Yacht Retreat - Passage Reports 2001
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Passage Report Number 1
On passage from
AT SEA ONCE MORE
As I begin this report we are 20 nautical miles north-east
We flew back to
At the end of our fortnight Mum flew out and we joined her
for a week in an apartment in Mellieha near the
northern tip of
On Tuesday 20th March, three days after Mum’s departure, Retreat
was launched and we obtained a berth for two weeks in Msida
This proved to be a particularly social fortnight as friends we first
met in Almerimar, Jimmy & Claire from the Yacht Phćacian,
arrived from their over-winter base in
Ten days ago we heard the dreadful news that Ron Senior, a close friend from our early 20’s, has died from cancer. We both owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ron and his widow Brenda for the love and support they gave us in those difficult years. Our love, prayers and deepest sympathy go out to Brenda and her two sons.
At the end of last week the five-day weather forecast
obtained from an Internet Cafe predicted a High Pressure System developing over
Passage Report Number 2
TIPTOEING THROUGH THE NIGHT
In the 10 days since our last Passage Report we have covered more miles than we often do in a month. The few harbours in these parts and the paucity of places to visit ashore make long journeys inevitable.
Our journey from
On Thursday we motored a further 53
miles over a smooth sea to
Having started at 0450 we arrived in
With 114 miles logged in two days, Friday was to be an easy
day. Twenty fives miles along the coast
Our stay in
As we relaxed in Roccella Ionica the familiar light blue flags with their rings of golden stars fluttering around the harbour reminded us that we were back in the land of the Euro. The harbour was built with massive grants from the EC to try to inject some prosperity into this depressed region. Although virtually complete for some years now it still has no staff and mooring there is consequently free. Whilst it is a most welcome harbour for yachtsman sailing this inhospitable coast, it cannot yet have contributed much to the local economy.
After a day of rest in Roccella we
set out at 0445 on Monday morning to make the 70-mile passage to
On Wednesday we travelled by train to Laghi
di Sibari, a large marina
deep in the
After the discomfort of our last journey, we are reluctant
Passage Report Number 3
OUR ARRIVAL IN
As I write the setting sun is giving an orange hue to the
rocky mountainside to the north of the River Dubrovacka. A chapel with a slender spire nestles on a
knoll and, below, the red-tiled roofs of pretty stone houses glow in the
evening light. To the south, lush green
woodland cascades down the slopes to the very edge of the water. We have arrived in
In the event we only had to wait one more night before
setting off from
We spent Easter Day moored in Santa Maria di Leuca waiting for yet another
north-westerly gale to pass over.
However, we were able to explore the small town and to walk up the huge
double flight of steps built by Mussolini as a ceremonial gateway into
By Easter Monday the gale had blown itself out and we made a
26-mile passage under power around Capo di Santa
Maria di Leuca to Otranto on the Italian Adriatic coast. We were greeted by deafening pop music played
from the citadel walls, presumably as some form of celebration of Easter. We might have been tempted to walk into the
town to find out what was going on but we could find nowhere safe to leave Retreat. There were half a dozen or more vacant berths
on some new Yacht Club pontoons but a large notice made it clear (in three
languages) that visitors were not welcome.
