Monday, September 1, 2014

Sailing the Adriatic - from Hvar back to Murter

First stop after Hvar was again Šolta. We got there late in the afternoon on Tuesday, August the 5th, after some fast sailing very close to the wind (orca, seveda). We stopped in another pretty bay on the South side of the island. Bay was deep and rocky and we Med-moored again.



I went snorkelling straight away, or course.  I found this Blue spiny starfish (Mnogokrako morsko zvezdo).



This sea urchin looked as it was placed for taking pictures.



It was already late and all the creatures were feeding - otherwise this octopus would probably be under some rock.



She tried to get away and to scare me off with changing the colours.



This is a Tompot blenny (Velika babica), take a look at those eyebrows!



This is Dolgoustka, again a well suited name. I couldn't find an English name, but loosely translated it would be Long-mouth.


This is the place where we moored, right under the rocks. See how it's green and lush, all that rain was obviously still good for something.



Next morning, after the breakfast and some snorkelling, we left Šolta and sailed North. In the afternoon we made a stop in Maslenica, we were out of bread. We only did a "touch-down" on one of the piers so that two of the crew could run to the store. They also bought a couple of pizzas, so we had a quick and good lunch, while anchored near one of the little islands North of Maslenica.

In late afternoon we sailed on, and surprisingly the wind turned to Easterly and went to 30 knots in half an hour. The ride was wild and bumpy, but luckily it was not far to our over night anchorage. We stopped South of Rogoznica, hoping to Med-moore in a narrow fjord, but it turned out that we were too late and there were no more space. So we anchored on the shallow at  the mound of fjord.

We had a peaceful night, luckily the wind didn't turn. The evening before it was too dark to go snorkelling, so I went snorkelling already before breakfast. The scenery under water was again different, and I also discovered some things I didn't see before. Like this Green sponge ball (Kroglasti kodij).



I also found this small octopus.



I don't know what this is, it is some kind of algae and it looked pretty.



This pretty one is called Painted comber (Pirka in Slovene), he is very territorial, I guess that's why he's giving me that look.



The small blue fishes look like they were photographed on tropical coral reef. It is somehow true, these are young ones of Damselfish (Črnik in Slovene), it is the only kind of Chromis in Adria, all the rest live on coral reefs.



This one is not only pretty, also the English name is pretty - Snakelocks anemone, in Slovene it is Voščena morska vetrnica. If you look closely, there are tiny little shrimps hiding between the arms - the Mysid shrimps (Roječe kozice).



This is the place where we spent  the night, at the mound of the fjord in the background.



On the way North we passed this pretty small chapel (the stone building on the rocky hill).



In the afternoon we stopped in Kremik marina to fuel up and to get some water at the gas station. And some ice creams. Further North we sailed by this small island, and there was a beautiful sweet smell in the air, like of the carnations. And again I got the idea to buy an island like this when I have enough money...



We made a stop for the night in the bay on the South-West of the small island of Zmajan. It was very pretty, with crystal clear green and blue water. There were several motor boats there when we came, but they left in the evening and only a couple of sailboats and a bigger motor yacht stayed over night. It was very peaceful, until later, when it was already dark, a local boat came with very strong light and a very long stick, like 3m long, and started hunting for octopuses. The light was pointed into the water and the boat circled slowly in the shallow water and every now and then the fisherman poked into the water with the long stick. I was shocked when I saw that they pulled out more than 10 octopuses in half an hour. As much as I like to eat octopus, this seemed rather cruel, I was afraid there were no octopuses left in the bay.



In the morning I was in the water again. There were plenty of sea stars, like this Red starfish (Ognjenordeča zvezda).



This one is Annular sea bream, or Špar in Slovene. There were plenty of these and other sea breams there.



The bay was very rocky, with some areas of sand in deeper water, we anchored in one of them. This is how the scenery looked in shallower water.



If this guy wasn't moving, I would't have noticed it.



This is how it looked close up - it is a Wide-eyed flounder (Širokogledi romb). I guess I was lucky to have found it, they are not very common.



There is nothing spectacular on this photo, but I really love the colours. The green algae is Calcareous green alga (Verižica), and a reddish-greenish patches in between are member of red algae (Obrobljene luskavke).



I even found a Red starfish with six arms.



I was happy to find another octopus, especially after the previous night. They kind of grew on me, they look quite intelligent and with lots of personality.



Later that morning we sailed of towards Murter. Weather was nice and sunny and there was enough breeze for a nice sailing.



