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Croatian Family Time

3rd August 2022 - Herceg Novi, Montenegro - Cavtat & Srebreno, Croatia (28.8 nautical miles)

Both Rockhopper and Falkor were checking out at Zelenika that morning. We weren’t sure what time the office opened but thought that we would get there early onto the dock and wait. It was a calm morning so we wanted the best conditions to tie up to that dock with the tyre fenders again. Also, we were going to check into Croatia that day too and the office closed at 3pm so we wanted to get a move on. It was around 25nm from Zelenika to Cavtat. We had heard some horror stories of port police in Croatia. Fines for non-existent rules broken and a very strict policy of not spending a minute longer in the country without having checked in; and leaving immediately after you check out. Arriving after the office closed with potentially no room on the Q dock to stay the night was a worry.

Falkor had checked into Montenegro elsewhere so hadn’t experienced the joys of the Zelenika Q dock. We decided to get there first so that we could help them with their lines. We weighed anchor at 6:50am and motored round to the dock. No dramas again this time; we were prepared. A short while later we saw Falkor coming round the corner and got ready to catch their lines. Once both boats were safely secured I walked up to the portacabin housing the port police and saw that the window was open. Perfect! I rushed back to inform everyone and we all charged en masse to the port police and harbourmaster to check out of Montenegro. We were done and slipping the lines from the dock at 7:40am. Our battery had dropped to 9% so were not too bothered that there was little wind and we would have to motor. A chance to charge the batteries whilst under way. As we waved a fond farewell to the Bay of Kotor we saw the devastation that the fire the day before had caused. It had wrapped all around the mountainside.

It was a calm motor up the coast towards Croatia, taking down our Montenegro courtesy flag and raising the yellow Q flag along the way. Our research into the Q dock from Navily showed that you could anchor but it was easier to ‘Med moor’ to the dock. This would be our first Med style mooring in our boat, where you drop the anchor about 5 boat lengths out from the dock and reverse towards it, attaching stern to with two mooring lines. The anchor holds you off the dock if set correctly. We had done this plenty of times before when chartering monohulls in the Med but never with Rockhopper. On a peaceful day with little wind, what better day to try. As we came round the corner into the bay at midday we could see a spot for us and got ready to position ourselves so that it would be a straight run backwards to the dock. We have c*cked this up a few times before when on charter. We were either too far out and ran out of chain before we got within 5m of the dock or the anchor didn’t set right. There is also a risk that you will drop your anchor over someone else’s and cause mayhem when you want to leave. Or someone else does this to you.

Anyway, with those sort of thoughts going through our heads I dropped the hook and paid out the chain as Carl concentrated on reversing back to the dock. When we got reasonably close I handed over the anchor controls to Carl and moved to the back of the boat to throw the stern lines to a helpful guy on the dock. Once tied off at the back we swayed around a bit but had plenty of chain out so just raised the chain until we were pinned. First Med moor on Rockhopper, check! The very helpful guy on the dock then handed us a receipt for €14 for catching our lines. Welcome to Croatia! About 10mins after we were settled Falkor came round the corner. They had never Med moored before and we had talked about it a few evenings before. They had a lot less chain than us so perhaps a little less forgiving if you started your manoeuvre too early. Well, they set themselves up, dropped the hook and tucked in nicely between two boats like pros. All good!

