Friday, 7 August 2009

Ancient towns and Pay Anchorages ..... August 2009

03 – 07 August 2009

***Excellent fruit and veg market on the canal in Trogir***Laundry day in Trogir, sure makes the place feel lived in***People watching in the town square, where did all the people go???? ***The anchorage in Trogir, small, noisy and wobbly but adequate***

Our early morning arrival in Trogir was very welcome after our unplanned night at sea avoiding the lightening strikes and high winds. After a well deserved rest we went ashore for a coffee and to explore. Trogir is a delightful small ancient town, another UNESCO site and for very good reason. It is set on a tiny flat island and is a real gem of a place, with a maze of tiny streets, well preserved old stone buildings, an outstanding cathedral and of course a few thousand tourists! They didn’t detract from the charm of the place, and we enjoyed a couple of hours exploring alleys, art galleries, churches and even stopping to look at some of the beautiful restaurants, tucked into courtyards behind stone walls, vines clawing to the walls and laundry hanging from neighbours windows. It is all picture postcard perfect but certainly had that lived in alive feeling. It’s the sort of place you can sit in the town square, sip an espresso and people watch for hours and hours, we just loved it there.

But then there is the story on the anchorage charges. No matter how much you enjoy somewhere ashore, when you have spent over 5 years travelling the worlds waters and anchoring for free it is extremely hard to think positively when someone wants you to pay to anchor. No services are offered, this anchorage was on a ferry route so had constant wash and also by a large shipyard, complete with plenty of shipbuilding noises and dust!. Friends that had visited the week prior had reported that the anchorage was free, well it was then anyway. At around 7pm, with some threatening thunder clouds looming, we were visited by two young men in a tender wearing Port Authority Poloshirts and aiming to collect 15kuna per metre anchorage fee. For us that’s 210kuna, 30Euro or NZD70, quite alot no matter what currency!!! Our friends on Samsara were also anchored and after much negotiation the previous evening they had struck a deal of 200k for 2 nights, we weren’t aware of this and spent about 30 minutes querying just why we should pay to anchor after having already spent 250Euro on a cruising permit. Well we must have worn them down completely (after 30 minutes!), as we ended up paying 20k for the night. The fact that the fees appear to be negotiable almost make it worse, as it makes us believe they are basically just out for what they can get, if you happen to be off the boat when they come then its free. It is just something we can not get used to, there is no signage on the anchorages to advise that it is a pay anchorage, and they come late evening when it is too late to leave. Unfortunately for us, and all the other long time cruisers we know that have cruised Croatia this is a real negative and has soured many peoples opinion of the country.

On a more positive note the old towns are absolutely beautiful, of course in Europe there are so many of them but they are all well preserved here and are just wonderful to explore. We would have preferred to stay longer in Trogir, but couldn't face the anchoring collectors again so after taking the dinghy practically to the front door of the supermarket and stocking up we lifted anchor and headed north.

There were strong nor’easterlies forecast for the next 2 nights, we had a good sail in building winds but flat water up to the harbour of Rogoznica. As we approached we had yachts coming at us from all directions, we were dreading to see how busy the anchorage would be. Everyone but us turned into the first bay of Rogoznica Town and made for the marina, well that got rid of them! We continued a couple of miles around into the head of the next bay Sibenska, it was large, well protected from the north sector, shallow, quiet, free and for 2 nights we just had 4 yachts in there. Things were looking up. Rogoznica town was a pleasant small town with cafes and pizzerias all overlooking the waterfront and bay.

We had a forecast for settled conditions again so sailed in flat seas and light winds around several small islands to the entrance of the inland waterway that leads to Sibenik and further on the 9 miles inland to the National Park and town of Skradin.

Cruising Info on Trogir and Sibenska, Croatia:
Anchorages –
Trogir …. 43 30.861N 16 14.424E 6m in superglue mud. Not much room and large car ferry manoeuvres through anchorage. Official Charge 15kuna per metre, collects approx 6.30pm-7.30pm and possibly only in August
Sibenska/Saline in Rogoznica …. 43 32.343N 15 58.747E 12m in sand with some weed patches
Internet – Unlocked wifi in both, not great signals
Money and Provisions –

Trogir .... take dinghy short ride right up the tiny canal to the 2nd bridge. Good supermarket and fruit veg stalls right there. ATM’s in town
Sibenska ...longish dinghy ride to Rogoznica. Supermarket and veg stalls just on mainland side of causeway. ATM. Great Pizza place first along on island side. Very average chandlery at marina, no fuel dock at marina!Posted by Picasa

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