We untied our lines at Baotić Marina after a busy morning making use of all the facilities and motored 2nm to the bay opposite for a quiet night. Uvala Racetinovac is a pretty bay with nothing other than trees, an old ruin and of course a random Hajduk sign painted onto a rock. There were lots of boats when we arrived but most of them left by the evening leaving us almost alone.
The weather was continuing to be hot and still so we waited in the bay for a couple of days until better sailing conditions were forecast. When the wind arrived we decided to follow the breeze and head towards Hvar Island. We had a reef in each sail and were speeding along in the gusty force 4-5 wind for most of the day, however by late afternoon the wind dropped and we were only able to sail at 2kts. By this time we were approaching our destination so motored the final couple of miles of our 35nm journey and anchored in Luka Vrboska on the north of the island. This is a large bay with beaches around the coast under the shade of the surrounding forest of pine trees.
The temperature was now a very hot 33°C in the shade and 27.5° in the water. There is a small town here so in the evening, when it had cooled down, we took Ed & Fred to go and explore.
Vrboska is the smallest town on the island and is hidden deep in the bay, you cannot see it from the anchorage and it took us approximately 20 minutes to get there by dinghy.
The town has developed from an old fisherman’s village and until the beginning of the 20th Century it had a sardine factory. Nowadays the 500 inhabitants live mainly off tourism, olive, fruit and wine growing, as well as a little fishing.
A narrow river runs through the town which is crossed by foot bridges, it is often referred to as ‘Little Venice’, we thought it was more reminiscent of Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds! The local boats have a folding mast in order to be able to pass under the bridges.
There is a pretty little island in the middle of the town which serves somewhat as a nautical roundabout.
There is also a very smart fire hydrant!
We stayed a few days in this lovely calm anchorage before taking advantage of the next good sailing window to move on. Within the protection of the bay the wind was very light and variable blowing from all directions. So we motored out to the open sea before deciding which way the wind would take us, and whether to head down to the bottom of Hvar island or up towards Brač.
Once out of the bay the wind continued to vary in both direction and speed, we changed our mind several times over which route to follow and finally decided to head up to Brač. It wasn’t long before the wind direction stabilised but the strength was still gusting from below 10 to over 25 kts which made for an exciting sail. After 25 nm we arrived at Lovrećino on the north coast of Brač island where we dropped the anchor.
This small bay is surrounded by hills covered with trees and enough space for about six boats of a similar size to us to anchor comfortably. We arrived mid afternoon, there were already a few boats anchored but still enough space for us.
A couple of hours later a 38m mini cruise ship anchored too close to us, it had approximately 20 guests on board who all went swimming when they arrived. We assumed that they had just stopped for a swim and then would head to the bright lights somewhere for the evening, so we waited for them to leave. Unfortunately they didn’t and drifted closer and closer to us.
We asked the captain when they were leaving but he said they weren’t and he wouldn’t move. Normally the rule is that the last to arrive should move if too close to another boat but this captain was having none of it. There is also the pragmatic view that ‘might is right’ especially when visiting someone else’s country.
The long protruding bowsprit of the ship swung closer to our rigging, so at 8pm we lifted our anchor just as the sun was going down and headed out of the bay.
We would now be travelling and arriving in the dark so decided to go 19nm up to Split as it is a large well lit bay, where there is plenty of space and as we’ve been there before we are familiar with the entrance.
It was an interesting journey identifying all of the lights on the shore and in the water. We eventually arrived at 11.30pm and dropped our anchor, after a long day we were ready for a quick nightcap and then a good nights sleep. (We did sail around the island of Brač not over it as our track suggests!)