Just a few miles north is a well protected anchorage we
chose to use. Inside the national park there are only a few approved
places to stay overnight. There is one “marina” in the park but
it is really limited in that is has electricity for only a few hours each day
and limited water. No reason to go there.
U. Lopatica is a fairly decent anchorage that has two
islands protecting it from most winds and waves. As we have done before
we anchor out deeper than charter boat will to avoid the afternoon
madness. The anchorage also has a small restaurant onshore with a small
quay that manages to fit about 8-10 boats with shallow draft. A couple of
38 foot sailboat and 35 foot powerboats were on the quay when we arrived.
The nation park here charges differently that the other
national park we visited on Miljet. At Miljet you paid by the person for
use of the park, so for two people it was a good deal to anchor there.
Here with all the charter boats with 8-12 people on each they would scare them
off with such a pricing scheme. So here they gouge you the first night,
charge less the next and the third night we got for free. This encourages
charters to stay a couple of nights in the park.
Snorkeling along the shoreline proved to be boring at
best. I assume with the loss of vegetation on the islands, the aquatic
life is also hampered. The bottom is rock, sand, sea urchins and sea
cucumbers. There are fish however and two mornings a pair of dolphins
came through feeding on the fish.
We stayed two nights here since it was a good anchorage and
the charter boats were far enough away to not cause too much annoyance.
One observation here was that three Austrian boats came in a
could not anchor properly. They kept dropping their anchors in places too
close to others or in huge patches of weeds that prevent the anchor from
grabbing. Two of them eventually left, I assume to go to the marina while
the other was stubborn and after four tries eventually got secured.
Watching this I assume that they all took the same schooling by book but not in
Another observation was the local restaurant and now the
reasons why I will not eat at these isolated places. On the hillside
there is a small flock of sheep and lambs. One of the main local
restaurant fares is lamb cooked over a wood fire (thus the lack of
trees). In the morning one of the restaurant workers took a small boat
over to the flock, culled out two lambs, tied them up and threw them on the
boat. Obviously back at the restaurant they were slaughtered for the
meals to be prepared that day. Once slaughtered a boat left the
restaurant, went about one kilometer away and tossed the sheepskin and entrails
on the rocks along the bay. Not very pleasant to see when this is
supposed to be a national park.
I kayaked over toward the restaurant later that day and came
to realize that there is no freshwater except what is brought in by boat so how
are things washed? Also they has a small and loud electrical generator
running during the day to supply electricity but it did not run at night so how
are things kept cold for the next day (there is no electric on most islands
unless you make it yourself). So slaughtering lambs, gutting fish and then
preparing meals in the same place with limited water and refrigeration turns me
off from eating at these places.
One other point is the lack of parental control on the use
of dingies. It appears that any age child is allowed to take the small 3
hp dingy out and around. Not unusual to see 5-7 year olds out
alone. This night the anchorage was lit up with a SAR (Safety and Rescue)
boat entering the cove at night, very dangerous since there are no navigation
light around the islands identifying rocks and reefs. It turns out they
had to rescue two small boys who wandered out in there dingy and obviously got
lost or ran out of fuel. It goes hand in hand with the complete lack of
helmet wearing on motor scooters, no use of seatbelts even for children or
forget about a child seat. There must be a lot of injured children in the
Anchorage before the arrival of the charter boaters.
Dolphins, actually porpoise, passing through feasting on the
Afternoon in the anchorage with the charter boats arriving.