Monday, 19 November 2007

The Croatian Language School Interview

Readers may be interest to read the text of an interview which we did with The Croatian Language School for their latest newsletter. Go to for the full story, direct link - You can read all about the Croatian language school in today's posting on our sister blog Croatia Online As well as regular courses in London they organise a series of immersion courses in Croatia in the summer. The new venue in Losinj combines learning the language with finding out about Croatian Cuisine.

Today's photo is of Opat in the Kornati Islands. You'll see from our interview that we were hard pressed to think of a favourite sailing area - there are so many that we could have picked, all with different attractions. However the Kornati Islands are one of them.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Split Area - Onshore News

Thanks again to all the people mentioned in our previous posting on the BavAdria Cup 2007 and to Jure Vujević for another fantastic image from the race, pictured today. We think that the two crews in the photo have temporarily forgotten about the finishing line and are discussing where to eat and who is paying!

With that tenuous link here's a quick summary of onshore news in the Split area. You can read more about Croatia Onshore on Croatia Online and we've given direct links to the relevant pages under each subject:

1. Good New Chinese Restaurant in Seget Donji
As a sweeping generalisation, and putting it mildly, Dalmatians are quite traditional and conservative in their tastes. Why not as Dalmatian food is great! However there comes a time when we all need a change from plain grilled meat and fish with boiled Blitva (Swiss chard, a bit like spinach) and potatoes. All sorts of other things make it special - when you get offered the house olive oil instead of the inferior version that sometimes sits on the table, pre booked delicious "Peka" (like a roast - meat and potatoes in a hot fire cooking in its own juices), a glass of Travarica (like grapa) to fire you up on a cold winter's day, and the list goes on....But, for a change, you can get authentic chinese food not very far from Trogir, direct link Croatia Online - New Chinese Restaurant Near Trogir
Don't confuse this restaurant with the Chinese restaurant in Split centre, which we haven't visited personally but have yet to hear a warm report from.

2. Multiplex Cinema in Split
Imagine the scenario: You've taken the kids on holiday away from their computers et al and they've realised it's not so bad learning to sail, enjoying the crystal clear waters, swimming at will from the back of the boat, and getting back to nature amongst the Dalmatian Coast Line and Islands. The skipper is doing a good job taking his charter customers safely to undiscovered Croatia and then it rains! The kids think they're too far away from civilisation to cope with another day of adult discussion on the finer points of ecology, fishing, weather, etc. The answer is to moor up in Split and take them to the cinema. They're are plenty of "rustic" cinemas in Croatia but now Split has an all mod cons multi screen that will settle the temporary home sickness and weather weariness - direct link Croatia Online - Film Lovers in Dalmatia Take Note

News, hot of the press, is that Zadar will have a similar facility in the not so distant future.

3. Vegeterians Take Heart (there's an unintentional pun there but probably in bad taste and well worn!)
Split City Centre now has its first vegetarian and macrobiotic restaurant - we've been there and, similar to the Chinese Restaurant above, it's authentic and true to its roots as well as providing an excellent lunch. Direct link Croatia Online - Vegetarians Now Welcome In Split


That's the latest onshore news but you'll need to read The Croatian Cruising Companion to get a comprehensive view of what's best about the Dalmatian Coast and Islands, where best to berth, anchor or moor and what else to do onshore.
If you're cruising with children maybe look at another Wiley Group publication - Croatia With Your Family - for some more ideas of what to do onshore. Direct link Croatia Online - Croatia With Your Family

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Kaštela Bay - BavAdria Cup 2007

Whilst Jane Cody, co-author with John Nash, of the Croatia Cruising Companion, was picking olives for her most recent posting on sister blog, Croatia Online, John was brushing up his yacht racing skills in Kaštela Bay – here’s his report.

