Category: Cruising Tips _de

Venice and its sourounding islands


Port calls: Aprilia Maritiima- Venice - Aprilia Marittima

Days cruised: 3

Difficulty of sailing route: suitable for beginners

Timeplan: relaxed

Self-sufficiency needs: daysail



There are around 45 nautical miles to sail from Aprilia Marittima to Venice - an ideal daily route when the wind is good. The trip leads past Caorle, Bibione and several fish and mussel farms, which are characterized by numerous tons and buoys. Except for a few recreational athletes like us and maybe a few fishermen, there are few other ships at this time of year. Major shipping in particular has no destinations here and is therefore hard to find as close to the mainland. Everything is different right in front of Venice, apart from cruise ships, there are also tankers and freighters to be seen here.
For this year's Easter trip, we planned to test and calibrate the newly installed instruments including the autopilot together with a REBO technician. Only then did we set off in the sunshine, but unfortunately no wind to the south. So we motorized the entire route, which gave at least a constant speed of 6.5 knots. We used the time to test our new cockpit pillows, to cook, to take photos and I practiced using the radar.

Shortly before we arrived in Venice, I called Marina Sant'Elena to inquire about a berth. Fortunately there was a space available and we were asked to report via VHF channel 77 shortly before arrival. So it passed the mighty Moses Project and Forte Sant'Andrea, a 16th century fortress.

After it was quite late in the afternoon, we moved the route over the Canale Guidecca and past St. Mark's Square to the day of departure and moored in the marina. Here, as is customary in the Adriatic, Roman Catholic (with the stern to the jetty) is moored. The marina is equipped with floating docks and large dolphins. Nothing witchcraft. The actual shower cubicles and toilets are still not finished. There is a provisional in containers and that is bad rather than in good shape.

The next morning we took the vaporetto to the island of Burano, one of the neighboring islands of Venice. This place is known and famous for its colorful houses. We got off a station in front of the ferry terminal and discovered a small hotel restaurant with a wonderful garden, right next to the jetty. Herbs smell here and wine thrives in incredible silence and tranquility.

As soon as you pass the ferry terminal, you dive into a lively pedestrian zone. The splendor of colors is really indescribable and despite the fact that we strolled through the alleys and streets here alone, this was as varied as it was nice.

The next stop on our island hopping tour was Torcello. If you are looking for magnificent palazzi, villas or Burano's colors, you are completely at the wrong steamer. Historians assume that Venice began to settle here around 452, but today nothing is left of the glory of the old days. Probably, within the framework of the "move" to Venice, everything that was somehow possible was really recycled. After stones and even timber in the Laguno were rare and therefore precious, everything was taken away and used for the construction of Venice - so the historical theory. There is no evidence of this, however. Today there is still a tower and a cathedral to visit.

Two of the few remaining houses dominate excellent restaurants, and with another Heuriger-like eatery and evening bar, almost all of the island's buildings are listed. We enjoyed nature, tranquility and the excellent cuisine.

At the end of our day trip Murano was still on the program. If you want to watch the glassblowers at the large ovens, you are too late with the procedure described here. Then you should visit Murano in the morning. We, on the other hand, enjoyed an afternoon coffee in one of the numerous ice cream parlors and strolled through Murano's alleys and tasted in front of the glass artists' shop windows.

Back in the marina, a small kiosk had started operating. In addition to Aperol, there were the usual Italian drinks and warm snacks. Perfect to end the day!

We didn't want to leave without visiting the center of Venice. Despite the expected mass rush of visitors, we dared to walk towards St. Mark's Square. While there was actually a lot going on up to the Rialto Bridge and there was hardly any room to breathe, things got quieter after the train station. To relax, we booked a gondola ride through the artist district "Accademia" and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the long belt.


Since we only know a few good restaurants in Venice that also offer quality at reasonable prices, we have remained true to the "Osteria Al Ponte". There are local specialties with friendly and brisk service, and not cheap, but not outrageously expensive either.

Our tour of Venice then ended in the marina. At dusk was the best time to try the lensball and check the weather for the next day. We reached the entrance to the Laguna of Lignano at dusk and the children used the great play of colors to take pictures on deck.

