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Old 15-11-2012, 20:54   #1
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Adriatic Advice

We will be sailing the Adriatic Sea for 7 weeks next year. We are going to leave from Messolonghi and return back to there. I'm thinking we won't be able to go any further North then Zadar unless a general consensus is that Venice by sailboat is a lifetime must do (we have been there several times via land).

Any suggestions, advice, favorite memories, etc you would like to share would be appreciated.
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Old 16-11-2012, 03:20   #2
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Re: Adriatic Advice

In Croatia, unless you anchor, mooring will be expensive so you will need lots of loot.
Dubrovnik, Korcula town, Mljet, Lastovo, Vis, Hvar town, Skradin for the Krka waterfalls, Zadar and a day or so in the Kornati national park are all 'must dos' at least once. Get yourself the 777 Harbours as a minimum plus some guide books and maybe a cruising companion/pilot book. There are loads of lovely places.
Ensure you get the latest forcast broadcast 3 times a day and act on it even if you think they are barking.
Service your anchor windlass and think about upgrading to a good latest generation anchor as they should get a lot of work.
It will be great low hassle cruising
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Old 16-11-2012, 04:15   #3
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Re: Adriatic Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapanui View Post
......
Service your anchor windlass and think about upgrading to a good latest generation anchor as they should get a lot of work.
......
+1
Most anchorages we encountered were fairly weedy and anchors did not bite well. If it was blowing any more than 20-25 knots, at least half the yachts in an anchorage would drag, some numerous times, so we found it useful setting a wind alarm and keeping watch to avoid other boats dragging down on us (our foghorn came in very handy in Croatia!).

In many spots during peak season a fee was charged for anchoring with someone coming around late afternoon to collect fees (they seemed arbitrary from one spot to the next). It soured the experience a little, I think it would have been much better to just tack on a bit more onto the yearly cruising permit and leave boats in peace otherwise.

Make sure you follow the checking in regulations for guests on board, they are sticklers for the rules (we had visits from coastguard type vessels checking out paperwork while we were at anchor).

It is an absolutely beautiful cruising ground though, and the old walled cities make it very special.

PS Visitors from most countries do not need a visa, but length of stay is restricted to a maximum 90 days within a period of 6 months (in line with Shengen regulations).
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Old 16-11-2012, 04:34   #4
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Re: Adriatic Advice

I agree with the above. The bottom offers poor holding -- weedy and rocky -- so be ready to deploy your best anchoring technique. You will definitely want a new gen anchor and plenty of chain; wouldn't be bad to have a fisherman on board too. And tremendously worth it -- amazing anchorages everywhere.

Marinas are not that expensive compared to the US, but why spend much time in them? The marinas are crowded; the millions of unnamed anchorages are not. It is a magical place.

I haven't cruised the whole coast, but from what I have seen I can recommend the area around Split, which is fabulously interesting with many islands with ancient towns and dramatic landscapes -- it's really one of the coolest places I've ever sailed. Don't miss Korcula, Hvar, Stary Grad, Trogir, and Split itself is really interesting, with some really cool things to see including extensive ruins of Diocletian's palace.

Be careful about anchoring in Hvar harbor -- the ground is foul with abandoned mooring chains and all kinds of carp, and katabatic winds howl down the mountainsides into the port, wreaking utter havoc among the charter fleets anchored cheek to jowl there. Don't ask me how I know. Better arrive early and get a spot on the wall.

When I was last there, about a decade ago, Croatia was still a little uncivilized, with rapacious taxi drivers and other attributes of recently post-Communist countries. Much less civilized than, for example, Turkey, at that time at least. Provisioning was not all that easy. Very few people spoke English (but most people spoke or could understand some Russian, which is quite close to Serbo-Croatian, and some people spoke some German). I suppose it has changed a lot since then. Be sure to report here about your experiences!
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Old 16-11-2012, 06:01   #5
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Re: Adriatic Advice

Croatia has changed a lot in the last decade, particularly mooring charges if you are taking the 56 ft FP there. For our 38ft cat, buoys cost around 20-25, harbour walls with power and water about 45-50, ACI marinas around 90. Monos are about a third less. I have never been charged for anchoring but others clearly have. However, national parks such as Mljet, Lastovo, Kornati do charge a park admission fee per person which can mount up especially the Kornati and we have been charged that while anchored. On the plus side, on buoys and anchors where charged they should take away your rubbish. Hence the very good advice about using a modern high power anchor. We have a Kobra which works well, there are lots of Bugels and other Austrian and German anchors. If you still have the FP standard Brittany prepare for lots of re-anchoring as they skate across the sea grass and don't dig in (from bitter experience). Delta by report does not do well either. CQRs ditto. However, sorting your own anchor is only half the story as you will see some amazing antics by charterers.
If you like to eat out, then there are lots of restaurants with their own lazy line moorings, power, water where if you eat there, the mooring is free. Thats where the 777 Harbours book is very useful. Ask other boats for their recommendations as the guides are often out of date.
Provisioning is now very easy, supermarkets are good but often too far to carry much stuff back to boat. Local shops a few yards from the boat have limited choice but are not generally that expensive even on the islands. Food is reasonably priced and good. Local meat is excellent and cheap. Fish can be expensive.
Ferries and public transport are cheap so it is often better, safer, more fun and cheaper to moor up nearby and get a bus or ferry to places like Dubrovnik, Korcula, Split, Hvar. Most charter companies do Sat-Sat and expect the charterboats back Friday pm, so if you want visit the really popular spots from June-Sept then try to do it Thurs-Sat and it will be slightly quieter.
Taxis are expensive. Getting boat bits for repairs can be a challenge except in the charter bases. Obtaining water can be problematic on the drier islands so fill up when you can. Fuel is good, its standard road fuel and many stations are combined road and boat stations so the fuel throughput is very high so you are unlikely to get poor fuel if you use those. Prepare for a long wait if you want to refuel Thurs or Friday
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Old 16-11-2012, 06:05   #6
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Re: Adriatic Advice

