Monday, August 15, 2016

Sailing holiday - part 1

In summer we usually don't have much wind in Adria, so summer sailing trips are usually relaxed, with lots of swimming, BBQing, and lots of beer and gin&tonics. That's why I'm calling such trips holiday rather than sailing trips. Well, this summer weather made sure it was difficult to find appropriate name for it. 

But it all started rather nice and summery - on 18th of July in the evening me and my two girlfriends drove to Klimno for 10 days of sailing holiday. Captain was already there and was waiting for us with Heron tied to the pier. We loaded all the food and luggage, filled the water tanks and sailed for couple hundreds of meters to anchor the boat on the North side of the lagoon. Night was calm and warm and we slept long. After a big breakfast and some swimming we sailed North under the Krk bridge, there was more NE wind forecast for next two days, so we stayed away from Senj strait (Senjska vrata) on S-E of Krk, where the wind is the strongest. In early evening we anchored in Njivice bay on West side of island, where we spent the night. Next morning I made my first snorkelling trip along S-W edge of the bay. There wasn't much there, some of the usual suspects, but I made a good portrait of Tompot Blenny (Velike babice), I think it's my best photo of this cute fish, and I took many.

Later that day we sailed towards Cres and had an afternoon stop for swimming. After dinner we sailed in direction Rab, it was full moon and we figured a nice night sailing would be fun to do. When we started it was still day, but as the sun went down the wind also weakened. We swam in the middle of Kvarnerić, and after wind died completely, we started the engine. But even motoring under full moon was not bad. Around midnight we reached Rab, first tried few other bays, and ended anchoring in Uvala Planka. There was only one other sailboat and a motor boat there.

We woke to a nice sunny day. The bay was soon full of small motor boats. Despite the crowd we had a relaxed summer day with lots of swimming, good food and even a gin&tonic or two. It was so nice, we decided to stay another night. This is how the sunset looks in Uvala Planka...

... and this is how it looked the next morning before all the motor boats filled it. We were actually alone from 7 the evening before till 10 in the morning.

I hurried to go snorkelling at 9 to have the bay all to myself. Under a rocky ledge I discovered plenty of Yellow cluster anemone (Rumeni zoantar).

This was suppose to be the photo of Encrusting orange sponge (Spužva žilanka), but after a careful inspection on my computer I discovered a nudibranch above it - it is a Pilgrim hervia (Oranžni obročkar). It is not a stellar photo, but since it's the first time I managed to take a photo of the snail it deserves to be in this post.

This little guy - the Red-black tripplefin blenny without it's mating colours or maybe a female - was literally posing for me, I had a feeling he was expecting me to help him get rid of the parasites that sat on his back and neck. Look at the big Parasitic isopod,  in Slovene Ribja uš or Sea louse in translation (Anilocra physodes), you can see how it is hooked to poor fish with his legs/hooks.

Only when the fish turned I saw that it was actually plagued with three parasites.

This is also a Red-black tripplefin blenny (Rdeči sprehajalček) looking at me from underneath the rock, turned upside down.

Luckily I could hold my camera under the rock to get a full view of all his pretty colours.

After a late breakfast we sailed off towards Olib. There was still plenty of light when we got there for a good snorkelling trip, that took me good two hours.

Under a ledge I saw a Daisy anemone (Sončna vetrnica).

The stars of the day were Mottled sea hares (Veliki morski zajčki), this was the most I've ever seen and they looked as they were mating. Maybe it had something to do with previous night's full moon.

Those that were alone, sat near a funny violet and pink spaghettis, that I assumed were their eggs, and later my books confirmed it.

This is how the egg clusters look up close.

I saw couple of other nudibranchs (gološkrgarjev), the Plarydoris argo (Ploščati perjaničar). I saw them here already last summer.

What I didn't see was any octopus and I'm starting to get worried for them. All I see are lots of fishermen in camouflage diving suits with spearguns, hunting and fishing in almost every bay we've been, this year I even saw fishermen with complete scuba gear several times, although I believe it is forbidden to fish like that.

Next day we made a detour to Novalja on Pag and then returned to East side of Olib in pretty hefty S-W wind, 30 knots is not very usual for Adria in summer. Boat was completely salty and we thoroughly shaken.

On my snorkelling trip next morning I saw couple of Sepias or Cuttlefish (Sipe), this one was dressed in  particularly pretty pattern.

These guys are so difficult to spot because of their great camouflage, lucky for me this one was moving, otherwise there would be no photo. It is a Spider crab (Veliki morski pajek).

And this is a Brown encrusting sponge (Rjava skorjevka or Hemimycale columella).

Later that day we sailed to S side of island Cres, S-W wind was supposed to turn to N-E, so we needed another protected bay for the night. We anchored at about 7 in the evening, there was way too little light for snorkelling and making photos, but I still put on my mask and checked our anchor and the bay for rocks and shallow spots. I was surprised when I discovered that all Sea cucumbers (Morski brizgači) were standing upright in the water. I even saw one releasing a milky fluid into the water. Later at home I checked my books and learnt that they were mating. Maybe again something to do with full moon.

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