Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sailing from Krk to Kornat and back - part 4

Next morning, after the charter sailboats left, we had another show. A pretty sailboat was approaching the anchorage, and we could hear yelling of a man from a far. When they sailed closer, we saw there was also a woman on the boat, steering the boat and not saying much. The man was standing near the mast, loudly talking and yelling all the time. The cause of his tantrum was his dissatisfaction with the woman at the steering wheel, nothing she did was right. She was not turning the wheel right, she didn't manage the engine right, she couldn't reverse the boat right, she didn't put the boat into right position for anchoring. And he used very strong words, and also cursed her in the worst way. We haven't seen or heard anything like this yet. And you would not expect that kind of behaviour from people in their 60-ies. It went on for almost an hour, they changed the anchoring spot several times in the meanwhile, and everybody was already tired of them. I couldn't understand, why the woman just took everything, without defending herself much. In her place I would put my credit card between my teeth, jump into the water and swim for the shore and never come back.

We didn't wait to see how long it went on. We sailed to the West side of Olib, I wanted to do as much snorkelling there as possible. This time we anchored near the small sandy island with lots of loud birds. Shortly after we anchored, I was in the water. This time there were mostly the red things that caught my eyes.

Like this Encrusting orange sponge (Rdeča žilavka). And in the middle of it was the worm (Tulčasti cevkar), and this time not only his yellow tentacles were visible, but also his body, encased in sand.

This pretty thing is one of the Triplefin Blennies, direct translation from Slovene would be Red wandering blenny (Rdeči sprehajalček). It is small and difficult to spot, but it is at least as beautiful as any tropical fish.
Update: after consulting my books and Internet again I think this might be different sort of Triplefin Blenny (Pritlikavi sprehajalček). I love the Italian name - Peperoncino minore.

I actually wanted to take a photo of a Blue sponge (Modra spužva), only later on computer I noticed the Rock Goby (Mrki glavač), blinking surprised into the lens.

And a close up of Trumpet anemone (Marmornata morska vetrnica).

This is the same kind Triplefin Belnny (Rdeči sprehajalček) as above, just without it's mating colours

Couldn't find out the name of this sponge, but I found it pretty

This was a very sad sight - somebody obviously caught the Stingray (Navadni morski bič), and then threw it away. I was really upset by this, especially when I found another one not far away. What a pity for such a unique animal. I am not a vegetarian, but I believe it is not moral to kill unless the whole animal is used for food.

It looks like the Sepia (Sipa) was trying to hypnotise me

This round red thing is actually a Sponge  (Morska žogica), that is protecting a Hermit crab (Raka samotarca). But at a first glance it looks like the small red ball is moving across the sea floor without any help. Only if you get close very fast, you can see small crab legs under it, which quickly disappear under the sponge. I didn't want to lift the whole thing up and take a look, and scare the poor Hermit crab even more.

Next morning we moved to a small island to the West to do some more snorkelling.

We anchored in the turquoise water. I jumped into the water and was a bit disappointed. There was not much to see, but there were couple of Red mullets and Two banded Sea Bream (Progasti bradači in Fratrc).

This was the first time I saw Sargassum algae (Sargaška alga).

And there was finally a new tunicate - a type of Social tunicate (Koničasti plaščar).

After snorkelling we sailed on to island Rab to meet my brother and his family. We had a lovely evening together and next day we sailed alog the island of Rab towards mainland and then around the corner to bay Mag. Last year when we were there I really liked it, but unlike this time we were alone in whole bay then. This time there were many many motorboats there, so many one could hardly see the beach from the boat. We anchored in deeper water to have at least a little bit of space around us.

I went snorkelling and chose to swim along the rocky coast out of the bay, there were no motorboats or swimmers in the deeper water. Despite the totally barren above-water landscape in the bay, the under water landscape is rich and colourful.

I was again drawn to red things - like this Red algae (Škrlatna sluzavka), that swayed with the waves.

I think this is another Red algae called Jania (Janija).

I know I posted many photos of Hermit crabs (Obročkasti samotarec), but this one was so very pretty.

And another Red Seasquirt (Rdeči kozolnak ali Morska breskev)

It was just impossible to ignore this beautiful Red tubeworm (Pisani pokrovčar).

The Mediterranean Feather Star (Morska lilija)

This was one of the few Octopusses (Hobotnica) that I saw; but what I did see were plenty of men in dark neoprene suits with long spearguns, shooting at anything that moved. I tried to keep the distance, they looked scary and I wasn't sure they wouldn't mistaken me for a fish. I was also careful when taking photos of Octopuss, made sure before that none of the "navy seals" was watching me.

And this is a Weever (Navadni morski zmaj)

This is how the bay Mag on islad Rab looked like - and this was only part of the motorboats there, I tried counting them and stopped when I came to number 30. Poor people had to raft the boats together only to find some space, and then they were sitting or laying on their small boats the whole day. What a vacation! And here you can see how the bay looks outside the main season.

