Calista will be spending May and June sailing in the Adriatic.
The plan is:
Leaving Pembrokeshire on Easter Monday, driving through the channel tunnel, Germany and Austria to launch on 25/03/14 in norhtern Italy.
Week 1 27/04/2014 to 3/05/2014
San Giorgio di Nogaro to Zadar direct distance about 150 miles
Week 2 3/05/2014 to 10/05/2014
Zadar to Dubrovnik direct distance about 150 miles
Week 3 10/05/2014 to 17/05/2014
Dubrovnik to Sarande (Albania) about 150 miles
Week 4 17/05/2014 to 24/05/2014
Sarande to Dubrovnik about 150 miles
Week 5 24/05/2014 to 1/06/2014
Dubrovnik to Split about 80 miles direct
Week 5 24/05/2014 to 1/06/2014
Split to Zadar about 100 miles direct
Week 7 7/06/2014 to 14/06/2014
Zadar to Mali Losinj direct distance about 100 miles
Week 8 14/06/2014 to 21/06/2014
Mali Losinj to San Giorgio di Nogaro about 120 miles
Recover onto trailer and drive home.
A number of AOA members will be joining me at various times during the trip. I hope to be able to add to this blog as the trip progresses!
Getting there and Back
We have always used the ferry in the past but since you can no longer pay in full using tesco vouchers for the ferry, but you can for Eurotunnel, the choice was easy – we have booked the tunnel!
On previous trips we have travelled via France, and the Mont Blonc tunnel. The motorways in France are good – not crowded, but the tunnel is single track each way. The tunnel may be only a few miles long but it is pretty unpleasant. A long time ago we used the Germany, Austria, Tourn tunnel route. We found the German autobarnes crowded, and at that time the tunnel was also one lane each way in a shared tunnel, and after the tunnel it was a short well engineered motorway down to the coast where we launch Calista. Going via Mont blonc also means that there is a long day spent travelling across northern Italy – on pretty busy motorways.
So this time we are going well before the holiday season, and the Tourn tunnel is now two seperate tunnels, and two lanes each way, so we will give that route another go.
Getting breakdown cover
Breakdown cover is difficult when you tow a large trailer! The best we can do is to use the Caravan club “Red Pennant” service, which is expensive for what we are doing – it is intended to cover a caravan touring holiday and provide replacement car or caravan to allow the holiday to continue. They can’t provide a replacement trailer if there is a major problem with that, but they will try not to leave us stranded on a motorway!
As we will be joining the caravan club to get the breakdown cover we will spend the first night in a Caravan club campsite near Folkstone. We hope to complete the European leg of the land journey in three days. So my next job is to work out where to look for campsites in Germany for two nights.
It is now less than a week to go before we set off. Everything is booked and organised. The shuttle was booked a long time ago, and now insurance for boat, car, and breakdown cover has all been organised. The camp site near Folkstone has also been bookerd for ages, and I have identified a campsite near Cologne, and another near Munich – but I am not going to book them. I am sure they will not be full! That also leaves the opportunity for stopping else where if we want to.
So the first day in Europe will mean 200 miles driving (getting to Calais at 12.00), and the other 2 days will be 350 miles. That does not seem many miles but previous experience suggests that when motorway cruising at 50 to 55 miles an hour, the average speed will be about 35 miles per hour.
Calista is now ready to be brought out of the workshop. There was nothing serious to be done during the winter – just routine maintenance and a few “improvements”. The metalwork which supports the keels around the diagonal bulkhead has been cleaned and painted, and refitted with new bolts made from A4 stainless rod, which was much cheaper than buying ready made bolts.
I repainted part of the main cabin while I was at it.
Calista has quite a lot of varnishwork, transom, cabin top, mast boom, spinnaker pole, toe rails and rubbing strakes. It has all been sanded and given 2 coats of traditional varnish. Renewing the surface of the varnishwork every year (renewing the UV resistance) does seem to keep the varnishwork in good order – and seems particularly important this year when it will be exposed to mediteranean sun for 2 months.
I also striped repaired and repainted the hatch over the aft cabin.
I found that the rudder blade did not quite lower all the way in the new rudder stock, so I have taken the opportunity to modify the shape of the bottom of the stock slightly, and recoat it with epoxy, and coppercoat. I have also fitted a rectangle of rubber to take the thump as the rudder blade drops fully down.
