Sunday, September 20, 2020

Indian summer

Later on Tuesday, 8th of September, after snorkelling, we sailed on and anchored South of town Pašman for the night. Next day we sailed only a little bit further North, to town of Baratul, also on island Pašman. After not so very calm night, we dinghied ashore for some shopping and then sailed further up the Zadar channel. In early afternoon NW wind was getting stronger and soon the waves developed. We were making a slow progress against the wind, waves and a bit of current. But with the waves we figured we need to sail all the way to Vir, if we want to sleep in a calm bay that night. The rhumb line to Vir was 22 miles, but with tacking against wind (zig-zaging) we made 33 miles. We anchored near the town quay South of town of Vir. It was calm and we were hoping for a long calm night. It was almost that. In the middle of the night a fishing boat, rather large one, with all its fishing lights on, anchored next to us, and the fishermen were having a loud debate over the sound of running engine. I was lucky and only got awake for a few moments, but Captain couldn't sleep for much longer. You just can't anticipate things like that.
On Friday morning we dindgied into town for some shopping and we saw several more fishing boats docked at the town pier or anchored near us, they were unloading their catch. After shopping we moved the boat a bit further away to the West, to keep some distance between us and fishing fleet. Just as we dropped the anchor, out friends Suzana and Martin sailed into bay with their lovely boat Best Move and dropped their anchor next to us.
They were in Canary islands in lockdown just like us, but on island La Palma. We sailed towards Gibraltar in the same week and planned on drinking some beer together when we meet there. But they got tangled in the fishing net of Moroccan fishing boat and spent a month in Morocco to finish the dispute with fishermen before they were allowed to leave. When they sailed to Adria, they were in a hurry to meet with relatives, and again we didn't meet. So we were all very happy to get together after so much time.
We had a nice BBQ that afternoon, and a couple of beers of course. In the evening Captain took them to the shore to see the rebuilt fortress.
When they got back, we decided to sail all together to island of Molat and spend another day together. It was a good compromise, with us traveling North, and them sailing South to Greece to winter their boat.
We sailed to Uvala Podgarbe on Molat. It is really nice, and on Saturday there were no charter boats and the anchorage was not very crowded.
We swam in the afternoon and had a great meal on board of Best Move. We finished the evening on Heron, with a nice chat and few more drinks. And since it was so much fun, and weather nice and sunny, we all decided to stay there one more day and spend some more time together.
Next day it was one more day of Indian summer, warm and sunny, and even water was almost warm again, even warm enough for snorkelling.
There was so much to see in the water. Near the shore there was almost like a reef with unbelievable amount of fish - mostly there were Annular seabream or špari (Diplodus annularis) near the rocks and Mediterranean chromis or črnik (Chromis chromis) in the background.
I find this pretty Red tube worm or pisani pokrovčkar (Serpula vermicularis).
I think this Sponge might be a Sea orange or morska pomaranča (Tethya citrina).
And finally I found it - a Green ormer or petrovo uho (Haliotis lamellosa), from family of abalones. And it's still alive!
The rest of the day was spent in good company, with some nice food and drinks. But after a delicious breakfast on Best Move, on Monday morning we had to part. They sailed on towards South, and we sailed only a short hop to bay Uvala Široka on island Ist. We swam in the afternoon and were reading, and in the evening Captain dinghied ashore and even climbed the hill above the village and took some photos of our anchorage.
Next morning was calm, water inviting, and I went snorkelling. I was surprised to have found a Cowry shell or porcelanka (Luria lurida), I don't see them often in Adria.
Under our boat was a gorgeous Mediterranean red sea star or ognjenordeča zvezda (Echinaster sepositus).
In the middle of the day we sailed on, first through the narrow pass between islands of Ist and Molat. On the North side there is a very pretty anchorage.
Then we sailed North to the bay on NW side of island Olib. Yes, I know, I always want to go to Olib, but it's really pretty and there's such good snorkelling there. I just hoped, we would have a calm night, since the bay is open to SW, W and NW.
Few minutes after we dropped the anchor I was in the water. I saw these small Striped red mullets or progaste bradače (Mullus surmuletus) digging around our anchor.
After a long time I saw a Common stingray or navadni morski bič (Dasyatis pastinaca), although a small one.
This handsome fellow was posing and showing off his back fin - it is a Black goby or črni glavač (Gobius niger).
I've already seen and made photos of lots of Red spotted horseshoe or apnenčasti cevkar (Protula tubularia), but this one has a Sepia egg (sipino jajčece) tied to its tube.
Although it looks like four fan worms, there are actually two of Twin fan worm or dvoperjaničar (Bispira volutacornis) here.
Red-mouthed goby or rdečeusti glavač (Gobius cruentatus) is also showing off all his fins.
These guys were so very difficult to photograph - first they are not of very bright colours, so they are not so easy to spot three or four meters down. And then they hide so quickly into sand, as soon as they detect water movement or a shadow. I surely dove down more than couple of dozens of times before I got couple of photos. These guys are Peacock worms or pahljačasti cevkarji (Sabella pavonina).

