Saturday, January 1, 2022

All the best in 2022!

 HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022! Lots of everything that was missing in 2021 and good health, good fun and some carelessness. 

We are well, not much to complain about. Beside the obvious... Hope you are all well also.

Heron is in the marina in Izola.

We hadn't had much winter here, so for holiday feeling I'm posting the only photo with snow that I have.

Monday, October 4, 2021

September in Adria - part 2

The next day we sailed to Kornati. The entrance fee to the national park is quite hefty, but the area really has a magnetic charm. Our first stop was in the bay of Lojena on island Levrnaka. It is supposed to have the most beautiful beach in Adria and there are huge number of boats bringing tourists from mainland for day trips. Even on this day, when the high season already ended and the South wind was bringing some waves into the bay, it was packed with boats and there was way too many people for my taste. And I didn't find the beach that special, I've seen at least 10 prettier ones in Adria. So I did as I always do when I want to avoid outside world - I went snorkelling. I didn't find anything really special under the water, but there were some interesting purple things.  Like this red algae (kamenolista alga or Lithophyllum sticlaforme)...

... and a Calcarerous pink algae (janija or Jania spp). Sorry for the bad photo, but this colour is really something else, usually these things are white or very light pink.
The Hermit crab (rak samotarec) was hidden in the shell except for the tentacles and eyes.

There were plenty of Flounders (morski jeziki orArnoglossus spp.) there, but they were rather small.

Next we sailed to island Mana and then we anchored not far away from it between two small islets. I went snorkelling again. Red things really catch my eyes, like this Red encrusting bryozoan (mahovnjak rdeči skorjevec or Schizobrachiella sanguinea).
But it was the multitude of Octopuses (hobotnice) that really made me very happy. This is the first one with red eyes.
A pretty murex shell.
And this is the second one.
There were other things worth photographing as well - like this Honeycomb bath sponge with red algae (konjska spužva z obrobljeno luskavko or Hippospongia communis with Peyssonnelia polymorpha)...
...and Blood-red tubeworm (oranžni cevkar or Protula intestinum)...
...and Mediterranean red sea star (ognjenordeča zvezda or Echinaster sepositus).
There was a third octopus in between and this is the fourth one.
This beautiful shell of Giant tun snail (sodec or Tonna galea) gave the octopus away.
Before I swam back to the boat, I found the fifth octopus. I was over the moon to see so many, this was more of them in an hour than I saw the whole summer. And it is a clear indication of what a huge difference the marine reserves can make.
Next we sailed along island of Veliki Kornat with it's fences made of stone. The islands here weren't always so barren, a couple of hundreds years ago Venetians chopped most of the trees down for building ships, and the sheep and goats ate the rest of vegetation. Then erosion took away so much soil that trees couldn't grow back.
In the afternoon we sailed to small island of Ravni Žakan and anchored for the night. We were surprised to still find so many boats there, especially near Kameni Žakan, where we originally wanted to anchor. But we found a good spot, a bit away from the restaurant, that we had for ourselves.
Next morning I went snorkelling again, I didn't want to miss another opportunity to snorkel in such a clear water. And almost under our boat I found another octopus.

The pretty blue fish in front of yellow sponge are the young Mediterranean chromis (spužva žveplenjača in mladi črniki or Aplysina aerophoba and young Chromis chromis), the only coral fish in Mediterranean.

This year I didn't see so many Mediterranean fanworm (spalancanijev cevkar or Sabella spallanzani).
A colonial sea squirt (spužvasti plaščar or Didemnum spp) of pretty apricot colour was also there.

In the afternoon we sailed to East side of Kaprije and had a great evening with delicious food in restaurant Kata.

Next morning the water ship came into bay and we watched how the ship came more and more out of the sea as the water it carried was pumped into the cistern on land.

Later on I went snorkelling. It was not as pretty and colourful as in Kornati, but there were still a few interesting things there, like the Spiny starfish (bradavičasta morska zvezda or Marthasterias glacialis).
The Longstriped blenny (črnoboka babica or Parablennius rouxi) was patiently posing for me.

And I couldn't resist another photo of Red tube worm (pisani pokrovčkar or Serpula vermicularis).

As it turned out, this was my last snorkelling expedition for this year.