The safety equipment also got a good going over with new fire extinguishers, lifejackets and other bits and pieces. I even got around to painting the name onto the liferings!
One maintenance task which I am really pleased with was to “T Cut” the perspex windows. They are about 6 years old and just becoming dull, and showing the early signs of crazing. Polishing them using a pad on a vibrating saw has made a huge difference. You can actually see through them now. I am sure that I will have to replace them again in a few years time but polishing seems to work well for now.
Changes specifically for the mediteranean
This isnt Calista’s first trip to Croatia so many of the things specifically needed are already in place. For example we will be launching in the lagoons between Venice and Trieste – and they are full of mosquitoes. So we already have fly screens for every hatch and companionway. We will also take repelant.
We already have a bimini covering the cockpit. On previous trips we used the canvas covers from another boat to act as awnings. This time I have made a set specially for Calista. They zip onto the front and back of the Bimini, in three sections. They can cover the 85% of the decks – if they are all in use. I dont expect to use them that often – but it can get very hot towards the end of Junewhen tied up in big cities, so they are there in case.
Calista has a 30 watt flexible solar panel, and I have added a fixed 20 watt panel this winter. I am going to fit it on top of the life raft, tied to the liferaft cradle. Well that is the idea. Hopefully the liferaft can be pushed out from under the solar panel if needed. We will see! The hope is that the extra watts will power the fridge fully – so that we don’t discharge the battery at anchor. We also have LED bulbs fitted into the original cabin lights. They are certainly very bright and use little current. I would have fitted an LED bulb to the anchor light at the top of the mast – but I cant get it apart to change the bulb!
We have a cockpit tent which is formed by zipping sides onto the bimini. I suspect that we might want this in the early part of the cruise so I have added windows into the sides and back – just to make it a bit more pleasant to sit under.
I am resisting the temptation to load up with food here in the UK. It is tempting – I think it will be more expensive in Italy and Croatia – but everything which goes on has to be dragged over the alps. So it is really just the food for the road trip, and things like tea coffee, etc which is going on. I will take some tins (which can be used to make meals if we cant reach a shop for a while) but they are all in the back of the car. I am trying to keep the weight in the boat down during the road trip.
Just clothes to add.
So tomorow Calista can be withdrawn from the workshop, and I am just going to polish the topsides with the “T Cut” again and then fit the tie down straps ready for Monday 21st when we set off.
To be continued…..
23 thoughts on “Calista’s Adriatic Cruise 2014”
I can confirm that all went to plan this time and that Calista is now on her mooring in Milford Haven.
Just a brief update:
We arrived back at San Georgio de Nogara last Friday, and Calista was lifted onto her trailer that evening. The mast weas lowered and evewrything ready for her to be towed back to the UK.
Dinah set off to meet Alex, spend the night near Folkstone and then drive to join us. Unfortunately the Rangerover overheated again, and before she had even left Wales.
So I have returned home by air, leaving Calista in storage at the yard, while we sort things out. Unfortunately the problem has turned out to be a cracked cylinder head, and the engine is now in pieces awaiting spare parts.
In the mean time Derrick has valiantly stepped forward and volunteered his services (and Discovery) to help me bring her back. We leave on Saturday to collect her, and hope to be back by Wednesday.
Monday 16th June. Sitting with Derrick near internet connection while rain stops and sun comes up. Dom and Tremor are refining water tanks. Time for some breakfast. Cooler. John
Sunday 15th June. (Struggling with predictive text a bit! Yesterday she read ‘Motored out of anchorage…’) Retrieved both muddy anchors and motored out of inlet with wind still blowing. Once in open sea it wasn’t so bad and we headed South for Cres town and marina. However the wind picked up during the closing, f6 with gusts and we were gland to get in the lee of the island. Tied up in marina had lunch and rest before exploring town, showers and dinner. John
Saturday 14th June. Moored out if anchorage then set sail in light winds to return under the bridge and then across the top of the islands of Krk and Cres then down the Istrian coast to anchor in an inlet with a largecoal fired power station at its head. Set two anchors, which was just as well because the wind howled between the hill in the night.
Friday 13th June. Despatched photo of all 4 of us at Omisalj and fill water tanks before setting off around top of the island then back down the channel, underneath bridge that links Omisalj to Rijeka. Wind dropped so motored down further, collected some ice before dropping anchor in a large lagoon area. Nobody about so swam from Calistas deck in beautifully clear water. Evening meal aboard.