This must be a Tunicate, one of Social seasquirts or zadružnih plaščarjev, with Red spotted horseshoe or apnenčasti cevkar (Protula tubularia).
And this is a Honeycomb bath sponge or konjska spužva (Hippospongia communis), they were and still are actually used as bath sponges or for wiping blackboards.
I like this guy, the Brown comber or volkec (Serranus hepatus). Despite his small size and gentle eyes, he is a ferocious hunter.
This has to be one of the most elegant creatures in the sea - the Cylinder anemone or peščena roža (Cerianthus membranaceus). I like the Slovene name, translated it would be Sand flower.
There were several Mediterranean fanworm or Spalancanijev cevkar (Sabella spallanzanii) there, but this one had several Sepia eggs attached to its tube.

Maybe this is the mom - Sepia or sipa (Sepia officinalis)?
This pretty upside-down face belongs to Zvonimir's blenny or jelenoroga babica (Parablennius zvonimirii).
And yes, I find sponges pretty and exciting - this one is a Boring sponge or spužva vrtalka (Cliona spp).
A nice commune of organisms - Bryozoa, Solitary corals and clams (mahovnjaki, kamnita nakovalca, školjke).
This is an Eye spot hermit crab or okati samotarec (Paguristes eremita) with a big house.
Evening was not very calm, the waves were rolling into the bay from NW, but luckily it got calmer in the night and we slept well.
Next day we moved only a short distance and anchored on the E side of island Silba. In the afternoon we dinghied to the shore and walked to the village on top of the hill for an ice cream and some shopping. The night was not very calm, although there was not much wind, there must have been much more wind up North and waves managed  to travel all the way into our anchorage. The stronger NE wind, burja, was forecast for next couple of days, so on Thursday morning we sailed off to the bay Artatore on island Lošinj. It is much better protected than anchorages between Silba and Olib.
We stayed in Artatore for two nights, NE wind was quite strong the first night, so we awoke often. It was whistling also during the second day, and we had quite a workout rowing our dinghy ashore. But it was worth it, we had a great meal in Artatore restaurant. Second night was not so wild, and on Saturday we sailed on to island Unije to the bay Uvala Vognišča. The day was sunny and calm, but the NE wind cooled the air and the water, so we don't swim so much any more and it is necessary to put some more clothes on in the evening. And I was glad I managed to do so much snorkelling in our Indian summer, the water is getting too cold for that.
Today we sailed across Kvarner bay to Istria, and we're anchored in Medulin bay. Tomorrow we're heading deeper into the bay to find a well protected spot to hide from bad weather that is coming in next week. There will be a lot of rain, near-gale wind, and we'll probably move on only when the weather calms down. And while I'm hoping for some more sunny days, I guess the Indian summer might be over.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Heading North

