A pilot of the Island of Vis

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A pilot of the Island of Vis
LUKA ROGAČIĆ
In the most indented part of the northern island's shore, on the western part from the Port of Vis, is the deeply indented Rogačić Bay, which is protected from all winds. It is made up of two bays, Parja, a narrower and longer one on the west, and Rogačić a bay that is slightly more open to the bura (north-eastern wind). On the opposite side, in the hill, the army built a tunnel which was used as a shelter for torpedo boats. To the east of it is a small concrete pier.
The port is additionally protected from northerly winds by Škojić where wild onions grow and which was once a cliff and today is a small peninsula. The sea bottom is muddy, on some parts it is covered with seaweed and the depth varies from four to ten metres in the centre of Parja Bay. The road to Vis is just half an hour away on foot whist on the hills above the nearby bays of Vela and Mala Svitnja, are the English fortresses, the powerful George Fortress, that is, the Fortica and half of the Bentich tower which is known by its toponym, Terjun by the people of Vise.
STONČICA
Although facing north-east, Stončica is quite protected from the bura (north-eastern) and similar winds, thanks to its length and spiral shape, which partially makes it one of the safest on the island of Vis. This certainly applies to its southern part where the depth of the sea reaches six metres whilst the distance between the two shores is a hundred and fifty metres. The sea bottom is covered with sand so anchors should be well embedded and whilst anchored you may be disturbed by whirls of a number of winds that, when becoming strong, bounce in all directions from the high shore. In spite of that, Stončica is a prime choice for navigation experts who want to enjoy solitude and still be a step from civilisation. There is a fishermen's and weekend settlement in the bay of the same name and on the sandy beach itself surrounded by palm trees, is a highly appreciated restaurant run by the Linćir brothers.
Stončica is also famous for one of the largest open-sea lighthouses on the Adriatic which emerges high up over the low and protruding cape where its eastern shore ends. On the other side, a thousand metres in a westerly direction, the hill climbs from the sea into the Stracine Cape which protects Stončica as well as the Vela Cavojnica bay in front of it, from the powerful waves created by north wind and the afternoon landward breeze.
GRADAC, SLATINA AND TIHA
On the northern part of the island of Vis, almost half way from Vis to Komiža, is the three-point bay comprising Gradec, Slatina and Tiha. The bay's shores end in pebble beaches exposed to the waves and provoked by the landward breeze, the north wind and bura (north-eastern wind). When the low pressure area above the Adriatic intensifies, when the south winds from east and west alternate, this bay is a true oasis for navigation experts in search of peace and solitude.
If, during the day, the landward breeze blows, a good choice would be Tiha Bay in which, at a depth of ten metres and on sandy bottom covered with Mediterranean tape weed, you can throw your anchor and spend a day or two swimming here.
BUDIHOVAC
In the middle of the mini archipelago whose numerous islets and cliffs make the south-eastern part of Vis so special, on the island of Veli Budihovac is real little paradise for navigation experts. It is one of the most beautiful lagoons on the Adriatic and its pebble pearl beach. Protected from most winds and additionally hidden by Mali Budihovac and Sank cliffs and the shallow waters between them, the lagoon on Budihovac is a pleasant site for anchoring and an idyllic port worthy of spending the night. When you approach it, you must pay attention to the many areas of shallow water around Mali Budihovac and when you throw your anchor into the lagoon itself, you must bear in mind that, during low tide, the sea, at some points, lowers and reaches two metres. Those who like to spend time alone can find this lagoon on the eastern part of the island in a small bay opening towards the south, but protected from the landward breeze. On a sandy terrain in Budihovac is the grape variety plavac mali so it would be a pity not to try a glass of red wine from this special micro location.
RUKAVAC
The harbour of Rukavac is the largest and most protected bay on the south-eastern Vis coast. It is surrounded by the Polivalo and Gnjila capes and protected from the south wind by the largest islet of Vis, the mini archipelago of Ravnik. The Bay ends in two basins, Novi and Stari Rukavac. Novi Rukavac or Rukavac is a fishermen's village with a concrete pier where numerous fishing boats often unload their catch.
The pier is around twenty metres long and the depth from both sides reaches three metres.
On the eastern part, the depth suddenly decreases to just one metre and on the western part you should pay attention to the ropes mooring the local people's boats. Furthermore, on the west, is a favourite bathing site for the people of Vis, Tepluš. In the last couple of years, Rukavac has become famous as an apartment village where there are also two fish restaurants.
In Stari Rukavac boats are moored to lay ups and the village has preserved the characteristics of this idyllic fishermen's hamlet and is a good choice for those looking for a quiet corner.
The depth in the centre of the bay reaches eight metres whilst in Novi Rukavac it is a bit lower. The bottom is covered with plain terrain so that anchors tend to slide but when they get stuck it is necessary to go down and release it.
Komiža bay and Komiža port
The largest bay on the island of Vis, it is completely exposed to the western and south-western winds which create troublesome waves there, surrounded by Knez cape and illuminated by Stupišće, it has the shape of a horseshoe. The only shelter is located in Komiža port, behind the high breakwater reconstructed in 1996 and reinforced with concrete blocks. This has prevented moorings on its peak. The first thirty meters are reserved for fishing boats and larger vessels and from there, a hundred metres on are dedicated for navigation experts. The depth of the sea from the peak of the breakwater to the waterfront lowers gradually from six to two metres and moorings have lockers with water and electricity connections. There are some thirty moorings so that during the summer traffic they are easily filled whilst throwing the anchor in the centre of the port is advised only for the very patient and experienced seamen. In fact, the sea traffic in the most famous fishermen's town on the Adriatic is almost always more dense then the road traffic and the sandy bottom is full of lay-up blocks. The situation worsens when the strong southerly or south-westerly winds blow so if you are not sure of catching a mooring, it would be better to delay your visit to Komiža for a while.
PORAT (BIŠEVO)
Porat or the port on Biševo is a sandy bay located on the islet of Biševo and an excellent choice for an overnight stay if you are sure of the good weather conditions. In fact, it is completely open to the south-western wind, however when the landward breeze blows strongly, the sea in the bay is quite rough. You can spend a number of days anchored here as they bay is well protected from other winds. Although during the day in high season, be in the very centre of the tourist offer of the Vis aquatorium, after five pm, when the excursionists' board their boats that will take them back to Komiža or Vis, everything suddenly fades away and only local guests and navigation experts stay in the bay. The sea here is quite shallow and this is why it is not recommended to anchor forty metres from the beach. There is enough space for well anchored ten boats.