A few shots of our time there:
1. Dubrovnik
2. Scedro
3. Korcula
4. Split
5. Vis
6. Vis
7. Trogir
8. Blue Grotto
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Old 16-11-2012, 07:13   #7
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I can so recommend getting the 777 harbors and anchorages (although I usually get the 888 Hafen und Buchten...)

Also visit the website of the Croatian ministery of the sea to download the list of anchorages where you have to pay.
We did find plenty of anchorages that were free in summer 2011. But maybe that is because we spent a lot of time in the more remote islands.
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Old 18-11-2012, 18:06   #8
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Re: Adriatic Advice

That is some great advice and very appreciated. Thank you.
I have a Delta currently and it dragged several times this summer. C.Y.S. Marine on Lefkas is going to order me a new Rocna 40 in the spring and I will pick it up as we head north. This is two sizes larger than my current Delta so I'm hoping my dragging problems will become just a bad memory.
I will look for this 777 Harbors guide. I have the Adriatic Pilot from Thompson/Imray. It's ok but doesn't offer as much background info as Heikel does. One of the problems with using moorings is they are usually too tight for Palarran due to the length and width. We also don't mind anchoring in deeper water away from the pack.
Right now we are planning to head from Lefkas direct to Zadar then start heading South. We have one group of friends that will join us in Split and depart in Dubrovnik and another that will go from Dubrovnik back to Corfu. We will stop in Montenegro for around 6 days.
Do any of you recommend anywhere besides Bay of Kotor and Budva / Sveti Stefan?
I met quite a few Albanian's in Greece who enthusiastically recommended we visit their country but it still sounds like most cruisers skip it.
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Old 25-11-2012, 06:30   #9
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Re: Adriatic Advice

Palarran,

Croatia normally require that you book into the nearest port of entry to the place where you enter territorial waters. For details of paperwork entry procedures see Croatia Facts and Regulations | JimB Sail . For ports of entry from the south or E Italy, see The Dalmatian Coast, Southern Croatia | JimB Sail

Albania is fine for a visit if you want a pause en-route, and also would like to spend four or five days looking around the country. The cost and time spent on entry and exit procedures make a one night stand pointless. Same with Montenegro.
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Old 27-11-2012, 11:23   #10
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Re: Adriatic Advice

I have heard some people say that Albania is really nice, although still bureaucratic, and that the people really welcome cruisers and especially Americans. We plan to go there next year because we want something a little more obscure, and as you say most cruisers skip Albania.
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Old 27-11-2012, 11:24   #11
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Re: Adriatic Advice

Great Croatia pics Seaworthy Lass. Great photography!
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Old 27-11-2012, 14:37   #12
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Re: Adriatic Advice

I bought the 777 Harbors guide and have to say that it looks much better then the Adriatic Pilot by Imray. As a note Palmico Traveler, the 777 guide has a large section on Albania.

Do any of you know if there is a preferred route from Corfu up to Split? I am thinking we may pop across to Vieste, Italy and spend a few days there then head to Croatia. The white cliffs and rock formations look fabulous. It's contrary to the current but it only flows at .5 knots.
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Old 29-11-2012, 08:57   #13
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Re: Adriatic Advice

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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
I bought the 777 Harbors guide and have to say that it looks much better then the Adriatic Pilot by Imray. As a note Palmico Traveler, the 777 guide has a large section on Albania.

Do any of you know if there is a preferred route from Corfu up to Split? I am thinking we may pop across to Vieste, Italy and spend a few days there then head to Croatia. The white cliffs and rock formations look fabulous. It's contrary to the current but it only flows at .5 knots.
The route from Corfu to Otranto - Brindisi - Bari - Vieste is a popular one and the towns all have a lot to recommend them. Vieste is a gem of a place. You can see details on all these harbours in the World Cruising Wiki Italy section. From Vieste you could head north to Vis island (a summer port of entry to Croatia) then island-hop up to Zadar at your own pace. I should have completed the Croatia section on the Wiki by the time you go, so you might like to register as a Wiki editor and update it as you go!
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Old 30-11-2012, 09:26   #14
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Re: Adriatic Advice

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Great Croatia pics Seaworthy Lass. Great photography!
Thanks PamlicoT .
I am a keen amateur photographer. Subject matter here in the Med is just fantastic! I sometimes snap a few hundred shots each time I head ashore .
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:05   #15
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Re: Adriatic Advice

Do any of you know a boat yard that can haul out and land store a large catamaran in Croatia or the Adriatic side of Italy? I've been thinking it may be a better route to store the boat in this area.

I will check the world cruising wiki. I has been years since I looked at that site and appreciate the reminder.
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