Later in the day we sailed on to Murter. On the way we almost got part of the regatta.

Next day we made a stop in pretty town of Betina.

It is the season for fig drying.

That day we sailed to Ždrelac and the next to Muline on Ugljan. And on Saturday it was time to sail back to Petrčane and then we drove back home and Captain stayed on the boat for few more weeks.

Friday, September 24, 2021

September in Adria

This month I spent another two weeks on Heron. After a really full roads in high season (July and August) we were hoping we would have a fast drive to Petrčane. But no luck this time - there was a car crash on highway and waiting in traffic jam took two extra hours, so we arrived in Petrčane late in the afternoon, tired and hungry. After ribs and fish&chips in local whiskey bar we sailed to Muline on N end of Ugljan. It was already almost dark, so we only had a quick swim before going to bed. I was sad to find that the water temperature was quite chilly.

Next day we sailed North to Molat. There was not much wind, so we motored occasionally, but the weather was sunny, it was warm and we weren't in a hurry. Once in Molat I was considering going snorkelling, but the light was already getting low and that combined with not very warm water made me change my mind.

Next day we sailed  to a shipwreck near the N end of Dugi otok after breakfast. We all went into water there, and it wasn't even that cold.

The wreck lies in shallow water, it sunk some 50 years ago. It is an Italian ship named San Michele.

I expected it would be more overgrown...
...but there was plenty of fish there, the Two-banded sea breams (fratrci ali Diplodus vulgaris) were really big.
That evening we slept in S bay in Ist, and then sailed on to Olib. I just couldn't miss the opportunity to snorkel there again. We first anchored on E side. Water was - let's call it very refreshing instead of cold, so I didn't snorkel long. I found many Peacock worms (pahljačaste cevkarje or Sabella pavonina) on sandy bottom of the bay. These guys are super jumpy and as soon as they notice any movements or change of light, they disappear into their tubes in the ground. It took me quite some time and energy to get couple of decent photos.

In the afternoon we sailed on to W side of Olib and next day I went snorkelling. And it was again great, so much to see there, that I almost forgot the not-so-warm water. I found this Red comb star (oranžasta morska zvezda or Astropecten aranciacus).
Common stingray (navadni morski bič or Dasyatis pastinaca)
I've never before seen the Smooth clam (lepotka or Callista chione) so exposed and was even happier to notice that it is alive, you can see the edge of flesh if you look closely.
The Black scorpionfish (škrpoč or Scorpaena porcus) was posing next to red encrusting sponge.
And here are few Peacock worms, just because they are so difficult to photograph and have such pretty faces.

I don't know which jelly fish this is, it was very small and also quite tricky to photograph.

I'm always so happy to find plenty of living clams - this one is Bald scallop (mala pokrovača or Protopecten glaber).
There were several Cylinder anemones (peščena roža or Cerianthus membranaceus), here are the two of them. These were different as their tube was sticking out from the sand, usually I was seeing the ones with tubes hidden in the sand.

Even the clam, that was next to Sea squirt (črni kozolnjak or Phallusia fumigata), was alive, although I couldn't find out, which it is.
From Olib we sailed to Silba and had a great evening in a restaurant there. From there we sailed on to Ist again, this time we anchored in N bay. And we finally climbed the hill again. This time we also found the true summit, taht is a few meters higher than the church. 
I found this beauty on church's wall.
This is the view to the West, of the small town of Ist with South and North bay. One of the boats on the right is Heron.
The islands to the South - unfortunately the visibility was not so perfect to see all the way to Kornati.
Our bay in the evening.

Nex day I went snorkelling in the bay and even found a couple of pretty things - like this Red-spotted horseshoe (apnenčasti cevkat or Portula tubularia)... Octopus (navadna hobotnica or Octopus vulgaris) that made me happy...

...and an encrusting sponge (rjava skorjevka or Hemimycale columella).

We sailed further South and in the evening anchored at the small island of Kurba mala. It is very pretty, but only for settled weather. We were here already a few years ago and then there were three donkeys on the island. I was happy to see that two of them are still there, they came in the evening and performed a true show on the beach.
The sunset was beautiful.
In the morning the donkeys came to greet us again. In the background is Ugljan and to the right Ždrelac with the bridge that connects Ugljan to Pašman.