So, the plan for Friday was to get as far as Korčula island as that’s half way to Dubrovnik. However, the wind and sea were directly on the nose and as any sailor will tell you, waves can stop you dead in your tracks. After 3 hours of going precisely nowhere, we gave up and changed direction to the Pakleni Islands. We covered more distance in the next hour than we had all morning! Mother Nature was telling us something. We picked up a mooring buoy in between two islands in a perfectly calm bay. The buoys belonged to a restaurant and you can stay free of charge if you eat there. We thought it would be rude not to so we had a very nice lunch, washed down with the homemade wine.
This island also happens to be the same island that the beach club Carpe Diem is on so we wandered round to have a look. There was a path of sorts but it wasn’t obvious even in daylight. It was pretty quiet at 5pm but then it doesn’t really get going until 12.30am!
Back to the boat and Liz went for a 4 hour nap in preparation for a visit back to the bar. I hadn’t managed to get any sleep during the evening so Liz waited for me until 2am so I had had a few hours sleep at least. We then dinghied over to the restaurant dock and then walked for about 20 mins, in the dark, to the club. It wasn’t really busy but enough customers to create a bit of a buzz. The music varied in quality so we stayed until around 4am before heading back to the boat.
In the morning, we decided to see whether we could continue on southwards, hoping that the sea state had calmed down. Seizing the day, we managed to get across to the western tip of Korčula island before the next storm would hit us and tied up to a mooring buoy in the harbour and close to shore. The nightly cost is 150 kuna, which is the cheapest we have paid to date (not counting the free ones!). The mooring is very secure and even in the high winds we can dinghy to shore. Given we have seen 30 knots of wind in the harbour, we can only imagine what it must be like out at sea.
Today (Sunday) has continued to be stormy and windy but we have managed to get various jobs done on the boat as well as a bit of sightseeing. Vela Luka is the 2nd largest town on Korčula although having at least 8 supermarkets seems a little over the top! It is also home to Vela Spila (meaning big cave). This is a cave that dates back 17,000 years to the ice age when Korčula and Vis were part of the Croatia mainland. It took us 30 mins to walk up to it high above the town and 10 mins to look round it! Still, all quite interesting.
Then we walked part round the bay (its three miles long!) and had to divert into a bar when the thunderstorm started. We may end up being stuck here another day until this Sirocco blows through and the sea calms down.