Homewards bound: The Commodore's Blog from Croatia

Above: Leaving Korcula

Well, I said on my last blog we were hoping for more wind. And that is just what we got!  By popular request ( in fact our Corinthian friends) it was agreed we should do an informal race   - no handicaps, plus the new Little Ship rule developed in the Channel Islands cruise for racing in no wind (switch on the engine!...). So we set off beating Eastwards in light airs . Seven or eight long tacks later at around 2knots we had just got round the point, to find the wind had backed round to the south west and died, as we set off south westwards to Lastovo. So the rule (and engine) was engaged!  We arrived last, but were adjudged the winners as the boat that must have sailed longest!

Michael Forbes Smith, 16.09.2016 | More from Michael Forbes Smith’s blog

Korcula 2: The Commodore's Blog from Croatia

I forgot to say that the "Maresca" traditional sword fight dance we were due to see on Monday evening was mysteriously cancelled - as Michael Unsworth said, this is Dalmatia!  But the pontoon party produced more than enough bonhomie to see us through our mild disappointment!

But yesterday, Tuesday, certainly did not disappoint.  After a relaxed morning, I strolled down to the Lesic Dimitri for a coffee with Michael Unsworth. There I met a demand to bring my pipes - I had piped to announce the start of the pontoon party, just as the helpful waiter from Lesic Dimitri arrived with the wine and was captivated/astonished. The word had obviously been passed on!

Michael Forbes Smith, 14.09.2016 | More from Michael Forbes Smith’s blog

Korcula 1: The Commodore's Blog from Croatia

Well, what a wonderful two days we have had. The passage from Hvar to Korcula was made without the assistance of wind - except for half an hour as we approached the Korcuka Channel. We got the spinnaker up again, only to find the wind dropping. We actually made 3 knots with the same amount of wind, but it soon dropped away. We had to get to Kircula in time to arrange the pontoon party so it was engine back in and down to Korcula at 5.8 knots. I never cease to marvel at the old town of Korcula; what could possibly be more attractive, on a sunny day with the brick-red roofs, the honeyed, weathered old towers and the spire of St Mark's Cathedral (a dead give-away as to its Venetian origins) rising majestically on top of the town hill. We got there by

Michael Forbes Smith, 14.09.2016 | More from Michael Forbes Smith’s blog

The Fleet musters in Trogir: The Commodore's Blog from Croatia

Yesterday was a busy day for all the Little Shippers taking part in the Historic Croatia Rally. A few had arrived on Friday - including Paul Banks and Moira (who very ably assisted me with the Rally preparations) who came onboard for drinks and a quick update. Tim and Ann Bizzey appeared at 11am on Saturday having not eaten for about eighteen hours, to be followed by our other participants (save one absent through illness) all with broad smiles, but mostly also with bags under the eyes!  Tiredness was quickly overcome and the efficient Dalmatia Charters briefers got going with the hand overs of our six charter sailing yachts (Steve Midgley was picking up his motor yacht in Split) . The boats easily met expectations. Meanwhile, the crew of "the Dream" (of Osprey that is) went off on various forays.

Michael Forbes Smith, 12.09.2016 | More from Michael Forbes Smith’s blog

Spinnaker run to Trogir: The Commodore's Blog from Croatia

I last reported our stay in the Marina at Marina - the small town at the western, opposite, end of the sound of Trogir from that wonderful medieval UNESCO Heritage city.  So on Thursday, with the weather much improved - save for the absence of any wind at all! - we motored the ten-odd nautical miles in two hours and tied up, after fuelling, in one of the Dalmatia Charter berths in ACI Trogir Marina and met up again with Ivica Buble the owner, now an old acquaintance.  The outboard was collected for repair as promised. Basha Vucic, Mark's wife, joined us to make up our full crew of four and we all went into old Trogir town to lunch at one of my favourite restaurants, the Kamerlengo. Wonderful, and there was enough left over to take away to provide the basis for Basha's excellent supper supplemented by  the victualling trip she and Nark made in the afternoon.


Michael Forbes Smith, 12.09.2016 | More from Michael Forbes Smith’s blog

Moored in Marina: The Commodore's Blog from Croatia

Today - hard to remember it's only Wednesday - we awoke to the Bura's continuing fiendish howls.  But the forecast suggested it would finally blow itself out by midday. And indeed it did - so at 1300 we set off for Marina (see the explanation with the photographs!). The wind was westerly now, yet again bang on the nose, but as we rounded the point hoping to run down to Marina under sail, the wind died - from 30 knots to zero in two hours!


Michael Forbes Smith, 09.09.2016 | More from Michael Forbes Smith’s blog

Vinisce Bay: The Commodore's Blog from Croatia

We arrived in Vinisce yesterday afternoon wet and tired. Today has been a welcome and delightful interlude. All the more so because the "Bura" did finally arrive. Normally it brings clear sunny skies, as it did today. If it brings rain then you absolutely must run for cover. But even in its mildest form it is no joke, largely because it is so squally with gusts over 30 knots from a literally clear blue sky. 

Michael Forbes Smith, 07.09.2016 | More from Michael Forbes Smith’s blog

Sukosan to Trogir: The Commodore's Blog from Croatia

It was such a delight to get back onboard the old "Dream of Osprey" on Saturday evening. She lives in Sukosan near Zadar, so I bought a bus ticket to get me from Trogir back to Sukosan at 11 o'clock. Half an hour later - no bus!  I asked the lady at the ticket desk. " you wait. I don't know if it's late". When it came, half an hour later, it was a lovely bus and got me there by 3 o'clock!   David my co-owner handed our boat over in pristine shape and Angus and Mark, my crew, arrived promptly at 1030pm, off the Ryanair flight. 


Michael Forbes Smith, 06.09.2016 | More from Michael Forbes Smith’s blog

Arrival! The Commodore's Blog from Croatia

Well, I'm finally on the bus to Sukosan at Trogir bus station after an hour's wait in the hot sun: bits of the Croat bureaucracy never change!

 So it's now a three hour trip on country roads, after a successful two days making sure the Historic Croatia Rally preparations are all in place. Over coffee with Ivica Bubke of Dalmatia Charters, we checked the charter arrangements. He is going to fix up berths for Steve Midgley  on 9/10 September. And Anamaria at the Calebotta confirmed our menus (thank you to all, for providing your choices!).

And Antoni of the Lucullus restaurant confirmed arrangements for the transfer from Palmizana marina to Hvar.  So, so far so good, and Trogir looks as beautiful as ever!

Michael Forbes Smith, 05.09.2016 | More from Michael Forbes Smith’s blog

Lymington Timed Passage – from the perspective of the organiser!

Lymington Timed Passage – from the perspective of the organiser!

We were lucky - the forecast was almost right, though our apparent wind speed throughout the LSC's "timed passage" on Saturday 23 June, from No-Man's -Land Fort to Jack-in-the-Basket off Lymington never fell below 25 and reached over 35 on a couple of occasions.

But the worst of the weather held off until Saturday night, drenching me and Avril Ormsby as we walked back from the Mayflower Inn after the rally dinner - a real find; excellent venison burgers and really helpful staff.

Michael Forbes Smith, 25.06.2012 | More from Michael Forbes Smith’s blog