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Below you find a day-to-day report from our trip. It started on 22 May 2004 from Split, arriving back there on 4 June 2004.

Our ship was a Bénéteau Oceanis 393. Click here to see our route.

Day 1 : Split - Milna (Brač)

Upon leaving Split Harbour around 18:00 hours, there is a 15 – 20 knots wind from the south-east. Mainsail is hoisted, genua unrolled, and pretty soon our speed reaches over 7 knots. Our course is 180˚. Around 19:30 we drop our sails upon approaching the harbour-mouth of Milna, a small coastal town on the island of Brač. We moor in the small harbour at the mouth of the bay, and do not continue towards the ACI Marina at the back of the bay. Dutch harbourmaster here, would you believe it!

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Day 2 : Milna - Vis

During the morning, there is a short but solid rainstorm. Around noon, we leave Milna harbour and sail through Splitska Vrata. Course 210˚ towards Vis. Wind is variable, 6 – 16 knots from the south-east. When the wind disappears, the ‘iron sail’ (a.k.a. engine) needs to help and we motorsail towards Vodnjak (the most eastern island of the Pakleni Otoci south of Hvar). Here, we change course to 230˚, picking up the wind again around 14:30 in open sea. Around 17:00, we enter the bay of Vis (check out the photo-album here).

That evening, we have a great pizza in Pizzeria Karijola. From the harbour, follow the road to the left up the hill. After a 200 – 300 meter (just after passing a church) you will find the pizzeria on the right-hand side (with beautiful sea-view). Update 2005: Pizzeria unfortunately closed down!

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Day 3 : Vis - Hvar

Today things get a bit more serious. The idea is to sail to Korčula, quite a trip for one day. We leave the harbour around 10:00 AM. There is a strong southerly wind, which is just about right. All sails up and go! Around noon, we put a reef in the sails, making good progress.

However, our luck changes... Early afternoon, the wind changes to south-east (Jugo). And that is exactly the direction that we want to go. Since a sailing boat can do anything but sailing directly into the wind, we have to give up. We will not make it to Korčula if we have to tack all the time. Therefore, we change course towards the NW and sail to Hvar (check the photo-album here and the pilot guide here). We arrive around 15:00 hours, picking up the last free mooring along the quay.

Day 4 : Hvar

Because of unfavourable weather conditions (winds remaining south-easterly), and because this spot in the centre of Hvar is too good to be true (watching all the little monkeys pass by….), we decide to add another day to our visit and stay in Hvar.

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Day 5 : Hvar - Korčula

Still no wind, but we would like to get to Korčula somehow…. In comes the ‘iron sail’ again. With winds of maximum 5 – 6 knots, and almost no swell, an easy job for the autopilot. A good eating suggestion in Korčula (check the photo-album here and the pilot guide here) is Restaurant Millenium, which you can find on top of the city-wall on the eastern side of town. The best steak I ate in quite a while. Another good tip is Cukarin, a cookies and pastry store in town. It shows why Croatia is famous for its pastries…. Update 2006: Millenium unfortunately closed down! Cukarin still exists, and cookies are still great.

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Day 6 : Korčula - Dubrovnik

The day starts fine, with sunny weather and wind from the north-west, around 10 knots. Around 10:00 Am we leave the harbour and zet sail for Dubrovnik (SE). Around 13:00 the wind dies completely. The ‘morning breeze from the north-west comes back around 15:00. We hoist mainsail and blister, making 4 – 5 knots in light seas. However, again it does not last, so in comes the ‘iron sail’ again. Sick and tired of this ‘on-and-off’ sailing, we decide to make it for Dubrovnik still today. Around 19:30 we approach the estuary of the Rijeka Dubrovacka, with its beautiful Coastal Highway bridge. From there, it is another 2 nautical miles to ACI Marina in Komolac. We moor just before dark.

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Day 7 / 8 : Dubrovnik

We spend two days in ACI Marina Dubrovnik. It is situated near a beautiful ancient villa with wonderful, but somewhat neglected gardens. We use the time to visit Dubrovnik. Check out the photo-album here and here.