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380 Nautical miles: Aprilia Marittima – Kornati National Park – return


Port calls: Aprilia Maritiima- Novigrad - Unije - Olib - Telascica National Park - Kornati National Park - Levrnaka - Zut - Veli Rat - Ilovik - Unije - Novigrad - Aprilia Marittima

Days cruised: 14

Difficulty of sailing route: experience required with anchoring and stronger wind conditions

Timeplan: partly ambitious

Notwendige Selbstversorgung: 3 days, destinations with limited infrastructure





Day 1 - 8. August 2018
On 7th of August, Ed Sheeran performed in Vienna and my daughter Leonie had to go there. So the holiday start was postponed and we drove on the 8th. From Vienna to Lignano, it ususally takes us around 5 hours. I had to consider the following: the exit of the Marina Punta Gabbiani was dug three years ago. Due to the rapid dispatch of sand and mud, this year meant for us that it was only possible to go in and out at high tide. So finally, with sufficient water level under the keel, we officially started our summer cruise 2018 at 3 pm, with light wind conditions and cruising towards Novigrad.
After a lively quarrel had developed on board, where we wanted to moor in Novigrad, we tried the city port for the first time and we were simply thrilled. First, it is very close to the centre, then - the crossing with the Dinghy is spared and no one is upset about the flooded showers of the marina. Because, there are no showers.

Day 2 - 9. August 2018
Our very ambitious day-goal for day two was called Unije and with about 60 nautical miles ahead of us we wanted to get going. However, I had to see the Port Captain first, as the office was no longer opened during the evening mooring. After completion of the formalities we made our way and unfortunately due to the wind conditions we had to travel some distance under engine. At the height of Vrsar we met a schooner we had seen here two years ago already.
Around 6.00 PM we reached Maracol, one of the three bays in the east of Unije. Luckily, we were able to experience the first evening with sensational view of the shower of the Perseids, which should reach its top level in the coming days.

Day 3 - 10. August 2018
We definitely wanted to enjoy the crystal clear water in the bay to do swiming, snorkeling and also to test the new outboard engine from Torqeedo. So we stayed until afternoon which felt rather comfortable with only approx. 30 nautical miles to go on this very day. Our plan was to reach Olib from our place in Unije, which was easy to do in very pleasant sailing conditions. Until the afternoon, the wind had picked up quite a bit and we were happy to find a narrow spot for docking at the pier. And we were lucky two times as we found out, that the swell was rocking the boats that were moored further way in to the port. So always make sure you can dock at the pier if, especially under windy conditions.


Sunset in Olib

Day 4 - 11. August 2018
From Olib we wanted to reach the southern end of Otok Dugi. On the way we saw a school of dolphins, which accompanied us for a few minutes.


A break was planned for swimming and jumping into the sea and we wanted to visit an old bunker plant of the former yugoslavian army.  After that and towards the evening we reached the nature park Telašćica with now around 4 beaufort of wind.

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Under Code zero comfortably towards the South

As for this area typical, we had to reach rather close with some strong gusts from NE. So there was a lot to do in the rather narrow passage. Sabine wanted to clear the sheet of the Code zero and pulled to strongly to finally let it unfurl. After Leonie repeatedly paused during the roll-up of the endless furling line, the sail rolled out again and again and caused quite some stress on board. Since then, the code zero has always been secured against its own roll-out. Another experience again! At the end of the fjord we anchored almost directly in front of the Konoba go-ro, read more about it in its own post. Before we continued to the National Park Kornati, it was still necessary to replenish the cash stocks, because on the small islands there were of course, neither banks nor ATMs. So Luis and I made our way to Sali by foot.

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Luis fought bravely through the surrounding hills and defied Croatia's summer heat

The town of Sali lies on the east coast of Dugi Otok and serves as port of entry during the summer time. The small port is rather crowded. There is a small supermarket, a few farmers sell their home grown foods, ice cream parlors can be found together with a few restaurants.

Day 5 - 12. August 2018 from Telašćica we went to the national Park Kornati and enjoyed the quiet gliding between the numerous islands. We found the history of the twelve firefighters killed on Kornat in August 2007  so touching that we decided to pay a visit to the crosses dedicated to them. From this stopover it was only a stone's throw to Levrnaka, where we wanted to stay, to watch again the shooting stars with as little light pollution as possible.


Kornati National Park

Day 6 - 13. August 2018
Due to our stays at away from the marinas, our resources were largely exhausted. The water tanks were empty at 2/3, the batteries were only low charged and, above all, we wanted to finally bring the cleanly separated garbage from the ship. No, wait: Leonie finally wanted to take a shower on land, I almost forgot to mention. Furthermore, the shipping forecast predicted  thunderstorms and strong winds and we did not want to tackle too long a blow. So our route led to Žut. There we enjoyed the Konoba Sandra, super clear water for bathing and the nice neighborhood of the crew of "Chandra", a yacht of German Frers with 56 foot length.

