Thursday, December 15, 2016

Do we still need lighthouses in Croatia? (Part 1)

History of building lighthouses in the form of towers or buildings begins in the Antics -  Pharos of Alexandria, Tower of Hercules at A Coruna, lighthouse in Ostia and Laodicea in Syria, etc. In the 18th century lighthouses began using advances in construction, structure and better lighting equipment. Since that period, they became very important objects of maritime signaling system. Their purpose is to help sailors, skippers and maritime pilots by warning about dangerous coast and reefs but also by signaling harbour entrances and distance from shore.

As in other areas of human production, modern inventions mostly replaced old-style lighthouses and they became unnecessary. Electrification and automatic lamp system made lighthouse keepers relatively obsolete. Lighthouse keepers are still at service and stationed on location because they can always be of assistance in case of emergency.
GPS (Global Positioning System) and modern nautical navigation induced closing down of non-automated lighthouses in general. Yet there are few remaining modern structure lighthouses which are powered by solar panels and batteries with a stationary flashing light and in that sense they serve their navigational purpose.

With all that in mind, we can certainly pose a question: do we still need lighthouses? The fact that Croatia has a long coastline (around 1800km) and more than thousand islands justifies the number of 40 lighthouses in Croatia. In the past you would have to been a perfect sailor to navigate your sailing boat through such a number of small islands and cliffs without any problem. So here they are and here they stay. But what is their function now when we have all that modern high-tech instruments available to keep our boats safe?
Croatian people had a great idea – turn lighthouses into accommodation facilities, but not just plain accommodation objects – beautiful, unique, adventurous and picturesque places to spend holidays in. The accomodation offer is simple, but you will get an amazing view of the Adriatic cost and sea which you will not want to trade for any hotel luxuries. In some of them, where lighthouse keepers still work and live, you can have a full-board stay. So even if you worry about food&drink supply for your stay there (which you can always buy beforehand or have organized transfer and provision), don't be: there might be a dinner waiting for you followed by adventurous and mystic lighthouse keepers stories.
Lighthouses are perfect for those looking for peaceful and relaxing vacation as their isolated location provides these conditions. So while you're on your sailing cruise along the coast, why not use the opportunity to spend a night or two in one of these lighthouses and experience lighthouse keeper life for a short time?
Here is the list of those lighthouses in Croatia which can be rented for holidays:

SAVUDRIJA – built in 1818 is the oldest lighthouse in Croatia and according to its location (only 9km from town Umag) it is also the northernmost lighthouse along the coast. Local legend tells that Savudrija lighthouse was built by a count for a Croatian noble woman as a token of his love for her.

SVETI IVAN – this lighthouse is special because it is on a little island which is actually a rock (70x50m) and is with its shallow waters ideal for families with children. If you are a sport fishing enthusiast, this place with many fish species and amazing underwater sites will suit you best.

PORER – lighthouse with its 35m tower on a 80m cliff is a perfect place for those who want real solitude, peace and distance from crowded touristic places. Strong currents and winds will give you a feeling of adventure and Robinsonian atmosphere.
The question arises: how was Porer lighthouse built on such a sharp cliff and just how was the material brought to this small island? Many sunken ships around Porer lighthouse (probably carrying stone and other materials) are proof of how this was an almost impossible task.

VELI RAT located 35km west of Zadar on Dugi otok island,  this lighthouse is considered as one of the most beautiful on our cost. Near this 40m tower are two great beaches, nice bays and a pine tree forest. There is a legend that the walls of this lighthouse were covered by thousands of egg whites to make them more durable to sea winds. While you are staying at Veli Rat use the opportunity to visit nearby National Park Kornati and Telascica Nature Park.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Island Biševo - sailing destination

Blue Cave - photo source Tourist Board of Komiža

 The beauty of Biševo's Blue Cave has been recognized by Baron Eugene von Ransonnet far back in 1884. Upon his suggestion, the entrance to the cave has been enlarged, making it accessible to visitors from around the world. The cave now has two entrances: the smaller one artificially widened and deepened so a small boat could enter, and the wider one, located at the southern part of the cave – the underwater passage, through which the magical game of light and water is performed. Depending on the season, the ideal time to visit the cave is between 9am and 1pm. You can enter with dinghy, but only paddling, or with locals’ small boat. Blue Cave is a protected geomorphologic statue of nature and entrance must be accompanied by local authorities and charged: 50 Kuna per adult and 25 Kuna per child in high season.

