Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sailing from Krk to Kornat and back - part 5

In the evening we returned to a small bay next to new ferry harbour, right to the West of the lighthouse.

At first glance it doesn't look like a good anchorage, water is quite deep and the bay not very big. We checked it with the mask, bottom is sandy and offers good holding, there are no rocks right up to the shore and the pine trees smell heavenly. Late in the evening we even saw an owl. We were alone there, I don't think there would be space for another boat. Only some fishermen boats came by in the evening and the night was very peaceful.

In the morning some of us were in the water at sunrise, others enjoyed the early sun.

After nice breakfast we sailed towards West and had to say goodbye to my brother's family.

We had an appointment later in the day in Stara Baška on island Krk. I was surprised how much colder the water there was, only 23 deg C, around island Rab it was around 27 deg C. It must be because of all the fresh water springs that are on and in the sea around island Krk.

In the afternoon we sailed on to Vela luka, we tacked (zig-zaged) against Burja (N-E wind), that was blowing through Senj strait (Senjska vrata). It is really amazing how strong the wind here can get, even in nice sunny weather and very little wind everywhere else.

I like Vela luka very much, also because it's so protected. OK, it is much nicer late in the evening and in the morning, during the day there are many power boats bringing tourists to the beach, and it can get noisy and boats create big swell. Another reason why I like it are the sheep, that come to the beach from the hills in the evening. Before that they are "shouting" loudly to one another over the bay and it echoes from the rocks and the hills. There must be a spring or two of fresh water somewhere, because they all converge to the same spot on the beach. One day we will actually dinghy to the beach and take a look.

Next morning I quickly jumped into the water, before the hordes of tourists started arriving. Bay is not too interesting, but I still found some nice things.

I like this sea urchin, that tried to camouflage itself with everything that was available - from Feather star (Morska lilija) to empty shells.

This is a Red anemone (Rdeča morska vetrnica), it can be found in very shallow water, here I found it attached to the rocky wall that was dropping into the sea.

It was our last day of our holiday. We decided to make another stop in Luka Srščica before we returned to Klimno. There were quite a few boats there already.

Of course I went snorkelling there, I wouldn't miss the last snorkelling opportunity. First thing I noticed as I swam across the bay, was that there were no Fan mussels (Leščurjev) any more. I distinctly remember seeing some before. Soon I find the reason for that - a pile of empty Fan mussels shells - so they were eaten, despite being protected.

As I swam along the rocky East shore I found this Black Scorpionfish (Škarpoč). He tried to blend into the surrounding rocks, just to be left alone.

And yet another Red Seasquirt (Rdeči kozolnjak ali Morska breskev)

All the fish in the bay were very nervous. This one - it is one of the Wrasses (Gnezdivka) - was pressed into the ground and frightened swam away when I came close.

On our way back to our buoy in Klimno we saw the funniest thing - cows cooling down in the sea. I probably mentioned that it was really hot most of the time, up to 35 deg C, but I haven't seen anything like this before.

We had some nice Easterly wind on our way back and the sailing was good. Shortly after we left Luka Srščica a butterfly landed on our boat, obviously seeking some shelter from the wind and opportunity to rest. First it landed on the winch.

Then he decided that on the bench next to me is a better place to rest. It was a good opportunity to take a close look at him. It was a Red Admiral (Admiral).

He was sitting there rather motionless for quite a while and we were getting worried. Was he too tired to fly away? Captain had a brilliant idea - maybe he is thirsty, let us give him some watermelon. For quite a while he didn't move, didn't show any interest in watermelon that was right in front of his nose. But after some time he finally started to eat it. Yes!

We were long tied to our buoy in Klimno before he flew away, he was with us for almost an hour. What a nice finish to our vacation.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sailing from Krk to Kornat and back - part 4

Next morning, after the charter sailboats left, we had another show. A pretty sailboat was approaching the anchorage, and we could hear yelling of a man from a far. When they sailed closer, we saw there was also a woman on the boat, steering the boat and not saying much. The man was standing near the mast, loudly talking and yelling all the time. The cause of his tantrum was his dissatisfaction with the woman at the steering wheel, nothing she did was right. She was not turning the wheel right, she didn't manage the engine right, she couldn't reverse the boat right, she didn't put the boat into right position for anchoring. And he used very strong words, and also cursed her in the worst way. We haven't seen or heard anything like this yet. And you would not expect that kind of behaviour from people in their 60-ies. It went on for almost an hour, they changed the anchoring spot several times in the meanwhile, and everybody was already tired of them. I couldn't understand, why the woman just took everything, without defending herself much. In her place I would put my credit card between my teeth, jump into the water and swim for the shore and never come back.