As it rained nearly the entire next day, we decided to stay in the marina and give us a break.  Pulling more than 100 litres/ship/day of water was not allowed so we were quite OK with standing by and further supplementing our supplies. As there were not recycling containers available on the island, we desperately filled our cleanly separated rubbish into the ontainers for all trash. We duly hope that containers for waste separation will be installed soon.
Day 8 - 15. August 2018
It still blew vigorously, but not crazy. Nevertheless, many sailors had decided to spend another day in the marinas. Because when we left Žut, we were almost alone on the water. We used the conditions to allow Leonie to gain a bit of experience on hand-steering at 5-6 Beaufort. "Exhausting but cool" as she stated later.


At 25 knots with Gerefften sailing which, a good exercise on the bike

In the evening we reached Veli rat and were glad that the water tanks were well filled, because here you have to pay for water, in addition to the mooring fee. In the evening we were delighted with delicious hospitality at the pizzeria Galeb.
Day 9 - 16. August 2019 hasn't there been such a long queue in front of the reception of the marina, we would have left much earlier. But as I had to spent a good hour at check-out our departure was a bit delayed. Once there at the wreck on the north tip of the island, we took an impressive snorkel excursion. I did not know how the depth of the sea was designed here, so we anchored with good distance. Next time I would drive closer to the wreck, because here the constant ca. 5 meters deep and you can approach safely. And, I would come sooner, because the incoming sailors often missed good sesameness, came far too close to our boat and a hair would have been a crash.
Actually we wanted to reach Mali Lošinj, but the changing wind conditions (at noon, again in the afternoon 25 knots on the nose) and the wind direction made it nearly impossible to make good headway. Finally,  we decided to go to Ilovik.
At 8.30 pm we reached the buoys between Ilovik and Sveti Petar but found no more space. So we docked at the pier, where the ferry line was set up. At 9 pm we made room again for the ferry to arrive and depart and we had to promise to be gone again at 6.00 am the next morning. No problem of course!
Day 10 - 17. August 2018
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Shortly after dropping out of Ilovik the sun went up. Moritz had made himself comfortable on deck and watched the scenery. He helped with hoisting the sails and then engaged in preparing for breakfast. At some point the air was out.
IMG_2362. jpg After we had left so early, we put in a stop in Mali Lošinj, added some food, bought souvenirs and then drove on to Unije to moor this time in Podkujni.
Day 11 - 18. August 2018
Each of the children and of course Sabine had to put in a wish for a destination, where we had to stay during the holiday. Unije and Mali Lošinj had already been done, and now we wanted to explore Brijuni again as the next upcoming wish destination. Finally, the plan was to visit the restaurant marina in Novigrad, which was my wish for this cruise in the med.


Sunrise in Unije

So at dawn we made our way to get as much of the day as possible after our arrival in Brijuni. Next to swimming, the program was followed by a trip with the electric car and dinner at the Hotel Neptun.
Day 12 - 19. August 2018 on the way to Novigrad we passed Rovinj with its large construction site, Vrsar with the Great restaurant Trošt and the Lim Canal. But the goal was perfectly clear: the restaurant marina, my absolute wishing destination for this summer cruise. Sabine and I also celebrated our wedding annoversary on August 18th,  and we wanted to do it properly. Here are a few highlights, without further words.....

Day 13 - 20. August 2018 for some reason, Leo was in a hurry to return home. And so we had, good weather provided, our return trip to Aprilia already for the 20th. August. So with a few winds and almost mirror-smooth sea, we motored from Croatian territory and reached the lagoon in the early afternoon. Just right to get back with the tide to reach our marina. Moritz used the time for a rig check;-)

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After this we knew that we had to buy a mast harness suitable for children!

14. Day, 21. August 2018 for some reason the washing machine had not hurled and we could not throw our garment in the dryer. So everything had to be hung outside and our boat looked like a laundromat....