Back to 12th June when Dom and arrived at Omisalj around 1pm & enjoyed some beer… After lunch we swam on the nearby beach, it was warm in the water and hot out of i.t. Later on we climbed the hill up to the village and enjoyed more beer followed by excellent dinner. Ice cream on the way back down.
Monday 16th June. We moored in Crest marina yesterday afternoon and enjoyed a shower followed by excellent meal in the marina restaurant. Struggling with internet bandwidth…
Dom and I met these two unusual characters in a bar on the waterside at Omisalj in Croatia:
This was Saturday evening 31st May/ Sunday morning 1st June, see below for comment
And the Sunday/Monday, what variety in both locations and weather which changes by the hour.
Within any one day we can have calms, pleasant sailing in near flat seas and then be bashing to windward with a reef in both main and genoa! I think Trevor is finding it wearisome whilst I look on in awe and learn. In particular I am amazed at Trevor’s acuity to wind direction and strength, whilst I still feel that I shall never sail with red and green ribbons tied to the shrouds
As Trevor has indicated we spent Saturday night in the most idyllic setting. There were three other boats in the cove when we arrived but they had all gone well before dinner time.
My having swum the lines ashore, and Trevor adjusted them from the boat, he joined me in a swim in invigorating rather than warm water. We both appreciated the warm fresh water shower provided by solar shower bags which get nicely warm each day despite the mixed weather.
Unfortunately by Sunday morning we had only enough shower water for one, so I got to swim across the inlet to take the above picture before letting the ropes free at the shore end after which the seclusion allowed me to shower up on the foredeck as nature intended, which at my age is not a pretty sight!
After the bash to windward as described by Trevor we arrived at Vodice on Sunday afternoon to find all the shops shut and hence we have shopped etc. this morning and Trevor has just left to pay the marina and hopefully get meths. Apologies for the blurry picture, I am using an all weather/ swimmable camera and it had some salt dried on to its lens. The picture does however show the very different circumstances compared with Saturday.
Continuing to have a fantastic time – Derrick
It is just over a week since Beth left us, and we have been slowly working our was NW again. Our first day was spent mainly with the spinnaker pulling us along. We have spent time motoring with the keels raised (gives an extra half knot in a flat calm)beating to windward in light winds, and strong winds. We have spent nights in secluded anchorages, and remote harbours.
Two nights were particularly memorable. The first in a shallow landlocked bay very close to Trogir (which is where Split airport is) allowed us to swim in water 25 degrees C, and then spend the night there alone. The second was on our way along the mainland coast when we were defeated by strong NW winds which forced us to seek shelter in the nearest suitable bay. (We were being blown onto our beam ends under deep reefed main and genoa). We motored slowly into the head of this narrow bay and anchored tacking 2 lines ashore to stop us swinging around. (Not enough swinging room even with only 4 metres of water). Derrick swam the lines ashore again.
We have explored the offshore islands of Lastovo and Vis, before sharing a night in a remote harbour on the north side of the island, with a Charter boat and an Austrian boat.
We are now in a marina at Vodice where we have stopped for food and water. All that remains is to wait until 1300 when the shop says they will have meths (which we need for cooking).
Now in the middle of week 3 of my 6 week sojourn with Trevor and it has been fantastic, although not everything has been per the sales ( or was it sails) brochure.
Our first afternoon at Cavtat was the first opportunity for a swim so the photo above is a waterline view of Calista with Trevor hiding behind the Ensign and Beth looking on.
The weather continues to be mixed. As I am sure Trevor will detail in his next posting we have had a fantastic 4 continuous hours under spinnaker followed by a fantastic swim and at other times thunder rain and cold winds such that I have refused to swim.
All in all this has been a fantastic experience in many ways. Lessons learned in all sorts of ways from how to organise storage, how to launch and retrieve a spinnaker and generally ask silly questions and get patient answers.
I’ll try and give a more considered comment when I next log on but for now a final plea on Trevor’s behalf. When the new crew (Dominic and John) join us can they please bring Trevor some English tea bags as we are running out! I’m happy just to drink coffee which can be bought locally.
Looking forward to joining you soon hope weather settles down I can get wind and rain in Scotland!