Incredulous at the concept of visiting yachts being turned away from
vacant berths we approached the pontoons, but to no avail - we were indeed
turned away. We eventually moored
alongside a laid-up fishing boat but not before silently awarding the Yacht
Club of Otranto the ‘Wooden Spoon’ for the unfriendliest club in the
On Tuesday morning, anxious to leave Otranto
as soon as possible, we made a 43-mile passage to
Towards the end of our day in
With the formalities complete we cast
off once more and motored the short distance to Dubrovnik Marina where we now lie. With 546 miles covered in 17 days, 38% of
which have been under sail, this has been our most hectic schedule at sea since
Passage Report Number 4
CHANGES IN PRESSURE
We spent four nights in Dubrovnik Marina slowly unwinding
from our high-speed dash from
Despite the weather, we made several trips to the old walled
The helpful lady in the Marina Office assured us that the
bad weather would soon be over and summer was about to begin. This seemed to be confirmed by the long-range
forecast we obtained from an Internet Café in
As we motored north-west along the Koločepski
Kanal (not a canal at all but a mile wide channel
After a night anchored in a bay on the mainland coast, Luka Slano, we made a
thirteen-mile passage to the first of what we hope will prove to be many
islands visited - Otok Mljet. (Luka means Harbour
and Otok means
The north-western end of Otok Mljet in which Luka Polače is situated is a National Park. Two kilometres inland from our anchorage there is a series of ‘inland seas’, the most popular feature of the park. We enjoyed several walks around their boarders during which we saw rare Bee Orchids and a Hoopee, a large crested bird.
On Monday afternoon we moved from Luka Polače to an equally delightful anchorage south of Pomena, still within the National Park. Though not quite as well protected as Luka Polače it is even more secluded with only one house to be seen in the distance. We stayed for two nights and made the most of the beautiful surroundings and the glorious sunshine.
By Wednesday we were running short of both water and food so
a trip to a larger centre was a necessity.
We left Otok Mljet
promising to return and made the fourteen-mile passage to the town of
On Thursday afternoon we sailed from Korčula to Otok Lastovo where we now lie. Unfortunately the high pressure has slipped away and it has turned quite windy once more. However, we are in a fully-protected bay and have two anchors laid so we do not feel concerned. When conditions improve we shall move on again. After all, living one’s life in tune with the weather is what cruising is all about!
Passage Report Number 5
Moored in Luka Tiha,
TOOTH FAIRIES AND GREMLINS
We did not have to wait long for conditions to improve sufficiently for us to leave Luka Mali Lago. We were able to leave the very next morning, though not before spending an hour and a half recovering and re-stowing our second anchor. A heavy Danforth, it is extremely effective but a brute to handle, especially from the dinghy.
A nine-mile passage between the smaller islands off the
western end of Otok Lastovo
took us to the fully-protected anchorage of Skrivena Luka. Our journey
took us close by the entrance to one of several submarine pens hewn out of the
Lastovo was off limits until 1989. No doubt, in their glory days, some of the
nuclear submarines that now lie rotting in Russian harbours lay hidden here,
less than 60 miles from the
We spent three nights anchored in Skrivena
several excursions ashore we particularly enjoyed an 8 km walk across the
island to the
On the morning of Wednesday 9th May we
reluctantly left Otok Lastovo
and motored north to Otok Korčula. We nosed into several anchorages along the
south coast of the island eventually anchoring for the night tucked behind the
On Thursday we motored around the western end of Otok Korčula and anchored in
a semi-protected bay, Uvala Sveti
Ivan. We spent two nights here
punctuated by a trip in Retreat to the town of
On Saturday we made an eighteen-mile passage to the Pakleni Otoci, a group of small islands off the western end of Otok Hvar. We anchored for lunch off Otok Jerolim, the most easterly of the islands and overnight in Uvala Vinogradišće on the southern side of Otok Sveti Klement. Uvala Vinogradišće is a superb anchorage with plenty of room and delightful scenery but it is unfortunately spoilt by a very noisy generator onshore that runs for most of the day.
We spent two more nights amongst the Pakleni Otoci, one anchored in Uvala Taršće and one tucked behind Rt Mlin on Otok Marinkovak. To us, this is cruising at its very best. Quiet, peaceful anchorages all to ourselves, beautiful scenery and warm sunshine. Even the tooth seemed to be responding to the antibiotics. Perfect!
The weather forecast on Tuesday morning brought us back to reality with a warning of increasing winds from the south-east. We decided to take advantage of the new wind and visit Otok Vis, another island that was off limits prior to 1989. Once clear of the Pakleni Otoci we were treated to an exhilarating sail with 25 knots of wind on our port beam giving us 6 to 7 knots over the entire eleven-mile passage. We moored alongside the Town Quay where we were reasonably, though not entirely sheltered from the prevailing winds.