Yachtsman, particularly racers, suffer similar tendencies to farmers who are never happy with the weather. It’s either too hot or too cold; too wet or too dry. For racers the wind is too strong, not strong enough, or in the wrong direction; the waves are too big or the sea is too flat. Last Saturday was one of those exceptional days where a group of racers all returned with glee, raving about perfect conditions and a fantastic race.

The host venue was Marina Kaštela, owned by Captain Josip Berket, who also generously provided his fleet of BavAdria charter boats for the day’s event, The BavAdria Cup 2007 - one race split into 2 classes of 44 and 46 foot Bavarias. The participants were mainly from the Split and Kaštela Bay area with a good mix of crews whose primary intention was to have a good day out. Some showed a more competitive edge than others. Teams included Kaštel City Council, the Navy, the Police, BavAdria and Marina Kaštela.

The course was two laps of a classic race triangle in the expansive bay. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and a fresh breeze was blasting down from the mountains to provide an adrenalin rush for the crews and perhaps a little concern for the host, Joško Berket, for the welfare of his fleet.

The race started at 11.00, heading off from Kaštel Gomilica, with a beat out to the first mark, then towards Split shipyard and onwards. The fleet naturally split into its two groups except for the stragglers of the larger boat class being overtaken by the rock stars in the smaller yachts.

Yachtsmen, like fishermen, also have plenty of tales of “the one that got away”. I was on board one of the 44 foot Bavarias and we dropped down below two 46 footers, including our host’s, and creamed past them effortlessly, only to fall into the single hole of zero wind that could be found all day! We won’t mention the “crash gybe” and the slight difference of opinion about the way we crossed the finish line which meant that, instead of a second in class, we were ruled non finishers. Nonetheless we had a fantastic sail. Our able skiper, Željko (Keko) Perić, Kaštela Marina’s captain, was masterly in his helming of our boat, ably assisted by his crew of marineros, who work in Marina Kaštela, and Nico, the “ringer” and secret weapon.

The line and class honours went to Pomorska Policija, (The Police!) which was an eminently diplomatic result for obvious reasons. Second in class was YC Labud and third, with Armano Zekan waving the flag for the home team, was BavAdria. The 44 footer’s class was won by Otvoreno More, a team from Slobodna Dalmacija and AdriaSail came second, and AD Plasticka was third.

The return to shore was followed by an excellent spread - fresh anchovies, olive oil and bread for starters; tuna steaks and potatoes for the main course, with just a glass or two of excellent village wine to wash it down. Onshore entertainment was provided by a trio with guitar backing, harmoniously singing all our favourite Dalmatian classics and getting a lot of help from the audience. Prize giving allowed for just a slight intermission to recharge glasses and lubricate throats ready for singing along to the next song.

Many thanks to the sponsors, organisers and workers, that made it such a great and memorable day. And of course thanks to the weather!


For more information on Marina Kaštela visit, for charter options from BavAdria go to

Thanks to Jure Vujević for today’s photo (one of many outstanding racing shots), to Keko Perić for making it all happen and to Joško Berket for his customary generosity and goodwill.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Cruising Croatia - The View from Australia

Sail World have written a great article about cruising Croatia and we've taken the liberty of using one of their spectacular photos to illustrate today's posting.

There's a great overview of the development of the nautical tourism industry and plenty of detail on what you can expect - sailing conditions, facilities and practicalities. Reassuringly, the author Christopher Longmore believes, as we do, that its one of the world's best cruising destinations - "The country is naturally blessed with sailing waters as good and varied as anywhere in the world." He also confirms that Dalmatia, the area covered by our Croatia Cruising Companion, is "where perhaps the best sailing is to be found".

Go to for the full story and don't forget to check out our home page Croatia Cruising Companion Home Page, for full details of the latest and most up to date Cruising Guide that will help you explore the Dalmatian coast and islands safely and to the full. For more information on Croatia in general, visit our sister site Croatia Online where today's posting reports on out latest culinary discovery - a new Chinese restaurant near Trogir.