Sailing Croatia’s Hidden Gems (YouTube Episode 10)

In our latest youtube video, we sail to two of Croatia’s hidden gems, places little visited by yachts or tourists: Korcula, the birthplace of the sailor and adventurer Marco Polo, and Mljet National Park, the first marine part in the Mediterranean with its beautiful two lakes.

Sailing Croatia’s Dazzling Dalmatia (YouTube Episode 7)

 

In our latest YouTube video, we sail into Dalmatia, swimming its crystal clear waters and exploring the spectacular historical towns of Primosten and Split.

We also look at passage planning Tranquilo style (with PredictWind software and our Croatia Pilot book) and address the challenges of Tranquilo’s deep rudder.

Sailing Croatia’s Nature Wonderland – 2 (Youtube Episode 6)

 

In  our latest episode on our YouTube channel we sailg Croatia’s Kornati islands, one of the top sailing destinations in the Mediterranean, and the world heritage Krka Waterfalls.

In the Kornati archipelago we visit the beautiful island of Levrnaka which has one of the few beaches in the islands and the towns of Sibenik and Skradin, before finishing up at the spectacular Krka Waterfalls. We also show how to perform a typical marina mooring in the Mediterranean, the Med-moor.

Sailing Croatia’s Nature Wonderland – 1 (Youtube Episode 5)

Continuing our sailing around the world adventure, in our latest video we sail to Zadar where we head inland to visit the world heritage Plitvice Lakes, before sailing back out to the islands of Croatia and the largest bay in the Adriatic, the wild, rugged and beautiful Luka Telascica with its salt lake, Jezero Mir.

We are joined by our friend Kalena and Aiden takes the outboard for a spin for the first time, taking charge of our Yamaha outboard.

Sailing into History (Istria, Croatia) – YouTube Episode 4

We’ve set sail, leaving Slovenia for Croatia. First stop is the northern coast of Croatia, Istria. Istria has a long history. It was the second-most important region of the Roman Empire after Rome, producing wines and olive oil, and the Roman heritage is very apparent in this area.

We sail to Umag where we check in to Croatia and meet the very friendly swiss sailors on the yacht Ed Whimper, then head down to Pula with its highly preserved Roman ampitheter and strong Croatian cultural heritage, before heading out to the islands of Unije and Ist and Molat, where we anchor for the first time in the idyllic spot Prolaz Zaputel.

Preparing Tranquilo for Sailing Around the World – YouTube Episode 2

In our Episode 2, we look at preparing Tranquilo for sailing around the world, including final checks of the equipment we have installed, learning to use our assymetric spinnaker, unboxing of our critical equipment, replacing the standard anchor provided by Hanse with a Rocna 33 anchor,  and signing off the handover and celebrating the fact that Tranquilo is now ours!

Surfing Sand Dunes

With just over one month to go until we set sail around the world (!) we’re visiting some of our favourite parts around Sydney before we head off.

Recently we went up to Myall Lakes National Park and the fantastic sand dunes of Dark Point. Our son Aiden wanted to jump off the sand dunes, and immediately realised that with his board in hand, he had the perfect toy for surfing down the sand dunes! With all the fun he was having, we couldn’t resist joining in!

It also gave us a great opportunity to test our drone and its aerial footage capabilities!

Last Sail in Sydney

 

We had our last sail in Sydney last weekend. Like all good things, they must come to an end. It’s the last sail in Sydney – at least for a while – because it’s just two months before we head to Slovenia to pick up Tranquilo and sail the world.

We wanted to head out one last time to give our friends a taste of sailing before they join us in parts of our trip. Yes brave to commit yourself to sailing before you even know you will like it, let alone are prone to seasickness.

We chartered a sprightly little yacht, a 33-foot Dufour 335, from our regular charter company who has looked after us in the past, Eastsail. Eastsail obliged us by allowing us to keep the yacht overnight and return it the next morning, giving us a full 24 hours on board.

The morning started off with very light winds, barely enough puff to push us along up to Manly, our spot for lunch 12 nautical miles away. We took the opportunity to give the guys who’d never sailed before some helm time to give them a taste for sailing. Enough said that they loved it and caught on very quickly about the basics of helming and keeping a particular angle to the wind.

Lunch was a treat; we managed to find our own space in a very busy bay and immediately everyone stripped and dived in, frolicking in the cool waters. And we weren’t the only ones stripping, for some reason it seems to be the time of year for people to get married and we counted a number of buck parties hosted on yachts, hosted by ladies of dubious morals.

Following lunch the wind picked up nicely and we had some great tacts back up the harbor. Everyone in Sydney seemed to be on the water with lasers racing, ferries ferrying people around, and an imposing luxury cruiser heading out of the harbor. A quick exercise in COLREGS* ensued to make sure everyone was across who had to give way to who.

For the night we located ourselves in the one place only a yacht can stay – right across from the Opera House next to the Botanic Gardens! We popped some champagne to celebrate our last sail in Sydney, organized dinner and then headed off to our berths.

But before laying down for the night, as the forecast was for strong winds at midnight we double-checked that the anchor was holding and I set up the anchor watch app on my phone for good measure.