Luckily I can still use the old Blogger interface for writing posts, so here is next part of our sailing and snorkelling adventure. I hope I'll manage another post soon.
On Wednesday, September the 2nd, once the weather got better, we left Rogoznica. We sailed to island of Zmajan to uvala Zaražanj. It is a pretty sandy bay, with good snorkelling. We were too late and the light was already fading, so snorkelling had to wait for the next day. But in the evening we got a pretty sunset over neighbouring island of Kaprije.
This is how Uvala Zaražanj on Zmajan loked in the morning.
The snorkelling didn't disappoint. A group of Annular seabream or špari (Diplodus annularis) was waiting right under our boat.
Under some rocks I found Ostrich plume hydroid or morska peresca (Aglaophenia spp).
There were plenty of gobies around, this one has a suitable name - Red-mouthed goby or rdečeusti glavač (Gobius cruentatus).
Didn't see lots of these guys this year. It is a Mediterranean cardinalfish or morski kraljiček (Apogon imberbis).
I'm always happy when I find this pretty sponge - couldn't find the English name, in Slovene it's
mrežasta spužva (Clathrina clathrus).
Another sponge that I don't know the English name of - ledvičasta spužva (Chondrosia reniformis). Sponges can propagate also asexually - they just let a part of it to separate, first hanging on a long stringy thing, and it then starts a life on it's own.
This is my first this year - a tunicate, the Colonial sea squirt or prstasti plaščar (Aplidium tabarquensis).
And this as well - Acquisitive sponge or vijoličasta zobčasta spužva (Dysidea avara) of very elegant pink colour and delicate structure.
We stayed on Zmajan for two nights, we were enjoying nice late summer weather and clean water after spending so much time in Rogoznica. On Friday we sailed on to Murter and we anchored in front of small island Hrid Bosnjak near town Jezera.
I went snorkelling again and found lots of Flounders or morski jeziki (Arnoglossus spp.).
Weather was really mild and warm and lots of boats came out of the marina on Saturday, also some older pretty ones.
In the afternoon we moved to the bay in front of town of Jezera.
In the evening we rowed our dinghy into town and had a good meal and did some shopping.
Next day, on Sunday, we moved to Uvala Kosirina on Murter. Normally it is very full of boats, but now, in September, it was not too crowded.

Although bay was very sandy and shallow, water was so inviting I couldn't resist going snorkelling. In the night, when the breeze changed direction, our boat got back to the anchor.
In the rocky SW end of the bay I found Cushion coral or jadranska kamena korala (Cladocora caespitosa)...
...and plenty of gobies, as this Giant goby or skalni glavač (Gobius cobitis).
This guy was so persistently swimming behind our boat, I had to take a photo. And he got a bit of bread after our lunch.
in the afternoon we moved to bay Uvala Vela Luka on mainland just N of Murter. There was some stronger NE wind, burja, forecast for the night, and we wanted to be well protected for it. Bay is not particularly pretty and water not very clear, but it has a muddy bottom that provides for great holding and is closed almost from all sides. Evening was still very calm and we had a beautiful sunset again.
There was some stronger wind in the night, but nothing to worry about. We woke up a couple of times because of whistling of wind around the mast and through the stays (pripone), but didn't get up since we knew we were anchored well.
In the morning we sailed on to islands Mali i Veli Zavinac near Pakoštane and made a stop for swimming and snorkelling in clear turquoise water.
I know I posted lots of photos of Slender goby or peščeni glavač (Gobius geniporus) already, but this one was without a doubt the fastest one and deserves a photo as well.
These two guys are Sargo or progar ali šarg (Diplodus sargus).
I finally learned the difference between these two - the Slender goby or peščeni glavač (Gobius geniporus)...
...and Buccich's goby or pikasti glavač (Gobius bucchichii), as I've seen so many here side by side.
These two were the catch of the day, I was so happy to have spotted them - they are nudibranchs, in Slovene kodrasti perjaničar (Hypselodoris picta), I couldn't find an Enlish name. I hope they'll have plenty of babies, although I disturbed them while they were making them.
And one more very pretty tube worm, in Slovene peščeni cevkar (Myxicola infundibulum).
I haven't seen many of these yet this year - the Mediterranean fanworm or Spalancanijev cevkar (Sabella spallanzanii).