Maslinica, Solta 9.5.2019

When we woke up in the morning, it was a bit overcast and grey. To our amazement, one crew member was missing. The wet suit that had been left out to dry was nowhere to be found.

We were a bit concerned. The only boat around, had we had unwanted guests aboard during the night? There was nothing else missing and the wetsuit was quite valuable so we decided to walk around the bay. After walking all the way to the other side, to the other restaurant, I found the suit in good condition just lying in the waterline. All passed out. It had obviously decided to take another swim during the windy night, coat hanger and all. Or maybe it had also decided to taste the local booze and wandered around in drunken stupor?

All was well, we had a quick breakfast and set off. Leaving the sheltered bay and entering the strait between Brac and the mainland we found quite a fresh breeze. The clouds were grey and hanging low. Two reefs on the main. Not a lot of photos from this day.

Going west, with a west-northwesterly wind that was gusting closer to 35 knots, we were tacking in moderate, but at times unpleasant waves. Healing at 25-30 degrees and making 8-11 knots it was good sailing but not a nice vacation cruise. Each time on port tack, we made it to the middle of the strait and it became uncomfortable. On starboard tack and closer to Brac the waves became bearable and we decided to stay there and tack more often.

We were speeding along, and with that wind direction there was no way I was going to stop on the north side of Brac for the night. Looking at the pilot book, I thought Rogač on Solta might be something for us. When we arrived there, the sky had opened and it was pissing down on us. Obviously the marina was smock full and it wasn’t as sheltered as I had hoped.

We anchored in the relative calmness of the nearby bay and took a breather. Lunch was a bit overdue, and it was also a good time to take a look at the forecast and make new alternative plans.

After lunch we weighed anchor and set off for Maslinica. The rain and wind were supposed to disappear, and by the time we made it to Maslinica, it was almost sunny. Arriving at a familiar marina is always comforting, and even though we didn’t have a reservation there was plenty of space for us. Must have been the terrible weather. Only slightly mad people were out that day. And we had been speeding along, so it wasn’t that late when we arrived.

We opted for a gourmet dinner aboard. With three accomplished boat chefs, it was a delight to have a relaxed meal after the days hard sailing.

This wasn’t the first nor the last time when checking the weather two-three days ahead sort of backfired. We had decided to take the northerly route around Brac when it looked good. By the time we were there, conditions had changed a bit and we got on tougher day of sailing. I have a sailing instructor friend who is also a weather geek, and he says 72 hour forecasts are a gamble. 24 hours are ok. And that’s what we got.

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