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Day 9 : Dubrovnik - Pomena

Just before 10:00 AM we leave ACI Marina Komolac. Upon leaving the estuary of Rijeka Dubrovacka, which runs between high mountain ranges, we can hoist the sails. The wind is 10 - 15 knots from the north-west. Our choice is to sail along the southern coast of Mljet. Around noon, the wind change to more westerly and strengthens a bit. By now, our speed is well over 7 knots, and we continue tacking westward.

During the afternoon, the wind rose to 20 – 35 knots from the NW. That is a bit more than the predicted 10 – 12 knots! There is a strong swell as well. We put one, later two reefs in the mainsail, and continue the battle against wind and waves. Around 19:30 we arrive in Pomena, on the north-western tip of Mljet (check the pilot guide here). The quay in front of the hotel is already full, but the bay behind the hotel is a superb anchoring ground. We stay out late in the cockpit, and I also sleep there. Out at sea, the only place where you can still see a star-spangled sky!

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Day 10 : Pomena - Korčula

After yesterday’s battle, we take it easy today. We have a sunny morning, which has not been that common during this trip… Around 13:00 we lift anchor, and sail for Korčula. The wind, 15 knots from north-westerly directions, is ideal for our course of 330˚, and we make a steady 7 knots plus. The gap between Mljet and Korčula is bridged in a bit over two hours. The wind still tries to trick us around the little islands which are situated NE of Korčula, but around 16:00 we reach the harbour.

Here it becomes obvious that the season has really started. The Marina fills up completely, and there are various ‘near-accidents’ while mooring. While talking to one of the ACI-staff members, he comments ‘We treat every arrival as a potential accident'. That is one way to look at things… In this harbour we also find one of the trainings ships from Ultra Sailing. A nice chance to have a beer and catch up with the instructor, with whom we sailed a couple of years back.

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Day 11 : Korčula - Palmižana

In the morning, we stow a load of fresh cookies from Cukarin on our ship…. Then it’s off in NW direction through the Peljeski Kanal. The wind is varying between SE and NE, so it’s great for ‘butterflying’. Around us, there is a couple of dozens of yachts on the same course, which gives a great view (despite the dark weather).

Our plan was to sail to Šćedro, and anchor in the bay on the northern side of this island (Lovišće). But progress is good, so we continue to Sveti Klement to anchor in Palmižana Cove (check the pilot guide here).

Around 15:00 the wind dies down again, so in comes the ‘iron sail’. That happened just a little too often during this trip. Around us, the weather is dark and gloomy, with low clouds and drizzle. It looks like the UK or Ireland, not like the (normally) sunny Adriatic! Around 18:00, it is ‘anchor down’ in Palmižana Cove, where we find some 15 other yachts.

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Day 12 : Palmižana - Hvar

During the night the rain starts pouring down. It’s looking like Ireland again! It continues all morning, and the weather forecast does not show any improvement. Around 10:30 AM we start the engine and sail between the Pakleni Otoci islands to the harbour of the town of Hvar. We are lucky to find one of the last free places along the main quay.

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Day 13 : Hvar - Trogir

The weather forecast remains bleak for the rest of the week. After leaving Hvar, we sail in NW direction towards the western edge of Šolta. We stop for lunch in Uvala Šešula, a nice and well-protected bay, but a bit small. After lunch, the course is N towards Trogir. While approaching the coast, we have a great view of developing thundershowers. The moment we moor the boat in Trogir, the rain starts pouring down like I never saw it before. Fortunately, it is dry during the night so that we can still go out for a pizza.

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Day 14 : Trogir - Split

It is our last sailing day… Cloudy, but dry. The wind is W, 10 – 12 knots. Great for ‘butterflying’ towards Split, due east. When the wind catches up, we still manage to squeeze out 5 – 6 knots of speed. But around 16:30, the wind is gone and rain starts again. So, again, we motor into the harbour and moor the boat in pouring rain.

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