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Date: 14 Jun 2007 16:43:25
Title: Hrvatska the second installment

Hrvatska                                                                   Skardin 43:49.02N 15:55.32E

 

Skardin is about 20NM up the KRKA River.

 

The day after the Princess’s birthday instead of catching the ferry to HVAR we motored across and anchored in the harbour. Hvar is the best Venetian style town yet. Even better than Kotor which we loved. Our guests climbed to the Citadel (built in 1557 and known as Španjola) for a fantastic view while Irene and I went shopping for Christmas presents for Gabby, Richard, Hudson and soon to be born Cooper Turner as Steve and Rhonda offered to carry them back to NZ for us. Just east of the Španjola on St Nicholas Hill stands Napoleon’s Fortress built around 1811. Hvar is the sunniest place in the Adriatic with and average of 2718 hours per year. Hvar was originally colonised by the Greeks in 384BC. The largest town Pharos (now Stari Grad) and a smaller town Dimos which is now Hvar. The Venetians conquered in 1420 and ruled until 1797 and their buildings and town planning are superb. The oldest rendition of a European ship was found just outside Hvar and is dated from about 2700BC. Hvar is a long skinny island 68km long and 10.5km maximum width.

 

Steve found a bonzer place for lunch, a small grotto at the rear of a restaurant and we sat amongst the trees for lunch. Our waiter was a character and real Homer Simpson fan. (See tattoo below). Explored the town, went to the markets for fresh veggies and then off to Vela Garška to tie up stern too in splendid isolation. This didn’t last long and eventually we were joined by two other yachts. Deer kept appearing from the pine forests and meandering around the waters edge. Swannee continued with her Rummikub domination, no news from John Gilder so it must be a lay day in the Louis Vuiton Cup finals. Bob taught us a card game, using two packs called bastard gin. A fine game fast and funny.

 

 

Homer Simpson – why would you do it?                       The things you see @ sea

 

June 5th was a long motor to Šibenik. We did have a little wind for a while and Bob & I got the MPS flying for the 5th time since we have owned it. Still doesn’t furl properly so I guess it have to be recut eventually? Up the Krka River and stayed overnight in an uninhabited bay called Beretuša and BBQ fired up for sausages with mashed potatoes, peas and fried onions plus some good reds. Beaut!

 

Team NZ won by 55 seconds!

 

Skradin is a unique town and we went stern to at the town dock, a promenade along the river bank and we were tied up opposite a town square and a range of shops, bars and restaurants. We rented bikes to visit the falls and then rode them 6k in and 6k back again. Mine had a seat on it fit for a Tour d’France entrant and I was decidedly sore by the end of the trip! The Krka River is famous for the cascade falls and is in the centre of the National Park which is 111km2 along the course of the Krka. The mean average flow over the falls is 55m3 a second and at its peak around 350m3/s. It was for this reason that in 1895 Croatia’s first water driven electric power generator was installed. I believe it was a world first and all designed by a Croat. They have done a great job for tourism and there is an extensive board walk system through the entire falls area and I was fascinated by the millions of trout although nothing over 30cms. Maiden Hair Fern is a native to New Zealand; however it is also native to this area. How did identical plants develop 25,000 kilometres apart?

 

 

 Bob & Swannee at the falls                          These are magic cascade falls

 

JH, Rhonda, Bob & Swannee to attempt the ride back. Steve took the picture.

 

The rest of the day was a hoot. Immediately opposite our stern to position was a wine bar called Maté and a fellow was sitting out front playing a squeeze box. Bob was watching with interest and then announced, hey we have just been invited for a drink, and the fellow playing the squeeze box has just waved us over! Well over some of us went and soon we had met Walter, wife Mary and crew Mundey, they owned a 60’ Choy Lee cutter rigged ketch moored elsewhere and had driven in for the day. Ample cheap red wine consumed, songs sung and lots of laughs! This gave Swannee enough Dutch courage to wander down the dock to a Jeanneau DS54 and asking them if we could have a look at the yacht as Bob was considering buying one.

 

On we went and the 7 Austrians made us very welcome and plied us with a terrific Austrian Sauvignon Blanc which they had bought with them on the 5 hour drive to Croatia. This explains why we see so many Germans, Austrians and other Europeans chartering yachts in Croatia. It is less that a days drive!

 

Team NZ wins 5-0 over Luna Rossa by 55 seconds in this final race. I bet the Italians are devastated as they had such high hope for James Spithill and the team.

 

Somehow we ended up having dinner with the crew off the DS54 and the night ended with lots of laughter and dancing. While Bob was swinging Irene through a move, one of her earrings came off. It was her favourites and while we found the earring that night it wasn’t until the staff were cleaning up next morning that they found the butterfly clip and returned it to the yacht. Great people and we will go back when our English & French friends join us later this month.


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