Ports Appendices

These are brief notes on the ports and anchorages we have visited so far. They by no means cover Croatia, that will take us a couple more years to do and probably not until 2006/07.

The place and its people were dead but nobody seems to have told them so they keep coming out to play each day. A fairly boring port through which we completed our Croatian paperwork and to be fair, the Customs officer could not have been more helpful and considerate. Mooring in the port itself is discouraged by the Port Police and that pushes you into the marina on the opposite side of the bay, a two-mile walk away from the main town and its tavernas. Perhaps it would be a little better in season but we didn't think so.

Porec ('Poor Wretch' of which we saw none)
Here they depend on tourism and they know it. The little marina's service was fantastic and the town quaint with a strong renovated Roman look about it; both town and its people were quite delightful. Even the Internet service in the tourist office and the marina was free! We shall return.

Rovinj (Rovinya)
A picturesque harbour with its ancient square on a busy and unspoilt waterfront; bustling even in early March.

The main marina for Pula 4 miles to its North and we walked it, Charlie's new hip and all!! Pula's older parts are pedestrianised and famous for an Irish poet who some will know, James Joyce, who spent a few happy years whiling away the days in a coffee bar and we can identify with that quite readily. Pula's vegetable market was to die for whilst the marina facilities were far from acceptable.

Mali Lošinj (Mali Lonzinya)
Fabulous! A land locked 2-mile inlet on an island of the same name at the end of which nestles this little harbour (and marina) that is so full of life. It was a wrench to leave it behind. The waterside buildings were originally built as sea captains houses and have retained most of that natural character despite having adopted new and more modern roles serving tourism that, even in March, was fairly bustling. We moored alongside the Port Police office and were invited within to have all our documents thoroughly checked by a charming English speaking senior officer. We shall return.

Just an island with a very safe and well protected anchorage where we passed a very peaceful night in the company of the local fishermen and their nets. Anchor behind the islet of Brguljski.

Zlatna Luka Marina
A modern, beautifully designed but soulless marina serving the Zadar region and Zadarski Kanal. A beautiful 20-mile channel between the mainland and Ugljan and Pasman islands. Despite its modern design, the showers were open-air and the water wasn't even on in them. A good job we have hot showers aboard. Nicer at night though when there is the shimmering reflection of the shore lights dancing across the flat calm waters towards you as you sip your nightcap.

Tribunj (Trib un ya)
A quiet little port with a brand new and very classy, if expensive marina, its buildings built in a classical style. Eat in Kovobo Bepo near the marina for 300 Kunar (£27), 2 starters, 2 'Bepo' special mixed grills, 1 litre of wine and water. Yummy boys fodder again.

Šibenik (Shibernick)
A bustling city port secreted behind a hilly foreshore and entered via a 1.4 mile narrow channel that is the estuary of the Krk River. Again a Romanesque old town of narrow marble stone streets and three and four-storey buildings built into or on the rock escarpments that formally formed the fortified town (lot of 'forms' there!).

A village and fresh water marina 10 miles inland from Sibenik where you are entertained by three varieties of loudly croaking frogs though the trip up under bridges and overhead power cables was exceedingly stressful with a 62' mast and an inability to measure one against the other with any certainty. Here is the entrance to the Krka National Park and waterfalls, a stunningly beautiful area not to be missed.

A sea enclosed peninsula hill completely encased in quaint little stone built houses, topped with a church and bell tower with the grandest imaginable graveyard. They certainly bury in style here, marking their gravestones with framed photographs and their date of birth engraved before they're in residence! At least we presumed that is the case, as there is no death date on many, as yet.

Rogoznica (Rogoz nich ka - as in Ford)
Just a quay really, backed by stone built houses and Konobos. Konobos are variously described, sometimes as 'Buffets' but are small family run restaurants over which the family live and within which they serve simple but wholesome local food. Antonio's here served us well and inexpensively with mussels in white wine, spag bog, mixed grill and mushroom risotto. Not a lot else here to enjoy.

Split (Pronounced - Split)
Whilst being a busy seaport with ferries coming and going several times an hour, it has an historic charm that demands a stay. Its centre is built in and around the remnants of the 3rd century AD's Emperor Diocletian's 31,000m² fortified Palace within which 3,000 people still live and work amongst its extant but much-modified marble streets and buildings. Its allure draws you in with a strange feeling of walking a living Roman history.

Trogir (Trog 'ear)
A bit like Stratford upon Avon except it was built 500 years before Shakespeare was born, he was never there and it hasn't got a theatre. But it has channels between its three parts (2 islands and the mainland) that flow like rivers with a fairly consistent 2-4 knot northward current. Makes mooring up fun, which it was, right outside the South Gate and the Cipiko Palace with its stunning carved triforium (nicked that bit from The Lonely Planet). Right where the 13th century traders moored we think.

Hvar (Town)
Yet another beautiful, marble paved, stone built medieval town, overlooked by a magnificent castle. It has a large square around which the town nestles but somehow it feels like a tourist trap, not a living town within which people live and work their everyday lives. And the harbour is far from being a safe haven; exposed to Southerly winds and Northerlies producing a swell that makes the quay uncomfortable if not untenable even in fair winds, though there is a safe marina 2 miles away on an adjacent island, served by a water taxi.

Quaint little harbour and village where we could not find a safe space to moor so had to leave. Amazing sand bar and hotel tourist spot.

Vrboska (Try to say it and you'll be right)
Enchantingly known as "Little Venice"; a village at the end of a 1 mile inlet on Hvar that narrows to a river width, crossed by several stone bridges. Cute character and a very safe haven.

Sucaraj (Think its Sue jar ray)
A super little village of great charm though the narrow entry is generally traumatic with a full following sea pushing you in passed threatening rocks. Don't miss the Kiwi run Konobo's English breakfast, yum!

A quaint (if desperate for visitors) little village at the western end of the Peljesac Peninsula, giving excellent all round shelter in all but westerlies.

Korcula (Core chew la)
A famous fortified medieval peninsula town with harbours on both sides; very convenient for protection. There is a marina but boy is it tight for a 14m yacht. Known to be too busy in the high season.

The main marina (6 kms from the Old Town) is built around a redundant riverside convent or monastery and is in the fresh water part of a river so watch out for the 4-knot current! And the Old Town, well what can you say? It is one of the wonders of our current world thankfully protected for posterity by Unesco funds and Croatian pride. But it is comparatively pricey!!

Okuklje on Mljet (god knows)
Tranquil, totally enclosed and safe anchorage with a small, extremely welcoming village community. Try Konobo Maran and tell them you are friends of the lady who dislocated her hip.

Lastovo Ubli
Ubli is the port, Lasotovo the island, the jump off point for (or arrival from) Italy where you can clear customs at the local bar. A sign says "office open 17-20". It wasn't so we sat and drank vodka tonics until, some considerable time later, the harbourmaster phoned the port policeman to get him down to "stamp" us out of Croatia. Hic!

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