actually sailed for almost 4 hours across to Corfu.  Anchored way outside the bay in about 8m at St. Stefanou, recommended to us by "Horizon", on the NE coast of Corfu.  A little bit breezy late afternoon but died off enough so that we could go ashore and have dinner.  The small village had obviously grown more touristy since Hank and Kelly had been there but was pleasant enough.  Some wash again during the night from passing ferries.

Saturday August 16th.   Went ashore to do a small shop and then upped anchor and headed on down to Gouvia.  Checked if we could anchor outside the marina but the joker boat man said no, so we went back out the channel and anchored by the hotel.  A few minutes later a guy from the water-sports centre asked us to move because of the para-gliding so we re-anchored about 500m away.  It was pretty calm even though the wind came from the SE.  A popular anchorage for the large gin palaces.  Listened to the first day of the premiership football season on the radio.

Sunday August 17th.   Moved round to the marina as planned and no problem getting into a berth.  It turned out a very nice berth because it was inside the easternmost mole and the breeze came straight in to cool us down.  Did the usual washing of the boat and cleaning.  Went out in the afternoon to try and find a bar showing the early game and came across the ‘Beer Bucket’ which advertised the Leeds v Newcastle game so we settled in there for the afternoon.  Quite a bonus to find this game as it was on one of the pay channels for Sky TV.  Stayed to watch the second game and Hank and Kelly walked in by coincidence, so we did more chatting than watching the football.  Sat with some other people for a while and then H & K went off to eat and we followed but didn’t find them so ate at George’s just down the road.  Strange place run by a couple of retired Brits but the food when it eventually arrived was OK.  Fairly late night.

Monday August 18th.   Went out to try and find a bank machine and internet but nothing too local so did a long hot walk in to Gouvia village.  Found a machine and then walked back to the ‘Beer Bucket’ for brunch and internet (Superonline was down so no success there).  Went across to AB supermarket and did a fairly large shop before returning to the boat, showering and leaving just before 2 o’clock.  After motoring for about 4 hours we dropped anchor in a very pleasant spot at Ormos Valtou, Igoumenitsa Creek with only one other boat in the bay.  As this was near to the river entrance there were quite a few birds about and a whole herd of glossy ibis went over at dusk.  Also spotted was a pelican and lots of herons/egrets and the odd kingfisher.  All around the fish were jumping, some well out of the water though we failed to catch anything.

Tuesday August 19th.   Lazy day.

Wednesday August 20th.   Early start as we had a long way to go.  Not much wind until we were approaching Levkas.  Arrived too early for the bridge as it was only opening every 3 hours because of the earthquake.  Anchored in the basin before the bridge in about 5m with the wind now gusting up to 25 knots.  German boat tried to anchor near and over us but we asked them to move.  In the end there were at least a dozen boats anchored in the small area.  After about an hour and a quarter Ron suddenly shouted to Julie that we were dragging so a quick engine on and anchor up without hitting anybody or going aground.  Strange after we had sat there comfortably for so long and then dragged.  Went through the bridge at 6 o’clock and backed in to the town quay at Levkas.

Levkas Town

after the earthquake

Thursday August 21st.   Removed the three hatches that were leaking and dropped them in to CYS.  Told they would be ready the next morning.  Checked out whether they could order a new fridge for us but it turned out there was not the right one in stock in Athens and they probably wouldn’t order one for us anyway!  Found fresh water pump and bought it for €163 (should have been €181).  Tried to do Internet but too busy with kids playing games.

Friday August 22nd. Went back to the office but Joe in mood and hatches not ready.  Did Internet and some shopping, Filled up with fuel and water then back to the office.  Got charged €5 for water and €3.5 for mooring.   Joe still difficult and said they were still not ready. Decided to go to Ligia for the night rather than the noisy dirty quay.

Saturday August 23rd.   Lazy morning and then back up to back into the quay at Levkas.  Went back to the office and were told the hatches would be delivered to the boat at 1 o’clock.  Waited until after then and back up to the office.  The hatches were still not ready and Joe recommended that they stay in the clamps for another day or so.  Wanted to watch the football but the Internet place refused to put it on so the last try was the Ionian Star Hotel and behind the bar they had it on (Man Utd v Wolves).  After the game we left and motored down to Vlikho Bay and arrived just after 6.00.

Sunday August 24th – Sunday 31st.   Went ashore and found the ‘Yacht Club’ run by the Irish couple Rory and Vicky.  Watched football in the afternoon and evening.  Took the bus up to Levkas Town on the Monday to pick up the hatches and ended up in another row with Joe but at least the hatches were there (€175).  During the week we did many jobs on the boat including refitting the hatches, full engine service, fitting fresh water pump, replacing shower pump impellor, taking off the rotorstay and servicing, cleaning the brass etc. and whenever there was football, we watched it!  Stayed for the weekend to watch the games and the rugby international.  "North Star" (Jim and Pat) turned up and joined us in the bar.   Took the bus up to Levkas again on the Saturday morning to visit the big supermarkets on the edge of town.


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