 Mezuporat and Porat bay - photo source Tourist Board of Komiža

After you’ve visited the Blue Cave, you may go right around the corner to Mezuporat bay and take a swim and enjoy refreshments from local bar on a sandy beach. Mezuporat is a popular destination for Blue Cave's visitors, but, around 13:00 o’clock, most tourists go back to Komiža or Vis and you'll be able to moor a sailing boat at a local pier. Depth in bay is up to 15m, safe from SE and SW winds.
If you prefer calm bays, you may walk on the other side on the island, to Salbunara bay. Here you can buy local wine Biševski Plavac or homemade liqueur of island's herbs. 
 Another bay on the western side of island is Porat - much bigger and popular bay with few buoys, two restaurants and a beautiful sandy beach. Depth of this bay is up to 25m, it is well protected from all winds, except from SW wind. Porat is good shelter if Bora catches you. 

Monk Seal Cave - photo source Tourist Board of Komiža

On the southeastern part of the island is the Monk Seal Cave. Its entrance is a narrow, almost thirty meters high, gap in a cliff. As does the Blue cave, Monk Seal Cave also has geomorphological specificity. Monk Seal cave is 160 m long with a relatively big entrance which gets smaller inwards. This cave was named after a very rare type of seal, the Mediterranean Monk Seal, which habitats in the cave. After a long period of almost complete absence of this beautiful animal from our part of the Adriatic, in the past few years she’s been sighted. Therefore, it is not unrealistic to expect that the Monk Seal Cave welcomes its old occupants again.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Introducing our fleet : "Kokica" - Bavaria 49

Let us introduce one of the most popular bareboat in our fleet – ‘Kokica’. Bavaria 49 sailing boat is well known as spacious cruising charter sailboat, and that's why it’s highly popular among charterers. With its 5 cabins and 3 toilets, Kokica can accommodate up to 10 people. Most important details of Kokica are listed here.

At the Bavaria 49 stern you'll notice two steering wheels intended for a comfortable boat navigation and a spacious cockpit. On the standard Bavaria 49 cockpit table we’ve added an extension for accommodating up to 8 people comfortably. There is also a bimini with standing height so you can move freely on board. The wide deck provides easy access to the foredeck, where there’s a plenty of area for sunbathing. Kokica is an easy boat to sail - especially with well-designed primaries and high boom so there is no need to take the bimini down if you want to spread the mainsail.

Here is list of our standard equipment on Kokica, included in price:
•    Self-tailing winch
•    Autopilot
•    Bow thruster
•    Depth sounder
•    GPS chart plotter
•    Navigation (Nautical) charts and nautical guide
•    Battery charger
•    Bilge pump - Electric
•    Converter 220V/12V
•    Plugs 12V
•    Shore connection 220 V
•    Solar panels
•    VHF radio
•    Bimini top
•    Cockpit cushions
•    Cockpit table
•    Cockpit/stern, outside shower
•    Electric anchor windlass
•    Spray hood
•    Hot water
•    Refrigerator
•    Bed linen
•    Bilge pump - manual
•    Radio CD mp3 player
•    Wi-Fi Internet
•    Dinghy
•    Mainsail and furling genoa NEW!

The bright saloon of Bavaria 49 bareboat enjoys an airy ambience, with wide 4.46m beam which allows comfortable seating and eating arrangements. Around the dining table, you could comfortably seat 8 to 10 on three comfortable lounges.

In relation to the new ships, interior is made of solid wood in the right ''boat style''. The U-shaped kitchen is fully equipped with gas stove and oven, fridge, freezer, twin stainless-steel sinks and lot of storage spaces below and above in hanging lockers and shelves.

