The Kornat Islands form the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean with some 150 islands crammed into 320 km sq of sea. They run in four parallel series and were formed at the end of the last ice age when the sea rose so much that fields became sea and mountains became islands. Some would appear as no more than cow pats in an aquamarine sea when viewed from above. The land appears bare, inhospitable.
The limestone strata have weathered to classic karst terrain. The limestones were laid down in a shallow, warm sea about 100 million years ago. It is the skeletal remains of all the calcareous organisms which inhabited this sea that have made it so limey. The limey deposits hardened into layers of rock and the uplift of these strata, which gave them their dipping aspect, was caused by the same earth movements that created the Alps and other mountain ranges in Africa and Europe some tens of millions years ago.
We have tarried at Levrnaka, a large island in the ‘open-sea’ Kornatis. This was an important winter fishing location in former times. At the head of the almost fjord like inlet between two limbs of Levrnaka there is Konoba Levrnaka which happily is open for business. As we approach their pontoon the young waiter we recognise from previous visits comes forward to help us hook a lazy line and takes our mooring ropes.
This is a perfect spot for Sunday lunch – we variously choose octopus salad, scampi risotto and a platter of cheese and dried ham. Our main course is a simple plate of pork chops and excellent fries.
Nick spends some time chatting with our waiter, yet another Daniel, who runs the Arvor 250 which is moored along the pontoon. The owners use it for ferrying supplies and Nick and Daniel swap experiences and troubleshooting tips.
When we return to the boat at 4, instead of taking the rib round to the stern with Mike and Carolyn, I decide, against better judgement, to hoist myself up onto the bows from the pontoon. Nick manages this with ease. Fortunately I don’t hear laughter from other boats as I hover in mid-hoist and sway precariously, hanging onto the mast and bent double, whilst Nick attempts to haul me aboard with us much dignity as remains.
We sleep into the 6 o’clock hour and don’t eat a plate of Nicoise until gone 9 o’clock.