The Catamaran Adventures of Noel and Ceu
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Sailing at the Crack of Dawn

Current Location: Otok Koludarc, Croatia
Current Position: 44 33.07 N 014 25.73 E Click to view map.
Distance sailed since last post: 166 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track here

Since Ben has booked a flight to arrive in Pula on Tuesday, we figured it was time to get ourselves in that direction!

So, after our visit to the waterfalls on the Krka river, and with 130nm to go to Pula, we decided to press on. Unfortunately, the normal wind here is NW. And we needed to go northwest.

Ah, but a closer look at the weather charts revealed that at night the wind was in the right direction, but by lunchtime it switches to the wrong way. So, steeling ourselves for a couple of early mornings, we decided to leave the curtains open in our bedroom.

What does that accomplish? Well, it gets light at 5:30am and thus wakes us up. And, sure enough, yesterday and today we were sailing by 6am.

As you can see from our course, yesterday was fine for the first few hours – after doing just 1.8 miles in the first hour, followed by an hour of motoring, the wind then picked up and we were chomping along in the right direction at 7kts.

track

In case you are wondering what all the black squares are – they are the concessions where there are mooring balls laid – ie no free anchoring.

Alas, at 11am – three hours earlier than promised, the wind did a sudden switch and now we had to beat the rest of the way.

In the end, we sailed for 12 hours, covering 37 nautical miles – for a very slow average of just 3kts. If there is one complaint about this boat it is the lack of upwind performance! Very frustrating watching racing monohulls zoom past us pointing 15 degrees higher! Oh, well – they have to cope with heeling all the time. Hee hee.

We anchored in a beautiful peaceful cove with two other boats, and then again set off this morning by 6am.

This time we were stomping along – speeds of up to 9 kts with winds of up to 32kts. Two reefs in the main and some rolls in the jib. My new water generator was churning out the power!

And then, after 29.5 nautical miles, guess what happened?

Yep, at 10 am the wind vanished. Now instead of doing 9kts, we were doing 1.6kts with barely 4kts of wind. What happened? Crazy forecasts here that bear little resemblance to what the wind actually does. And then, half an hour later, the wind does a 180 deg shift – again, several hours earlier than forecast. So, once again, we are on a beat. Just as well we set off so early so as to catch the good wind on both days.

Still, we decided to press on an extra 7 miles from our original goal (at which we had almost arrived), to put us near the town of Mali Losinj, a mere 27 n miles from Medulin from where we can pick up Ben at the nearby Pula airport. And still two and a half days to go before he arrives, so we should be able to make it on time!

Actually, it turns out we just had to do a couple of tacks to clear an island, and then we are good again – on port tack close hauled instead of starboard on a reach – for about 10 minutes before the wind changes again, and again – up to 22 kts, down to nil and so on.

Finally we made it. The last 10 miles took four hours, plus ages trying to get our anchor to catch. And here we are in a beautiful peaceful bay.

Ah, another great day at sea!

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