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tradition represented by the lateen sail

ROTA PALAGRUZONA 2013 - sailing

After participating in the fest of the sea on the island of Hvar, eight boats set sail towards Komiža. It was hot and windless, so we stopped at Stiniva for a brief brake.

Traditional sails arrive to Komiža once again. Where is who, how to apply, where are the lectures, where to stay... The organization was not perfect, but that is forgiven the next day when the preparations started.

The helmsmen are aware of the circumstances and agree to some safety measures. Palagruža awaits.

Sailing out!

This is HRM's first time on this regata. They'll be rowing and using the backup sail to Palagruža.

Fueled by strong wind, the boats sailed away. The smaller ones towards Porat on Biševo, and the bigger ones toward Velo Žalo on Palagruža.

The organizers put me on the Queen of the Sea. It's an impressive galley and a real pleasure to sail on, but it somewhat limited my photographing opportunities.

Sailing twoards Palagruža we pass by all the legends of traditional sailing: Luciano Keber on the Šajeta, Ante Skračić on the Gušte, Ive Šikić on the Bažokić, Željko Jerat on the Jaruh.

When there are no boats in the vicinity, I take pictures on the Queen of the Sea. Readying and raising the sails is quite an attraction.

Another maneuver.

Just before Palagruža we catch up to the two falkuša fighting for lead. After six hours of sailing the difference between them was only four minutes.

Falkuša is an unusual boat because it was designed for one purpose: to get to Palagruža, catch fish and get back to Komiža. Each part of the boat was constructed specifically for this task. On an 80 kilometer route, 400 meters is only a 0,005% difference. An insignificant ammount mathematically speaking, but a big deal for sailors if they wish to take a position at Velo Žalo. That's why everyone wanted to win.

Here I would like to mention the last Rota, when the distance between the winning falkušas was the length of the boat, and they both rowed into the finish line.

The duel between leut Bažokić and kuter HRM was dramatic. Leut had the advantage, but the kuter took the lead when they entered a lee and had to row. The sailors entered the finish line in style and were greeted by people from the coast.

Seagulls tend to their young and follow the visitors that just overflowed the island.

Walking to the lantern at the top of the island is a tradition. Once we arrived there, we sang the national anthem and hung our national flag. We also hung the EU flag in sign of support for the integration.

Besides seahawks, Palagruža also has an abundance of capparis.

The coast is crowded. We discuss about matters both future and past. The only present matter to discuss is what we're having for lunch.

I can't believe so many people and falkuša fit on this area. Our friends placed a modest memorial for their locals that lost their lives a long time ago in a rockslide on one part of the beach.

A beautiful warm night sets on the beach of Palagruža. Singing and dancing occupied most of us until dawn.

The company on the Queen was more serious. They've spent hours trying out excellent local wines, honoring the slogan:

"you drink wine by the hour, not by the liter"

I wake up on the deck of the Queen of the Sea. Murterian leuts already set sail towards Komiža. Omišans went for Palagruža, as well as Keber and his company on the Šajeta. And I finally have a picture from Palagruža, after three Rotas. It was about time.

Company is stil in god mood. We are back to Komiža.

The expected program for the night was singing, awards and dinner. Well, at least we were supposed to have some dinner. But then...

We sailed to Palagruža again. People are hard working, so they expect some kind of attention, not just some shirts. They want some water so they can wash themselves and some food to eat. They don't need much, but they work a lot. Our friend made a huge trip of 400 miles to participate in a festivity dedicated to those who sailed to survive.

Rota palagruzona 2013

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