Late in the afternoon we returned to the South-West side of Rab. My nephew showed a lot of talent with steering the boat. And looks like he enjoyed it too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sailing from Krk to Kornat and back - part 3

I had to check my previous post to find out where I left off, that's how long it's been since then. When looking at photos, I noticed they are of a really bad quality. While I do upload them with lower resolution than original for easier loading and viewing, as I always did, I don't remember them ever to be so bad. I did some research and obviously there's been some changes in blogger, that by itself changes the quality of a photo regardless of how it was uploaded. The workaround I found was to edit html of a post and to change some parameters for every photo! While I'm absolutely not happy with this solution, I did edit last three posts, so you might want to check them again, photos do look a bit better.

Last update: just before publishing and after spending a whole day on this photos issue, I realised that the change in blogger affected last 5 posts - from June post "Suffering like an animal" on. I managed to restore the photo quality to what it normally is in my blog and I even may have a less painful (than html code editing) solution for future posts. Yay me! So please check out the last few posts, photos are really much better than before.

The night at Iž was calm and we slept well. We weren't alone though, one more sailboat spent the night in the anchorage, but far enough so they weren't disturbing us, nor we them. In the morning I went snorkelling again, and was again amazed of the amount of Fan mussels (Leščurjev) found in the bay.

In the middle of the day we set sails. Without a firm plan, with a nice wind from behind, we sailed on calm sea in the channel between Iž and Dugi otok towards South.

We weren't in a hurry and many times we sailed closer to one or the other shore to take a closer look of a bay or a beach. We found many pretty places, one of my favourite was this little island with a house on it. House is hidden behind the trees, there is a small jetty and it look really idyllic.

There was stronger North-East wind forecast for the night and we anchored in the bay on South-West of Lavdara. There were plenty of boats in the bay, it was quite crowded. There were surprisingly many fish in the water, like these Salemas (Salpe).

And I couldn't resist a portrait of smiling Tompot Blenny (Velike babice).

By the evening there were only three boats left - a bigger motor boat deeper in the bay, a small sailboat near us and us of course. I wasn't too happy with the way we were anchored, there was only a layer of sand on top of the rocky bottom and anchor could't dig in properly. And with fresh memories of a storm less than a week ago, we were a bit nervous. Luckily the bay was open to the South-West, so even if we would drag, we would be moving towards deeper water and away from the island. We even had a discussion about the weather with the guy on the small sailboat, and after seeing his anchor, I understood why he was even more worried then us. But luckily the night wasn't too bad, our anchor didn't move a bit, and the two other boats were ok too.

Morning was windy and rather fresh, not the weather one would wish for bathing and snorkelling. We sailed off straight  after breakfast. We meandered through the small islands near the end of Dugi otok, all very pretty with beautiful green blue water. We anchored at the West side of island of Kurba Mala.

There was nobody else there when we arrived. Well, except three very loud donkeys on the island.

But soon three motor boats anchored in the bay. There must be some magnetism that attracts people to anchor where somebody already is, there were plenty of empty nice spots around at other islands. But maybe it is too much to expect to have a pretty bay like this to oneself in high season.

Snorkelling was nice, and this one was captain's discovery - Mottled sea hare (Veliki morski zajček), one of the biggest - and fattest - sea slugs.

We also saw some Pilow corals (Jadranskih kamenih koral) and Red Tubeworms (Pisane pokrovčarje).

Almost every day we did some boat chores. This was one of the biggest projects - we had to repair the hatch that was leaking. The problem was, that it wasn't leaking at the seal, but it was not properly built in. So we had to remove it completely...

... clean all the adhesive from the surrounding area ...

... and the hatch,...

... and buid it in again. And now it not only looks pretty, it is also water tight.

In the evening the wind got a bit stronger and we decided to move to Ugljan for the night. There was a big moon in the sky and it was a while since we did any night sailing, so we were excited about it. Sailing was very nice, wind was Northerly and we were sailing as high into it as we could. There is so many lights shining from every island and many buoys, one has a hard time to recognise the lighthouses. It would be very tough without a GPS and the newest maps, and even so we almost sailed into the buoy at the edge of the fish farm.

Shortly before midnight we anchored in a bay North of Mali Ždrelac pass. Radar came very handy, as always when we anchor at night or in tight spaces. Only in the morning we saw how pretty our anchorage was.

We enjoyed pretty scenery and the nice weather and it was well after noon when we sailed on. We were tacking (zig-zagging) against the wind all the time and made it to Južna luka at the upper part of island Ugljan. The bay is nice, but nothing special, so we sailed off again right after breakfast the next morning. We wanted to stop at Tri sestrice (Three sisters) near island of Sestrunj, one of my favourite snorkelling spots from last year. Wind was exactly on the nose, and we were tacking the whole way through the narrow channel between Rivanj and Sestrunj. It was a lot of work.