The Q dock was just a cordoned off area on the town quay. Officially only the skippers are allowed to venture out to check in and this seemed to be enforced in Croatia. Hence Carl and Lucy went off to the do port police, customs, immigration dance and Jig and I stayed behind. Lucy had not had much luck with port police in Montenegro. She always seemed to get the grumpy rude one which challenged her ‘kill them with kindness and keep smiling’ attitude. After about 25mins Carl and Lucy came back with smiles on their faces and said what a lovely experience they had both had. With smiles and ‘Welcome to our country’ well wishes, we were ready to raise the Croatian flag and head off the Q dock. It was only 1:30pm so we had plenty of time to find an anchorage and settle in. Lucy had mentioned Srebreno which was just across the bay from Cavtat. Coming out round the corner we were met with our usual shadow super yacht High Power III again. Giving them a quick wave we motored over to the bay and looked for a spot. It was a busy, touristy beachside bay. The water was lovely and crystal clear and we dropped the hook in 4m of sand. As there was little wind we were swinging about a bit and drifted into an area where a speed boat was taking people out on a giant blowup sofa. We were miles away from his dock but occasionally we would drift into the lane that he used to take people out. He gave us the evil eye but didn’t say anything. We decided to throw out a stern anchor to try and keep us out the way. It wasn’t the best spot to be honest. On the other side of us was a little trip boat on a mooring ball. Falkor came in to have a look then decided to anchor a bit further out. Felt a bit guilty that it was their suggestion and we seemed to have nabbed the only sandy spot.

That evening we went out for dinner with Lucy and Jig in town. As we were having coffee after the meal we noticed that the trees out on the street were starting to sway quite a bit. These are things you simply don’t even notice when you are a landlubber. We paid the bill and headed back to our boats. An unforecasted 20kn had picked up and we were pretty close to the trip boat on its mooring. This would be the first of many unforecasted windy nights at anchor in Croatia. By midnight I couldn’t keep my eyes open and Carl stayed up to keep an eye on things. We had already dragged in the stern anchor in case we needed to move in a hurry. He came to bed around 4am having kept one eye open on the chartplotter screen on the telly. We had stayed put. By the time we had both surfaced Falkor had already upped anchor and left the bay. They were heading further up the coast than us and wanted the head start. Not much sleep was had on their boat either.

4th August 2022 - Srebreno - Uvala Sunj, Lopud (12 nautical miles)

We weighed anchor at 9:50am and decided on a short hop to Uvala Sunj on the island of Lopud. No wind as such (typical!) so it was a motor round. The trip would take us past the beautiful walled city of Dubrovnik.

There is an anchorage just outside the local marina but it was around €90 to anchor for the night. We would be going into a marina later on anyway when family came to visit so we settled for a leisurely sail by. At midday we dropped the hook in 9m of sand at a gorgeous beach on the southern side of Lopud. I recognised it immediately as a beach that my Mum and I had come to on a boat trip from Dubrovnik when we had come out on a mother-daughter trip away for her birthday. Very special memories, washed down with a Pina Colada if I recall correctly :-)

It was lovely clear blue water and a nice beach. We were using this time to scout out some anchorages for when the family would visit. We would first have Carl’s daughter Charlotte and family for a week, then straight after, my brother Matt and his family for a week. Hotel Rockhopper was open for business! We were both looking forward to spending time with them all and sharing the experience.

5th August 2022 - Uvala Sunj - Uvala Lopud (3.88 nautical miles)

6th August 2022 - Uvala Lopud - Przina (Ston) (12.1 nautical miles)

7th August 2022 - Przina (Ston) - Luka Saplunara (Mljet) (8.52 nautical miles)

We spent the next few days looking at the forecast, moving round to a more sheltered anchorage and identifying good places to take the fam. We knew we wouldn’t get far into Croatia as both sets of families were flying into and out of Dubrovnik and we would be heading back down towards Montenegro and Greece beyond shortly after they left. Identifying good anchorages for a bbq, good places to have a walk around the town and then some bays where you could pick up a mooring ball for free if you ate at the restaurant. It would be Charlotte’s birthday soon after they arrived so we wanted to find a good spot for dinner.

We also treated ourselves to a dinner out on the island of Mljet at Luka Saplunara. We had made a reservation and a guy in a dinghy came out to help us tie onto the mooring ball. Once attached we watched a couple of boats come and anchor in front of the mooring ball, pretty close to us. One guy assured us he was just staying for a lunchtime swim but he was so close he couldn’t have been that relaxed. He was a Croatian guy and seemed helpful when we were adjusting our lines on the ball. The guy from the restaurant came to pick us up for our reservation that evening and dropped us off back at the boat after a lovely dinner.