Saturday 10th May
Derrick Ardron (A100) and Beth arrived on board mid-morning, and we all went food shopping. We had everything stowed, and the crew briefed in time to depart at lunchtime. We tacked slowly to the SE while we had lunch, and then stowed the Genny and motor-sailed to Cavtat. Cavtat is the last port of entry in Croatia and we intended to clear customs and sail to Montenegro, or even a direct overnight run to Albania. We had a comfortable night at anchor in the North Bay at Cavtat.
Sunday 11th May
We were on the customs quay early, but soon discovered that this summer port of entry is a part time affair!
Well the wind was fresh from the SE – on the nose of course – and I toyed with the prospect of just going without clearing customs. The prospect of complications on our return, for both myself and my crew deterred me from that course, so we decided to go for a day sail to Molunat, the most southerly place (harbour) in Croatia. It’s a place you don’t often visit because once you have cleared customs you can’t go there- well you can but you risk a hefty fine if the patrolling police boat catches you. So we beat into the force 5 for most of the morning, heading in to quite big seas, and then covered the last 5 miles under engine.
We got quite wet in the process! We hadn’t fitted the front onto the bimini.
Once we got into the shelter of the bay it was as if there had never been any wind, and we enjoyed our lunch in the cockpit. We ran back to Cavtat in the afternoon and anchored again.
Distance covered: 56 miles
Beth at the helm
Derrick seems to spend a lot of time remote working!
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 12th,13th, and 14th May
Awful forecast! Up to 60 knots predicted. So we spent three frustrating days storm bound at anchor. While you were basking in glorious sunshine we were in the cabin with the heater on, suffering continuous rain.
On the third day the wind swung around to the NW, and the waves grew and grew in the harbour. We were dragging, and boats along the quay were being tossed into the stonework. We had to get out!
So Wednesday evening found us motoring into a strong wind again. We went a little way beyond Gruz, to a bay on the mainland coast called U. Zaglav. We anchored in a corner near the village and its little harbour, in 4 metres, and spent a very peaceful night. We remained dry because we did fit the front onto the bimini!
Distance covered 15 miles
Alongside in Cavtat
Thursday 15th May
The forecast was still lousy, so it was time to abandon the lure of Montenegro and Albania – and concentrate on enjoying where we were.
We sailed over to the Elephite Islands (where there are no deer) to anchor for lunch and then on to another mainland bay at Slano. Another peaceful night at anchor with the cockpit tent fitted.
Friday 16th May
We went alongside the town quay, to shop, and get water. Most quays are controlled by a concession holder who has a concession to collect fees from visiting yachts. We found the concession holder (or he found us) so we were able to ask for water, which cost us 30 kn for 1 cubic metre.
This was the first day when the cloud cover began to break up, and the winds fell light. We even had the spinnaker up before tying up in Ston. Concession holder arrived to relieve us of 80 kn.
Distance covered 16 miles
Saturday 17th May
The quay at Ston. Note the walls going up the hill.
Paying to walk the walls!
Walking the walls between Ston and Mali Ston
We spent the morning walking the walls between Ston and Mali Ston. Leaving the quay at Ston we threaded our way back down the canal, and sailed across to Otok Mljet. Most of the trip was covered under sail, and we spent the night in Uvala Okuklje.
Distance covered 12 miles
Sunday 18th May
A day spent sailing, all the way along the coast of Otok Mljet, to the National Park, where we spent the night at Polace, anchored in a sheltered corner with a line ashore. (you take a line ashore in the med when the water is deep and you want to keep the anchor pulling up the hill, rather than letting you drift off to sea!)
Distance covered 16 miles
Anchored with a line ashore in Polace. Derrick insisted on swimming the line ashore rather than inflating the dinghy! (This is us going off later to sight see)
Monday 19th May
We went ashore and did the touristy bit, by going to the inland lakes in a minibus, and having a motor boat trip on the lake! Derrick and I swam in the afternoon. Much warmer weather – just when you were getting the rain again!
The monastery on the island in the inland lake. Mljet National Park.
Tuesday 20th May to Friday 23rd May
Cruised around Mljet, and the Elephite islands anchoring in various places, and enjoying the gentle winds and high temperatures. At last summer has arrived!
We covered most of the distances under sail, sometimes at only 1.5 knots, sometimes at 5 knots, and managed to use the spinnaker again.
That afternoon saw us back at the yacht club, taking a bus trip to the laundrette, and going ashore for a farewell meal with Beth, who departs tomorrow morning.
Distance covered 66 miles
Firstly a bit of a confession about using the blog facility on the AOA website. I started out editing the original blog post, but discovered that there was no notification on the home page that I had added to it. So then I added the next section as a comment. That generates a notification on the home page, but means that when you read it all the different sections are out of order. Well I have continued adding comments, on the basis that it was better to have the notification on the home page. If there is a better way of doing it let me know!
Thursday 8th and Friday 9th May
Beth, Pat, Derrick and I met up for lunch , and again for an evening meal after I had done my washing. Most of the morning was taken up locating a laundrette, and most of the afternoon by getting the washing to the laundrette washing it and getting it back to the boat. Unfortunately the only laundrette was about 2 miles away, on the far side of the old town. So it meant a bus ride, a walk through the old town dodging the groups of tourists from the various cruise ships, (each with its totem wielding guide) and then an hour and a half waiting while it all washed. Then of course it all had to be repeated in reverse, but this time among those going back to their hotels, and therefor crowded buses.
The good bit was that the laundrette was really good, new, clean and professional. There was “American” music playing, and lots of magazines, including the National Geographic Magazine which passed the time well enough. There was even free wifi provided! Of course being out of season it was deserted. Anyone passing through Dubrovnic might be interested in http://www.dubrovniklaundry.com.
As recommended in a certain pilot book, we went to find a restaurant on the waterfront of Gruz harbour, the advice being that it was far cheaper than in the old town. We had a splendid meal for a reasonable sum.
While I usually refrain from recommending restaurant’s on the grounds that it might be different on the night you try it, and that it might change hands or close before you get there, I will make an exception this once. Restaurant Mozart at Lapadska Obala 20, http://www.restaurant-mozart-dubrovnik.com.
I had been watching the exhaust injection bend on the engine for the last few days while we were working our way down the coast to Dubrovnik. There were a lot of hard bubbly secretions half way down – looking like dried salt. Close to the berth I found the Lombardini agent, and successfully ordered a new injection bend and gasket. They arrived this morning, which is pretty good – just 2 days waiting. Perhaps vindication for choosing an Italian engine – and proof of the advantages of Croatia’s EU membership. The down side of course is 25% VAT. So the new injection bend is now fitted – and it is clear just how urgent that replacement was. The only thing holding the two parts together was the compression in the rubber exhaust hose!
Old and new injection bends
So all we need are the crew on board tomorrow morning, food shopping, fill the fuel tanks, and we can be on our way.
Destination Durres in Albania, via a direct 100 mile overnight passage, weather permitting.
We drove to Split airport (which is actually near Trogir) in the morning to drop Magnus off, and had the car back at the marina by 1200. The new motorway which runs down the Croatian coast is impressive. It has two lanes each way and there were few vehicles (at this time of year). Of course it was expensive at £5 for 70 miles. On our way back into town we came across a “Liddles” where we stocked up for the next weeks cruise.
After lunch, we paid for the marina and recovered our “vignette” which the marinas take off you when you arrive. I think it is more to report to the harbour master what boats are in their jurisdiction, than to make sure you pay. Of course the wind was on the nose, so we spent a couple of hours beating into it, the wind got up to force 4 mid-afternoon, and we were making 5 knots for much of the time. We eventually motored the last half mile into the Prolaz Zapuntal (what a splendid name!), the passage between Otok Pasman and Otok Ugljan. Here we anchored for a very late lunch.
We continued beating to windward down the south side of O. Pasman, and eventually looked into Uvala Soline to anchor for the night. Of course this is one of the places where a local has a concession to lay moorings, and charge for their use. So we picked up a mooring, and paid our £7 for the night. It’s not that I blame them for having moorings, having seen attempts at anchoring locally I think it is a GOOD thing, but I also remember all of these places when there were no other boats – and no houses ashore.
Days run 21 miles
A leisurely breakfast
We set off fairly late for us after having breakfast in the cabin (we usually have it in the cockpit while under way when we are passage making). The Croatian weather forecast was suggesting a Bora (a strong NE wind developing over night with winds likely to reach 40 knots). But we set off tacking into a light SE wind. We managed to turn the engine off for a while, but with the speed down to 2 knots it went back on again.
The weather was overcast and we were experiencing lots of heavy rain showers. A bit like sailing in Wales actually! In the end we gave up punching into it in the rain, and went in between O.Murter and the mainland to an anchorage called Uvala Vela Luka (an un-original name which means “bay of the large harbour”).
