Tue 4 May 2010 10:12
Tuesday May 4
The wind remains fresh from the southeast. We awake to pastries and fresh
strawberries bought by the boys. We take a quick tour of the nearest fort
with commanding views of the town and harbor. We are asked to move and as
we are leaving a large Turkish Ocean-going tug takes our place. We thread
our way out the approach channel, raise sail and turn northwest up the
inshore channel towards Vodice and Tribunj, with the wind over our stern.
As we approach Biograd, we merge with a group of racers, many under
spinnaker coming out of the channel from Pirovac. They appear to be
largely charter boats and as time goes by we count maybe 60-80 boats in all.
The wind is gusting to 25 and several have knockdowns which provide
amusement for us. They finish off Biograd and we continue past Sukosan on
our own and into Zadar arriving around 6 pm and pull into a modern marina
next to the Maraska (Maraschino Cherry Liqueur) factory, a famous local
Zadar is an important regional centre, busy with ferries serving the
outlying islands of Dalmatia. A peninsula pointing northwest, on which the
Romans built a town, creates a natural harbor. The town was a thorn in
Venice's side in the Middle Ages until Crusaders captured it at her request.
Venice eventually gained full control by buying the town in 1409 (they had a
lot of money!). Because of the Turkish threat at that time it was then
heavily fortified. We take a rowboat ferry across the harbour to the
peninsula, where we find the interesting artworks of Nikola Basic - the
"Greeting to the Sun", a light show driven by photovoltaic energy captured
from the sun; and the "Sea Organ", a delightful installation in perforated
stone stairs. Under these is a system of pipes and whistles. Wave action
pushes air through these, making strange, mournful, whale-like sounds,
creating a hypnotic effect as if the sea were talking to one.
We pass the unusual round church of Saint Donat, skirt the strong town
walls of the Fosa (an inlet to the east of the old fortified town) and find
Restoran Fosa, where the waiter Riko provides us with an excellent dinner
with a variety of local specialties and wines. Wandering back to the boat,
we cross a beautifully illuminated footbridge.