Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Uvala Sibinj, Near Senj

Croatia Cruising Companion -  Uvala Sibinj, Mooring Blocks

Roughly between Klenovica and Senj is a small bay called Uvala Sibinj. It’s not very well protected, so not suitable for an overnight stop but there is a nice little restaurant, part of a small campsite, with mooring blocks and buoys just away from the main beach, to encourage you to come and eat there and perhaps have a swim. There’s also a minibus service to take you into Senj.

The water looks very shallow for the few metres approaching the shoreline but, according to the owner, depths are around 4 metres by the buoys.

I took co-ordinates onshore, at the campsite, as follows:               45° 02.663’ N 14°52.685E

For more information about the campsite check out our posting on sister site Croatia Camping Guide

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Croatia’s Largest Marina Gets Larger!!

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We’re jumping ahead a little, in terms of reporting on our early summer trip, but we couldn’t resist sharing the latest news on Croatia’s largest marina - D-Marin Dalmacija - in Sukošan, near Zadar, Croatia.

It was already a fairly modern marina, with all the essential facilities, but the huge expanse of empty spaces and grey buildings gave the place an eerie feel and were crying out for rejuvenation. So it was greatly in need of substantial investment when the Dogus Group acquired it a few years ago.

When we visited in June, even with building work still going on, it was already in our top five of the most transformed marinas – Olive Island, Marina Seget, Marina Trogir and another Dogus Group marina, D-Marin Mandalina,  also featuring.  Now, the work is complete and the Portus Beach Club, on the outer, semi-circular, superyacht pier, is open for business.

A huge artifical beach has been made on the seaward facing side of the semi-circular pier and guests can rent deck chairs, towels and parasols, as well as luxury cabanas that come complete with champagne, ice cream, water and cold towels. There’s also Rum Shack, a beach bar offering a wide range of cocktails and other refreshments. 

Portus Beach Club also provides two restaurants, a night bar, kids club and sports facilities. The first floor restaurant offers local specialities and a wide selection of Croatian and international wines. Nearby is a spacious lounge bar designed in Mediterranean style. Both have a spectacular view of the bay and provide an ideal place for a business lunch, romantic dinner or an exclusive event. Enjoy more casual dining in the ground floor restaurant which offers an all day menu of Mediterranean and domestic dishes.


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Kids Club offers different kind of fun and educational activities, all with professional supervision, and for everyone there’s music and DJs every afternoon from 4 pm until 9 pm, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday scheduled for live performances.

The investment required for a project of this scale is immense - €6.5 million according to the owners – but it’s just a quarter of the €25 million spent over the last three years which includes the impressive new administrative building, a new entrance, new toilets, a new building for charter and service companies and much improved landscaping.  The result is a really classy look and a new sense of purpose for what now has the air of  a vibrant marina village in its own right, rather than just an enormous yacht berthing facility! It still does remind me a little of Tracy Island from the Thunderbirds series but now in a good, chic way!

Croatia Cruising Companion - Marina Dalmacija Reception

What makes all this work even more impressive is the speed and lack of fuss with which it is accomplished. It’s easy to forget the immense scale of each new project, and that some of  the marina is built on land reclaimed from the sea and it’s therefore not that easy to grow verdant lawns and pretty flower beds.

Those who have a copy of our Croatia Cruising Companion won’t find the physical layout (see up to date chart below) and  approach very different from the way it was described on page 37 and 38, and the small village of Sukošan still retains its local charm, despite the size of its newer neighbour.  The new aerial shot looks very different though from the boat and car park on page 38!

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And there’s something about the chunky lights that typifies the scale and purpose of Croatia’s biggest marina, now becoming one of its most upmarket ones.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Marina Dalmacija Red Light

Many thanks to D-Marin Dalmacija for their assistance with information and images. To go direct to the marina’s website link to D-Marin Dalmacija Overview

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Klenovica, Near Novi Vinodolski and Senj

Croatia Cruising Companion - Klenovica 2

Klenovica looks like a great place for a gentle lunchtime stop and you can read about what’s in store, onshore, on sister site Croatia Online.

