Skrivena Luka (Lastovo) – Šipanska Luka (Šipanska)

A swim, breakfast, and at 08:20 the weather forecast via Dubrovnik Radio VHF (we are too far away for Split Radio by now). The great daily morning routine on our ship. The weather prognosis is the same as yesterday, and around this time the air temperature is 25 degrees Celsius. We decide to sail eastward along the southern coast of the island of Mljet. Our objective for the day is Uvala Saplunara, a bay on the southeastern tip of Mljet. We lift anchor around 09:00 and leave Skrivena Luka. Once outside, we change course to 090, eastwards. A number of other ships take a more northeasterly course, probably towards Korčula or the northern side of Mljet. We want to keep the Vrhovnjaci, the chain of rocks and small islets east of Lastovo, to our port side and pass south of them.

The southwesterly wind, which was promised by the forecast, is nowhere to be seen. Instead, we have an easterly wind, straight on our bow. Around 10:30 the wind turns to north-east, 7 knots. Time to hoist our sails. At 11:30 we have the lighthouse of Glavat, the most easterly of the Vrhovnjaci, due north at 000 degrees. Not much later, the wind dies down again and we have to switch to the engine. We pass Goli Rat, the western cape of Mljet, around 13:00 hours. The wind returns not much later, and now it is the promised westerly (6 knots).

We hoist the sails again and continue along the southern shore of Mljet. There is just one other ship sailing on a westerly course, for the rest it is just us.

At 15:20 in the afternoon we listen to the afternoon weather forecast on Dubrovnik Radio. By that time we are 5 nautical miles west of Uvala Saplunara. For the evening and night a southwesterly wind is predicted. And Uvala Saplunara is completely open to the south-west. After last night’s experience in Skrivena Luka, we are looking for a quiet place to sleep. But if plan A fails, there is always the rest of the alphabet…

While passing Uvala Saplunara one hour later, we see a number of ships anchoring there. We continue eastwards and round Rt Gruj, the southeasterly tip of Mljet. Then it is course 055 towards the northeast, aiming for Prolaz Harpoti, the narrow channel between the islands of Šipan and Jakljan. These are part of the Elaphite Islands, a string of islands between Dubrovnik and the Pelješac peninsula. Prolaz Harpoti is a beautiful narrow channel, covered on both sides with strong-smelling pine trees.

After the passage through the channel, we go starboard out, sailing into the harbour of Šipanska Luka. By now it is 18:00 hours, and it turned into a long sailing day. We find a safe anchoring spot in the harbor and call it a day. Šipanska Luka looks nice and rather authentic when seen from our cockpit, but we do not have the energy anymore to launch the dinghy and go for some sightseeing. That night I sleep like a log, although I am afraid that the whole town heard my snoring…