We would have liked to stay on Otok Vis for longer but Gremlins intervened by spending the night tapping away at my tooth with small pick-axes. The course of antibiotics was over, and so was the relief they had brought. Another brisk sail took us to the western end of the Pakleni Otoci followed by an exciting beat to Hvar town up the Pakleni Kanal. On the very last tack the Gremlins intervened again, tripping me up as I moved to grind in the winch. I scraped my shin against the edge of a locker lid and removed a section of skin about 8cm long by 3cm wide. Pat said it looked just like the scrapings from new potatoes!
The harbour at
On Saturday morning we woke to blessed silence - the wind
had gone. We paid our dues, cast off our
lines, motored across to
We spent Saturday night in Luka Vela Garška, a delightful bay on the northern side of the Pakleni Kanal. Yesterday, we motored around the western end of Otok Hvar to Luka Tiha on Starogradski Zaljev. Here, whilst I was taking a line ashore in the dinghy, the Gremlins struck once again. Trying to prevent the rope rubbing against my injured leg I slipped and tore a muscle in my shoulder. Who ever said sailing was relaxing!
Contrary winds prevented us from staying in Luka Tiha last night so we moved to Stiniva where we were able to moor behind a protective wall. However, we returned to Luka Tiha this morning where we are now lying, bows to our anchor and stern tied back to the rocks ashore. It is a beautiful spot where, Gremlins permitting, we hope to stay for a couple of nights.
Passage Report Number 6
Moored in Marina Hramina,
As I write my wounds have healed and we are safely moored in Marina Hramina as near-gale force winds howl through the rigging and create mayhem amongst the charter fleet attempting to berth their large, unfamiliar vessels in very testing conditions. We do not really like marinas, much preferring to lie to our own anchor in a secluded bay, but in conditions like this the security of a sheltered berth has much to commend it.
We enjoyed a peaceful night in Luka Tiha, though southerly winds
forced us to move out on the following afternoon, Tuesday 22nd
May. However, we were able to find good
shelter for that night a short distance away in Luka Zavala and we returned to Luka Tiha for Wednesday night.
One of the joys of cruising in
On Thursday we made a 26-mile passage around the northern promontory of Otok Hvar to a spectacular inlet known as Vela Stiniva. We anchored there for a few hours and then retraced our wake to Vrboska where we anchored for the night in a bay on the northern side of the approach. The following morning we visited the travel agent in Jelsa to find out where Katy and family would be staying and we made arrangements to berth Retreat in the harbour for the duration of their visit.
We remained at anchor near Vrboska throughout Saturday keeping in touch with Katy and Nick using SMS messages. By late evening we knew that they had arrived at their apartment and were, therefore, less than 2 miles away. However, we had promised to give them breathing space until the next morning so we had to contain our excitement. The next morning we motored into Jelsa harbour and met up on board as arranged. Everyone was very excited, of course, except Oliver who took it all in his stride! What a thrill it was to see how much he had grown and developed since we last saw him in February.
The weather Gods smiled upon our family holiday and we were
blessed with warm sunshine for the whole week.
We enjoyed several day-sails on board Retreat, went for a long
walk along a beautiful coastal path, swam in the sea and visited
We had little time for tears: in the ten minutes it took us to walk back to Retreat the wind rose from 5 to 25 knots. Running the last 50 metres we found her stern pressed hard up against the quay with only ‘Fido’, the huge fender we use in such circumstances, protecting her from serious damage. After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was probably less than 5 minutes, we cast off, weighed anchor and motored out of Jelsa harbour. Once clear of the breakwater we found ourselves battling against a full gale and two-metre waves. Mercifully, we were able to bear away after less than half a mile and, 75 minutes later, we anchored safely off Vrboska. The storm continued to intensify with hail, thunder and lightening all around but, by mid afternoon all was calm and the sun shone for the first time that day. We weighed anchor and made a 15-mile passage to Uvala Luciče on Otok Brač.
