Our next stop was on Brač island, we still hadn’t managed to find water to refill our tanks so booked into the marina at Milna located on the western side of the island.
We dropped our lines to the buoys at Šćedro and headed northwest around Hvar island. As we passed the main town it was very busy with boats everywhere, we haven’t seen so much activity in the water since being in the Solent! We continued north towards Brač island. Unfortunately the wind was very light, only getting up to a force 2 all day, we did put the sails up for a while but with a speed of just 2 kts, it would have taken us until nearly midnight to get there, so we motored for the majority of the 27nm journey.
Milna or as the Venetians called it “Valle di mille navi” (the bay of a thousand ships) is a large well protected bay. The Russians harboured their fleet in Milna during the Napoleonic wars. In 1806, there was a major naval battle in the waters of Milna between the Russians and the French.
For years, Milna was known for its shipbuilding and the renowned Dalmatian boat “bracera” was first made here. Nowadays it relies on tourism.
The marina overlooks the small town with stone houses (in various states of repair) along the waterside.
There is an 18th Century Baroque Church with a typically Dalmatian bell tower which stands in the centre.
We stayed one night in the very smart marina and made good use of all of the facilities while we were there; filled our water tanks, cleaned the boat (and ourselves) and we eventually managed to get the laundry done after walking all around the bay looking for the washing machines, which were just up some steps near the boat!
The bay was all lit up at night.
We had been invited to a birthday celebration in Pučišća which is a little town on the north of the island so the following day we set off on a 19 nm journey to meet up with some of our friends from MdR.
We left with a southwest force 3, a good sailing wind and we were doing 5 kts, but this didn’t last, it soon reduced, changed to the east, increased, changed to north reduced…. We had the sails up and down almost every half an hour for the 5 hour journey!
As we approached Pučišća, the first thing you see is a quarry which doesn’t look very attractive.
As you continue past the quarry you come to a beautiful bay full of white limestone buildings and clear blue water.
Pučišća is well known for its stone work, a skill which has been passed down from generation to generation. Nowadays it has the only stonemason school in this part of Europe.
Many palaces throughout the world have been built with the local stone since the renaissance age. The widely known Brač stone is pure white and it is the main material from which the Diocletian’s Palace in Split, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and part of the White House in Washington were built.
Sculptures made in the school can be seen all around the bay and there are many small huts selling their stonework souvenirs.
Pučišća is also known as being a “13 towers port” since it used to have 13 towers guarding it against repeated attacks by pirates, some of which still stand around the bay.
This was definitely one of the prettiest bays, we had a great evening out in a hillside restaurant for the birthday celebrations and ended up staying here for a few days.
Whilst we were there, we learnt that the quarry at the entrance to the bay is the headquarters of Jadrankamen, the largest stone quarry company in Europe. The town itself is very well kept and has a wealthy air about it with the Company obviously playing a significant part in its success.
For cruising sailor’s it offers a free safe anchorage with easy dinghy access to the town and all of its facilities. The only downside to this idyllic place was the amount of dust generated from the quarry which had settled on the boat. We need to find some more fresh water now to clean it again or maybe prey for rain!