The shortest ferry trip on the Croatian coast takes is a 320 metre ride which takes just 3 minutes.
That is the distance between Brodarica, a village located 8 km south of Šibenik, and the island of Krapanj and every day, for the last 50 years, the boat named Spužvar has connected the two locations.
Krapanj is one of the smallest inhabited islands of the Adriatic Sea and lost a lot of its population in the middle to late 20th century as many emigrating to Australia, Canada and the United States.
Krapanj has a rich underwater history and is known for harvesting and selling of sea sponges. The tradition dates back over 300 years ago. For many years, diving for sponges had been the major income for Krapanj families, earning them the title of “Spužvari” (sponge vendors).
The boat Spužvar, which was built in a Croatian shipyard and given its name by locals from the island, was christened back in 1972 and only operates on the Krapanj-Brodarica route.
“The name was given because of the tradition of the island of Krapanj and what the people of Krapanj do,” Roko Tanfara, owner of the Museum of Sponge and Souvenir Shop in Krapanj, told HRT.
The route Spužvar takes is tailored to the local winds.
“Krapanj is very special, you can feel every wind here, but for Spužvar it is a piece of cake,” says Spužvar’s captain Renato Jaram.
You can see Spužvar in action on the here.