On Saturday 2nd June we made a 17-mile passage to
Uvala Razetinovac, a
delightful bay just 1˝ miles from Trogir. The next morning we motored into the marina
to keep a rendezvous with old friends Jimmy & Claire on board Phćacian. We spent two very busy days in Trogir with a hectic round of social calls, washing,
scrubbing, shopping and site seeing. The
mediaeval town is built on an island and ranks alongside
Since leaving Trogir we have
devoted our time to enquiring about flights and seeking a suitable marina to
leave Retreat for our mid-summer trip back to the
Passage Report Number 7
Anchored in Supetarska Draga,
Our trip to the office at Marina Hramina was successful and we have booked a place on land for Retreat, both for our summer break and for the winter. Looking for a suitable marina to lay up is always an unsettling task so we are delighted that we shall not have to consider the question again for at least 11 months. Marina Hramina is in a rural location on the edge of a village and we hope that it will prove to be a pleasant spot to spend a few months of our lives, both in the autumn and next spring.
On Monday 11th June, having booked our place at
the marina, we threaded our way through the myriad of small islands north of Otok Murter to Uvala Landin on Otok Pašman. There we spent a peaceful though gusty night
accompanied only by the sound of 1,000’s of cicadas in the trees on the
shore. The following day we made our way
to Uvala Brbinj on Dugi Otok (
The boatman who came to collect our dues (a most reasonable
Ł3.80) was one of the most interesting characters we have met in
Over the next three days we made our way to
The passage of yet another depression kept us in
On Tuesday 19th June the weather improved and we
made a short passage to Uvala Soline,
a pretty anchorage just a few miles south from
Our passage around
Passage Report Number 8
Anchored in Uvala Koširina,
As I write we are anchored close to Marina Hramina where we shall be leaving Retreat for a
month whilst we fly back to the
On Sunday 24th June we motored 10 miles around
the coast of
But what of that other plague presaged in our last Passage Report - the katabatic wind known as the ‘bora’ that pours down from the Velebit Mountains just a few miles east of Rab? It seemed that we were to be spared on this occasion. Monday morning dawned hot and windless enabling us to make an exploratory passage into the Velebitski Kanal and along part of the east coast of Otok Rab. What a desolate scene! The entire east-facing flank of the island has been blasted clear of all vegetation by the ferocity of the bora leaving nothing but bare rock. The contrast with the lush vegetation on the west-facing flank less than half a mile away is dramatic.
Before leaving the Velebitski Kanal we ventured into the narrow gorge of Uvala Zavratnica that cuts back into the Velebit mountains. The entrance, less than 50 metres wide between sheer cliffs, seemed totally improbable but once inside we were able to anchor in a small pool with our stern tied back to the shore. After lunch we walked a short way up the gorge and I snorkelled over the wreck of a WW2 landing craft whose crew had clearly not found this spot to be as delightful as we had. We returned to Uvula Sveti Fumija later in the afternoon feeling very pleased with ourselves in much the same way as our pupils evidently felt when they had succeeded in evading our rules. The Velebitski Kanal is talked of by Yachties in hushed tones yet we had managed to sneak a visit!
Over the next three days we made our way to Otok Susak with over-night stays
in Uvala Kolorat on
On Friday we returned to the anchorage between Otok Ilovik and Otok Sveti Petar
where we once again picked up one of the free mooring buoys. We had already explored the delightful
Over the next four days we worked our way slowly southwards
to Dugi Otok (
On Thursday 5th July we began our passage south along the east coast of Dugi Otok. After a gentle day and a peaceful night on a buoy in Uvala Lučina, Friday was a day of intense activity. We called first at the fuel station at Zaglav, where we took on diesel and water, and then at the town quay in Sali for long enough to visit a supermarket and several market stalls. The outer islands are beautiful but remote, so victualling has to be carried out whenever and wherever possible.