After a prolonged lunch break and the rain stopping, we carried on, taking a look at Marina Hramina on our way. It was another 2.5 hour passage motoring into the wind with the main set. We seem to have done a lot of that in the last week or so! We packet up and picked a mooring up in Kaprije harbour. Now this is a proper local harbour with a harbour master, alongside berths (£20 per night) and substantial moorings at £12 per night. We hoped that this would not be too uncomfortable when the Bora struck. The harbour master advised us to make fast to the mooring buoy with two lines!
Kaprije Harbour with the ferry approaching
Days run 35 miles
It really blew overnight, with vicious squalls hitting the boat, so we didn’t really sleep very well. In fact we had the heater on at 0700, it was so cold. Just like May at home! Of course as the day progressed and the swell outside built, it started to roll into the harbour. Not much swell, but at 90 degrees to the wind, so we spent the day, and the next night rolling.
Days run nil
The squalls seemed to have died away overnight, so we decided to have a look around the corner and see what it was like. We put a deep reef in the main (and wished we had put 2 in when we got clear of the island). We spent just over two hours reaching at 6 to 7 knots with a reefed main and double reefed genoa,
You can see its windy – look at the ensign!
but at least the engine was off. We were pleased to reach the shelter of the main land, because the wind was blowing off the land and we were looking forward to a fast sail in flat water, when the wind dropped to nothing. So we motored for an hour, then motor-sailed into a light headwind for an hour, and then started to reach on the other tack to a SW wind. It wasn’t long before we had the spinnaker set, and were doing 5 to 6 knots. As we reached the western end of Otok Hvar, we were on a broad reach and averaging just under 7 knots.
Approaching the town of Hvar in the passage between O.Hvar and the Paklini Isles we took the spinnaker in, and continued at over 6 knots with only the main up.
Worshiping the spinnaker god
Wishing it was possible to take a reef in – but not having room among yachts, a narrow channel, a cruise ship, and ferries. As the day faded so the wind faded, and we set more sail before having to start the engine for the last hour. We entered Uvala Luka (see what I mean about an original name?) on the western end of the Peliasik peninsular, in the dark, but with a moon to help us. At least this one had no moorings (yet?) and we anchored in 7 metres and good all round shelter.
Days run 86 miles
We were off early yet again and motored down the gap between the peninsular and O. Kortula in a flat calm.
The day was spent motoring, with sails set whenever there was any wind, looking into various places on the Elephite Isles, before reaching Gruz (the commercial port for Dubrovnik) at 1900, where we tied up stern too in the “Yacht Club Orsan”, which has space for 10 visitors.
Gruz harbour fuel berth with “Yacht Club Orsan” in the background
Days run 63 miles
Saw Dinah off in a taxi to the airport at 0800. Went to find the local Lombardini engine agent to order a replacement exhaust injection bend for the engine. So I will hang around here for a few days waiting for spares, and doing housekeeping tasks ready for the crew who will join me on Saturday.
I guess that a new Discovery 4 is on your wish list now!
Great photos – hope you get a bit more wind though.
Calista finished her journey to the travelhoist in style!!
Dinah wondered if this might be a suitable replacement for the Rangerover?
The 80 ton travelhoist ready to pick Calista up off her trailer. (The lift cost 80 Euros – compared to our normal £105 in Pembrokeshire)
Into the water at last. Of course the other thing I havn’t told you is that it rained all of Sunday and Monday. As Magnus said – at least you dont feel cold when you get wet here!
It finally stopped for our departure.
On our way to the fuel berth.
Our Port of entry Umag Marina. The “Vignette” for sailing in Croatian waters fror 12 months, plus a months tourist tax came to £150. How that fits in with Croatia now having EU membership defeats me. Perhaps someone will make sure that this does fit in with EU rules!
Note that the mooring is typical Mediterranean – a fixed line to a sinker behind us is attached to one end of the boat, and mooring lines secure the other end close enough to the wall to step off. You usually see boats stern to the wall – but bows too gives greater privacy.
Just to prove that Dinah did actually join us!
That is what it is all about calm seas, warm weather and sunshine. Well some of the time anyway.
The Bimini converts into a “wheelhouse” with windows all around. It has proved very useful. This is Magnus demonstrating how to sail in the rain.
