Vinogradisce (Sveti Klement) – Hvar

Because it keeps on raining, we do not get out of bed until 09:00 CET. The weather looks rotten. But it is Saturday today, the day that most charters change crew, and thus are in their home ports. That means that Hvar, the one place where everybody wants to go, will be relatively quiet.

We lift anchor at 10:30 CET. Slowly we motor through the shallow channel between Marinkovac and Planikovac, two small islands east of Sveti Klement, Around 11:00 CET we sail into the harbour of Hvar town in the rain. We sail several rounds there, but no harbourmaster shows up. Because we do not feel like anchoring, one of our crew members steps off at the ferry quay. He walks over and fishes out a mooring line for us. With three people on the boat we moor the boat according to the book. The storm damage is still visible on the quay walls, and a lot of moorings are missing.

Half an hour later, after the rain has stopped, the harbourmaster appears. ‘It rained…’ he says. It does not make me appreciate him more, but unfortunately this kind of behaviour is quite common in Hvar. Fortunately, the sun comes out, and we can still enjoy our day in the ‘Saint-Tropez of Croatia’. We get our laundry done (there is a launderette at the open market next to the cathedral) and we also do some shopping. Investments in Hvar are obviously picking up: two hotels around the harbour are closed for renovation. But some things do not change: Prices in Hvar are on average 50% higher than in Split or Zagreb. For the privilege of mooring your boat on this quay for a night you will pay as much as in a marina.

During the night, the wind turns again. This causes a nasty swell in the harbour. We now have a swell from the north-west, and the wind from north-east. We veer out the lines, so that we get our ship at 1,5 – 2,0 meters from the quay, and pull the mooring line at the bow. The rolling is very uncomfortable. Fortunately, there is enough distance between the ships due to the missing mooring lines from last week’s storm. Usually the boats are moored so close together that there is a serious risk of the stays getting tangled.

Near Vis, south-west from us, we can see a huge thunderstorm. If that would come our way the harbour of Hvar would become outright dangerous. Thus, we make sure that we are completely ready for departure. At 01:00 CET we even fill up the water tanks. We are taking turns keeping the watch for the rest of the night. Some other yachts are obviously making the same preparations as we do. I would rather be outside than inside the harbour during a heavy storm. Fortunately, the storm passes west of Hvar, and our discomfort stays limited to the rolling, the party people and the weather conditions.