When we reached the south-eastern tip of Dugi
Otok we turned into the four-mile long inlet known as
Luka Telašćica. This huge natural harbour is a
However idyllic the setting, the time
always comes to move on. Jimmy
and Claire left on Monday and the following morning we made a 15-mile passage
Since leaving the Kornati Isles we
have made our way back to Otok Murter
with over-night stops in Uvala Stupica
Veli on Otok Žirje, Luka Tijašćica
on Otok Tijat and Uvala Potkucina on Otok Kakan. Since our dash to Luka
Mali Losinj the weather has been stable with high
pressure over the
Captain’s Log Supplemental
Moored in Marina Hramina,
BACK ON BOARD
This is just a short report to let you all know that we are
safely back on board Retreat. Our journey from
We have spent the last two days working furiously to get Retreat
back into cruising trim. Four weeks
ashore left her coated in a thick layer of dust and grime but a couple of hours
with a hose and scrubbing brush followed by a torrential thunder storm had us
looking sparkling once more. We have
made five trips to four different supermarkets and we still have a further trip
to make tomorrow morning.
As well as shopping we have also confirmed our booking for
Mum’s trip out to see us at the end of September. We have found a two-bedroomed
Tomorrow morning we hope to re-hoist the sails and, with luck, we should be away during the afternoon or, at the latest, on Friday morning. We are very much looking forward to that and, especially, to being able to swim from the back of the boat once more.
Passage Report Number 9
On the evening of Monday 20th August our Croatian Airlines
Airbus touched down at
Retreat was re-launched on Tuesday morning and the
rest of that day, and all day Wednesday, was spent unpacking, shopping and
making ready for sea. The
task of finding a home for all the items that we have brought back from the
On Thursday 23rd August we finally set sail and made a very short passage to Vela Luka, a well-protected bay just to the north of Otok Murter. The term ‘set sail’ is always somewhat metaphorical as one invariably leaves harbour under power. However, on this occasion it was doubly so as our sails were still stowed below. Strong winds had helped to keep us cool whilst shopping and packing but they had also made it impossible to hoist our sails. Setting forth with no sails bent on is strictly taboo and we felt very vulnerable whilst doing so. Fortunately, the engine behaved and no dramas ensued and we were able to hoist both our working sails the next day.
Over the next two days we worked our way back to Luka Telašćica at the southern end of Dugi Otok with an overnight stay en route in Uvala Landin on Otok Pašman. Luka Telašćica was our favourite anchorage in the first half of the year and it lost nothing by being revisited. It has everything a yachtsman could ask for: it is fully protected from the sea, the water is a suitable depth for anchoring, the muddy sea bed gives good holding and the surroundings are both beautiful and peaceful. We stayed for three nights.
On Tuesday 28th August we wished John a Happy Birthday and
then weighed anchor and motored out of Luka Telašćica. We motored north-west along the seaward side of Dugi Otok for about three miles
in order to look at the cliffs, some of the highest in the
By Wednesday morning our stocks were running low so we headed back to Marina Hramina where we are now ‘permanent’ berth holders. It turned out to be a good move as the weather took a turn for the worse that evening. As a result we stayed in the marina for two nights protected from the ‘Sudden Storms’ as they were heralded in the weather forecast. On our first night we were also entertained by watching the evening unfold on a huge superyacht that moored directly opposite our berth. With eight guests and as many crew, their evening meal was a splendid affair. Not that we were jealous: our pizza was delicious and our view of the beautiful surroundings was identical to theirs but cost us many, many times less to enjoy!
By Friday lunchtime the weather had cleared so we cast off our lines and made for Uvala Potkućina on Otok Kakan. We had intended to moor to one of the buoys in the bay but the rope on the first one we tried was partly cut through and the mooring eye on the second was badly distorted. Disillusioned with the buoys we lay to our own anchor and glad we were that we had. That evening, presaged by thunder and lightening and a sky that turned so black that dusk arrived an hour early, one of the ‘Sudden Storms’ passed directly overhead. For a short time we had wind gusting to gale force together with rain so heavy that the water seemed to boil around us. Fortunately, the storm disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived and apart from a few further bouts of heavy rain the rest of the night was peaceful enough.