The fuel berth at Zadar. We took on £60 worth of diesel here – to replace the fuel used since leaving Italy. We have had light winds, and have therefor motored most of the way. Not ideal.
Our current berth in Zadar marina. We have spent the afternoon exploring the roman remains, eating ice cream and relaxing. Car hired ready for the trip to the airport in the morning. The car is rather old – so I hope it gets us there without breaking down. I am a bit sensitive to that subject at the moment!!
Well that is bang up to date at 1830 in the 1st of May.
I can now add some details on the trip so far.
Firstly it was all going really well, towing at an average of 43mph, and with an average fuel consumption of 18.5mpg (sounds bad but towing 3.5 tons remember).
Then we came to a longish hill on the M25 going south around London towards the motorway leading down to Folkstone. The engine temperature started to rise, and rise, and then there was lots of steam coming from under the bonnet!!
We pulled over into the hard shoulder and rang Green Flag who provide the recovery service we subscribe to. You can see the split in the radiator in the photo above. It was about 1.5 hours before they were actually in a position to tow us off the motorway. The problem was not the vehicle they had sent – but the driver who only had a class 2 HGV licence, and would be over his weight limit with the car and boat. So another recovery vehicle and driver were sent. We eventually got to our overnight destination of the Caravan club site near Folkstone.
The “Red Pennant” foreign breakdown service (which we paid £255 for) then kicked in and arranged for the car to be taken to a garage in Dover to be repaired. All good so far! Then we were left to stew for 3 days on the campsite, instead of the replacement vehicle within 8 hours that the contract promised.
In the end Alex and I decided to take matters into our own hands and organised a hire car ourselves. A brand new Discovery 4 from SHB Ltd. It took some sorting out because we wanted to drive it to Italy and back within the weeks minimum hire period.
So Friday morning we were on the 0650 shuttle under the channel to Calais. A really impressive and fast service. Paid for with Tesco vouchers, so reasonably priced as well.
We drove via Belgium into Germany to Austria and then Italy. The route was all motorway, via Cologne, Munich, Saltzburgh, Villach and down to the coast at Sn Giorgio de Nogara (Udine). The motorways were in good condition, mostly 3 lane and free until we got to Austria. There the vignette to use the motorways for 10 days cost 8.5 Euros, the Tauern tunnels cost 11 E, and then the Italian motorways cost 20 E.
We spent the one night in a motorway service station with the lorries, 200 miles north of Munich, above.
Austrian motorway into the Alps
The Discovery was amazing – the 3 L V6 diesel engine with an 8 speed automatic gearbox and cruise control, making a steady 55mph up hill and down dale, irrespective of how steep it was. No clutch, no gearstick – amazing!
Tauern tunnel entrance
We arrived at the marina on Saturday night and then collected Dinah and Magnus from the airport on Sunday morning. Our delay had meant they spent a night in a hotel and used a hire car to go exploring roman remains on the Saturday.
Alex set off early on Monday morning to return the hire car to Ashurst in Kent. He arrived back in the UK by midnight on the same day. Meantime Calista was launched at 1800 on the Monday, refuelled and ready to go by 1830, and off we went entering Croatia at Umag by midnight. Flat calm and motoring all the way.
We are now in Zadar Marina (hence the internet connection), waiting for a hire car so we can get Magnus to Split Airport tomorrow morning. We are still a bit behind schedule, but making up the lost time steadily!
Next installment later tonight!
Update 29/04/14 Well it is a long story! Range rover blew the radiator up on the M25.
Recovered to a camp site. Three days wait for car to be fixed. Hired new Discovery. Set off on 25/04/14 via channel tunnel. Alex Drove car back to SHB in Ashurst Kent. Calista launched 1800 28/04/14. Left for Croatia at 1830. Now in Umag. Will add photos when I have a bit more time. Have to get Magnus to Split by THURSDAY!!!! Still trying to make up the lost days.
Got to go!
Have a good trip! looking forward to hearing about your adventures..
Well, I wish you a good journey. I hope you have your European health insurance card and even more so that you don’t need it. I look forward to seeing a good blog. I am not sure what you use for internet connection but I have an unlocked 3G wifi dongle and used a TIM SIM. But somebody I met at Bosa when I was there recently said 3 had good roaming charges now? I found “La Chaine Meteo” a good weather App. Have fun, wear sunscreen and take a spare hat 😉
Calista is now ready to go!