And the provisionally last night on board had begun. It was now time to improve the underwater painting again and also to put the UW headlights in such a way that they were actually underwater. 097A2737. Jpg

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72 hours in the North Adriatic Sea: Triest, Piran, Aprilia Marittima


Port calls: Aprilia Maritiima - Triest - Piran

Days cruised: 3

Difficulty of sailing route: suistable for beginners

Timeplan: relaxed

Self-sufficiency needs: 1 day, daily port calls with good infrastructure




We sailed much more often to Croatia last year. However, the lengthy entry procedure, nonobservance of the port Captain's opening hours, increased charges, and the sometimes grumpy behaviour of port officials or border police have tarnished the joy and holiday feeling. So we saved our entry and exit to Croatia to the longer stays and steered towards the Italian and Slovenian Coast for shorter trips.

The journey to Trieste was as exciting as it was diverse. In terms of wind we had nearly everything starting with a light breeze and easy sailing under code zero and a very lively breeze with 4-5 wind Beaufort, all well within the range allowing a lot of fun. It is not worth mentioning that the strongest wind just started to blow, when we were about to dock. But our guests proved to be natural talents and the landing was completely unproblematic.

The overnight stay in the Marina San Giusto has become a tradition and, thanks to the record keeping at their reception, we now receive a regular customer discount. We also visited the Eataly again to reward ourselves with this culinary and shopping adventure once again.


Blick aus dem Fenster des Eataly

During this short cruise the highlight was definitely Piran. Just to be on the safe side and not believing things could be straight forward and easy, I asked the port captain about entry formalities and he just smiled mildly to then say: "That's only necessary in Croatia," a good start, I thought. The children loved the access to the sea just across a small walk way away from our dock. The waves splashed almost to the restaurant line and the kids enjoyed playing around and making fun of the water and spray.

The town presents itself with numerous historical buildings and alleys. The former Venetian influence is not to be denied in the Cityscape. I can only recommend a little stroll, an ice cream, or a coffee in the town square or a stop-over in one of the scenic restaurants.

As a consequence of the size of this little town, one should take care of reserving a table, and I wish we would have done so. Finding a nice spot for the nine of us then was not easy at all. For those coming to Piran, my tip is still the Neptune. They have the best tomato soup I've ever had, and the other specialities are amazing as well.

Icing on the cake: Moritz celebrated birthday on the boat! Happy birthday!

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Aprilia Marittima – Grado – Muggia – Triest and back again

A route that has now been tried and tested for longer weekends also took us to Grado and then on to Muggia, Trieste and back again. The weather promised variety from sunshine and calm to rain and 4 Beaufort with south wind with rough seas around 3.
On Saturday the journey to Grado was very comfortable and with 5 knots of wind from the northeast I took the time to set Code Zero and Genoa at the same time. The result was 6 knots of a very smooth and steady ride, for the layout of a cruising boat I think a great result.

The entrance to Grado still had a surprise in store: Despite precise navigation in the driving channel, we suddenly got on, but were also able to quickly free ourselves. So my tip: strictly port when entering the first half. The shallow is right in the fairway. This time we were again in the Marina Darsena San Marco, in the pre-season there is a discount and the night just costs 55 euros. The office is closed on Sunday. I went into town with the dinghy, which I equipped with position lights from Railblaza.

Before we headed to Trieste and Marina San Giusto on Sunday, we wanted to make a detour to Muggia to visit the Sal de Mar there. But it was packed, like "La Terraza". Time to try something new: Trattoria la Risorta. Our curiosity was rewarded with an authentic family business, which positions itself with a strong regional commitment. The menu features typical fish specialties as well as Austrian cuisine, as is often seen here in Trieste. But then I didn't want to try goulash, which I get at home.

The restaurant has its own display for the coffee from "Amigos Caffè" prepared here. Here, too, is a local, family-run company and we found their product to be excellent. A parcel specially ground for the Bialetti had to go with it.
From the terrace, we could always check whether the Five Senses was still well anchored. The clayey subsoil in this bay, however, does not pose any particular challenges to the foundation iron and so everything went smoothly.

Trieste itself once again offered the best weather, great shops, great flair and we left the city with the firm decision to come back soon. San Giusto is not exactly cheap, for 100 euros a night we found the performance (mooring, water, electricity and clean sanitary facilities) rather marginal. The marina is within walking distance of the city center and just around the corner from "Eataly" - a unique delicatessen shop with an attached restaurant. Tip: only partially suitable for breakfast, because the tramezzini and foccacia are only served from 10:00 a.m.
During this winter break I had UW headlights installed and in the clear (but unfortunately still heavily polluted) water in Trieste they showed their strengths for the first time: Countless small fish kept swimming in circles around the blue light. Due to the exposure time, the spectacle could not be captured particularly well, but here an attempt to capture the action.
Our return trip finally took place in good wind conditions: 10-14 knots from mostly southern direction gave us some swell, but on average we made really good progress with an 8 knot ride through the water. Almost too fast, because the Lignano lagoon is already heavily sanded this year and we can only enter and leave at high tide. So the arrival has to be well planned. We have already seen the dredger, so the routes will be brought back into shape this year. A good thing, because getting stuck in the sand is neither fun, nor is it good for the ship.
Back in Aprilia I started to install my Batsystem LED strips and tube lights with USB connection, but more of that next time ...

