Nautical hibernation

Reason #125: some boats get to have a nap over the winter

Some on the beach, sunbathing their bottoms…

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Some smack in the middle of their owner’s olive grove. Why not.

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Not everyone takes their boat out for the winter, but most people do. It’s just easier that way and less maintenance. Plus, winter weather can be harsh and if your boat is not tied up properly a rough bout of Bura or Jugo can do serious damage.

Ferry rides to and from Brač

Reason #121: riding the ferry can be anything you want it to be

372672718_73bc54054c_z When I first thought of living on Brač the fact that I had to get there by ferry each time seemed like a hassle. And it sure can be. But I’ve also since come to embrace the positive aspects of it. So, let’s do another pros&cons list. But first let’s watch this fun video:

And now the pros&cons list…

Cons of ferry rides to and from Brač:

  • they take a long time (50 minutes!)
  • the tickets are kind of expensive (pricelist PDF)
  • tickets for bicycles are ridiculously expensive IMO: 38kn
  • you’re stuck, you can’t go anywhere for an hour
  • the wi-fi is there to tease, but you can’t actually log onto it
  • if the weather is bad it’s not as fun
  • if the wind is really strong, especially on the Sumartin-Makarska side, the ferry won’t run

Pros of ferry rides to and from Brač:

  • they’re not that long (just 50 minutes)
  • if you live on the island you pay half the price for everything (people, bike, car)
  • you can’t go anywhere for an hour so you can get a lot of things done: read, work, write blog posts, chat with people, play cards, think, meditate, people-watch, etc.
  • you run into people you know and hang out
  • you can sit outside and enjoy the sun, even get a tan
  • you can sit inside and enjoy the A/C
  • there’s a bar
  • there are toilets, with toilet paper
  • there’s a tv and if you love soaps and the news, you’re in the right place

Here’s a great page (unfortunately, facebook) with lots of pics and videos from all the ferries to and from Dalmatian islands, including Brač: Uživo s dalmatinskih trajekata / Live from Dalmatian ferries

Fickle March

Reason#85: you can expect just about any type of weather in March

March on Brač is awesome for people who like surprises and change. One day you could be wearing a t-shirt, enjoying a perfect sunny day such as this one…

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… and the next day you could be freezing, or even worse, running for cover from hail (like they did in Pučišća Monday morning). Yes, hail!

tuca_puciscaPhoto by Karmen Koljatić, thanks to Pučišća facebook page.

Check out the wind column in this 7-day forecast. Just about every possible wind direction Nature could come up with! At least I know which day is good for badminton.

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Source: meteo.hr

 

 

Snow in Selca

Reason #83: if it snows, you don’t have to go to school

Spring is here and days are only going to get warmer from now on. I feel like paying a tribute to the winter of 2011/12 when it snowed for the first time in forever. Towns and villages in Dalmatia are so unused to snow that life was almost completely shut down because of it.

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As always, kids had most fun with it :)

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Photo sources: braconline and selca.hr

It’s not all fun & games, though. When it snows as bad as this time, many people get injured, there are power outages and related issues, old people in scattered villages get cut off and need assistance, there’s loss to the local economy, etc., etc.

Also, I should point out that in the highest parts of the island (alt. 700m) it snows every winter, but it’s very rare for snow to come down to sea level where most of the settlements are.

Jugo (the wind)

Reason #6: jugo weather is damp, dreary and makes you coo-coo

Jugo (you-go) wind blows from the southeast. It’s strong, rather warm and moist. In other parts of the Mediterranean Jugo is called Sirocco and it originates in Africa.

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The Makarska-Sumartin ferry braving the Jugo weather in January.

Jugo is one of the two most important winds in Dalmatia. The other one being Bura. You can’t live here without knowing everything about them and how they affect your life. And affect your life they DO :)

Jugo and Bura are in total contrast. I will be writing a separate post about that.

Jugo is part of folklore in Dalmatia. Similar to California’s Santa Ana winds, Jugo too has a reputation of making people go nuts. Not sure if official statistics support this, but people will tell you that suicide rates go up, as well as domestic violence incidents.

My Dutch friend Diana will tell you that if you’re having a bad day, or just not feeling like yourself, it’s probably the Jugo. And so she’ll just wave off and say, „Ah, Jugo!“. Even if she’s back home in Holland :).

Strictly speaking, there are two types of Jugo. There is also a less moist, less dreary version. This post is about the typical kind.

Pros of Jugo:

  • it’s a good excuse for not doing something properly,
  • or for picking a fight with your spouse,
  • the air is relatively warm (compared to the cold Bura air).

Cons of Jugo:

  • clothes won’t dry outside (Croatians don’t have dryers),
  • it’s cloudy and grey,
  • it’s likely to rain,
  • the sea is turbulent,
  • it can affect your mood and mental clarity,
  • it reminds you of old wounds, bad joints and many other ailments.

My first experience of proper Jugo weather since I’ve come to Brač has been worse than I expected. Apparently I’ve inherited this from my mom and her mom, Nona Jube – it’s a particular susceptibility to Jugo. I’ve been feeling almost flu-like symptoms: achy body, joints, headache, lightheaded, weak muscles. Yay!

Song Jugo by Guliano and Marijan Ban: