We've mentioned Miggy and Neal's blog before - they've been cruising Croatian waters this year but are now "resting" in the Ionian Island of Lefkas. Their most recent posting is a round up of their year's sailing which makes very interesting reading. Although they stress that the benefits far outweigh the difficulties, they did mention a couple of problems specific to Croatia. Here's an extract below:
The principal difficulties that we have experienced during our travels this year have been:
Getting camping gaz refills in Italy and Croatia
Lack of internet access in Croatia particularly WiFi
Expensive marinas, quays and cost of living generally in Croatia
Overcrowded moorings during the July and August mania
The WiFi situation seems to be improving with several marinas now offering it but, if you're prepared to invest about £80 you can get a "web and walk stick" from T-com which you top up on a pay as you go basis. It's extremely simple to use - just plug it into a USB port, connect, and you're away.
As far as expense is concerned, Croatia is no longer the bargain it was, particularly the marinas which have increased their prices by 10 to 20 per cent each year for the last three or four years. Despite that, they're still pretty competitive compared with other cruising areas. Town moorings are normally about half the price of marinas and there are still plenty of anchorages which are free - all are detailed in our Croatia Cruising Companion. To give you an idea of current marina prices, ACI, the market leader with 21 marinas, charges €41 per day for a 10 metre boat moored in its Split marina and €100 a day for a 20 metre boat. The price increases by 10% in June and September, and 20% in July and August. Most of their other marinas are similarly priced except generally there is a 50% reduction between November and February inclusive and the summer surcharge is generally capped at 10% in July and August.
Croatia is a victim of its own success as far as overcrowding in the summer is concerned though the Italians have, for many years, sailed over en masse in August. However if you pick your stops carefully and avoid the flotilla routes and more popular areas you can usually find somewhere but, as Miggy and Neal found out, it often means heading to your destination a bit earlier in the day in the high season. September is one of the best months to sail as the water is still warm enough to swim (and sometimes, like this year, in October too!) and the crowds have gone. May and June are also good.
Thanks to Miggy and Neal for a fascinating read - link to http://miggyandneal.blogspot.com/2008/11/annual-cruising-round-up.html for the full story.
Today's photo is of a boat moored at Kaštel Lukšić, near Split, one of Croatia's mooring bargains though it's not suitable in all weathers.