Pag, Novigrad, Zrmanja with Isabell, Sep 2016

Posted Sept. 2, 2017 at 12:41

(Last year) Calm summer weather was holding late September at the time we were done with Molat.  To spice things up, I suggested we could explore the infamous Velebit Channel, where hurricane force winds are the norm with any weather disturbance, and venture into the small Novigrad ("Newtown") Sea (small lake really, but they call everything 'Sea' around here).


But, before I go on, in the last blog (Cruising with Isabell 2016 Part 2), I forgot to mention that we sailed by (or more properly ahead of) a waterspout (water-tornado) near the island of Scedro, just south of Hvar...  Isabell was behind us, hence even closer to the disturbance, but didn't take a photo...   Here's ours:


I guestimated its water-level white spray about 100-200m wide...



Part of the zig-zag passage of Pag, Velebit in the background

We had a nice southerly to use to sail through the zig-zag of channels between the south end of Pag island and the mainland...  This area doesn't have much vegation as the storm force Bora regularly blows here, especially in the winter.   But this time Velebit was welcoming too, so we found a quiet bay under the mountain to spend the night before heading into the Novigrad Sea.  The next morning we crossed under the tall road-bridge over the 'Sea' entrance and found a cozy spot to anchor rafted together with Isabell in the river-like bay of Novigrad.

The first thing we did...

... after having a beer ...

... was to climb to high ground ...

... to the ruins ...

... of the old fort providing spectacular views all around.

We were done with the exploration of Novigrad by lunchtime... As we descended the narrow alleyways looking for a place to have a quick bite, we passed a number of private houses with firepits going and spreading yummy fumes and fish to be grilled ready...  Alas, we didn't make an offer they couldn't refuse, though we showed an interest and appreciation, thinking we would find an open place down on the long quay.

The quay didn't have any restaurants open at lunchtime - tourist season was over and this was September 26, 2016...  Fall, technically.

So, where next?  I was looking for a nice bay in the Novigrad Sea where we could anchor out... The Raymarine charts attached to the navigation computer showed something like a river entrance with no depth information provided.  So I looked it up on my rarely used Raymarine phone app, an lo and behold a much finer accuracy map showed a river snaking its way inland, navigable for 6 miles until a bridge.  The Zrmanja river.   We motored over, and just made it all the way to Obrovac and its bridge by sundown.

We just couldn't stop being awestruck by the beauty of this river canyon...  It kept surprising us with each turn, the scenery slowly changing to more serene as we proceeded further inland


The entrance to the canyon is narrow and scenic...



The Obrovac Welcome Comittee...
(sorry, no pictures of Obrovac and it's bridge. But they are available online...)


The Leader of the Pack coming up to our transom and telling us in a very loud voice to go away from their anchoring spot.  Sorry. Eventually they gave up and left  (I was having dreams of goose soup... mmmm...  medicine).

The morning sun behind our back, Velebit ahead

The duet heading down the river.

This was Mars, when it still had water...

The exit is right around this corner.


- Z -