This morning we read an article in the Croatian Times reporting on an astonishing feat by a team of Croatian rowers yesterday. In a classic rowing boat called a lađa, pronounced ladja, 16 rowers, one drummer (to keep the rowing beat) and two coxes apparently made the crossing of the English Channel in 3.4 hours.
This afternoon we finally found a UK site, Kent Online, that corroborated the story but differs substantially on crew numbers and has the video evidence to prove it which shows 8 rowers, a drummer and helmsman battling the waves.
These rowing boats have been used for transport on the Neretva River for centuries and you can read more about them by following this link - Ladja Marathon – and the one above. Thanks also to them for today’s photo of the annual marathon on the Neretva River.
The Neretva Delta covers around 20,000 hectares of Croatia and Bosnia and is one of the few remaining wetlands in Europe making it an important Ramsar Site and a great bird watching destination. It is also being considered for Nature Park status though that comes with additional restrictions and the idea is not universally popular with the locals.
For those interested in bird watching go to sister site Croatia Online - Bird Watching in Croatia. For those more interested in the remarkable achievement of the Croatian rowers we will endeavour to hunt down some more information and hope the UK press does it justice. In the meantime, rowers of a more mainstream style may be interested in the following posting - Croatia Online - Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race In Split.
Readers of the Croatia Cruising Companion should note that the Neretva Delta is not suitable for sailing boats. Very few of Croatia’s rivers are but the Krka River is a notable exception and well worth exploration as it passes the magnificent city of Šibenik, provides a great freshwater marina - ACI Skradin – and of course leads to the spectacular Krka National Park
Aficionados of tennis may be interested to read about Croatia’s prowess in this sport by linking to Croatia Online - Wimbledon And Tennis In Croatia