Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Ribafish Returns for RokOtok as the Father and Son Love Story Continues

 July 7, 2021 - One of the most moving stories about a father's promise to his son adds a new chapter to its pages, after a year on hiatus from the pandemic. ''Ribafish'' has started in Brodarica the second stage of the heartwarming project RokOtok, in memory of his son Rok.

After last year's break caused by the pandemic, this weekend started the second phase of the famous praiseworthy project RokOtok, a cheerful summer swimming and educational marathon Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish launched two years ago in memory of his prematurely deceased son Rok. ''Ribafish'' decided to fulfill the promise he made to Rok: that he would visit all 50 Croatian inhabited islands. But he also fulfills the promise he made to himself that he would swim to all our islands and hang out with the children and educate them.

"When I swim, he is with me and it's easier that way. RokOtok is dedicated to my son Rok and when the body can no longer and when the brain can no longer, there are emotions, I swim for him. I promised him that we would visit all 50 islands together and with this, I am trying to fulfill that promise", said Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish on Saturday, a few moments before the start of the second stage of the RokOtok project.


Domagoj Japoković, better known as ''Ribafish'', last Saturday in Brodarica before starting the second stage of the RokOtok. (Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL)

RokOtok received an award from the Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure for its contribution to the promotion of maritime culture, and was named the most beautiful story of the summer of 2019. This year, the story goes further. The second of the three phases of the project began on July 3 at 9 a.m. with departure from Brodarica for the island of Krapanj. This year's planned stage will be about 60 kilometers long, will connect 17 islands, and finally end on July 27 at 6 pm in Ugljan. After reaching the island, Ribafish will convey to large and small residents of the islands of Šibenik-Knin and Zadar County why it is important to protect nature and the environment, will organize beach cleaning, and an interactive and stimulating search for "treasure". Educational games in nature have also been designed to raise awareness of the problem of spending too much time in front of screens and mobile phones.

When this project was launched two years ago, not so many positive reactions were expected at the locations it swam to. In the first phase, he swam all the planned sections in the length of a hundred kilometers and connected 17 islands. On some of these islands, he was not even experienced, and somewhere he was greeted like a rock star.

In the first strokes of this year's route, Ribafish was accompanied by Dubravko Dudo Šimenc, a celebrated member of the water polo team, in a dual role. Not only are they friends, but Šimenc was also there as a representative of the Croatian Tourist Board.

The first two stages of this year's venture were organized in partnership with the associations "Tatavaka" and "Together for Krapanj" which, together with the City of Šibenik and island tourist boards, launched the initiative "For an archipelago without plastic". The successful project "Zlarin without plastic" is spreading to other islands, and Domagoj Jakopović Ribafish becomes an ambassador and supporter of this initiative.


The section from Brodarica to Krapanj with Ribafish was swum by about sixty people, and about 120 kids gathered at the reception on the beach in front of the Spongiola Hotel. (Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL)

At dawn, Ribafish from Krapanj continued towards Zlarin in the company of Tonći Lokas, and upon arrival in Zlarin, they were greeted by about seventy children. On the third day, Ribafish swam to the island of Prvić, the island of the visionary Faust Vrančić, where he was greeted by about fifty children, and on Tuesday he swam a very demanding section from Prvić to Kaprije.

Ribafish invites all residents of the islands of the Šibenik and Zadar archipelagos to join it this summer in another edition of RokOtok, but also to adhere to the epidemiological measures set by the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters. He tells everyone to stay in nature as much as possible, to protect it and not to further "injure" the only planet that allows us blue skies, green grass, clear water, and fresh air.

The second stage of the #RokOtok project was supported by many sponsors, the Zadar County, and the Croatian National Tourist Board. More information about the #Rokotok project, plans, and activities, the second stage, or volunteering and promotion, can be found on the official website of the association.

Source: Turističke priče

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Monday, 14 June 2021

Temperatures in Croatia to Reach Summer Levels this Week

14 June 2021 – After unstable weather throughout spring, Croatians and their guests are finally going to see summer weather, perfect for the beach. A look at temperatures in Croatia this week. 