8th August 2022 - Luka Saplunara (Mljet) - Uvala Batala, Zaton (15.9 nautical miles)

After a lovely peaceful night on the ball, it was time to make our way back towards Dubrovnik where we would tie up at a marina and welcome our first guests. First stop was a bay called Uvala Batala, just past the town of Zaton on the mainland. There wasn’t a great deal of wind so it was engines on as we motored down the strait. Carl had positioned the fishing rod out the back for weeks now to no avail. We were used to the sound of the reel whirring away due to a pick up in our speed or waves rather than a fish being caught but as we made our approach to Zaton I heard the reel go. I was on the helm and looked over to see it go. I rolled my eyes and yelled to Carl to come and deal with it. I thought the brake had gone and it was just paying out the line. He walked over the the line and started to reel it in. Next thing I know he is shouting ‘FISH ON!’ It was all very exciting. Our first fish on the hook since we started. I was on the helm dodging ferries and trip boats while Carl was reeling it in. Just for accurate record keeping he was butt naked. I ran down to get him some shorts so that I could actually film the moment. As it was nearing the boat we both realised we didn’t quite know what to do with it when it was onboard. We had read that if you poured alcohol in its gills it would make them drowsy. As it flapped about Carl grabbed the Russian Standard vodka and started to pour it over the fish. I think we only succeeded in making it drunk. Before too much was wasted I handed him a knife and he took off its head. Not much finesse but at least it wasn’t suffering. It turned out that it was a form of mackerel, big enough to eat so that was dinner sorted. Very exciting, messages sent all round the globe to proclaim that the fish caught tally equalled 1.

When we arrived in Zaton bay we decided to go to the head of the bay as it was closer to a supermarket. We needed to stock up for the family visit the following day. We had already been forewarned that the wind did pick up there. Not only was there the concern of a katabatic wind developing but in Croatia, the Bora wind, which is a N, NE wind can pick up at any time and is difficult to forecast. Lucy and Jig had told us of a large catamaran dragging into another one due to 30kn winds but they had said it was just due to not enough chain. We therefore put out 60m in 13m of depth. It was lovely and calm during the day. I got on with cleaning the boat in readiness for guests. At this point the winds were coming from the south. The prediction said we would get 12-14kn from the NEt later on that evening. We had a phone call with the Burgess family in calm conditions, all very excited for their visit the following day. We then had an hour to have dinner before we were due a zoom call with Niki, Gav, Steve and Alice. Carl set about cooking the fish that he had just caught and I prepared the salad. As we started to eat the wind picked up from the north and swung us round. Since we’d put 60m of chain out our swing radius was pretty big. We thought we had left plenty of room around us but as 20kn turned to 25 we came within 5m of a little boat that was tied on a lazy line to the town quay. Carl started the call to our friends but I just couldn’t relax. I sat on the steps watching as the boat veered close then swung back by as much as 20-30m. The gusts were throwing our boat from side to side. As the gusts now were into the 25kn mark we rang off the call and Carl and I discussed moving the boat. We were fairly confident that the anchor was holding, it was just that we were too close for us to relax and get any sleep that night. What if it picked up further and we did drag. We would have been through that little boat and on the quay within a minute. As it was pitch black and there were other boats in the bay we opted for bringing up the anchor by 5m, just to get us further away from the little boat. We started the engines and brought up the chain, removed the bridal and then dragged 5m up. Reattached the bridle and let out the slack. We did achieve what we wanted to as we were now further away. We decided that someone needed to be on anchor watch so Carl took the first shift. I went down to attempt to get some sleep. Within about 10mins though the wind had picked up further and we just decided it was not worth staying.