We didn't wait to see how long it went on. We sailed to the West side of Olib, I wanted to do as much snorkelling there as possible. This time we anchored near the small sandy island with lots of loud birds. Shortly after we anchored, I was in the water. This time there were mostly the red things that caught my eyes.

Like this Encrusting orange sponge (Rdeča žilavka). And in the middle of it was the worm (Tulčasti cevkar), and this time not only his yellow tentacles were visible, but also his body, encased in sand.

This pretty thing is one of the Triplefin Blennies, direct translation from Slovene would be Red wandering blenny (Rdeči sprehajalček). It is small and difficult to spot, but it is at least as beautiful as any tropical fish.
Update: after consulting my books and Internet again I think this might be different sort of Triplefin Blenny (Pritlikavi sprehajalček). I love the Italian name - Peperoncino minore.

I actually wanted to take a photo of a Blue sponge (Modra spužva), only later on computer I noticed the Rock Goby (Mrki glavač), blinking surprised into the lens.

And a close up of Trumpet anemone (Marmornata morska vetrnica).

This is the same kind Triplefin Belnny (Rdeči sprehajalček) as above, just without it's mating colours

Couldn't find out the name of this sponge, but I found it pretty

This was a very sad sight - somebody obviously caught the Stingray (Navadni morski bič), and then threw it away. I was really upset by this, especially when I found another one not far away. What a pity for such a unique animal. I am not a vegetarian, but I believe it is not moral to kill unless the whole animal is used for food.

It looks like the Sepia (Sipa) was trying to hypnotise me

This round red thing is actually a Sponge  (Morska žogica), that is protecting a Hermit crab (Raka samotarca). But at a first glance it looks like the small red ball is moving across the sea floor without any help. Only if you get close very fast, you can see small crab legs under it, which quickly disappear under the sponge. I didn't want to lift the whole thing up and take a look, and scare the poor Hermit crab even more.

Next morning we moved to a small island to the West to do some more snorkelling.

We anchored in the turquoise water. I jumped into the water and was a bit disappointed. There was not much to see, but there were couple of Red mullets and Two banded Sea Bream (Progasti bradači in Fratrc).

This was the first time I saw Sargassum algae (Sargaška alga).

And there was finally a new tunicate - a type of Social tunicate (Koničasti plaščar).

After snorkelling we sailed on to island Rab to meet my brother and his family. We had a lovely evening together and next day we sailed alog the island of Rab towards mainland and then around the corner to bay Mag. Last year when we were there I really liked it, but unlike this time we were alone in whole bay then. This time there were many many motorboats there, so many one could hardly see the beach from the boat. We anchored in deeper water to have at least a little bit of space around us.

I went snorkelling and chose to swim along the rocky coast out of the bay, there were no motorboats or swimmers in the deeper water. Despite the totally barren above-water landscape in the bay, the under water landscape is rich and colourful.

I was again drawn to red things - like this Red algae (Škrlatna sluzavka), that swayed with the waves.

I think this is another Red algae called Jania (Janija).

I know I posted many photos of Hermit crabs (Obročkasti samotarec), but this one was so very pretty.

And another Red Seasquirt (Rdeči kozolnak ali Morska breskev)

It was just impossible to ignore this beautiful Red tubeworm (Pisani pokrovčar).

The Mediterranean Feather Star (Morska lilija)
Update #2: this is actually a totally different kind of animal, it is a Cylinder anemone, in Slovene Peščena roža

This was one of the few Octopusses (Hobotnica) that I saw; but what I did see were plenty of men in dark neoprene suits with long spearguns, shooting at anything that moved. I tried to keep the distance, they looked scary and I wasn't sure they wouldn't mistaken me for a fish. I was also careful when taking photos of Octopuss, made sure before that none of the "navy seals" was watching me.

And this is a Weever (Navadni morski zmaj)

This is how the bay Mag on islad Rab looked like - and this was only part of the motorboats there, I tried counting them and stopped when I came to number 30. Poor people had to raft the boats together only to find some space, and then they were sitting or laying on their small boats the whole day. What a vacation! And here you can see how the bay looks outside the main season.

Late in the afternoon we returned to the South-West side of Rab. My nephew showed a lot of talent with steering the boat. And looks like he enjoyed it too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sailing from Krk to Kornat and back - part 3

I had to check my previous post to find out where I left off, that's how long it's been since then. When looking at photos, I noticed they are of a really bad quality. While I do upload them with lower resolution than original for easier loading and viewing, as I always did, I don't remember them ever to be so bad. I did some research and obviously there's been some changes in blogger, that by itself changes the quality of a photo regardless of how it was uploaded. The workaround I found was to edit html of a post and to change some parameters for every photo! While I'm absolutely not happy with this solution, I did edit last three posts, so you might want to check them again, photos do look a bit better.

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,...

... and buid it in again. And now it not only looks pretty, it is also water tight.

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.