Oct 25, 2015

October sail in Croatia - part 1: From Dubrovnik to Luka Sipan and Mljet

This was the second year that we decided to end the sailing season by chartering a boat from the Mediterranean. Last year we chartered a boat in Italy also in mid-October, and found the timing almost perfect in terms of weather and avoiding the crowds. This year we (together with my parents) decided to head for Croatia, which had been recommended to us by many as one of the best sailing areas in Europe. Although, we saw a lot more boats at the sea than in Italy last year, the high season was clearly already over in early October – one could tell this from the number of charter boats that were lying idle in the large Dubrovnik ACI Marina as we headed for the sea on Monday morning. Clearly the charter business is big in Croatia and marinas and anchorages might get a bit crowded in July and August when all these boats are at the sea.


This year we were not as lucky with the weather as last year: the weather forecast for the week was actually pretty bad with lots of rain and thunder forecasted. Unfortunately, the weather forecast seemed to be truthful as well as just after an hour from leaving Dubrovnik, we found ourselves in the middle of thunderstorm. We were sailing at this time, but decided to lower the sails and continue with the engine. We headed for the nearby island called Sipan and found a very sheltered anchorage outside the village Sipanska Luka. The rain stopped in the afternoon and the evening was actually very beautiful.

The scenery on the first day was pretty grey.




Fortunately the rain stopped in the afternoon. 

Anchoring outside Sipanska Luka. 





s/y Mali Svibor (Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349) anchored outside Luka Sipan. 

After rainy Monday, the weather took a turn for the better and we got two beautiful days at the sea. During Tuesday the wind was mostly light, so we motored most of the 23 nm leg from Sipan to Polace village on the beautiful Mljet island. In Luka Polace like in other small villages in the area, there seems to be a lot of private docks owned by local restaurants which you can use for free, if you promise to eat at the restaurant. Sounds a pretty fair deal to me given the high marina prices in the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the moorings also seem to have electricity and water available, so there is actually no need to stay in the marinas and pay those high prices.
/Antti

The following day was sunny but calm

The wind increased a bit in the afternoon, so we got a chance to hoist the sails for an hour or so. 

Approaching the beautiful, green archipelago around Mljet island.  

Moored in Luka Polace. 


 The bay near Luka Polace is also a popular wild anchorage.