Sailing in Croatia

Sailing in Croatia • Pašman - Murter


After very bad and cold weather in March, I return on the sailboat in Sali.


After the yesterday's rain I finally sail out to sea. I just go the gas station in Zaglav and then return back to Sali.



Today is a nice day. I sail near Lavdara and then head east. Between Kurba Vela and Skala Vela the wind is so weak that, due to the counter-current, I move backwards! Speed through the water soon falls to zero. I start my 5 HP outboard engine to move out of here. After passing between Sit and Šćitna the wind finally gets stronger so I sail to the bay Soline on island Pašman. There are buoys anchored here. I choose one in the southern end of the bay and spend a calm night.

Soline - Pašman

Bay Soline on island Pašman



I sail along the coast of Pašman, near bays Žinčena and Lanđin, then between island Žižanj and Pašman. At Cape Borovnjak I set course to the bay Crvena Luka ("Red port") on the mainland. Here I find a high wooden dock in bad condition. The bay is open to SW, from where the wind just started to blow, so I decide to leave the bay and go further south. As the weather forecast was moderate bora in the night, I look for an anchorage safe from bora. According to my cruising guide the bay Vela Luka ("Big port") on the mainland, opposite Arta Mala, should be well sheltered from bora. So I navigate close to the city Pakoštane on mainland, and near Arta Vela I enter the shallow waters of the islets north of Murter. Once in Vela Luka, I'm not very happy because the vegetation on the coast is scarce and the bay is very shallow, so I have to anchor quite far from the coast. As if that were not enough, despite the sandy bottom the anchor doesn't hold well. So it took me a whole hour to anchor in the middle of the bay, some 300 m from the coast. In 20:30 I check the weather forecast on WAP (on my mobile phone) and it says: "in the night gusts of bora of up to 40 knots (gale force)". Oh great! Bora had already started blowing... Now what? From here to marina Hramina in Murter there are 3 miles. It's already dark. I can see the light on the entrance of the strait to Murter (on island Tegina) - if I only could reach it in direct line, but bora is already blowing and it would significantly alter such a course... Everywhere in this part of Adriatic it's very shallow, there are underwater reefs and I don't have a depth sonar... I decide to stay in the bay. I'm disappointed to see that the bay doesn't provide a good shelter from bora. So you trust cruising guides! At a distance of 300 m from the coast bora manages to raise small but steep waves that hit the sailboat hard when it turns perpendicular to direction of the waves. I go on deck to check the anchor line and I wonder how does the anchor hold with such a force applied to the anchor line. At least one hour spent for anchoring was not in vain. I put on more clothes and then put hand-light, documents and money in the pockets of my jacket. I make enough coffee so I can stay awake the whole night. On Tegina, a small island in front of Murter, there's a hill that hides a part of the city of Murter from my sight so I take 3 lights in Murter as orientation - if any of these lights disappears in the night it will mean that it was hidden by the hill and (as the hill doesn't move) the anchor probably doesn't hold well anymore.

sailingVela Luka


Early in the morning one of the lights disappears from my sight and, although that might have been a light of a house that was turned off, I became a little depressed. It's pretty clear that the anchor is slipping a bit - but how much?! I can't see the coast, it's completely dark, so I can't estimate where in the bay am I in this moment. But with the first ray of sunlight I realize that my position is still good, somewhere in the middle of the bay - more or less where I was the evening before. Bora weakened a bit, so I, not wanting to miss the opportunity, raise the anchor (that is buried in sand so deep that I have trouble getting it out of the sand) and sail towards Hramina. The waves hitting the side of the sailboat pose no problem, except in front of the strait between Tegina and Murter, where the waves are pretty unpleasant. At the entrance to Murter the first thing one sees is the cemetery. A little behind it there is marina Hramina in which I enter and dock. Safe docking and hot shower - alleluia!

Marina Hramina - Murter

Marina Hramina - Murter



As marina Hramina is pretty expensive and bora still pretty strong, I look for and find a free place in the nearby port of Murter, on a new built dock. The gusts of bora make the transfer from marina to the port and docking in it pretty exciting. Luckily I dock without problem.


nautical map

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Sailing in Croatia: Sailing in Croatia • Vodice - Prvić Luka
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