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tradition represented by the lateen sail

ROTA PALAGRUZONA 2010 - Komiza - Palagruza

After 70 years, Komiza is now the starting point for boats on their way to Palagruza. Rota Palagruzona. Nine proud crews are given the chance to take part in restoring the tradition. People used to sail and catch fish around Palagruza to survive. Today, we don't sail out to catch fish, but to honour these great men.

The weather is very nice. Komiza seems so quiet on a summer morning, only we who are planning to go on this trip are making a fuss about who, when, where. Arriving at the docks, things change.

The boats have to be readied for sail, so there's no time to think.

We're looking foward to the trip.

Once more we gather on the stage as we are greeted.

We're off to Palagruza.

The boats sail around the harbour, awaiting the start sign, which will by given by the St. Rocco cannoneers at around 9:15 AM.

The boats that set sail twoards Palagruza are:

Bazokic, Bente Dorte, Comeza Lisboa, Jaruh, Komiza, Mikula, Slobodna Dalmacija, Sajeta, Sjor Brane.

Just a couple of moments after we started, the distance between boats grew ever greater, everyone losing sight of one another. After 2/3 of the trip we've lost sight of Vis, but i the final third of the trip Palagruza was showing up. Usually, the visibility is very poor in this area and most of the time you can't see any land at all.

A part of our trip was sailing through international waters. Without any good navigation, compass or GPS, the trip can get quite tricky. In the last third even our mobile phones lost all signal coverage. Even our manual radio stations were out of range. With 42 nautical miles, which is 80 kilometers, we can see why we were expected to have all of the safety equipment. The photo on the right shows the moment when we recognized Palagruza, three hours before arrival.

The trip went smoothly. But as we approached Palagruza, tramuntana started increasing in power so the other group of boats came on rough sea. The relatively high cape caused a turmoil of winds near it. The wind pushed our sail from one side to another, and as we passed the cape, it hit us so hard we barely packed up the sail after crossing the finish line.

The cutter Komiza is arriving at full sail, but at one point the wind rips the sail apart.

At that same location, the wind breaks leut Sajeta maist.

Komiza arrives to help them out, but Sajeta managed to pick up their sail and ropes before their arrival.

Sajeta passes the finish line and ties up by the Bente Dorte.

Finally, we're at the famous beach of Palagruza. Old fishermen didn't have anything poetic to say about this unhospitable island. If there was no place on the beach, you had to turn back to saving your own life. It's a difficult place to stay since it isn't protected from all winds. The fishermen let us have their anchors, our radios cought a sginal, as well as our mobile phones. We had the perfect weather conditions, we couldn't wish for anything more. That's why we could just relax on the beach and gaze upon the wonder of this mythical place.

We climb to the top of the island to the lighthouse. Seagulls crowd the place, flying around at sunfall checking out who came and disturbed them.


Full moon was probably rising that evening, but who would remember all the details in such exciting moments. In the distance Italy and Vis could be seen, but nothing else. Perhaps the shadow in the distance is Lastovo.

Supper was prepared on the beach. Tuna, smaller fish and brudet, as well as a commemorative speech dedicated to our successful voyage, which was questionable the last few days due to the weather.

It was a good decision to break this up into multiple, qualification rounds, because this trip to Palagruza is niether good for a lot of boats niehter is it safe for unexpirienced adventurers. Top safety measures were vital.

Rota palagruzona 2010

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