Before we left Hvar, we had talked with George, the father-in-law of Jelle’s sister ( yes, I know, all this family stuff is confusing) and he would be in Croatia the same period we would be! Unfortunately, we could not sail all the way to Metcovic where he was based but we settled for Blace, a tiny village in the Neretva Delta. It took us two days to get there since the wind only blows between midday and 6 in the afternoon, giving us a small window of good sailing conditions. Nevertheless, we made it work and sailed first towards the bay of Loviste, where we anchored for the night. We had great sailing and we even saw jumping dolphins! What a thrill that was!
Blace was tiny but the perfect anchorage! Jelle was able to work uninterrupted while Elena and I explored the very swallow but sandy beach nearby with a beautiful beach bar! What a hidden gem that was! We spent the day there, just splashing around, building sandcastles, and running in the muddy sand. If it wasn’t for the sunny weather, you could be in Scheveningen!
The next day George picked us up and we drove to Metcovic, met the rest of the Jovicas and Elena even found friends of her age to play with! George drove us around and told us stories of his childhood and the history of that side of Croatia and we ended the day by eating fresh lamb on the spit. Delicious! The next day we met up with George again for a nice swim and then a drive down the coast up to the Pelješac Bridge, the newly built bridge over Dubrovnic. It was such a nice experience to meet some family that normally live far far away (George lives in Canada) and also listen to facts and stories from a real Croatian! It felt like taking a trip from our trip!
On August 7th we left our perfect, still anchorage and set sail to Korčula, another famous island in the Dalmatian archipelago and the presumable birthplace of Marco Polo. Aeolos, the God of winds was with us this time and we sailed all the way from Blace to Korčula without any stops in the between! We threw our anchor in the bay next to the historic town and early on August 8th we took our trusted old dinghy, motored to the shore, and strolled around the ancient, picturesque, historic center of Korcula. We wondered around the narrow, cobblestone
Our time in Korcula was short as we soon moved on to Mljet, our last island in Croatia. Mljet is the southernmost and easternmost of the Adriatic islands in Croatia. More than half of it is considered a natural park, which in other words means fees for entering, and fees for anchoring (I am surprised they did not charge us for the wind as well). Despite the high toll, however, the natural park was indeed impressive. It consisted of luscious green and two big lakes which you could cross with the use of a speedboat (surprisingly the boat ride was included in the entrance fee). We visited the tiny island of St Mary, home to an Italian (!) church and monastery dating back to 1151. The weather was sunny and (too) warm, but the views were amazing and the little hiking helped us stretch our legs.
It would have been a beautiful day if only the wind direction had not changed causing massive problems to our anchoring Libra! We had tried a new way this time, by throwing anchor and securing the boat by tying a line ashore to a tree. But the wind changed, causing the boat to move backward and our rudder hitting aground! The worst part of all was that Jelle did all the re-anchoring alone, as we felt Elena would be safer ashore with me until the whole ordeal was dealt with. Thankfully, there was no damage to the rudder apart from a few scratches and we both learned a valuable lesson; never try to tie Libra with a line ashore! The following day we left the natural park and sailed to the south end of the island, Saplunara bay. It was a beautiful sandy beach where we played for hours and build up an appetite for a delicious fresh fish dinner in the nearby tavern. Such a relaxed day was much needed after the scare we got the day before!
Amazing views, big swells, and anchoring in the middle of the night! Interested? Stay tuned for our next post!