The first island we come across, is also called the capital of the Kornati islands. Hardly surprising since the inhabitants of Murter own the majority of land and houses on the archipelago. In summer they move to the Kornati islands for a few months to fish or to pick olives in late autumn. For them the most important thing in the world is the gajeta (a half-decked, single mast fishing boat) which takes them there. Few are the places we can see so many gajeta, and in such good condition. They are moored at dozens of small docks built just for them. In the olden days the trip to the Kornati islands was made by sail and by oar – a tradition still going strong. There is plenty of opportunity to sail not only among the Kornati islands but also in the small archipelago just off Murter itself.

We need to sail cautiously between the islets of Radelj, Veli Vinik and Mali Vinik, because there are many shallows. Having passed them we can find a safe berth in Hramina, a spacious marina in Murter where, if we feel the need, we can replenish our strength with a good meal in one of the numerous restaurants. On the other hand, we could opt for another safe berth, in the neighbouring Betina – an old shipbuilding town where the skill and craft of building wooden boats is still alive and well, just as it is in the town of Murter. From Betina we sail down a long and entirely protected bay to Tisno, where the island is connected to the mainland by a bridge. From there we can head out to Pirovac, at the end of the Bay of Pirovac, somewhat further to the north, but we want to sail around the island, and so must pass under the bridge at Tisno, which is raised twice each day. About a mile from Tisno, where we can moor at the waterfront, is Jezera, a safe harbour that is home to the third marina on the island and the centre of big game fishing on the eastern shores of the Adriatic. Having left Jezera and passed Cape Rat about a mile and a half later, we could continue along the southern coast of Murter to the coves of Sveti Nikola, Kosirina and Slanica, or just carry on. We choose the natural route – we are going to the Kornati National Park.

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