We put the headsets on so we could talk over the noise of the wind and I went to the bow to raise the anchor. Carl had to give a fair amount of revs to bring her over the chain for me to lift. The boat was yawing quite a bit in the gusts so it was not a particularly smooth process. When the anchor was finally up out of the water we motored round the power boat that was our nearest neighbour, in search of a decent space to put her down again. Just as we rounded it Carl felt a large vibration on the port engine. I came to the back of the boat and the noise seemed to be coming from the bbq rattling next to the engine bay. We were pushed downwind further from the head of the bay and looked to try and anchor behind the power boat and to the right of another yacht. As Carl went to spin the boat round it would not turn. He seemed to have no manoeuvrability on the port side. She just wouldn’t turn. The wind was gusting up to 30kn at this point and we couldn’t see a thing. We had a boat to our side and the coastline just off to our left. As we couldn’t turn her clockwise, Carl spun her the other way just with the starboard engine. He forced her downwind and we decided to aim for the anchorage lower down the bay where there were no boats. He again spun her round into the wind using the starboard engine only. We were in 15m of water. This would be the deepest we had ever anchored but then that was why we got 100m of chain, to have options. We were well off the shore at this point and hadn’t fully turned into the wind but Carl decided we needed to get the anchor down. We dropped 70m, hooked on the bridle and dropped a further 3m. The wind did the job of turning us in to the wind and once the bridle was laid out in front of us we backed down on it with revs up to 1500rpm. She seemed to hold firm. We would investigate the portside engine in the morning but for now we had lots of space around us and a tonne of chain out. Carl resumed his watch. The 30kn gusts continued. At 2am I came up to take my shift having got perhaps 10mins of sleep. It was clear we had not budged at all and we both agreed that if it was still ok in an hour I should come to bed and we would just rely on the anchor alarm app that Carl had open. We had more time to react now as we were further away from everything. At 3am I came to bed. The wind continued to howl all night and sleep was difficult to come by. Times like these was when you envied the people on the shore, tucked up in their beds, in their homes that don’t move.

9th August 2022 - Uvala Batala, Zaton - Marina Frapa Dubrovnik (3.1 nautical miles)

The next morning the wind had dropped to 16kn. Another catamaran had snuck in overnight too. The prospect of trying to get into a marina in 16kn crosswinds loomed so we looked at the forecast to see if it would ease up a bit. Luckily the family weren’t arriving until later on in the evening so we had time. Still, when you spend €170 on a marina for the night you want to make the most of it! We also needed to work out what went wrong with the port engine. The previous night Carl had put it into neutral and revved it with no vibrations at all so it wasn’t the engine, it was the prop. It soon became apparent what the issue was. In the night as we drove round the powerboat we had run over a lobster pot which was marked with a plastic bottle. The rope and the plastic bottle had wrapped itself round the prop, closing our folding prop and rendering it useless. The vibration and noise was probably the plastic bottle rotating and hitting the boat. In fact we were quite relieved that it was something like that rather than something mechanical. Also, how great it is that a catamaran has two engines so we were still able to manoeuvre on one. Carl was able to cut it off easily enough and, after a test run the engine and prop were working fine.

The next challenge was the marina. Luckily the wind had dropped to about 10kn as we worked our way past the two huge cruise ships and the countless day trip boats going back and forth. We brought her in between the two concrete entrances to our pier. We saw our gap and there was a marinero waiting for us. After a bit of back and forth due to crosswinds we eventually settled her in our spot. Frapa Marina has concrete piers that rise almost 2 metres from sea level. Our little passerelle is mounted on the portside sugar scoop which is only about 30cm from sea level so the angle to get off and on the boat was crazy. The thought of getting two young girls, luggage and prams onboard floated across our minds. Luckily the marinero was a really helpful guy and lent us a 4m wooden plank which allowed us to be a bit further off the dock but have less of an angle. Still, 4m plank! We’d cross that bridge when we came to it (see what I did there…)


10th August 2022 - Marina Frapa Dubrovnik - Suderad, via Uvala Sunj (10.5 nautical miles)

The boat was guest-ready and we were really looking forward to seeing Charlotte, Ben, Tori and Elsie again. With the girls at 5yrs and 3yrs old we were keen to see how much they’d grown since we saw them last in May. The girls were seasoned sailors who had visited us on the boat in the Hamble and in Ibiza. Still, there was that plank to negotiate first. They arrived late that night and after careful transfer of bags, pram and kids, all were onboard safely.

