dalmatikes
By Thomas P.

We had already gone too far.
Our bow was going on its long journey...
As if it wanted to reveal the true approach of absolute freedom.
It was leading us to new sea routes, new wanderings.
Along with it, we together, as incurable lovers, were travelling into the unknown.

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At the waterfalls of the river Krka

In a very beautiful route through the main canyon, which in some parts is very narrow, we had the impression that we were in a water boulevard with many turnovers. During the course of the river small basins were forming, where there are villages that are used as ports too.

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In the middle, a large basin is formed as a lake that is called Prukljansko and is 2.5 miles length and 1 nm width. Within this lake there are many safe places to anchor it.

On its east side the river continues its path and leads us to the last riverside village, Skradin, which is the last point where navigation is allowed.

In a large iron bridge, connecting the edges of the river, there is a sign prohibiting the passage of yachts.

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From now on, the tourist boats undertake to transfer people to the impressive waterfalls. We left the Rib in Aci marina in Skradin and got the tickets. The boats come and go so often that we did not have to wait a long time. After a very nice route of 2 miles through a landscape with lush vegetation, we arrived at the first waterfalls. The view was unique. Images and colours so beautiful that looked fabulous.

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If there is a paradise it will definitely look like this! Waters falling, dense vegetation, wonderful paths for walking, few bridges and small lakes for swimming compose a magical landscape.
The whole area from here on was declared a national park in 1985 to protect the river Krka and the areas around. The river has a long route of 75 km. and reaches Sibenik so as finally to end up to the sea. During its way many spectacular waterfalls are formed, impressive gorges and beautiful lakes that attract thousands of tourists every year.

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Having at our disposal a few hours before dark, we decided not to spend the night in the river and we left the fjord heading to Aci marina on the island Murter, as a starting point for our wandering in the archipelago Kornati.

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KORNATI ISLANDS

Kornati islands are located in the homonymous archipelago, which is the most crowded throughout the Mediterranean Sea. So much crowded islands in such small distances between them are found nowhere else. An area of 220 square kilometres literally filled with over 100 islets and rocks separated by very narrow channels, forming a water labyrinth in which you can easily get lost if you're not focused on GPS.

It is truly a unique geological phenomenon, an unusual scene, attracting many visitors. The entire area has been declared a national park since 1980 and therefore has its own rules. The largest island of the group is Kornat, which lies to the east and extends for 13 nautical miles. West of Kornat and parallel with it, there are scattered many islets lined up in series, creating a central channel, in which usually the sea is calm. This situation increases even more the mysterious atmosphere of the overall landscape.

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Within this channel many yachts and sailboats come and go looking for their "personal" corner. In many small coves there are some houses that have been converted into taverns to serve tourists.

But which is the fact that has made this archipelago so famous? Why these islands attract so many boats all the time?
Their uniqueness is one essential reason for sure . The rough low hills of islands located in a row create a spectacle, especially observing from above.
Calm seas prevailing through the labyrinth of islands, which isolate a large area from the open Adriatic and create many safe anchorages, still constitute a serious reason.

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According to my opinion, I think the main reason that makes this place unique is the amazing feeling of «isolation". It’s like navigating a lunar landscape where there is a surreal silence bringing under all the senses. And when tired to come and go at numerous small channels, there is definitely a cove of your choice, where you can overnight safely.

At the islands of Dugi Otok - Molat – Ist

In the next morning we were entering the very deep bay Telascica, located south of the island Dugi and extends for four nautical miles. We were already out of the Kornati national park, although until recently the bay Telascica was part of it. Inside the bay, which is one of the most beautiful and safest of the Adriatic, there are many beaches and small coves that are ideal anchorages. In the cove, which is protected even more than the two small islets that lie ahead, the seabed is shallow, ranging from 2 to 7 meters.

Dugi Otok, which means "Long Island", looks like a narrow strip with a length of twenty-four nautical miles and is characterized for its dense vegetation. The west side offers no safe anchorage, contrary to the east, where many bays are formed in which we find most villages. So we were travelling to the east side and we went first to the village Sali, which is a fishing port with many beautiful houses dating from the 17th century. Just above this village we met Triluke where we refuelled.

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With our tanks filled, we continued our coastal navigation. The entire eastern side of the island is very green with trees coming down to the sea, while many beautiful coves with green water are formed. After some time of enjoyable cruising, we arrived at the north-western point of the island, opposite which there are two low islets and a shipwreck that is the attraction for passing boats. The waters around it are very shallow and clean and taking advantage of absolute calm we remained there swimming.

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With the sun going down to sunset, our bow was heading to Molat Island located one mile north. We were entering slowly the large bay formed in the south-western end, Brguljski Zaljev.

On the eastern side of the bay the homonymous village Molat lies. At that point the ship line arrives while the few houses are located along the northern side. It is a very quiet place with a characteristic absence of the world.

There is only a café and a restaurant near the pier. We decided to stay near the green circular islet at the eastern side of which the waters are shallow and the seabed is sandy.

Northern Dalmatia: Ribbing information
  • Across the region of northern Dalmatia there are many islands quite close to one another and countless bays for the night.
  • A very good organisation is required, from the preparation even of the journey, because the islands are numerous and the choice of the islands to visit must be very carefully, so as not to waist time.

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  • There are many marinas at the northern Dalmatia. The strategic ones are the following:
    • Aci-marina in Skradin, in the area of Krka national park
    • ACI marina Jezera, at Murter Island
    • Aci marina Panitula, at Kornati national park
    • Aci marina Zut, at Zut Island
  • For refuelling it’s better to prefer Sibenik in Murter Island and Triluke located at the southeast end of Dugi Otok.
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