The five separate sleeping cabins comprise of one large double cabin in the bow, two stern double cabins and a two twin cabins at the sides of the boat. All mattresses in cabins have been renewed in season 2014. This spacious bareboat has plenty of storage space in timber lockers, hanging lockers and shelves. In first part of Kokica’s saloon is the navigation desk, which has plenty of space for electronics and storage and even contains a handy tool compartment under the seat. The two stern double cabins are equipped with enough lockers and drawers to place clothes for a week.
Bavaria 49 is a very popular sailing yacht, mainly because of large number of cabins and toilets and its easy-handled sailing equipment. With high rank  of 4,87 on and 100% recommendation rate, Kokica will definitely fulfill all of you expectations, and make your sailing holiday even more pleasant. Kokica is berthed in our Trogir base and available to rent from April 1st until October 31st 2015. On this link you can check Kokica's availability.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Island Šćedro - sailing destination

This pearl of Croatian's south Adriatic has been known for its good anchorage places and safe harbors since ancient times, so it is not surprising that Šćedro is a favorite destination for yacht charterers in Croatia. There is no water or electricity on the island so expect higher prices of the water since locals bring it from the island Hvar. Also remember to bring some food and bread along if you opt for a sleepover on Šćedro, as there are no stores on the island.

Mostir and Veli Porat bay (Photo source

A very small population of 30 people lives on Šćedro during summer, in winter even less. The old settlements of Mostir and Nastane are now largely abandoned, except for restaurants and other tourist facilities opened in the summer season. In Mostir bay you'll definitely find your peace. Except clean calm sea and untouched nature, this bay adorns a Dominican monastery from the 15th century. You can anchor a charter yacht on one of five buoys (property of a local restaurant). Mostir bay is well protected from southern winds, but open to northern, so if there is a sign of north wind we recommend setting sail and finding a shelter in the neighboring Veli Porat.
Veli Porat is a popular anchorage and is often full in summer, especially when south and north winds blow because the south bays of Hvar provide little shelter. Entering Veli Porat bay, on the left side is a small inlet Rake, with depth of 5-12m, suitable for anchoring. Sailing towards the bottom of the bay you'll enter the inlet Srida with buoy field in property of two restaurants. Your children will definitely enjoy a sandy bottom of inlet Srida. If a strong north wind blows, we recommend anchoring in third inlet of Veli Porat - Lovišće. Here you can anchor on a buoy of local restaurant or on anchor.

Čarnjeni bay (photo source

Well protected bays from northern and western winds are bays on the south side of island Šćedro - Čarnjeni bay, called Porteruša by locals and Borova lučica bay. With depth of 7-9 m you can safely anchor a bareboat and stay safe from Bora and northwest winds.

Don't miss beautiful island Šćedro, let it be an unavoidable stop at your sailing vacation with charter yacht in Croatia.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sailing in Croatia with pets

For crossing the Croatian border with pet, it is obligatory to have pet passport and proper documentation for your pet. Also, in Croatia, it is obligatory that pets are micro chipped and vaccinated against rabies. It will be smart to check Croatian quarantine laws regarding sorts of pets.

We always recommend installation of safety net along the sides of the yacht. Also, plan shorter legs of your sailing trips, remember, dogs need their time on mainland. Recommended is, also, avoiding crowded bays and beaches with your dog; some of your neighbors could protest about dogs and sometimes would not be tolerant of your pet. Beside safety net, you can always bring extra safety gear for your dog or cat; it may be purchased in various pets shops.
Sailing can sometimes cause discomfort to your pet and they may get scared; that's why you need to reserve a corner for them to hide. Also be sure to remove anything that might harm your pet in case of panic.

Dogs should be house-broken, but even then they sometimes get confused on board. Charter yachts leave them limited options. You can try with a piece of Astro Turf. It will give your pet an illusion of grass and it is easy to clean. It is much easier for cats, a litter box will be just enough. However, place these below deck for stability reasons.
Another thing to consider on charter yacht are companionway stairs adapted for your dog. Most of our charter boats are equipped with stairs with approx. 20cm stair space, which is suitable for bigger dogs. A plank is also a practical solution.

A pet can also get sunburns and sea-sickness so make sure there is enough shade for them and fresh water. Some medications used for humans can help them with sea-sickness but you should consult your vet.
At last, your pet will enjoy a trip on sailing yacht in Croatia as much as you, as long as you have prepared everything for its comfortable and safe stay on board.