After a swim in the morning at the marina pool we walked up to the town nearby to provision for the week. We’d picked up some things in Zaton but it was easier to do it with everyone so they could pick up what they wanted. By 1:30pm we cast off the lines from the dock and headed out to Uvala Sunj for a beach stop. It was Charlotte’s birthday so we decided to pick up a mooring ball that evening and head to a nice restaurant. But first, a swim. We dropped the hook a bit of a way out and practised our cannonballs off the back of the boat. Elsie was a bit less keen in the deeper water so we took the dinghy to the shore so she could swim from the beach. Trying to stay to the side we ended up pulling the dinghy in to the nudist section which prompted a few younger guys to pull on some shorts. Oops.

Around 4pm we weighed anchor and headed over to pick up the restaurant ball. It was a lovely meal and a peaceful night on the ball.

11th August 2022 - Suderad - Przina (Ston) (13.7 nautical miles)

After more cannonball practicing we dropped the lines from the ball at 10:30am and headed round the corner to Przina. We had about 13kn of wind so was able to have full main and jib up as we tacked up the channel and round the corner of the island of Ston towards the bay. We were only planning on staying there for a lunchtime swim and had to anchor off to the side as there were a few boats in the sandy patch in the centre. Unfortunately we were in a patch of weed. The wind was due to pick up to 15kn blowing us towards the shore so, after diving on the anchor and seeing that it wasn’t dug in at all, we decided to reanchor. First Carl took Ben, Charlotte and the girls to the shore so they could have a swim. We tried repeatedly to find a decent spot to set her back down again but the anchor either did not set or we were still in weed. We got a bit shirty with one another and in my anger to stop Carl speaking to me through the headsets I flung them down on the trampoline but unfortunately my sunglasses popped off my head and landed in the water. Turns out my Gill floatable sunglasses aren’t really floatable. Whilst we were having our domestic a large catamaran left the sandy spot so we motored over there and dropped the hook. We were in a great spot and decided to stay the night. After a quick anchor beer we loaded up a cool bag with drinks and snacks and took the dinghy back to the guys. We had a lovely afternoon on the beach. Carl taught Tori to use the mask and snorkel and that was it. She didn’t go back in the water without it on. That night we had a lovely bbq onboard.

12th August 2022 - Przina (Ston) - Sponga Restaurant, Sadransko, Mljet (17 nautical miles)

After another really peaceful nights sleep and a morning swim we weighed anchor at 11am.We had a decent 14kn of breeze so again, full main and jib to take us the 17nm across to the northern end of Mljet island. The wind was supposed to pick up a bit so we thought we’d put the boat on a restaurant dock. It had been fairly lively with 20kn as we approached but once tucked into the cove thankfully the wind dropped off. All the restaurant owners came out to wave us in but we had booked a spot at Restaurant Sponga. The owner came out to catch our lines and we were secured on a wooden dock, right in front of the restaurant. He even ran a cable for electricity for us. It was really cozy. We found a little stony beach for the girls to have a swim in and later, in a little waterside restaurant while we were having a drink, Carl tried to keep the girls amused by pointing out a few fish that were swimming by. He even pointed out the ‘plastic bag fish’.

That night the adults tried the local national dish, Peka, which translates to “under the bell” - a type of stew cooked in a clay vessel over open flames. It had to be pre-ordered. Pricey but tasty.

13th August 2022 - Sadransko - Prapatna (15.4 nautical miles)

The next morning before we set off we decided to do a walk over to an inland lake. Ben had got up pretty early and hired a bicycle to explore. When he got back and we had finished breakfast we stomped off down the path. With a game of eye-spy and a promise of ice-cream at the other end, the girls made it over the hill and down to the lake. Unfortunately there wasn’t really anywhere to swim so once ice-creams were finished we headed back. By 12pm we were really to cast off the lines and head to our next destination. The owner was a bit more ready than we were. Before Carl was on the helm he’d untied us and waved us off.