Yesterday we enjoyed a superb sail from Kakan
to Jadrtovac where we now lie. Jadrtovac is
situated on a wide, winding inlet in the mainland coast a few miles south of Šibenik. Entrance to
the inlet is beneath an arched bridge that carries the
Last night we spent an enjoyable evening on board Phćacian with friends Jimmy and Claire. Just a few years ago such meetings were governed by random chance but today SMS messages, the universal means of medium-range communication amongst yachties, have made them simple to arrange. During our evening out we were hit by yet another ‘Sudden Storm’ but, in the security of the anchorage, the only problem it created was filling our dinghy with water.
Tomorrow we hope to head south again for the islands off
Passage Report Number 10
Anchored in Uvala Stupin, mainland
We began our journey south on Monday 3rd September with a 28-mile
passage from Jadrtovac to Vinišće,
a large well-protected inlet on the mainland coast 6 miles west of Trogir. En route we
nosed into the picturesque
We made the most of our two days in Trogir by stocking up from the nearby supermarkets and doing a number of jobs that required electrical power. We also enjoyed a meal out with Jimmy and Claire who came into the marina on Wednesday afternoon. By Thursday the wind had abated and we returned to Vinišće where we enjoyed a peaceful night at anchor.
On Friday we made a 15-mile passage to Uvala Nečujam on Otok Šolta, a most delightful spot. We moored with our bows to our anchor and our stern tied back to a tree and there we stayed for two nights. On our second day, on the advice of a local yachtsman, we put out additional lines and a second anchor. The yachtsman appeared alongside in his dinghy, stark naked, and conversed with us in a mixture of Italian and French. His enthusiastic advice not only included mooring techniques but also his method of obtaining an all-over tan in five days!
On Sunday morning we received a forecast of yet another
depression approaching the
On our first evening in PŠD Spinut we walked into the centre of
In the four days since leaving
With high-pressure building and a clear blue sky it felt as
if summer had returned, the only fly in the ointment being a noisy compressor
run by divers ashore recharging their bottles.
What totally insignificant things we allow to affect our lives at
times! That evening we received an SMS message from Katy advising us to tune in to the BBC
World Service straight away. We did so,
and listened in stunned silence as the story of the terrorist attacks in
On Wednesday we made a short passage to Uvala Bobovišće on Otok Brač. Another island and another delightful anchorage, this time fully protected from the sea. With the weather more settled we were able to go ashore where we enjoyed a long walk around the bay.
Having sailed Retreat for approaching 20,000 miles one might think that we have tried every combination of sails possible. We thought so too, but on Thursday we tried something new. Faced with a down-wind passage in light winds that were forecast to increase rapidly we were reluctant to hoist the spinnaker. Instead, we poled our genoa to windward (just) and set our light-weather genoa to leeward. This double-headed rig, much favoured by ocean cruisers, gave us 3 to 4 knots in 6 to 8 knots of apparent wind and took us safely to Uvala Šešula on Otok Šolta. There we anchored fore and aft at the head of the bay and enjoyed a peaceful night.
Yesterday, with yet another depression forecast, we weighed our anchors and motored out of Uvala Šešula. As we emerged from the tranquillity of the bay we were caught broadside and rolled heavily by short, steep waves built up by a force 6 wind blowing from the SE. However, once on the downwind course required the strong wind gave us a fast 17-mile passage under genoa alone to Uvala Stupin where we now lie.
As I write the sky is overcast, there is the sound of distant thunder and the forecast is warning once again of ‘Sudden Storms’. Always one for belt and braces, we are lying to two anchors and, if conditions worsen, there is a marina only 2 miles away within protected waters. With luck the storms will pass us by and by tomorrow we shall be under way again. To find out how we fare, look out for our next Passage Report.