The decent sized harbour has a green light at the end of the breakwater, although all but one of the main pilot books’ latest editions only seem to mention the while light on the little islet, Sv Anton, to the south. This islet is connected to the mainland by a rubble causeway.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Klenovica - Sv Anton

The harbour has around 15 bollards for electricity and water, fairly evenly spaced around the main quay which lines the breakwater and then doglegs to the left as you look at it from the approach. It looks like some are fitted up for 3 phase electricity.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Klenovica - 3 Phase

This quay appears to be quite new and there are a couple of  buoys so you can moor bow- or stern-to on the dogleg, and I guess laid lines will be there soon if they are not already there now. Local boats were moored alongside on the quay that runs along the breakwater.

Opposite the breakwater is an older quay, mostly used by fishing boats, and local boats are moored between the two, at the head of the bay, where there’s also a slip (next to the statue).

Depths are between 3 and 6 metres on the inner side of the breakwater, up to 3.5 metres on the older quay opposite and up to 1.4 metres where the local boats are moored. Shallow draft boats can also anchor either side of the causeway to Sv Anton, by the campsite.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Klenovica - Sv Anton 2

The bay is reasonably well protected from the Bora, which blows very hard in this area, but exposed to winds from the north-west, through west, to south.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Novi Vinodolski – Not One, But Two New Marinas!

Croatia Cruising Companion - Klenovica

Glancing at a few of the recently published new editions of pilot books, you’d think that the new marinas at Novi Vinodolski were one of Croatia’s best kept secrets and yet the Croatian Tourist Board announced the projects in 2011. The pontoons in the main harbour are almost complete whilst it looks like the new marina just east of the city centre may not be too much further away. The photo above shows it in May this year.

The “Town Centre” marina will offer around 220 berths and Marina Muroskva, further east, about 170, plus around 320 dry berths. Novi Vinodolski already has a fuel station, a small harbour for local boats and moorings for smaller boats in the river mouth.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Novi Vinodolski Crane & Fuel

It’s a fascinating town of a different era and this substantial investment in nautical tourism may well inspire other projects and further modernisation. Read more about the town itself on sister site Croatia Online

Finally, on the weather front, the interesting sky in the morning. in the main picture, was followed by another beautiful Croatian sunset.

Smile

Croatia Cruising Companion - Novi Vinodolski Sunset

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Selce, Near Crikvenica

Croatia Cruising Companion - Selce

Like neighbouring Crikvenica, which gives it’s name to the “Riviera” of which Selce is a part, Selce belongs to an older style of Croatian tourism that grew up around health spas. Not for much longer perhaps as there seems to be plenty of investment activity in the pipeline for the whole of this area.

As you can sea from the photo above, there are moorings for yachts on the main quay, with electricity and water bollards. The yacht is moored roughly where the red “circle” is on the image below. The arrow points to the pier where the white light is.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Selce Harbour

According to the harbour master, depths are 3 to 4 metres where the yacht is moored. The berths in the inner harbours are for local boats and depths are shallower. Tripper boats tend to use the perpendicular pier with the white light as can be seen below.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Selce Tripper Boat

There’s a 5 ton crane and Selce has plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars, as well as some pretty gardens.

Croatia Cruising Companion - Selce Crane

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Crikvenica – On The Brink Of Nautical Discovery?

Croatia Cruising Companion - Crikvenica

I mentioned, on sister site Croatia Online (COL – Crikvenica), that part of Crikvenica looked as if it might be in need of a little TLC and it seems, on further research, that  investment might be just around the corner. It’s already got plenty to offer, including sandy beaches and all the essential amenities and facilities, but is a little rooted in an almost bygone age of tourism.

For nautical visitors to Croatia it also already offers quite a lot including a fuel berth, pictured, and several smallish harbours, mostly for local and tripper boats. Soon, however, it may get its own 200 berth marina and we’ll be telling you more about that in due course. In the meantime they are a few options for visiting yachts:

a) in the main harbour, just west of the river mouth, berth on lazy lines on the inner side of the main breakwater and east harbour wall in depths of around 3 metres but note that the outer end of the jetty is mainly for tripper boats and the inner harbour for local boats

b) there are rings and bollards for lines along the quay by the river mouth. Depths vary between 2 and 4 metres and there’s a low road bridge just a little way down river

c) a little further east there’s Luke Podvorska, the newish harbour for local boats but that’s usually full

Croatia Cruising Companion - Crikvenica Main Harbour

The main harbour has some smart new electricity and water pedestals and there’s a green light at the end of the long breakwater with another green light further east on the west side of the river mouth. The fuel station is immediately west of this second green light and has depths of approximately 3 metres.