We knew we were due for some rain but it seemed pretty light and we were heading away from the direction of the dark clouds. We didn’t have much wind and we were close to our destination so we opted to drop the sails and motor the last half and hour whilst still dry. As we motored down the strait between Mljet and Ston I could see that an angry cloud was following us.

Within minutes it started to rain and the wind picked up. With a big old smile I ushered everyone inside and shut the door. The wind started to build. We were just about to go into Prapatna bay which was reasonably narrow and we hadn’t been there before. It did not look like we would get the anchor down before the rain and wind hit so we opted to stay in open water and turn into the wind. The swell was not too big but the wind whipped up to 35kn and it hoofed it down. Thankfully Charlotte and Ben are so calm that the kids just sat colouring in whilst all hell was breaking loose outside. I kept a smile on my face when I went in to grab Carl a waterproof jacket. He was soaked through and getting cold. As quickly as it arrived, it left and we could resume our course into the bay. We dropped the hook in 4m of lovely blue water and the sun came out again. Within a minute or two the girls wanted to get back in the water for a swim.

14th August 2022 - Prapatna - Uvala Lopud (14.2 nautical miles)

Once again the day started with a morning swim. Charlotte and Ben had a go on the paddle boards and even Tori gave it a go. She was stood up and paddling away even though the paddle was massive for her. She was a natural! No fear and stable as anything on the board. By this point Elsie was jumping in off the back of the boat so confidence was high.

By 11:15am we were ready for another move and weighed anchor. We made our way round the to the town of Lopud (on the opposite side of the island to Uvala Sunj, another place Mum and I had been to). We anchored in 7m just off the town and set off in the dinghy to explore the castle and grab an ice-cream. The wind had started to pick up and with it a bit of a swell developed. We took the girls to a beach to have a paddle in the waves. It was pizza’s for tea that night.

That evening getting back to the boat was a bit challenging. The dinghy was tied up to a concrete dock and it was being bounced all over the place. We spied a floating dock which was only 30cm high out of the water so would be easier to get the kids onboard. The dock itself was flapping about a bit but it was the lesser of two evils. This family are game for anything so with bags and hands held tightly we walked along the dock as Carl brought the dinghy round. It was a bit bouncy but we all managed to get on ok. The next challenge was getting everyone back on the boat but again, with smiles and taking our time we got everyone on safely.

15th August 2022 - Uvala Lopud - Marina Frapa, Dubrovnik (7.8 nautical miles)

All too soon it was time to get back to Marina Frapa to exchange crew. Matt, Rosie, Nathan and Amelie were due to fly in. Luckily for us, Charlotte, Ben and the girls had booked two weeks so were off to a resort for a week. They were due to fly back to the UK on the same day that Matt and his family were due to so we would catch up with them at the end for a night out in Dubrovnik. It had been a lovely, relaxing week. No crazy anchor watches, the weather gods had been kind.

Given the height of the concrete dock and the real possibility that we wouldn’t be able to borrow a 4m plank again we asked to go alongside the outer wall of the marina pier. It was definitely less sheltered but a much easier step onto the boat at midships as the height of the deck was the same as the pier. We could offload and reload guests more easily. By 11am we were tied up back on Pier B. We waved goodbye to the guys as they went off to check in to their hotel round the corner and we started the towel washing and bed linen changing for the next guests. It was a bit like running a charter boat!


It was late night arrival for the Duligall family giving us time to prep the boat. Matt and the family had visited us in Gibraltar but, apart from a short sail out into the bay, they hadn’t been out on the water on Rockhopper yet, certainly not stayed at anchor before. It was going to be an exciting week. They arrived safe and sound and, thanks to us being side on to the pier, it was straightforward getting everyone onboard.

