We set off from Torre del Pizzo at 8am on Friday morning, 21 June on the start of our crossing to the Croatian island of Lastovo.
I had planned a series of hops along the Adriatic coast of Italy stopping off at Otranto, Brindisi and Bari, possibly as far north as Vieste, each leg taking us closer to Lastovo as we waited for southerly winds to help us across the Adriatic. But, as we left Pizzo our weather forecasts gave us only one such period of favourable winds on Saturday and Sunday meaning we’d have to do a 30 hour passage from Otranto.
The trip from Pizzo to Otranto was uneventful, and we even got the sails up for a while although we were using the engines too, and arrived in Otranto at 5.30 pm and anchored in the harbour.
The town is meant to be worth a visit but we either had to leave by 4 am the following morning or be trapped in Otranto for most of the week! It might be a nice place but not that nice! So it was early to bed despite the noise from the seafront restaurants and bars.
With the alarm set for 3.30 to allow for a final check on the weather we were on our way by 4am on Saturday, 22 June, aimming to arrive mid morning on Sunday. We’d arrive in winds from ahead of us, which would slow us down, but for the bulk of the journey we’d have calm weather or following winds and we were hoping to be able to make 5.5 to 6 knots with our recently cleaned hull.
As I mentioned previously, our friends Graeme and Jayne in SCARLETT are heading to Croatia via Montenegro. They have been waiting for good weather to cross the Adriatic too and decided on the same ‘window’ as ourselves. They set off from Brindisi at 9am heading for Kotor, Montenegro and we met them north east of Brindisi! When I say ‘met’ I mean we saw their sails about 8 miles ahead of us and even managed a chat on the VHF.
So we settled down to our overnight passage to Lastovo. The wind was behind us the whole way at 15 to 20 knots and at times we were making 7 knots on one engine. As expected the wind began to shift as the sun rose and we spent the last couple of hours bumping through head winds to get into Velji Lago The inlet on the west end of Lastovo in which the port of Ubli sits.
Ubli is little more than a ferry jetty but is a Port of Entry for Croatia and has Passport Control and a Harbour Master, the latter takes the money for our Sojourn Tax, 3 months for 2350 Kuna, and Visitor’s Tax of 469 Kuna for the rest of the year. This works out at £340.
From Ubli we moved to Jurjeva Luka bay 2 miles from Ubli and were anchored by midday. We later moved to anchor closer to the shore and took lines ashore as the winds here are variable and sometimes the boats were swinging in different directions and we were getting a bit close to a neighbour. And then the Park Wardens came to take payment from us for our stay in the National Park, 200 Kuna per day.
But we are on the right side of the Adriatic and just 70 miles from Trogir where we need to meet Solange in 2 weeks time!