Our Mission: To boldly go until we are no more!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Costly Croatia

Somehow running the river back down thru the bridges and power lines was not as exciting as going up - probably because we knew all the clearances were OK. A few miles up the coast we anchored off the town and marina at Tribunj (26 ft, 43d45.07'N, 15d44.63'E). The old city walls now gone Tribunj is a charming seaside fishing village that recently received a face lift with an upscale marina, encircling quay and pleasant walking trail up the nearby hill to the Chapel of St. Nik affording a great view of Interlude at anchor. There was another Konzum (we call it safe shopping) supermarket that was well stocked and we picked up some white Croatian wine (Laguna) at $6.00 US a bottle that was the best we have tasted since New Zealand. At the marina office we inquired about the fees to visit the islands in Kornati National Park and Telascica Park on Dugi Otok. The National Park officials in Krka were unable to answer this simple question (not my park man). Evidently tickets can be purchased at some marinas in advance at a discount or in the Park on arrival. For those following in our wake here are the per day fees:

LOA                       Advance Purchase             On Site
up to 11 m              150 KN                              250 KN
11 - 18 m               250 KN                              400 KN
over 18 m              450 KN                              750 KN

60 KN per person (no charge for boat)

For Interlude the discount Kornati fee translates to about $US 90 per day so we have decided to give those islands a miss. Their claim to fame is very clear water which we have seen plenty of in our travels. They are also completely barren as the landscape increasingly is as we head north.

While at the marina office we inquired about berth rates for Interlude. Our 23.5 m daily rate for this time of year would be $US 255 and a yearly contract would be about $US 21,000. These are by far the highest rates we have seen.

Making our way to visit the less expensive park at Luka Telascica, we anchored at Uvala Potkucina, Otok Kakan. This bay had dozens of moorings and one taverna. The cruising guide said there is no fee for anchoring but at 1600 we were approached by a uniformed man wielding a receipt book in a very nice inflatable and asked to pay about $US 50 per night. Refusing to pay, we were given five minutes to leave and had a nice sail to anchor with no fee at Uvala Kosirina on Otok Murter (40 ft, 43d47.69'N, 15d36.60'E). The island of Murter is connected to the mainland by a bridge allowing dozens of campers access to the beach and bay at Kosirina. Trailers and tents line the shore and there are also a dozen yachts anchored here. The water here is clear and just warm enough for swimming.

We will be boycotting the Kornati National Park and bays that charge for anchoring. After paying nearly $US 700 to enter and cruise Croatia for 90 days we feel all areas should be included. If they are trying to limit environmental impact in the Parks (a resource which should benefit the nation) with high fees then Croats should get a discount but this is not the case. By avoiding those areas we all will hopefully have an impact on the additional fee policy.

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