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C + 16 : Italian Dreams & Nightmares

Wonderful lazy day today - the weather is perfect, little wind, lots of sun, almost no swell and our captains Mustafa and Marko found the perfect bay on the island of Otok Zverniac.

Otok Molat at 7 am - no signs of life on the Maske yet ….

It took only 45 minutes to get from Otok Molat to Otok Zverinac where we will stay for the night. The ferry from Zadar with three of our American friends is expected to arrive at 22.40 in Brbinj on Otok Dugi, about a 15 min ride on the tender from where we are.

On the way to Otok Zverinac with Otok Dugi in the background - all these islands are now part of a large National Park - under Tito the area was a military exclusion zone thus there are no new settlements - only a few old villages - it is pure nature now the submarines are gone

Upon arrival the kaiaks, the paddle boards, fins and noodles came out. The Maske had even a portable torpedo (sea bob) with a tiny engine driven propeller that drags you through the water. Suddenly, everybody wanted to exercise

The disputed area on the Dalmatian coast between 1919 and 1943

Most people are unaware of the fact that the islands whose beauty we enjoy today have a rather chequered history. To lure Italy into World War I, France and England promised them to Italy in a secret treaty in 1915. The Allied Powers wanted Italy to break the triple alliance with Germany and Austria. Italy subsequently entered the war and paid a terrible price with 564’000 men killed in action. But the world changed with the entry of the USA into the war two years later. US President Wilson made the right of self government one of the key principles for the peace negotiations in Versailles. Since most of the territories promised to Italy had a Croatian population, Italy’s claim was reduced to Istria and Zara. Dalmatia and the Dalmatian islands became part of the newly created Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It stayed this way until Yugoslavia was occupied by the Nazi who turned Dalmatia and its islands to Italy. Mussolini finally got his price. But it did not last long. In 1943, the Italian Army capitulated and most islands were taken back by Tito’s partisans. Being part of the military exclusion zone under Tito, the islands were never developed and thus retained the beauty we enjoy today. We saw many sailboats from Italy today - but this time they come in peace and enjoy the beauty of the landscape as we do.

The evenings here are spectacular - time for dinner

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