440 Nautical miles: North Italy – Istria – Kvarner

Overview

Port calls: Aprilia Maritiima- Umag - Vsar - Brijuni - Cres - Opatja - Martinscica - Medulin/Pomer - Pula - Rovinj - Novigrad - Aprilia Marittima

Days cruised: 14

Difficulty of sailing route: suistable for beginners

Timeplan: relaxed

Notwendige Selbstversorgung: 1 day, daily port calls with good infrastructure

Route

Galery

Logbook

1. Day-Aprilia Marittima-Umag
The first leg took us to Umag. The wind blew with 20–24 knots from the northeast and our efficient boat brought us, with reefed sails, safely to the leg goal. The pier was almost completely occupied as some of the power boats stayed there and waited for the wind conditions to get ligher.
Tipp: In addition to the boat documents, your yacht master licence, and the passports, you also need cash when entering the country. And ATMs are not close by at all. Euros and Kuna (local Croatian currency) are accepted.
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The marina in Umag has a very nice restaurant and the kids enjoyed our first beach encounter. With great surprise, we discovered other guests at the end of the pier: Muskrats. They belong to the voles family and are their largest representative. Here you will even feed them and they were really cute. The village centre can be reached on foot, or with a small train. The harbour district is very busy and loud.

2 + 3. Day-Umag-Vrsar
With still strong and gusty wind, we went on to Vrsar. This very picturesque town presents itself in magnificent colours; the marina is very well protected and is easy to get in. A highlight for the children was to fish jellyfish from the docks, to transport them into buckets with water and to watch their colour play. In the restaurant Trost, right in the marina, they serve excellent local specialties. Around the harbour, there are other numerous Restaurants with some rather average quality of food.  Just around the corner from the city centre, a small amusement park is located.

We stayed a second day in  Vrsar to have our dinghy repaired. The promised, rapid help did not arrive at all, so our dinghy was unfortunately not operational for the upcoming days.

4. Day Vrsar-Brijuni
The wind was still strong during the day, but it was not a big challenge thanks to our driving direction. With only small parts of the sails out we started early in the morning to sail to Brijuni. We had breakfast in the cockpit and even discovered a small dolphin school. We a great way to start into the day!

In the marina of Brijuni, you check in at the hotel reception. The port charges are much higher than usual and the payment is always for 24 hours. We felt Brijuni was worth the experience. With an electric car you can explore the island and the many bays invite you to swim. Hares, peacocks, or other wild animals scurry over and over again. In front of the hotel resides "Kocki," a Kakadu, who repeatedly calls his name. The former island of head of state Tito thus now allows a mini-safari.

5 + 6. Day Brijuni-Cres
The marina in Cres is located just outside the old town, still within walking distance. The old town is built around the old Harbour Basin and offers numerous shopping and dining options. Due to the weather situation and the announced strong Bora, we decided to take another day break here.

In the city of Cres it is delightful to dine: In the buffet feral you can find the best Mediterranean cuisine, right in the city centre, at reasonable prices.

7. Tag Cres-Opatija
The day of a big surprise: we had launched in rather fair winds and as we wanted to meet some friends this evening, we decided to use our engin power to speed up our trop. However, when I tried to start the engine, nothing happened. And it was really "nothing" that happened. When I turned the ignition key, there was deadly silence. The cable from the battery to the starter was corroded within the isolation and I was not able to fix this myself. So we had to reverse again to get the engine fit again. It was not easy to dock without enginge power, but with the help of the Marineros we managed without any damage. Luckily the cable could be fixed the same afternoon and we were able to continue our journey.
The approach to Opatija was scenic and very quiet thanks to the calmness of the wind. We definitely didn't want to meet the Bora here.

8. Day-bathing excursion to the North Cape of Cres
Crystal clear water, what more can I say?

 

9. Tag-Cres-Blue Grotto-Martinscica
The Blue Grotto was definitely a highlight. You swim into the cave and reach a cavity after only a few meters. Light penetrates through an underwater opening in the rock inward and colors everything blue. Experienced swimmers can also dive through this hole to the outside and swim with a diver mask. But you need some courage and I have seen many who finally did not dare to take the risk.

We then motored from the Grotto to Martinscica, because Pomer was already too far away from us at this time of day. As the very small pier was already fully occupied, we decided anchor in the idyllic bay and enjoyed the dinner by dinghy shuttle. Luckily, we had successfully replaced our dinghy in Opatija!

 

10. Tag Martinscica-Medulin/Pomer
As described above, on our departure from the island of Cres, our engine was no longer working and we had to return to the marina again. My plan at that time was to use our electric outboard as a kind of emergency enginge. It was mounted easily at the stern and everything went quite well in the beginning and we drove with almost 4 knots of speed. After an erroneous movement on the thrust lever, however, the load on the propeller was too high and a leaf broke away.
IMG_6774
A spare part was on board, but a necessary splint could not be found. Via the service homepage of Torqeedo, I reached "Martin" and he organized that the necessary metal bolt was brought to the Marina Pomer. To the zero fare and the next day, I'm just saying, "Hats off!" I have rarely experienced such a great level of customer service. Especially in times of self-service support areas and outsourced call centers. My next engine comes  from Torqeedo, so much is for sure! Top!
Pomer is only a short distance from Medulin and characterized by low-cost camping tourism. The city port of Medulin is quite idyllic, but it is not allowed to be entered by yachts. In order to reach the marina Pomer, it is necessary to proceed with the utmost caution. From all sides paddlers, inflatable boats, surfers, and above all jet skis are approaching with sometimes high speeds and often completely uncontrollable. The marina itself is newly renovated and even offers a small pool. The children were not sad about waiting for the bolts and enjoyed the pool!

11. Tag Medulin-Pula
Pula is home of one of the the largest amphitheatres still preserved today and we certainly didn't want to miss this. It takes quite a while to reach the city through the small fjord you have to get through, so our decision not to arrive to late in the day played out very well. The city offers a great deal of historical architecture, a small pedestrian zone, and in the evening "harbour giants," the construction cranes of the local shipyard.

12. Day Pula-Rovinj
During the middle of the summer, tourism was already very noticeable. The docking space in the marinas was scarce and when coming to Rovinj we were assigned on of the last docking spaces at the outsite pier. With every boat passing by, we felt the swell and at night we experienced one of the most intense thunderstorms we had seen so far. The sky was brightly lit by lightning, and wind and waves rocked our boat vigorously up and down. That night we almost did not sleep at all but still better than being out at night in such nasty condtions.

13. Day Rovinj-Lim Canal-Novigrad
The Lim Canal is a deep incision into the mainland and houses numerous shellfish farms. The literature did not agree on how and whether one was allowed to drive the canal and so we called our destination restaurant "Viking" upfront. Not only could we reserve a table, but we were also confirmed that we were allowed to drive to the end of the canal. Even a berth was kept ready!

Arriving in the evening of Novigrad, we visited the restaurant "Marina." It is only a few steps away from the marina, but outside of it. You can find some little testimonials under "Delicious Memories."—in a nutshell: Sensational!

14. Tag Novigrad-Aprilia Marittima
Now it was time to go back and Moritz was also very excited about swimming in the pool. On the crossing we caught another Spiegeleiquale and watched them in the Pütz.

"I've always admired the ships far out on the horizon because they sail so far away. This time we were on such a sailboat, quite far away."
--Luis

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