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Weekend escape: Grado – Muggia – Triest

The lagoon city of Grado was probably built in 2. It was founded as a seaport of the city of Aquileia in the century B.C. As a special feature, all beaches are facing south and therefore enjoy the sun all day. We are very happy to visit Grado because of its picturesque old town and because the pedestrian zone is very nice to stay.

The control of Grado is complications-free and simple, unless you want to get into the Old City harbour. However, shipwrecks remind you of failed attempts to go into the lagoon (see photo above).
We had reserved in the Marina Darsena San Marco  and this made us neither the draught nor the length of the berths provide. Up to 20 meters in length and 4 meters' draught can be created directly on a mole, with mooring facilities, Roman Catholic. However, the reception is only occupied until 18:30. A control after that is not possible. The marina itself is quiet, the feared threshold of the lagoon stayed out, and the pedestrian area is on foot in approx. 15 minutes to reach.

For our dinner we had reserved in the "Da Toni." It is an excellent way to prepare local specialties. Especially noteworthy for me is the way the individual ingredients are spiced and partially inserted. I found the composition of the herbs really very successful. You should try Boreto alla Gradese, one of the most famous fish dishes from Grado. It was once the staple of the families living in the "Casoni" (Fishermen's huts). It is a fish soup-like dish prepared with mixed fish. For this traditional dish, the fishermen used those fish that had remained on the ground. There are white polenta.

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Boreto alla Gradese

Our next destination was Muggia, a tranquil fishing town, opposite Trieste with its industrial port. Prehistorically, Muggia was perhaps a Castelli (a village with a fortress). It came under Roman rule in the wake of the founding of Aquileia (181 B.C.) and the Conquest Wars of Istria (178-177 B.C.). The Romans founded a camp here, Castrum Muglae, to protect the traffic routes of their colony from the attacks of the Histrier. And so the town still presents itself today: protected and well fortified with small alleys and a small harbour.

Transit guests attach to the pier, but the place is very close. Anchoring in front of the pier is possible without any problems. Our culinary tip, if you do not necessarily want to see the view (on the oil tanks) on the terrace of the "La Terrazza": there is Sal de Mar. It is delightfully located in the heart of the fishing port in the house of a former salt warehouse, hence also the name. As a greeting from the kitchen baked sardines are served, and the food and beverage menu is very local-traditionally oriented and has a whistle.

All in all, a very relaxed and tasteful experience. Our highlight is the following: The Zabaione freddo Al Prosecco con salsa all'Aperol e Arancia.

In the afternoon, we went on to Trieste, which presents itself as a vibrant, lively small town with Austrian roots. My special Love is the Lighthouse Faro della Vittoria. It is located on a hill of the Trieste District Gretta; its total height is 68.85 meters. According to Wikipedia, the beacon is about 115 meters above sea level with a rotation time of 45 seconds and a range of 22 nautical miles. Until today, the building serves as navigation aid in shipping and is at the same time a monument to the naval soldiers fallen in World War I. The conclusion of the lighthouse is a bronze dome, on which is the 700 kg bronze figure of Statuea della Vittoria.
We had reserved our berth in the Marina San Giusto, luckily. Because the marina is small, the footbridges are narrow and we were given the last available berth. Next to the marina is a restaurant with bar on the roof. If you feel disturbed by the music of the world, you might want to consider another marina. We enjoyed the central location, the comfortable floating walkways, and the Nachbarhschaft to the "big."

In the evening we returned to the "Da Mara," a small restaurant with typical friulanischer home cooking. For reservations, Italian skills are essential 😉

From the marina, you can easily reach the pedestrian zone, many bars, cafes, osterias, and above all great buildings to marvel at. The next day, we made our way back via Grado to Aprilia Marittima and were promptly checked by the Guardia di Finanza. You can find the story here.

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