After much debate about where to go next, we finally decided on Split, as we had a few days of overcast skies and rain that wasn’t any good for swimming. So off we went from Bol, around the top end of Brac and through the narrow channel that separates Brac from Solta and then onto Split. We saw a steady stream of charter boats coming out from Split after the weekend changeover – another reason for visiting Split mid-week as marina berths are 15% cheaper with all the charter boats away.

We thought about pulling up to the city wall, which you can evidently use for free but it was quite crowded and with the weather changing we decided to check into the ACI Marina. Here, we managed a somewhat poor impersonation of someone who actually knew what they were doing vis-a-vis Mediterranean mooring. The problem arose when the marina guy insisted that we hook on our front line first, whereas our game plan was to hook on our back and pivot on that. Anyway despite that we did manage to get settled into our berth and quickly decided that bikes were the way to get around. Brad and Bec hired two and we dug out our fold up bikes from the front hatch.

Then we went exploring. It took us a while to find the old city but we eventually got there and had a good wander. The old city is based around some wonderful Roman ruins, centred around a fortified Roman palace from about 300AD, built by a bloke called Diocletian, most of which is still standing today. After exploring the old city, we adjourned to one of the harbourside restaurants for a nice meal.

Next day was a bike riding day. We decided to explore the wonderful national park, which is a hill called Marjan on the end of the peninsula where the city of Split is located. It is covered in a dense Mediterranean pine forest and is completely surrounded by the city and the sea, making it rather unique. The good citizens of Split have used it as a park since the 3rd century, and has become a favorite weekend excursion destination and a recreational center for the city – a bigger version of Kings Park. It has some lovely little beaches, all surrounded by the scenic forest.

Brad and Bec had reasonable bikes so they took off up to the top of the 180m high hill where there was botanical gardens and the city’s zoo. The fold up bikes were more suited to the flat ride around the coast so I headed along the exquisite ring road that passed under a canopy of trees, calling in at quaint little beaches and coves along the way. Cas decided to give the park a miss and rode back from the entrance to check out the nice beach with a water polo stadium that we spotted on the way there.

We got back to the boat just in time to witness a thunderstorm that bucketed down rain in all directions.

That night we decided to do a bit of a pub crawl, starting with a Champagne Bar that we had spotted earlier in our stay. We caught the ferry from the marina across to the old town to find the Champagne Bar closed because it was no longer high season. Never mind, we found champagne close by and then found a restaurant bar doing wonderful food combined with wine tasting. Perfect.

Next morning, with the weather clearing and a sunny day predicted we left Split heading for the Blue Lagoon, which we had originally spied on a tourist poster.

For pictures of Split see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200322075007412.1073741872.1620379103&type=1&l=e545fc8674

Home Delivery – Pizza and Cocktails

We pulled up anchor from F#$k W@t B^y and headed around the top of Hvar Island towards Brac. It was another 25nm sail to Bol on the south coast of Brac, which is separated by a narrow channel from Hvar.

As we sailed down the channel between the two islands, we marvelled at the farms that went steeply up narrow near vertical valleys. Brac is the most mountainous of the islands, with its beautiful white stone used all over Croatia, Europe and even the white house in Washington, DC.

About half way up the island we pulled the sails down and anchored off the world famous beach at Dugi Rat. Unfortunately the wind came up about the same time so we didn’t stop – we pulled up anchor pretty well straight away and headed to Bol, just around the corner.

Bol is renowned for being pretty blowy, so we opted to moor stern to on the town wall. We did a pretty good job of parking next to a big power boat, on only our second med mooring attempt, the first being Gibraltar.

Our berth was right on the restaurant strip at what we discovered was a very pretty little town. 10m away was a very nice little pizza joint and that’s where we headed first. After lunch we discovered the picturesque tree-lined walkway that took us down to Dugi Rat, some 2kms away, the start of which was lined with stalls selling the famous Brac stoneware.

Next day, the weather forecast was perfect for a day at the beach, so off we went in our best bikinis to check out the famous beach. The Dugi Rat beach is a triangle of beach that juts out into the sea, looking across to Hvar island at the other side of the strait. As you walk along the cliffs to get there, you look down to a simply stunning scene, with clear translucent water surrounding an umbrella covered, pebbled point.

We lashed out and purchased four lounge chairs, metres from the sea for the day at 50 kunas each and swam and lounged around until after lunch. The beach bar sold Coronas so we had a beer each under a beautiful sunny sky. I’m glad we didn’t come in the height of summer as I’m sure this beach would have been packed to the rafters. As it was, people have different ideas of personal space in this part of the world and we had people park themselves on the beach just right in front of us.

That night we visited Bol’s trendiest cocktail bar (about 50m down the broad-walk from La Mischief) and enjoyed some sought of town festival, with stalls selling local cooking and townsfolk dressing up in some traditional garb. As we listened to live folk music, we sipped on our cocktails and ate the local food. I’ve been hooked on Mojitos ever since Kevin and Di fed them to me in Gibraltar and in Bol, I was introduced to Royal Mojitos – something we were most impressed with – it was like a Mojito but with champagne and aged rum. Yummy!

We were enjoying Bol so much that we stayed an extra day and walked up to the monastery, which is in the opposite direction to Dugi Rat. The wind had come back up so our thinking was that we would have a swim here rather than at Dugi Rat.

That afternoon we ran into some fellow Aussies in James and Gaila, together with their friend Claire, on their yacht Mercier moored around the corner from us, and invited them over for drinks and pizza. We convinced the pizza restaurant to deliver the pizzas to La Mischief and Marinko obliged, together with cutlery and white napkins.

Declaring the home delivery of pizzas a success, we then asked if Marinko did cocktails. His restaurant didn’t but he simply went a couple of doors up and got them from there. Marinko, with a lovely smile, expertly delivered 7 cocktails on a tray over the gang-plank, made our night.

An excellent way to end of stay in what was a very picturesque little place.

For pictures of Bol and Dugi Rat see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200309810860816.1073741871.1620379103&type=1&l=a8956275e5