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Otok Brac

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Otok Brac forms the southern side of the Spitski Kanal, the bay surrounding the city of Split, it is the largest of the Dalmatian islands and the third largest land mass in the Adriatic. It has a population of 13000 and its largest town, Supetar has 3500 people living in it and is served by a ferry from Split, barely 7nm miles to the north-west. The island itself is mountainous with peaks rising above 700m and a steep spine of high slopes and almost vertical faces dominating much of its southern shore.


History

Brac has the remains of human activity going back to the Palaeolithic (10000-50000 years ago) but few other remains from prehistory. Like many of its neighbours it was colonised first by the Greeks in the 4th Century BC and later by the Romans. During medieval times it was occupied by the Venetians, who controlled much the Adriatic coast and in the 15th and 16th Centuries it suffered, again like its neighbours, from the raids of pirates and Turks.


Venetian rule of the island came and went through the later medieval, but they only finally relinquished full control in 1797 when much of the area became part of the Austro-Hungarian, Hapsburg, Empire. The 20th Century has seen a major reduction of the population of Brac, with the diaspora spreading as far afield as the USA, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and Australia.


During World War 2 the island was occupied first by the Italians and then in 1944 by the Germans, though neither nation had an easy ride as the mountainous interior made for good territory from which to run a guerrilla campaign. Croatia’s communist war time leader, and the first President of post-war Croatia, Vladimir Nazor was born on the island in Postira in 1876 and was bought up in the fishing village of Bobovisce on the island’s western shore. Before going into politics in 1941 Nazor was (and still is) one of Croatia’s greatest poets and authors, basing much of his work on local legend and his experiences of living on Brac.


Brac is also famous for its pale limestone, particularly coming from quarries in the Pucisca area. Stone from Brac was used to build much of Diocletian’s palace in Split and it is said, also for the construction of the White House in Washington DC.


Today Brac’s main industry are tourism and agriculture (grapes and olives). Regular car ferries link Supetar to the mainland (via Split) and many of the island’s hotels are to be found around the town.


Sailing

For sailors, the main focus tends to be the town of Milna on the western shore of the island just to the north of the Splitska Vrata. Here you will find the ACI Marina but also a good private site, Marina Vlaska and the island’s main marine fuel retailer (by the fish canning factory). For those who like it quieter but want to be close to Milna and the Splitska Vrata there are two good options. To the north of the town is the inlet of Uvala Bobovisce with opportunities to anchor and also to moor against the small town quay. To the south-east (just outside the Splitska Vrata) is Uvala Lucice with plenty of opportunities to either anchor and pick up a buoy and several attractive looking restaurants. Both Bobvisce and Lucice are within walking distance of Milna.




Uvala Lucice


Along the north shore of Brac there are a number of small harbours where yachts may find a mooring, Sutivan, Supetar, Postire and Pucisca though in each case consideration needs to be given to the weather and the shelter possible from a Bora blowing off the mainland to the north. At the east end of the island Uvala Luka gives the best all round shelter and there are accounts of yachts sheltering for up to a week here when a persistent Bora was blowing.


The south shore of the island is a different problem, with very few options to moor up. Sumartin has a small harbour, again effected by the local Bora, though trees surrounding the harbour are said to counter its effect somewhat. In addition southerly winds also create a big swell here.


Heading west along the southern shore of Brac the impressive slopes of the island’s mountainous spine have prevented many good anchorages from forming. In the centre of the south shore is Bol. Again there is a harbour but again it is exposed to both Bora and southerly winds. The Bol area is also popular for the Dugi Rat beach, and during the day you will encounter many yachts and excursion boats anchored off the sandy spit. There are a few mooring buoys here as well though these are said to be expensive. Dugi Rat offers no shelter and is primarily a day time stop for those craving the sand.


At the west end of the southern shore you will begin to notice a number of inlets. These start with long narrow bays such as those at Blaca and Krusica and then become larger and more sheltered as you head west. A number of these bays have fish farms in them but one, Uvala Lucice is a very popular anchorage with more than 30 mooring buoys. Lucice offers all around shelter (though you may have to move to find it depending on which way the wind blows) and is also handy as a stopping off point for those heading north-south (to and from Split through the Splitska Vrata) and those heading east-west (up the coast to Primosten, Sibenik and Zadar).