For most of my life, we were connected to the sea and boats. We own several in our family and we have always been emotionally attached to them. I did a post a while back on our own ship: https://secretcroatia.blog/2009/07/01/traditional-wooden-boats-in-croatia/
And we have been attached to Betina for decades, too as several of our boats have been worked on by Betina kalafati and ship builders. So, when the news of the new Christmas tradition in Betina of decorating classic boats came out, we were happy to to go and visit.
Betina Museum of Shipbuilding
Batina is a small village on Murter Island but with great tradition in shipbuilding ever since the Korčula born Filipi family came and founded the first shipyard for wooden boats. Before that, locals were buying boats from different places and not much is known about it.
So, wooden gajetas and leuts were synonymous with Betina as some of the highest quality boats were coming from its shipyards. Today, very few are left. So, it was really a great initiative to start a museum of wooden shipbuilding in Betina back in 2015. It is one in the series of interesting museums founded recently in Croatia. Here is the musem web site to learn more: http://www.mbdb.hr/en/museum-of-betina-wooden-shipbuilding/
Open Air Museum
The best part of the museum is the open-air-museum in Betina harbor. This is where the tradition is kept alive. The museum hosts probably the best and the biggest collection of small wooden boats on this side of the Adriatic. One can see all sorts of historic vessels from this area in Betina’s harbor.
Christmas Tradition in Betina
So this new tradition is of a recent date. Decorating masts of the traditional boats with lights really gives them a different dimension. And entire Betina looks quite special! There are never too many people here so it makes for a lovely evening getaway. Just to walk around and to have a tea in a cafe nearby.
This unique museum definitely deserves more attention from all the boat lovers from all over the world. This open-air exhibition really gives it a unique a dimension and makes it a very unique but also valuable.
The boats will loose the lights till next year. And we will be back in warmer months again.