Traditional Sailing Boats And Blue Caves
Blog five of our Croatian Culture and Language Course on Vis sees our students sailing to the Blue Cave on Biševo in a traditional fishing boat, the Gajeta Falkuša.
A Grand Day Out – Sailing Round In Circles
Ten o’clock on Wednesday morning saw us all assembling for a group photograph in Komiža harbour before half of us embarked on a falkuša and the other half on a RIB. A falkuša is a traditional Adriatic sailing boat and the one used was a modern replica, whereas a RIB is a speed boat.
The intention was that, once we were out of the harbour, the sails on the falkuša would be hoisted and the RIB would provide escort at a gentle pace. This did not work because the gentle pace invoked a feeling of sea-sickness amongst those on the RIB. Therefore the RIB zoomed off to the harbour for the Blue Cave on Biševo while the falkuša made stately progress towards the island.
The Blue Cave is a natural phenomenon whereby the sun strikes the sea bed under a tiny opening in the cave and the blue of the sky is reflected in the water in the cave. In the morning it is light blue and in the afternoon it is navy blue. The man-made entrance to this cave is deliberately just sufficient to permit small boats to enter without disturbing this reflection. The result is magical and well worth seeing.
Those on the RIB had already enjoyed this experience before the falkuša had even arrived. So next for the RIB’s passengers was a short visit to the monks’ cave, the name of which caused great hilarity, as they were wondering where the cross and altar used to be situated when in fact the cave was named after the monk seals who once lived there. And then it was on to Porat beach for lunch. The falkuša finally arrived at Porat beach about an hour later, having only visited the Blue Cave because this boat was too big to enter the monks’ cave and their time was running short.
After all the passengers had met up again and enjoyed leisurely lunches, some of them could not resist the opportunity to have a swim in the sandy bay. All too soon it was time to return to our boats for the return journey. This time the passengers who travelled on the falkuša returned on the RIB and vice versa. Whereas on the outward journey the falkuša had no problem finding a steady breeze, on the return it was becalmed for around forty-five minutes and then our expert crew positioned the boat so that we were able to pick up the breeze and sail back to Komiža in a journey which lasted over two hours. Meanwhile those now in the RIB managed a trip to the monks’ cave and still arrived back in Komiža long before the falkuša. So it was their turn to indulge in alcoholic refreshment in a shaded bar awaiting the return of their companions.
As Wallace and Gromit Would say it was A Grand Day Out – if a little exhausting.