16th August 2022 - Marina Frapa, Dubrovnik - Uvala Lopud (7.9 nautical miles)

Throughout the night there had been thunder and lightning and we woke up to 22kn winds. Rosie said that she loved a good thunderstorm. I didn’t want to explain that it was a bit of a nightmare on a boat. The wind was due to die down later so we took the opportunity to get Nathan and Amelie in the pool and later on do some provisioning.

Luckily the wind had dropped right off so just after 1pm we slipped the lines and moved out into open water. Nathan and Amelie were a bit older than Tori and Elsie being 11yrs and 8yrs old respectively, so it wasn’t colouring in books used to keep them amused while we went from swim stop to swim stop, it was iPads. Unfortunately time spent on the screens didn’t help with sea sickness so there was a strict no iPad rule whilst underway. Everyone seemed to be doing ok though and the sun was out so all good. Rosie sat up front just to be sure. As we came out of the channel where the marina was we saw the resort that Charlotte, Ben and the girls were staying. They were out at the inflatable obstacle course and we gave them a big wave as we did our drive by.

Due to the wind direction we opted for Uvala Lopud again. We would be visiting some of the same places with these guys but we knew they were good swim stops with beaches if they weren’t keen to swim off the back of the boat. We dropped anchor in 9m in the bay and took them ashore for a walk. It was just so lovely to share our floating home with Matt and the family and watch them enjoy it.

Dinner was on shore that evening and luckily no big swell this time to get everyone back onboard. I had a bit of a worry when Nathan asked when we would be heading back to the marina for the night. When I explained that we would be sleeping at anchor there was a short pause. Older kids worry a lot more than younger ones. I assured him that we had anchor alarms and I had a knack for waking up if the wind picked up even slightly. Luckily it didn’t that night.

17th August 2022 - Uvala Lopud - Uvala Spilice (10.2 nautical miles)

We woke up in the morning to a calm sunny day. After a quick swim we decided to take them to somewhere new. There was not much wind so it was a 10nm motor to our next destination, Uvala Spilice, a bay almost directly opposite Przina on Ston island. Matt had been a keen fisherman in the past. He was up for getting the fishing rod out the back and giving it a go on our way to the next bay. As soon as he had the line in the water, Amelie started to ask what he was doing. After explaining that he would have to kill the fish once it was onboard she did not like the sound of that at all and got upset. That was it, the line was reeled back in. Matt would have to contend with just looking out at the lovely vista.

At the next anchorage we would have to take long lines ashore which we hadn’t done since Menorca. After a 30 minute faff of getting tied back we eventually settled ourselves in a lovely spot with lush greenery behind us. We dug out our snorkelling gear and gave it to Matt, Nate and Amelie to go explore. Rosie had a go at some paddle boarding too!

After a quick dip to cool off I got on to prepping the salad for a bbq for another night. It was such a beautiful spot to stop. That night we even did some star gazing.

18th August 2022 - Uvala Spilice - Przina (1.8 nautical miles)

With little wind it was clear that the kids were enjoying the swimming and beaches rather than just motoring about so we decided to go back to Przina round the corner and see if the good spot on the sandy patch was available. As we came round the corner there was a massive tourist boat pinned to the shore, right across the anchorage. We just managed to find a spot in the sandy area further enough away from the boat but they had made it difficult for the rest of us. Anyway, we were there by lunchtime so had the whole day to snorkel, swim and mess about on the beach. Carl took everyone to the beach with the dinghy and I took a paddleboard across if anyone wanted to have a go. We had a few beers, snacks and played a bit of beach volleyball with the occasional dip. A lovely afternoon by the water. The following day the wind was due to pick up so we would again be heading across to Mljet to a restaurant dock, albeit a different one.

