We wanted to sail, first to Sicily for the winter
But things turned out differently than planned. After the engine problems at the beginning of our trip we are now a bit further on. A little piece. Quite minimal – globally seen.
After our involuntary stay in Vrsar we reached Banjole, near Pula. With foresail and motor, so far problem-free. We spend another night here in protected Paltana Bay. The next morning, Tuesday, November 21st, crossing the Kvarner, away from Istria to Susak. All 3 sails are set, the engine works well. Everything runs smoothly until the moment a tension ring jumps from a winch on the mast into the water. Well then. Without the winch. Possible as well.
Wednesday, November 22nd, under full sail we set off to the island of Ist, thinking about heading for Ilovik because of a bad weather front. We stick to our plans and arrive in time for sunset in Zapuntel on the island of Molat and even made some progress.
Thursday, November 23rd, after the wind has provided only moderate propulsion so far, the engine is mostly running and we head for Zaglav on Dugi Otok, there is a petrol station. I ask the employee of the petrol station if we can stay here for the night or, depending on the weather, if we can stay longer.
No problem, just tie it to the jetty as long as we want, water she can’t promise us, just try it, if possible we can help ourselves gladly. When asked about the costs, she laughs and says “for free, dont worry”. Full tank, all around crystal clear water, drinking water and berth free of charge and sheltered from the wind – too good to be true?
Localizing problems in the masttop
On Friday, Eric wants to pull me up into the mast. Maybe the problem with the mainhalyard can be solved quickly. Eric wants to pull me up over the anchor winch. But unfortunately, its not moving at all. Now the Dirk! We try around a bit and find out that the operation works without any load (i. e. sails or me) without any problems. Good to know, but it doesn’t help now.
Suddenly we are chatted from the jetty, do we have to pay something? No, it’s Kim & Giel DollyTravelsTheWorld 2
young travellers from the Netherlands. For 2 months they have been on the road with Dolly, their Mercedes bus vintage car. Currently on Dugi Otok, just like us. They found the address of this blog seeing it from the petrol station (as we have recently put it on the boom;) ) and read a little bit of it. Afterwards, they decided that they had to say hello.
We spend the rest of the day and the evening together on Tiki and make an appointment for the next day. Excursion to the lighthouse Veli Rat at the other end of the island. Great thing. We are borrowing the both of them a headlamp for their way home and are looking forward to the next day.
On November 25th, around ten o’ clock we hear loud engine noise, a look towards the countryside gives us certainty. A sensational old-timer bus in “pea-green” parks in front of our eyes. Ingenious part. Kim and Giel get out in a good mood, Kim offers us coffee and tea (as she will do very often in the future) and then we start our journey. It’s not just on Tiki that it’s rattling and loud when the engine is running. Dolly’s pretty good at it, too. After about 45 minutes we reach our destination. Without a motorized land vehicle we would never have reached the lighthouse. Actually, the lighthouse (at this time of year?) is not open to visitors. Hm, maybe something can be done, but it would be a pity to miss this view. But we can’t find a lighthouse keeper. Well, let’s have a little something first. During the preparations Kim sees someone and we are allowed to go up after dinner. Hooray:)
When the Austrian Empire ruled here, this 42-metre high lighthouse was built in 1849 and is still the highest
lighthouse on the Adriatic Sea. A total of 300,000 eggs have been processed according to oral tradition and 100,000 egg yolks have been used for the yellowish outer colour. The eggs have been incorporated into the walls and offer additional stability and are so advantageous against wind and salty air that it has never had to be renovated.
210 steps to the top demand a lot from us, but the view is worth it – despite the lack of sunshine. Of course wind is much stronger here than on the ground, even Kim’s Dreadlocks waft around her head when they are not tucked away in her jacket.
We go back to Zaglav in a good mood and make plans for the next few days, we want to see something else, but we don’t want to get stuck for ever. The winter is here too already at the door.
We build an alternative way to get into the mast from existing parts. This time Eric wants to go up, we ask Kim and Giel for help. With the electric windlass we can finally pull Eric up and he comes back with bad news.
In the masttop the pulleys for Dirk and main halyard are broken. Both of them. We can’t fix that in a hurry. Probably we even have to lay the mast for this. Crap, but can’t be changed now, maybe on this occasion we can do and optimize some other things. We try to take a positive view, although this diagnosis means that we have to live longer without the mainsail. Uncomfortable, but doable.
