Last update: just before publishing and after spending a whole day on this photos issue, I realised that the change in blogger affected last 5 posts - from June post "Suffering like an animal" on. I managed to restore the photo quality to what it normally is in my blog and I even may have a less painful (than html code editing) solution for future posts. Yay me! So please check out the last few posts, photos are really much better than before.
The night at Iž was calm and we slept well. We weren't alone though, one more sailboat spent the night in the anchorage, but far enough so they weren't disturbing us, nor we them. In the morning I went snorkelling again, and was again amazed of the amount of Fan mussels (Leščurjev) found in the bay.
In the middle of the day we set sails. Without a firm plan, with a nice wind from behind, we sailed on calm sea in the channel between Iž and Dugi otok towards South.
We weren't in a hurry and many times we sailed closer to one or the other shore to take a closer look of a bay or a beach. We found many pretty places, one of my favourite was this little island with a house on it. House is hidden behind the trees, there is a small jetty and it look really idyllic.
There was stronger North-East wind forecast for the night and we anchored in the bay on South-West of Lavdara. There were plenty of boats in the bay, it was quite crowded. There were surprisingly many fish in the water, like these Salemas (Salpe).
And I couldn't resist a portrait of smiling Tompot Blenny (Velike babice).
By the evening there were only three boats left - a bigger motor boat deeper in the bay, a small sailboat near us and us of course. I wasn't too happy with the way we were anchored, there was only a layer of sand on top of the rocky bottom and anchor could't dig in properly. And with fresh memories of a storm less than a week ago, we were a bit nervous. Luckily the bay was open to the South-West, so even if we would drag, we would be moving towards deeper water and away from the island. We even had a discussion about the weather with the guy on the small sailboat, and after seeing his anchor, I understood why he was even more worried then us. But luckily the night wasn't too bad, our anchor didn't move a bit, and the two other boats were ok too.
Morning was windy and rather fresh, not the weather one would wish for bathing and snorkelling. We sailed off straight after breakfast. We meandered through the small islands near the end of Dugi otok, all very pretty with beautiful green blue water. We anchored at the West side of island of Kurba Mala.
There was nobody else there when we arrived. Well, except three very loud donkeys on the island.
But soon three motor boats anchored in the bay. There must be some magnetism that attracts people to anchor where somebody already is, there were plenty of empty nice spots around at other islands. But maybe it is too much to expect to have a pretty bay like this to oneself in high season.
Snorkelling was nice, and this one was captain's discovery - Mottled sea hare (Veliki morski zajček), one of the biggest - and fattest - sea slugs.
We also saw some Pilow corals (Jadranskih kamenih koral) and Red Tubeworms (Pisane pokrovčarje).
Almost every day we did some boat chores. This was one of the biggest projects - we had to repair the hatch that was leaking. The problem was, that it wasn't leaking at the seal, but it was not properly built in. So we had to remove it completely...
... clean all the adhesive from the surrounding area ...
... and the hatch,...
In the evening the wind got a bit stronger and we decided to move to Ugljan for the night. There was a big moon in the sky and it was a while since we did any night sailing, so we were excited about it. Sailing was very nice, wind was Northerly and we were sailing as high into it as we could. There is so many lights shining from every island and many buoys, one has a hard time to recognise the lighthouses. It would be very tough without a GPS and the newest maps, and even so we almost sailed into the buoy at the edge of the fish farm.
Shortly before midnight we anchored in a bay North of Mali Ždrelac pass. Radar came very handy, as always when we anchor at night or in tight spaces. Only in the morning we saw how pretty our anchorage was.
We enjoyed pretty scenery and the nice weather and it was well after noon when we sailed on. We were tacking (zig-zagging) against the wind all the time and made it to Južna luka at the upper part of island Ugljan. The bay is nice, but nothing special, so we sailed off again right after breakfast the next morning. We wanted to stop at Tri sestrice (Three sisters) near island of Sestrunj, one of my favourite snorkelling spots from last year. Wind was exactly on the nose, and we were tacking the whole way through the narrow channel between Rivanj and Sestrunj. It was a lot of work.
But it was worth it, the bay at middle one of Tri sestrice islands looked beautiful...
... and there were all the pretty things under the water. Like this Tompot Blenny (Velika babica). It is difficult not to make photos of them, as they pose so patiently.
This is my first decent photo of a Spider Crab (Veliki morski pajek). They are so overgrown with algae, that it is difficult to spot them, and even when I do and shoot the photo, it can happen that I delete it, because later I can not recognise what's on it.
And another Red Tubeworm (Pisani pokrovčar).
There were plenty of Mediterranean Feather Stars (Morskih lilij) around.
In the afternoon we sailed off again, tacking towards North-East, from where the wind was blowing, of course. But it was a nice sail, with gin&tonic and all.
Late in the afternoon we anchored on the South side of Olib. There were several boats there already, mainly in front of the sandy beach, and we kept to the right side of the bay, to have some distance from the others. And then the fleet of charter sailboats, some 15 of them, started arriving, and for some unknown reason most of them anchored around Heron. They were loud, shouting to each other, dragging the anchors, constantly sailing the dinghies. I was not very happy, but it has already gotten too late to move elsewhere. Luckily by the night they all managed to anchor properly, and soon children went to sleep and the noise stopped. The night wasn't that bad after all.