19th August 2022 - Przina - Restaurant Maran, Okuklje (5.05 nautical miles)

The night at Przina was pretty peaceful again although the boat did swing round a bit. Matt was a bit concerned that we were getting a bit close to shore but it we were still in the anchor radius and it was holding. I had dove on the anchor every time to make sure it was properly in. I even got the guys to do it too so they could see if it was set. We weighed anchor at 10:40am and raised the sails to cross the channel to Mljet, this time we would be going to Okuklje, closer to the southern end of the island. Just as we were approaching the wind picked up to 17kn (as usual) but thankfully as we came into the cove it dropped to about 8kn. We tied up to the dock of Restaurant Maran, nice and snug. Again we were able to find a socket to plug into shore power and get some aircon on which was welcome news. We left the guys relaxing and Carl and I walked round the bay to get rid of some rubbish and stop for a beer at a waterside restaurant. Matt and family joined us a little bit later for a pre-dinner drink. Once sat at our table, just a stones throw from the boat again we placed our food order. Amelie ordered fish and chips. When the plate arrived it was a whole fish, complete with a beady eye looking at her. We all held our breath while the waiter asked whether he could fillet it for her. She said yes, he did the deed and she tucked in. Matt whispered over ‘I’ll have the conversation about where fish for dinner come from another time.’

That night we were basking in the cool of the aircon and at around 10pm the shore power stopped. We thought maybe he had turned it off but the socket had tripped. Worse still I noticed that we were still drawing a lot of power when we had nothing but the fridges on at the time. We sent a message to Toby, from Keto Marine, who had set up our system and asked what it might be. By this point we knew roughly how much AC and DC power we used and this was much larger than normal. We’d investigate later when we were back on our own.

20th August 2022 - Okuklje - Slano (11.8 nautical miles)

Matt and Rosie had found out from the restaurant owner that they did I nice breakfast. Pancakes, waffles etc. Carl and I had stuffed ourselves the night before so the guys trooped off to have breakfast without us. Apparently it was lovely apart from the wasps that started to appear almost immediately.

We slipped the lines at 10am and headed out of the cove. We had planned to find another beach for a lunch stop before heading to an anchorage near a town but on the way there disaster struck. Nathan went in for a hug from his Mum and unfortunately knocked over a hot cup of coffee into Rosie’s lap. It was quite a shock and Carl got the cold water hose on her skin almost immediately. I went down to our trusty First Aid bag that my good friend Carol had prepared for us and found some burn gel pouches. We decided to head straight to the town of Slano to find a pharmacy. On the way there it seemed like the cold water and gel were working, no blistered skin. Just an upset Nate who needed a cuddle and a relieved Rosie that it was turning out to not be so bad. Slano was another deep bay a bit like Zaton with mountains around it so we took no chances and anchored right in the middle, albeit in 18m of water. The deepest we had ever anchored. We flung out 78m of chain and seemed to be equidistant from other boats so all was good. At this point I was so impressed that everyone got in the water for a swim. Rosie had once told me that she didn’t often do ‘wild water’ and that she really needed to be able to see the bottom. The same went for Nathan and Amelie. Well off they all jumped in and swam under the boat, looking at me through the escape hatches. The confidence in their swimming had come on leaps and bounds over the week and I was thrilled to see that they were enjoying it. If they were enjoying it they would visit again!

21st August 2022 - Slano - Marina Frapa Dubrovnik (12.8 nautical miles)

Rather than have a morning swim we decided that we would up anchor bright and early, get back to Marina Frapa early so that they could make use of the pool again. So, with the family still snoozing Carl and I raised the anchor at 8am and made our way out of Slano and motored our way back towards Dubrovnik. For a third time we tied up at Marina Frapa, this time on Pier 3 with no issues at all. We opted to go in rather than side on again as we’d be staying for two nights and it was just one set of luggage that we would need to get off this time. Luckily there was a 4m plank around so all was good.

After a couple of hours spent by the pool we all got showered, changed and took a taxi to the old city. The Burgess family were already in town so we found out where they were and had a lovely reunion. It was a special night, everyone together, Amelie getting stuck in chatting to the girls and playing games with them. It was a perfect end to a great two weeks with our family.


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1 Comment

Liz Stewart
Liz Stewart
May 07, 2023

Another good one, thanks Jo. Love reading about your days.

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