Our friends know of a small stalactite cave that we want to see. As the weather is bad, we repair and improve our transportable houses and wait. Cooking together and nice game evenings shorten the waiting time.
Finally the good weather is back. On December 1st, we’ll go to the cave. The gravel road is as wide as the bus, next to it there is a steep descent to the sea. I hope no one’s coming towards us! Uphill, downhill, we would never have dared to drive a normal car, let alone a bus. Giel sits calmly at the wheel and takes us safely to the cave entrance, turns the bus in a minimum of space and we disappear together in the mountain.
I am thrilled when I see little droppings on the ground. Bats! There, and there – there’s another one and here’s one
at eye level! I’m happy:) I just love these animals. The stalactites are impressive and it is pleasant to wander around the cave alone, without loud tourists, kitschy lights and watchers.
On the way back, one of the outside mirrors has brief contact with the roadside and breaks at a corner. The two of them take it well.
On December 4th, Eric and I take the ferry to Zadar and have a look around the city. However, it is much more important to stock up the provisions on this day. With 2 huge rucksacks we buy two tickets for the ferry at 6:30 am. After about one hour later we arrived in Zadar, we would have needed 4 hours with Tiki. We have about 8 hours, at 15:10 the ferry goes back to Zaglav. We have a look at the two marinas in Zadar, one or the other naval shop is also visited. You always need spare parts.
In the city harbour two worlds meet. 2 huge sailing ships are currently
being worked on by the crew (employees). A traditional wooden ship, red with white details and golden decorations. Directly next to it in dark blue high-gloss a modern sailing ship with every conceivable comfort. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a heated outdoor whirlpool here. Unfortunately, we cannot board the ships.
We are looking for a supermarket, find a Konzum and go shopping. Afterwards we drag our overcrowded backpacks to the Advent market and enjoy a pizza and a break. Before returning to the ferry we climb another hill and enjoy the view over the harbour bay and the mast forest to the snow-covered Velebit mountains.
In the evening Kim cooks, we eat on Tiki and start the engine – a last short check, tomorrow we want to continue.
But unfortunately, you already suspect… The engine dies and can no longer be started. We all agree, it sounds like it won’t get any diesel. Air in the system. Nice shit.
The next day Kim and Giel take us by bus “Dolly” (and Tigo;) to the neighboring town of Sali to Frane, the engine specialist on the island. After we have described the problem to him, we give him 2 screws with the request to order new ones. One of them is made of plastic from the pre-filter housing of the diesel filter. They are not available as spare parts. Frane offers to make them from brass. Perfect.
The next day Frane arrives and starts his work. The rubber buffers from our engine were completely gone. He has never seen this before and offers us to have new ones installed. But he has to order from Zadar, he won’t get them until tomorrow. No problem, we prefer to wait for that. In the meantime Frane finds again and more little things, which we should also replace “in the next months”. No, we ask him to replace all suspicious parts immediately, even if it takes longer.
The weekend has come, Frane comes with a part on Saturday, offers to install it so that we can continue driving. We are thankfully refusing and prefer to wait a few more days, but the rest is delivered and assembled.
On Monday the engine was working fine again, Frane was worth every penny and the wait. Most expensive were the rubber buffers for the engine, but Frane can’t help it. He did a really good job, was always in a good mood despite the limited space and you can see that he enjoys his work.
Waiting for the weather
Monday, December 11th, we will stay here for one more day and tidy up the boat, stow something here, clean up a bit and relax. The mainsail does not work, but nothing stands in the way of a departure the next day. It should be a slightly cloudy, relatively windless day. Sailing without wind is not possible, but we can go further south under engine.
Zaglav is the name of the sleepy village with about 150 inhabitants in which we spent 3 weeks. Originally we only wanted to wait 2-3 nights for better weather. Translated, Zaglav means something like: getting stuck, got stuck,… Unfortunately, the locals can’t tell us where the name comes from, but I think we have found out for ourselves: D
Contact details of Frane, in case you should get stuck on Dugi Otok and have problems with the engine, need spare parts or a motor service: Car & Boat Service Frane, Sali, Dugi Otok, Tel.: 00385 95 814 2997 / 00385 98 687 129 Mail: email@example.com He speaks good English and is reliable.