Dalmatian delights

Our last destination report found us berthed in charming Mali Losinj’s central harbour. In the few weeks following that stop, we’ve anchored in several peaceful bays including Molat and Dugi Otok Islands, and we also lucked out with the weather for a stunning day to cruise by the rocky yet somehow mystical national park islands of Kornati. We stopped a night at Murter where the boat had been on the hardstand for two weeks back in early March – just to dine on Kezo Restaurant’s infamous fish soup and steak and mushrooms that we’d been dreaming of since we’d left.

A few nights were also berthed in Sibenik marina where we’d originally taken possession of the boat. Here we feasted on mussels and hunkered down an extra day to avoid forecast wind gusts of 60 knots. It was then onto Primosten and Trogir – where we’d also visited two months prior and the streets had been practically deserted at the time. But with summer season now on the brink, the narrow cobblestone pathways had quickly become a squeeze with tour groups and wooden liveaboard gulet cruiser boats tied up at the promenades. 

After toasting an early 70th birthday celebration for our guest Aunty Robyn, we bid farewell as she departed fittingly with her suitcase loaded in the dinghy enroute to Split Airport. Below is a collection of photos from the last few weeks – including another new sail out from the wardrobe (a gennaker), more seafood feasts (that slab of caught-this-morning tuna sashimi cost the equivalent of about A$1.80 – wowza) and Mike’s new fishing rod (hope-to-catch-our-own-soon) toy.

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Dad gave mum and I a slight fright when he decided to take a much closer look at an abandoned Cold War submarine bunker. It’s understood they were located at strategic points of defence for Tito’s powerful Yugoslav Navy and could fit two submarines end-to-end. This was one of three bunkers along a small stretch of coast on Dugi Otok. They would have once been camouflaged with heavy nets covering the full height of the entrance and serviced by dozens of crew for maintenance and refuelling – evidence of which could be seen from the network of rooms and chambers disappearing off into the walls of the bunker. Whilst the camera flash helped here to show through to the end of the tunnel, the naked eye could not see far past the eerie darkness. Amazingly today they remain in perfect condition and free to inspect – not boarded up or covered with no trespassing signage.    

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For the next few days we are berthed at ACI Split Marina, a short walk from the historical, walled town centre and palm-lined promenade. Dad has a number of maintenance projects and tradesmen lined up here – including sail bag and bimini repairs, new covers made for the BBQ and trike, electrical wiring of the solar panels and additional fabrication deliveries from Vlad in Zagreb. He’s also part way through adding shelving and re-arranging storage compartments around the boat. We wonder when he’ll run out of projects and sit back to totally relax and enjoy the fruits of his labour. But for those of you who know dad, well that will likely never happen!

The most noteworthy anchorage recently was alongside the village of Skradin. Getting there required motoring seven kilometres down Krka Riverand under two bridges – one of which the mast only cleared by about six metres. It appeared nail-bitingly close when witnessed from sea level, but no better way to see the marginal clearance than from atop the mast in the boson’s chair – Mike’s Go Pro footage to follow soon.

Skradin was where swans visited us regularly and the main attraction was the impossibly striking cascades and waterfalls of Krka National Park located a few kilometres upstream. We’ll leave you with a handful of the (far too many) photos taken from that enchanted sanctuary.

With now just one month remaining on our Croatian visitor visas, we will be sure to soak up all that we love about this beautifully diverse country before moving onto Montenegro, Albania and then Greece.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    We;re having the same weather here in Scotland….I don’t think. When I’m at Kip Marina at the weekend it doesn’t matter what the weather is like. Enjoy……Tony.B

  2. Anonymous says

    Is that the same park that you were in when you were backpacking through Europe? There was a picture of you going up a boardwalk and steps up a hill beside a stream.

    Your cooking looks like it is something you would get at a fancy restaurant. Are the muffins yours, or Auntie Robyn’s? And what are the things with the coconut on them, wings, or potatoes or??

    Love the Captain’s hat.

    Love and miss you both, hugs and kisses. Mom V

  3. Anonymous says

    Wow another fabulous blog, gosh guys I don’t need to go myself just seeing your photos makes me feel like I’m there anyway. I am definitely going to be putting this beautiful country on our European list in 10 years time when we have retired. Had I not seen it from your perspective I wouldn’t have worried. Amazing journey for you all. Keep them coming.

    Love Julie xxx

  4. Anonymous says

    Looking fabulous. Great photos and commentary Brooke. Col, what is happening with the flying machine?
    Regards,
    Greg

  5. says

    Woohoo! Awesome to have a few extra comments on this post – great to see we’re working out the annoymous sign in option. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Jaclyn, Tony, Mom V, Julie and Greg!

    Eva – the waterfalls pictured here are Krka National Park. In 2006, Mike and I went to the bigger, more well known falls of Plitvice Lakes NP which is several hours further north. I believe there are three waterfall NPs like this in Croatia. Just breathtaking! And yes Mike’s cooking has stepped up a notch I reckon – we have never eaten better in our lives. Often we have access to morning fish markets and extensive fruit and vegetable markets, all from local fisherman or nearby farms (Split’s markets have been the best so far). Meal planning and trying different dishes has become a real joy. Slow food all the way! I (Brooke) cooked the chicken tenders – they are with coconut and I also baked the banana muffins with choco centers. I’m not a good cook, but with time on my hands I am trying to improve! We love and miss you both too xx

    Julie – Croatia definitely should be on your list! We will bring you Greece and Turkey next for consideration on the Europe itinerary ok! Glad you are loving the pictures and following along with us x

    Greg – thanks also for your kind words, I’m loving being able to share photos with everyone. But I often drag my feet on writing the commentary, hence why it is often a good few days behind. The trike is now fully secured to the stern and currently having a new cover made by the sail makers in Split. As you know dad hasn’t flown on floats, only wheels. Unfortunately the Austrian instructor he had lined up to teach him water landings fell through, so there is currently a search on for another instructor. He has a few leads and may need to wait till Greece next month where trikes are popular. Lots of people land on the boat here, but not the floats. As you can expect – dad is getting frustrated, but will definitely be updates once she is in the air!

    Thanks again friends and please keep using the ‘anonymous’ option to sign in and leave your comments. New post due soon! Brooke and the crew x

  6. Anonymous says

    Just loving your adventures…photography is amazing a fantastic job…looks beautiful love to you all xxx so wish we were with you..but through your eyes we are..karlee and terry

  7. Anonymous says

    Hi I just wanted to tell you that I’m really glad you’re enjoying my country. I’m from Šibenik which is very close to NP Krka. I hope you’ll be back with some new friends. Love from Croatia 🙂

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