In the afternoon, after a short swim and a lunch, our friends left. That evening we stayed in Murter archipelago. We were looking forward to next days, as weather forecast was promising really nice and summery weather, after a long time.

P.S. I made a mistake two posts ago, I find the translations to English names on marinespecies.org and not marinespecies.com .

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sailing the Adriatic - from Murter to Hvar

Weather on Saturday, August the 2nd, morning was nice, sunny and windy, and the sailing was good. Our first stop was on island Kaprije in a nice bay with crystal clear water, of course we were not alone there. Water was not very warm, but I had to go snorkelling.

At first it didn't look like much, but at a second glance I started to discover pretty and interesting things. Like this member of red algae, called Bledi grmiček .

                             


This Violet sea urchin or Belobodičasti morski ježek, camouflaged itself with the empty shell of another urchin.



This is one of the prettiest sponges, the Encrusting orange sponge or Spužva žilavka.



There were more fish than I expected, these are Salemas or Salpe.



This pretty landscape was under a rock - here we have the boring sponge or Spužva vrtalka, those are the yellow round things in the middle, sitting in what appears to be the Blue sponge or Modra spužva. Larger thing to the right is a solitary coral, called Pig-tooth coral or Kamnito nakovalce. And the orange round thing with needles to the left is, I think, another sponge, called  Ščetinasti sodček (Sycon raphanus). Pretty, isn't it?



There is a multitude of tube worms, all very elegant. This one is Red-spotted horseshoe or Apnenčasti cevkar.



In the afternoon we sailed further and found a good anchorage for the night on South-East of island Žirje.

Sunday morning was cloudy. A boat came by, selling bread, fresh vegetable and fruit and even ice cream, and we treated ourselves to a big and yummy breakfast. The clouds that were coming from the North-West were darker and darker, so we sailed towards South just when it started to rain. We even got some wind, but luckily not much rain. Since the day was grey and not very suitable for swimming, we decided to sail on through the day and in the afternoon we anchored Heron in one of the bays on the South of Šolta. It was already getting late, but I wanted to see how underwater world looks like. And I found some nice things again.

This is Bledi grmiček (Amphiroa rigida) again, and next to it some Hydroids, or Morska peresca.



This is one of the red algae, called Topovejnata lavrencija (Laurencia obtusa).



The Two banded sea bream or Fratrc



When I first saw this thing, I thought it's some sort of plastic packaging material. I took a photo anyway, and later found it in my book - it is actually a cluster of eggs of Murex snail or polža Voleka. Amazing.



This is a Purple sea urchin or Vijoličasti morski ježek, dressed in algae.



This is Black scorpionfish or Škarpoč.



This is an Octopus or Hobotnica, trying to blend in with algae, rocks and sponges of type Ledvičasta spužva.



Couldn't resist some more of Hydroids or Morska peresca (Aglaophenia), they were one of my favourites already in Caribbean.




This is the pretty bay or almost fjord on Šolta, that we spent the night in. Water is pretty deep here, so one has to throw the anchor, reverse the boat and then tie it to the rocks, it is call Med-mooring. Our boat was one of two there, we were moored a bit right of the house.



We sailed on to the Pakleni otoci near Hvar. Hvar is a very posh and crowded destination, so we knew there would be plenty of boats. We found a nice spot in one of the bays and a little later I was in the water. Near our anchor chain I found this Scaldfish or Morski jezik (Arnoglossus).



Soft next to spiky...



This is one of Blennies (Babica), I don't know exactly which one, sitting on an orange tube worm among sponges (Krompirjasta spužva)



Kardinal fish (Morski Kraljiček) looks the same as its Caribbean relatives.



A mullet (Cipelj)



That evening we had a great dinner in one of our favourite restaurant in Adriatic, in Dionis. It was worth going ashore and break our people-hater habit for it. Still, visiting Dionis outside the high season is more personal and intimate experience, and you have a chance to eat some of the seasonal delicacies like baby artichokes or wild bore.

Next morning was sunny, we took time to have long breakfast and go for a swim.

This was our bay, it was really pretty and water beautifully green and blue.



But there were a lot of boats...



... even a group of boats that had a party the previous night till very late... or should I say early.



We didn't stop in town of Hvar, we just sailed by on our way back North. In high season it is really hard to moor or anchor there. And we didn't really need anything, so after a day and a night in crowded anchorage we decided to keep on being people-haters.