The Southern Islands 2011 Route

In September 2011, we sailed for two weeks along the Croatian coast. The ship was a Bénéteau Oceanis 323 and the entire route can be found below.

We logged approximately 240 nautical miles. From Split to Vis via Brac, Hvar and Korcula then through to Lastovo, then to Mljet. Then leisurely via Korcula and Hvar back to Split. We visited some new places again, and had 8 nights on our anchor (or buoy) and only two nights in a harbour.

The weather was very good, plenty of sunshine every day and temperatures up to 30 degrees Celsius and above. We had good sailing winds, especially from the NW, and the sea temperature was 24-25 degrees Celsius.

In early September the dark comes early (before 20:00). The temperature dropped overnight to around 20 degrees Celsius.

Jurjeva Luka (Lastovo) – Luka Polače (Mljet)

When I wake up at 07:30, the bay is quiet. We have breakfast inside because of a swarm of wasps, and after a refreshing swim, we hoist our anchor around 08:30. We get the weather report now via the smartphone in via Mobile internet does not have the charm of a crackling VHF radio, but we can at least see the weather now (provided we have mobile reception). The prediction is good, wind from N to NW. We want to continue eastward to Mljet.

Right outside the bay we hoist the sails. With a NW wind of 12 knots, we first sail a southerly course. Once we are free of the island we sail directly east, heading 90. A little after 09:30 we pass the lighthouse on Rt Struga, the southernmost point of Lastovo. Behind this is Skrivena Luka, which we visited already. Then we turn our course to 80. Thus we remain south of the Sestrice and Otoci Vrhvnjaci, the group of rocks and small islands between Lastovo and Mljet.

In the next hour, we still have a small race with a catamaran. Eventually we “win”…

Just after noon we pass the lighthouse on Glavat, the easternmost of the Otoci Vrhvnjaci. The wind varies between 8 and 15 knots, and rises a bit as we near Mljet. We have to jibe a few times, but just after 15:00 we take the sails down and motor into Luka Polače, one of our favorite bays on the southern coast. It is relatively quiet, and at 15:45 our ship is at anchor and we are in the water.

Tri Luke (Korčula) – Jurjeva Luka (Lastovo)

During the night one ship gets adrift in the bay, but fortunately they can re-anchor. When we wake in the morning the wind is already strong, 10-12 knots from NW. We do not manage to receive a VHF Weather forecast in this bay. Both Split Radio and Dubrovnik Radio are not available.

After a refreshing swim and breakfast we hoist anchor at 09:30. A solid lump of mud proves that the anchor had dug in well. Still in the bay we hoist our mainsail, and with 12 knots tailwind we glide out of Tri Luke.

Outside we meet firm conditions. There is 16-18 knots of wind from NW, and a strong swell. We sail a southerly course, which brings us to the west of Lastovo. Because of the strong wind we cover the distance rapidly, and about two hours later we pass the rock Pod Mrčaru on the NW side of Lastovo. An hour later we sail between the islands Vlasnik and Bratin into the bay Velji Lag. In the southwestern cove we have been before, but this time we anchor in the northwest cove Jurjeva Luka. It is a former Yugoslav army base, there are still some dilapidated buildings and we see some tunnels into the mountain. The soil here is sandy so the anchor holds well. The wind from N to NW occasionally gusts over the mountain, but otherwise it’s quiet here. On one of the banks, we see a herd of goats and at the entrance of the bay a ship of the Croatian water police has its mooring.

We swim and have lunch, and then decide to stay here. We are joined by two American ships and a Slovene. By evening, the rangers visit to collect 25 kuna per person for access to the Lastovo National Park.