Luka Polace (Mljet) – ACI Marina Palmižana

I wake up around sunrise (05:30 CET). We have to be back in Split in two days, so it is about time to head north again.. Unfortunately, both VHF as well as FM reception is not good in this bay. Thus, I have very little information about the weather prognosis. It is dry and sunny now, and the water of the bay is like a mirror. But that does not say much in the Adriatic…

Around 08:00 CET we lift anchor. We slowly manoeuvre through the dangerous entrance of Luka Polace towards open water. There we head north-west towards Korčula. At first we do some motorsailing, but soon the wind to 8 – 10 knots from the north-east. Bura-time again. It makes for some great sailing on a sea which is still completely empty at this time of the day. We have our breakfast at sea while approaching Korčula.

Pelješki Kanal is entered around 10:30 CET. While I am getting annoyed by the long row of holiday homes that stretches along the coast from Orebic towards the north-west (Croatia, take care what you do with your coastline!) we listen to the weather forecast. It is not good. We were already monitoring a beautiful thundercloud hanging above Korčula for a while. That seems to be the start of a serious storm from the south-west. They expect winds around 40 – 45 knots, 8 to 9 Beaufort.

The wind increases steadily to 15 – 20 knots (still from a north-easterly direction). With 7 knots of speed we fly towards Hvar. Everywhere around us we see the most beautiful rain- and thunder showers. A group of yachts behind us disappears behind a curtain of water. To our port side we see lightning shooting through the air. For the time being we sail nicely between those showers. Our secondary port of destination today is Šćedro, but the wind will have to turn southerly for that to be an option. Šćedro only has protected anchorages on its northern shores.

Near Šćedro the storm catches up with us. In a couple of minutes, the wind turns from north-east to south-west (180 degrees! A great phenomenon to witness). Rain pours down on us. We have taken down the bimini and have prepared for the storm in every possible way. Heavy weather suits are out, and both life-jackets and life-lines are ready for the grab. But things are rather easy so far, the wind does not get much stronger than 20 knots.

Thus, we continue sailing towards Hvar. With these south-westerly winds ACI Palmižana would be an ideal destination. Around 16:00 CEt the rain stops, we still have 6 miles to go towards Hvar. Around 17:00 CET we moor the boat on one of the last free spots in ACI Palmižana. With an extra bow-line, since the weather prognosis is now talking about Bura wind (north east) again! And Bura is the only wind that causes some swell in this well-protected harbour. But even in Bura, ACI Palmižana remains my favourite harbour along this coast.

That night we have a dinner at Meneghello. It is a fine restaurant, but take care! At 18:30 CET we managed to obtain the last non-reserved table here. The restaurant was still very quiet, and we had the first choice of fresh fish. Furthermore, it was on our table within 45 minutes. When the restaurant fills up, both staff and kitchen cannot handle it anymore. When ordering, people were told that it might be two (2) hours before the main dish would be on the table. This was being told when the wine and other drinks were on the table already… Our meal was excellent, though.