I can’t say it was a restful night, the wind funneled down into the bay gusting up to 30 knots. While the full 25m anchor chain in 4m depth gave us 6x scope*, a sufficient buffer over the recommended 4x – 5x, I would have preferred more. Especially as just downwind we had a – I can only guess – $5m superyacht. They didn’t seem perturbed by the wind blowing them around, watching the news on their 72’ tv. In the meantime there I was getting up every 2 hours to check we were still holding (if you’re wondering why I’m looking tired in the last scene of the video, here you go…). ***

The morning bought a gentle breeze, and we had breakfast with the opera house and the Syndey highrises as our backdrop, with the sounds of exotic birds who call the botanic gardens home. It wasn’t much of a day for sailing with winds too light to fill the sails. We gunned up the engine, pottered around on the harbor, headed up to Taronga Zoo to say hellow to the chattering gibbons, before making our way back across the harbor to drop the yacht off at Eastsail.

We’re happy to note that everyone had a great time sailing, first timers and experience crew alike!

 

 

*COLREGS: The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, covers a number of aspects to ensure safety on the water and prevent collisions between vessels, including navigation, lights and symbols and sounds.

**Scope: length of anchor chain vs depth. The greater the scope the better the holding power. A greater scope is recommended if the sea bed provides a poor hold or expecting strong winds. Recommendations change, when I did my Yachtmaster course it was anchor chain = 5x depth, we’ve had it at 3x for lunch time stops, and up to 10x when the forecast was for very strong winds overnight. Important to note, depth should be measured to account for high tide!

*** And hence our reason to get an over-specced anchor and 60m of chain for Tranquilo.

 

Dealing with Seasickness

Jack would get sick just reading in a car, so when he came sailing with us in Sardinia he had several tricks up his sleeve. His primary weapon against seasickness was the pressure strap on his wrist. We were highly sceptical but it seemed to work wonderfully. Next was helm time, and many swear by this, which looked to help. Maybe it’s the focus. Finally, after 3 days most people get their sea legs and seasickness goes away. We heard ginger also helps.  

Here’s what our followers recommended:

Keeping Active

  • e_e_flanders I’ve read motion sickness is a disconnect between your brain & legs. Your brain expects your legs to be moving to cause all that motion. So walking in place is supposed to help.
  • vickiarbitrio First 24 hours in the ocean I need to drive or sleep–if racing and mesmerized by sail trim or looking for puffs, I’ll be okay.
  • alba Having something important to do will take your focus off the motion. Also, try not to fill your stomach, only sips of water, no big meals, no stimulants, booze, cigarettes and coffee are a big no no if you are sensitive to seasickness.

Stay Outside, Look to the Horizon

  • vitormac If any crewmates get sick, or put in the cockpit looking out of the boat, because nausea comes from the labyrinths where the eyes see different movements of what the brain registers …. if it does not work is to enter the water that heals immediately 😉
  • aleksjoey Look at the horizon where sea meets sky
  • science_kat I’ve only ever been seasick once and it was on a big cruise boat where I was stuck inside with no fresh air. Fresh air and ginger chews worked a charm.
  • christysverreartheads Keep eyes on horizon for sure

Wrist Pressure Bands

  • delamonicamilla Not drinking a lot of liquids, eating green apple…but for me what works better is the sea band…

Ginger

  • 403natasha I’m a yachtie with seasickness 😂 my tricks – ginger everything, chewing gum/mints. Sipping water with BCAAs. If you’re able… jump in the water when you feel you’re starting to get nauseous (works every time). And if you’re Canadian – gravol has a ginger lozenge that doesn’t make you sleepy and works wonders
  • philmason69 Ginger tablets (we use the Blackmores ones)

Vitamins and Drugs

  • mark_delio Trans derm scop ,, patch behind ear.
  • sunbonoo Biodramina C tablets are very helpful as well, at least if you’re just going on a short boat trip.
  • char_loves_chad An ear plug in your non dominant ear. Levels out equaliberium (sp?). Bonine is great and MotionEze drops behind your ears
  • mocruisinglife Vitamin c and avoid heavy weather

 Diet 

  • instafizzywine Salty anchovies… ancient mariner remedy. Waistbands and transderm work too.. But anchovies taste better 😊
  • missconsea Nibble saltines, sip ginger ale, don’t get mesmerized by the swell and my fav, naps.
  • me_green I’ve heard chewing gum helps
  • emilelakey Strawberry jam!!!
  • lamarlanre Rarely seasick but I go out on an empty stomach
  • systellapolaris Eating anything BEFORE you go out to the sea. I get less seasick when I don’t have an empty stomack. Sanna

 Other suggestions

  • antonioemachado Some fishermen here in Brazil cut a lemon in half and smell it for a while. Never saw if it works though. Thankfully I’m rarely seasick.
  • kerstinapril Natural herbal remedy works every time ✌🏼🍁⛵️
  • langford99 Rum. If that doesn’t work more rum.

 

We will be resorting to the first five, in that order as required – helm time and staying active, staying outside and looking out to the horizon, and if that fails using the wrist pressure bands, then ginger, and when all that fails, drugs (and rum) as a last resort*.

 

*We once sailed in the Cyclades with a crew member prone to seasickness. By the 3rd day of large waves coming from all directions he had enough and took some sea sickness pills. He was knocked out and slept through the worst of 6 metre waves heading into Mykonos. Not the kind of thing  you can afford to happen when you’re trying to stay on top of the waves.