Croatians, especially along the coast, have been complaining about relatively cool May. By June, the coastal region of Dalmatia is usually seeing busy beaches and plenty of people enjoying the warm Adriatic Sea. This year, however, temperatures are rising slowly and the weather has been quite unstable. This is about to change according to During the week we are to see rising temperatures across Croatia exceeding 30°c for the first time this year.

Monday will most probably remain unstable with windy and cool weather in the areas of high elevation and northern Bura wind potentially very strong around the Velebit Mountain region. The remainder of the week will be more stable with rising temperatures. We are to see true summer temperatures in Croatia. Already on Monday, we are expecting daily values in Central Croatia to reach 23°c-25°c, while those in Dalmatia will be reaching daily highs of 26°c-28°c. As it stands now, many Croatians and foreign visitors to the country will enjoy true beach weather this week. Many will be relieved after struggling with chilly waters and fickle weather throughout may and the beginning of June.

Potential for Heat Wave

All is not well for those without a high tolerance for heat. Croatia might be getting the first heatwave of the year. These instances of hot weather that border on unhealthy levels are nothing unusual in Croatia. Every summer there are days when government warnings about health hazards tied to high-temperature exposure need to be broadcasted. The danger of heatstroke and sunburn are all too real during the hottest days on the Croatian coast. If you are visiting Croatia in the second half of the week, make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water. Locals will just be happy to finally be able to switch completely to summer clothes.    

For more information to help you make the best of your Croatian holiday, check out our travel section.

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Croatian Swimming Waters Among Top Five Cleanest in Europe

June 6, 2021 - Croatian swimming waters are of excellent quality, confirmed a new study of the European Environment Agency.

The study of swimming water quality for 2020 was conducted among thirty European countries, with Croatia coming fifth. An analysis by country showed that at least 95.6% of the swimming waters in Croatia are of excellent quality.

As reported by CEOWORLD magazine, Cyprus tops the list of cleanest swimming waters in Europe with 99.1% of excellent quality bathing waters, followed closely by Austria's 98.5%. Malta is in the third place with 97.7% and Greece comes fourth with 95.7%. 

According to the European Environment Agency, an agency of the European Union, 889 swimming areas in Croatia are of excellent quality, 29 are of good quality and only 6 are of sufficient quality. The great news is that there are no swimming waters whose quality can be classified as poor. In the study, both coastal and inland waters were monitored.

This survey also shows that Croatian waters are cleaner than those of some other popular tourist destinations, such as Portugal (in the 7th place, with 91.5% of excellent quality bathing waters) or Spain and Italy (both in the 8th place, with 88.4%). Croatia has also outrun its neighbours, Slovenia and Hungary, who took the 17th and the 23rd place on the list, respectively. 

It remains to be seen just how wisely Croatia is going to use this fact to its advantage.

CEOWORLD magazine cited the Commissioner of Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginius Sinkevicius, who said, quote: ''Clean swimming waters are often seen as a given, but they are in fact one of Europe’s collective achievements. It is the result of the hard work of many people for many years. This year’s report confirms that European citizens can continue to enjoy very high standards of quality when swimming in European waters and that all measures must be taken to continue this process.''



screenshot/EEA interactive map

Individual bathing sites (points) are coloured according to the classification of bathing water quality, with blue indicating excellent water quality.

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Thursday, 26 November 2020

Croatia Through the Eyes of a Digital Nomad: Croatia's Endless Summer Sport

November 26, 2020 - Continuing our look at the digital nomad lifestyle in Croatia, it may be late November for some, but Croatia's endless summer sport continues for some.

The Adriatic Sea is a focal point for seasonal visitors to the Dalmatian coast for good reason; it’s positively refreshing on hot summer days. But some people swim long after the crowds have gone, when the only onlookers are wearing coats.

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(When summer tourists crowd Split’s beaches, everyone carves out their own spot on the sand and in the water.)

Ever since I heard that Split’s summer weather can occasionally extend into fall, I got it in my head that I wanted to swim as late into the season as possible. Swimming is one of my favorite sports for the feeling of being in the water as much as the exercise. Everything about it signals freedom and expansion, increasing my movement, thoughts, and bodily sensations. I love the open water and Croatia’s total seaside environment—sun, salt, azure sea, temperature, and rugged beauty—is perfect.

