Croatia is Border Land. The country lays on the geographic margin between central Europe and the Balkans, between the Adriatic and the Continent. Its very shape speaks of the divide. There is nothing compact, square or secure. Instead it curves around Bosnia and Herzegovina in a narrow arc, like a crescent moon or a boomerang. At no point is Croatia more than a few hundred miles wide; in most places it is much less.
Our goal was to kayak its length, through the 1,246 islands lying like marbles atop what astronauts claim is the bluest sea on the planet, the Adriatic. Of those, a spare 67 are inhabited and many are smaller than three acres. The Croatian coast is home to one of the largest archipelagos in the Mediterranean and looks like a barer, wonderfully shattered, more sun-drenched Maine. We would kayak more than 400 miles, from Zadar to Dubrovnik. Along the way we met a variety of fishermen (many of whom complained that there are very few fish still in the Adriatic!) and swam in pens at a tuna farm off the island of Brac with 600-pound tuna, soon headed for Japan to be turned into sushi. – Jon Bowermaster
TEAM: Jon Bowermaster, Peter McBride, Alex Nicks, Domagoj Papac, Steve Rogerson, Dr. Melita Peharda, Shane Braddock
OCEANS 8 FILMS Presents
“BORDERLAND: SEA KAYAKING CROATIA”
Edited by ALEX NICKS and JASON WILLIAMS / PRESENT FOCUS
Sound Design by JACQUES BOULANGER / CREATIVE AUDIO POST
Videography by ALEX NICKS
Produced, Directed and Written by JON BOWERMASTER
Sponsored by the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Expeditions Council
This ongoing project from writer and adventurer Jon Bowermaster includes a series of expeditions to explore the world’s oceans from the seat of a sea kayak. Used as both transportation and as floating ambassadors, sea kayaks allow Jon and his teams – comprised of some of the world’s best photographers, filmmakers, scientists and navigators – to reach corners of the world rarely seen. The goal of each expedition is adventure and education through exploration of local cultures, histories, environmental issues and the future of these varied regions. Supported by the National Geographic Expeditions Council, the expeditions have taken Jon to the heart of the Aleutian Islands, through the Tuamotu Atolls in French Polynesia, across the high plains of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, up the wild coastline of Gabon in West Africa, along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, and around the rugged shores of the Australian island of Tasmania.