Passage Report Number 11
Moored in Marina Hramina, Otok Murter
THREE FINAL PASSAGES
As I write we are securely moored in our autumn berth at Marina Hramina on Otok Murter. We have rigged our heavy-duty mooring lines, removed, washed, repaired and stored our sails and are now well into our routine of autumn maintenance know to sailors as ‘laying-up.’ Whilst the essence of cruising is keeping on the move, the laying-up period is not without its attractions. Staying in one place allows water and electricity, two commodities that are strictly rationed when cruising, to be freely used and avoids the necessity to be constantly seeking out somewhere to buy daily provisions. Within a matter of days one starts to become part of the local scene and people, previously strangers, stop by to pass the time of day.
The night of Saturday 15th September was spent peacefully in Uvala Stupin: the thunder remained in the distance and the storms passed us by. The following day we made a 13-mile passage back to the anchorage off Jadrtovac that we had enjoyed so much on our way south. En route we anchored to the east of Rogoznica for long enough to allow us to walk around the entire perimeter of the island upon which the village stands: a most delightful stop.
Monday morning dawned very wet and the forecast was for
continuing unsettled weather. However,
by the skies looked less
threatening and we set out on a 15-mile passage to the
About five miles upstream from Šibenik the river opens out into a large inland lake called Prokljansko Jezero. We spent Monday night anchored on the eastern side of the lake in a tiny, deserted bay known as Uvala Beretuša. We had intended to continue up river the next morning but torrential rain kept us huddled below in our topcoats trying to keep warm. The temperature within a boat is heavily influenced by the temperature of the water in which it floats and the water in the River Krka flows clear, fresh and cold from the nearby mountains. However, the rain did eventually stop and we were able to go for a walk in the afternoon.
As so often seems to happen, our unscheduled excursion
turned out to be particularly interesting.
After a mile or so along a track through virgin scrub we came into a
village that still bore extensive scars of the war with the Serbs. On the edge of the village there were many
ruins of bombed-out houses, most of which lay deserted. In places, new houses had been built between
the ruins but the overall feeling was still one of desolation. However, towards the centre of the village
more repairs had been done and local people were out and about getting on with
the chores of daily life. We felt very
out of place in our shorts and sun hats and we were keenly aware of many eyes
upon us. However, when we greeted the
locals in their own language and explained that we were English their faces lit
up with broad welcoming smiles. Far from
the tourist resorts, this was the closest we had been to true
After a second night in Uvala Beretuša we motored the remaining two and a half miles
upstream to the marina at Skradin. Here we left Retreat whilst we
continued in the free water-taxi provided by the National Park. We were dropped less than 200 metres from the
bottom of the Skradinski buk,
known in English as the
We eventually tore ourselves away from the falls and walked
the 4 km back to Skradin rather than taking the
water-taxi. We spent the following
morning shopping, washing and watering ship before returning to the peaceful
anchorage in Uvala Beretuša. We spent two nights there and could have
spent more but for a warning in the weather forecast of a deep depression
On the morning of Sunday 23rd September we made our
second ‘final passage’ of the year by motoring the short distance to Marina Hramina and made fast just before the forecast strong winds
arrived. The weather over the next few
days was distinctly wild making us pleased to be securely moored in port. However, with Mum due to arrive on Friday we
were beginning to fear that we had left her visit too late in the year. We need not have worried. By Thursday evening a high-pressure system
had established itself over much of the
During the next four weeks we shall complete the process of
laying-up Retreat for the winter, the final stage of which will be
having her lifted into a cradle ashore.
Around the middle of November we shall travel to
For those of you interested in statistics, our totals for 2001 were as follows:
nautical miles in 138 days
Time spent at sea:
Time spent under sail:
Time spent under power:
Average distance travelled per week:
Proportion of time sailing: