Hot summer days afloat

Here we are at the beginning of August and it’s been a doozy of a summer so far. Between the sweltering temperatures and the cloying humidity, it’s been difficult to breathe some days, let alone get up the energy to move. These are the days of the Dalmatian fjaka, sort of like a Spanish siesta, but not quite so energetic. It’s time to immerse ourselves in water and cool down a bit!

We’ve been exploring some of the quiet bays near Vrboska, both along the Hvar coast and across to Brač. In June, we pretty much had all of them to ourselves. Increasingly, though, some of the better-known anchorages such as Soline Bay, can get quite crowded. There’s usually a mix of small rent-a-boats, motor cruisers, yachts and catamarans of all sizes right up to the super-luxury charters complete with crew and a selection of inflatable toys. It’s fun to look up these visitors online and find out how much they cost for the week! For example, the 80′ catamaran 7X costs 67,000 euros/week and accommodates 8 guests with a crew of 3. Another recent visitor, Axioma costs 549,000 euros/week, accommodates 12 guests with a crew of 20! I think the one with the helicopter must be private – hard to look up when there’s no visible name on the bow.

We like to take a picnic with us, and seek out quieter places. Depending on the wind direction, we’ll drop anchor in whichever of the nearby coves offers the best protection. Going westwards, we usually run into a fairly brisk maestral (westerly) in the afternoon, funneling through the narrowest part of the channel between Hvar and Brač. Eastwards, the bays are more open, but that’s OK, because the maestral doesn’t blow as strongly there.

There are also sail-in restaurants, which is pretty cool. Not having a dinghy, we depend on being able to moor at a dock, otherwise we’d need to swim ashore. It’s possible, for example, to tie up next to Me & Mrs Jones in Jelsa, for a lovely lunch. We even did that during the socially-distancing summer of 2020, when they served us on board our boat. Excellent food and nice folks!

Pokrivenik, which is one of the largest bays on the north side of the island, is also a fine lunch stop. We’ve just been the once, but really enjoyed both the location and the choice of food. It seems to be popular also with the boats from the mainland, for example those fast RIBs from Makarska and Split.

Another popular outing for the Makarska and Split boats is, of course, our own home port of Vrboska. Increasingly, we’re seeing a flotilla of these small, fast boats bringing a party of guests for lunch or dinner. It’s great for the local restaurants, especially the ones right next to the dock, and it’s entertaining to watch the boats come and go. Although, I have to say it can be disconcerting when we arrive back in our boat to find someone else moored in our space… and not only that, using our own rope to tie themselves up! Note to self – don’t return to port over lunch time!

Crystal clear!

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