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(Pine trees, white beaches, and teal waters are hallmarks of the Mediterranean coastline that draw visitors from around the world.)

Before tourists

Back in the spring, during early morning Žnjan beach walks, I’d end up sitting on a rock with my bare feet dangling in the water. Sure, it was cool outside, but I was bundled up in layers and my feel were thankful to be out of socks and shoes. As I looked over my surroundings, I craved summertime just to be fully immersed in the gorgeous water. When it finally arrived, I plotted my swims—whenever and wherever.

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(Ramps and other accommodations are found all along the seaside; they allow people with disabilities to get into the water.)

Island life

A rocky enclave on Lokrum, the Blue Lagoon near Trogir, the famous Zlatni Rat on Brač, and diving off a sailboat were perfect staging grounds for my addiction. I was mindful to soak up every minute in these brilliant surroundings. Sometimes I’d pop my head above the surface and laugh at my good fortune and my happiness; it was pure joy.

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(Shower facilities on every beach look like aliens from another planet.)

Opportunities everywhere

It seems any spot to enter the water is fair game. Croatians will climb through large rocks and pull their cars to the side of the road just to take a dip. I learned to toss my bathing suit and travel towel in a bag when meeting friends because an opportunity could pop up any time. After visiting a bee farm on Šolta, I swam before coming home because why not try another island, right? When biking around Marjan Park, I pumped my brakes at the sight of Kašjuni beach and promptly turned back to join the bathers. Dalmatians inherently love the sea and for them, this behavior is second nature.

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(View from just above the surface, where colors and textures from above and below the water meet.)

Ideal weather

September, October, now November… and I’m still checking the sea and air temperature daily. My bathing suit hangs on a doorknob as a visual reminder; each day I hope it’s the right one. So far quite a few have worked out, even though we’ve passed the Daylight Savings mark on the calendar. Back home my swim gear would’ve been packed away months ago. The Atlantic Ocean is not this agreeable.

Getting cooler

Let’s be real though, things are cooling down. On both ends of these late fall days I wear proper fall clothes. Yet, today the water and air temperature were nearly equal at 18.8ºC (65ºF) and I swam effortlessly. A small admission: I get cold very easily. The idea of swimming in November is way past my comfort zone and I honestly don’t know how I’m doing it.


(The morning sky can create the best view for an early swim.)

Still swimming

Perhaps living in a new place brings new inspiration. Or maybe the cold is all in my head. I don’t need to figure it out, I’m still swimming and loving it. 

Learn more at TCN’s Digital Nomads channel.

Story and photographs ©2020, Cyndie Burkhardt.

For more of Cyndie's experiences, check out her Croatia Through the Eyes of a Digital Nomad column

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Swimming Season Still not Over in Croatia in Early November!

Some people really do not want to check the calendar (or the website showing the sea temperatures), and consider every day to be swimming season!

When I was a kid growing up in Croatia, for my family (and many others) it was customary to go to the seaside for the May 1st holiday, and more often than not, the discussions revolved around whether it's going to be warm enough to take a swim in early May. But nobody ever, from what I can remember, talked about swimming in the sea for All Saints' Day.

These days, it seems like global warming and the increasingly rapid changes to the climate changed all of that, with people swimming in the Adriatic in November, and not even for a specific reason, but just because they enjoy it.

We posted a couple of days ago about the people in Split playing na male branke (a special local version of football) right by the sea, in their swimming apparel, but they were not in the sea, just close to it. That arguably makes it even worse, as it was quite windy at that point in Split.

Today, we bring you a photo from way up North, in Lovran, showcasing two gentlemen enjoying a nice, warm swim on November the 4th, some time in the early afternoon. The air temperature was somewhere around 16 °C, there wasn't much wind, and the sea temperature was around 19 °C, and as you can see in the photo, it was still quite wavy. The two entered the sea, took a brief swim, spoke to each other a bit while in there, taking their time, and then exited as if it was - August. Passers-by took some interest in them, as they were probably the only people in the Adriatic at that point without diving suits on.

And before you know it, the traditional New Year's Day swimming will happen all over Croatia, then Easter will come when the bravest people will probably venture out to say hello to the spring and summer by taking their first yearly swims... Before you know it, it will be swimming season all year long in Croatia, at least for some people!