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.
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.
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.