But it was worth it, the bay at middle one of Tri sestrice islands looked beautiful...

... and there were all the pretty things under the water. Like this Tompot Blenny (Velika babica). It is difficult not to make photos of them, as they pose so patiently.

This is my first decent photo of a Spider Crab (Veliki morski pajek). They are so overgrown with algae, that it is difficult to spot them, and even when I do and shoot the photo, it can happen that I delete it, because later I can not recognise what's on it.

And another Red Tubeworm (Pisani pokrovčar).

There were plenty of Mediterranean Feather Stars (Morskih lilij) around.

In the afternoon we sailed off again, tacking towards North-East, from where the wind was blowing, of course. But it was a nice sail, with gin&tonic and all.

Late in the afternoon we anchored on the South side of Olib. There were several boats there already, mainly in front of the sandy beach, and we kept to the right side of the bay, to have some distance from the others. And then the fleet of charter sailboats, some 15 of them, started arriving, and for some unknown reason most of them anchored around Heron. They were loud, shouting to each other, dragging the anchors, constantly sailing the dinghies. I was not very happy, but it has already gotten too late to move elsewhere. Luckily by the night they all managed to anchor properly, and soon children went to sleep and the noise stopped. The night wasn't that bad after all.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sailing from Krk to Kornat and back - part 2

There is so much happening this summer, I only just found some time to write another post.

The night when we were anchored near Olib was much quieter and calmer than the one before, with no nasty surprises in the early morning. Weather was nice and sunny on Monday. Of course we had to do some boat chores, but there was time enough for me to go snorkelling. These are some of my finds.

Pig-tooth coral (Kamnito nakovalce)

Hermit crab (Obročkasti samotarec)

This was one of the weirdest things I saw - this Gobie (Peščeni glavač) was trying to eat some kind of worm, but was having troubles to get the big thing down. I watched for a while, how he shook his head and tried to swallow some more, he obviously could bite it off. And as you see his belly is already looking quite full, don't know where he would put the rest of the worm. Since it was taking some time, I didn't stick around long enough to see how it ended and who won - the Gobie or the worm.

I was quite shocked how very few octopuses were around. Until now I was always good at finding them, but on this entire trip, not just here in Olib, there were hardly any around. But I saw a lot of divers in full neoprene gear and long spear guns swimming in every bay we've been to and I guess they took many of the octopuses. This one was one of the just two I saw in Olib that day.

Another funny animal is Sepia (sipa), who also can change colours in a flash. Here she is in lighter and below in darker outfit.

In the afternoon we sailed off, and we landed on Molat, only some 12 miles away. It was again getting very hot, even in the evening. The bay where we anchored was well protected, but full of boats - maybe exactly for the reason. It wasn't exactly my kind of place, way to many people and boats on a small space.

So the next morning we sailed off right after Captain got some fresh bread from the village, and we had breakfast on the way. Next we stopped on the South side of Molat for snorkelling. Place wasn't really protected and holding wasn't the best, but it was pretty and the water crystal clear.

Snorkelling was nice, many of the usual suspects were there, and also this little beauty - I actually photographed the Tube worm (Cevkarja), and only later when I was looking at the photos on my computer, discovered delicate lace to it's right - the Bryozoa called Neptune's Lace in Slovene (Neptunove čipke). I always get so excited when I discover something new.

Banded dye-murex  (Čokati volek)

Then we sailed  between Veli Tun and Mali Tun (Big and Small Tuna)...

...and were sailing on the East side of Dugi otok in direction South. There was just enough wind for nice sailing, the sun was shining, and we really enjoyed it.

We didn't have exact plan where we were going and while on the way, I was studying the maps to find a place less crowded for the night. As the wind was dying late in the afternoon, we made it to North side of island Iž. And we couldn't believe it - we were the only boat in "our" bay. We saw several more boats in the next bay, where the restaurant is, but they were far enough from us. We anchored in 6m of water, and I put mask and fins on and went to check on the anchor and to see, what is laying down below.

Anchor was nicely dug into the sand, and there were unbelievable amount of Fan mussels (Leščurjev) around. It might have something to do with the fish farm, that is fairly near the anchorage, maybe Fan mussels like all the nutrients in the water.

Another thing that I've noticed was that almost all of them were decorated with other organisms - this one had a beautiful Mediterranean Feather Star (Morsko lilijo) attached to it's side...

... and this one had the Mediterranean Fan Worm (Spalancanijevim cevkarjem) draped over it.

And then there were some that were really showing off with their decoration.

And I also discovered something new - this is Vermetus, I couldn't find English name, translated from Slovene it would be Attached Snail (Priraščeni polž). It has a soft lid, and when disturbed it pulls its tentacles and body inside the tube and closes it. They were always too fast for me to manage to photograph more than the lid.