Summer arrived on Hvar rather later than usual this year, but once the sun came out, we haven’t looked back! We can only expect to get hotter over the next couple of months, and that can feel pretty uncomfortable, especially on more humid days. So it’s been good to get out on the water, and enjoy the cooling breeze. It’s somewhat of a novel experience for us, as new boat owners, to be out there exploring, not just where the roads take you, or where walking trails go. Many parts of the coast are inaccessible from the land, or too far to be convenient destinations for foot traffic, making such coves ideal anchoring spots for a quiet swim! Proper islanders should definitely have a boat, and we’re looking forward to exploring not only Hvar’s coastline, but other nearby islands.
East from Vrboska, the coves of Prapatna and Mala Stiniva are, if anything, more lovely when viewed from the sea. Between them is a small bay with a single house and tiny church, aptly named Uvala Crkvica (Bay of the church). Incidentally, it’s not easy finding the local names of these smaller coves, as the seafaring charts don’t always bother with them, and Google maps only gives names to land features (or have I missed an option in the settings?). So far, we’ve been as far as Pokrivenik bay, which provides great shelter from the afternoon maestral. We’re learning that the prevailing wind around here is easterly in the morning, turning to westerly in the afternoon. That’s all part of the daily onshore/offshore pattern, and feels wonderfully cool.
Setting out round the Glavica headland and westwards from Vrboska, there are lots of choices, some more popular than others. The terrain is a little more varied in this direction, with Zečevo island, the bay at Basina, and lots of little coves around the Rudine peninsula. These bays are surprisingly deep, as the rocky shoreline plunges almost straight down under the water. It’s even in the name sometimes – Uvala Duboka means deep cove, and yes, it certainly is! We’re still trying to work out some of the other names – Žala Luka could mean gravel harbour, or perhaps bad harbour. Either way, it’s a pretty little bay for a picnic!
We’ve also been over to Bol on the neighbouring island of Brač. It’s a beautiful little harbour in a gorgeous location. So many choices for lunch! We moored next to other visiting boats, before the harbourmaster cycled by and told us that’s only for the big guys, the overnight yachts needing much deeper water than us. It’s OK for a quick lunch stop, but next time we moor with the small boats!
The view of the rocks from water level is stunning! I’m really enjoying the boat as a base for plein-air painting. The only trouble is that as we swing around in the wind, I look up to find a different scene! So many beautiful abstracts, just crying out to be painted!
Our late afternoon excursions are generally followed back in Vrboska by drinks on board. It’s nice chatting to local friends, watching the other boats putter by and enjoying the cooler breezes at water level. And the local restaurants will even deliver to your boat – what luxury! I have to say Vrboska is a perfect harbour for this kind of activity (or lack of it) at the end of a day.
There is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. In or out of ’em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not. ~ Kenneth Grahame