Voyage 24

Dubrovnik, Croatia to Venice, Italy
May 21-29, 2018

Day 1 – Monday, May 21, 2018

dubrovnik-venicetnI have enjoyed my time in Dubrovnik, but it is time to move on.  A couple of days ago, I checked the wind forecast and it did not look favorable as the winds were blowing from the direction of Venice.  However, this morning when I checked the forecast, it showed light winds today, but increasing southerly winds this evening and into tomorrow.  I decided now was as good a time as any to head for my next port of call.

At a little after 7:00 AM, I raised the anchor, raised the sails and I headed north out of the Dubrovnik harbor.  The wind was light, only about 5-6 knots, so it was a leisurely sail.  My plan was to sail west until I reached the island of Lastovo, then I would turn northwest-bound into the Adriatic Sea.  The weather was about 69ºF and I had clear skies.

In the evening, the wind all but died.  At 10:00 PM, I was barely making 2 knots and was a few nm northeast of Lastovo.  I checked the wind forecast before turning in for the night.  In the long run, it was not good news.  For tomorrow, the wind is forecast to be south-southwest at about 7 knots, which is good.  However, starting on Wednesday, the wind will shift around and, once again, be strong out of the north.  That means I’ll be beating all the way to Venice.

After checking my charts, I made the decision that I would stop tomorrow at the island of Vis.  It looks like it has a nice harbor and appears to be a tourist destination.  My plan is to stay there until Friday, when I will resume my voyage to Venice.  Comfortable with this current plan, I set the helm on autopilot and headed below for the night.

Day 2 – Tuesday, May 22, 2018

05/22/2018 0444 UTC – 42º 55.12′ N 16º 25.29′ E

At about 7:00 AM, I was less than 10 nm from Vis.  The higher the sun got in the sky, the stronger the wind was becoming.  By the time I made my turn into the harbor at Vis, the wind was up to 15 knots.

At a little after 9:00 AM, I reach a good anchorage, dropped the sail and the anchor, and prepared to go ashore for a visit.  This looks like a nice island to spend a couple of days exploring.

Day 6 – Saturday, May 26, 2018

05/26/2018 0400 UTC – 43º 3.6′ N 16º 11.75′ E

I ended up spending more than just a couple of days here on Vis.  Since I have no time requirement for arriving in Venice, I just enjoyed my time on this wonderful island.  My decision to stay was helped by the continued northerly flow in the Adriatic Sea.  The forecast does not suggest a southerly flow for at least 4 days.  Very calm winds are also forecast for about the same period, but the western Adriatic looks like it will have the better winds.  So, I decided to head out this morning, get north of Vis a ways, then start heading toward the coast of Italy.  I will have to do a lot of tacking, but I think it will be easier if I am farther to the west.

At a little after 5:00 AM, with the sunrise, I raised anchor and headed northeast out of the harbor.  The wind was around 8 knots, out of the northeast.  It was looking like another great sailing day.

At about sunset, I was about 25 nm off the east coast of Italy.  I sailed on a heading of about 270º most of the day.  It didn’t get me closer to Venice, but it is necessary because of the wind direction and the fact that I need to go in the same direction that the wind is coming from.  At about 7:30 PM, I set the helm to follow the wind, which was mostly still a heading of 270º.  At around midnight, I will turn to the port tack and start heading more north.  That will be until morning, when I’ll need to swing back west on the starboard tack again.  The wind speed is about 8 knots and the boat is doing 5-6 knots.  The water is calm, so I should sleep well tonight.

I was back at the helm at 10:20 PM and I did another check of the wind forecast.  It was looking more like I would want to be on the east side of the Adriatic Sea because the forecast was suggesting the wind would go calm in about 8 hours on the west side.  I turned to the port tack, set the autopilot to follow a 50º angle on the sails and I headed back below.

Day 7 – Sunday, May 27, 2018

05/27/2018 0455 UTC – 43º 38.87′ N 14º 52.6′ E

The wind this morning hadn’t changed much from what it was last night.  It was still under 10 knots and I was still having to tack northeast.  The wind forecast says there is a calm ahead, but it keeps changing as to whether the wind will be better on the east or west side of the Adriatic.  This morning, the better winds show on the west side.  That doesn’t help me much because I’m pretty much committed to the east side.  I will just have to go with the wind that I get.

At about sunset, I was 115 nm southeast of Venice, along the coastal islands of Croatia.  The wind had become almost completely calm.  I don’t expect I will get much more wind until tomorrow morning, so I decided to just enjoy the calm and I figured I’d get a good night’s sleep tonight.  If the wind will get stronger, I could reach Venice sometime tomorrow.  I will worry about my arrival tomorrow.  The clouds made for a beautiful sunset.  I left the autopilot set to follow the wind at about 55º on the port tack and then headed below for the night.

At about 9:00 PM, the wind disappeared.  It looks like I’ll being staying at my current position most of the night.  If the wind picks up, the autopilot will sound an alarm so that I can check my heading.  For now, it feels like I’m anchored.

Day 8 – Monday, May 28, 2018

A little after midnight, the autopilot sounded an alarm, indicating that we were moving again.  I got up and checked the helm.  The wind was barely 2 knots and was now coming from the south.  I changed the heading to the northwest.  Once the autopilot was happy again, I headed back to bed.

05/28/2018 0550 UTC – 44º 25.67′ N 14º 7.66′ E

Calm conditions continued throughout the day and into the evening.  The forecast suggest I might get some wind in a couple of days.  After sunset, I was about 65 nm from Venice.  It might as well be 650 nm if I have no wind to sail by.  At least the temperature is comfortable.  It’s right around 70ºF.  Another good night’s sleep I guess.

Day 9 – Tuesday, May 29, 2018

05/29/2018 0507 UTC – 44º 53.87′ N 13º 29.96′ E

I awoke to a wind speed of about 3 knots this morning.  That’s not much, but it is about twice what I had yesterday.  As of a little after 6:00 AM, I am about 55 nm from Venice.  At my current boat speed of about 3 knots, the GPS says I will reach Venice in about 17 hours.  I’m not holding my breath for reaching Venice today.  The forecast is not good and I think I will be lucky if I keep a 3 knot wind speed for most of today.  At least the sea is still calm, it’s about 67ºF, and the clouds on the horizon to the east are making a spectacular sunrise.

Later in the day, the wind picked up a bit, but still not by much.  At a little after 6:00 PM, I was still about 23 nm from the channel entrance to Venice, with my boat speed at 3.5-4 knots.  It looks like I will be arriving around midnight.  It has been a slow few days, but it has been very relaxing.

Once the sun set, the wind increased to around 7 knots.  My boat speed increased as well and it looked like I would arrive before midnight.  At 9:50 PM, I was a little over 5 nm outside of the channel entrance.  The moon was up an bright, so it wasn’t completely dark.

As I started into the channel, headed for Venice, I briefly considered anchoring outside until daylight.  I decided against waiting because of the tendency this voyage of the winds to be light and from the wrong direction.  The wind was perfect for my arrival at Venice, from the south-southwest.  I decided I would dock at Marina Santelena, on the east side of Venice.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to dock at a port-of-call.  Once I was tied up and the boat was secure, I went below for a good night’s sleep, my first in Venice aboard Tahiti Dream.

05/29/2018 2248 UTC – 45º 25.6′ N 12º 22′ E