'Sure. Thanks. How was it this morning?' – I sit next to him and nod a good morning to Tomislav who passes by the table with a tray of freshly cleaned fish.
'It was good.' – A standard reply. Ivo rarely complains about his catch. He is one of the few people that are allowed to fish in this archipelago. Since it is a national park, the only fisherman allowed are people who own the land – like him. There is plenty of fish and very few fisherman. It very much reminds me of my childhood in the northern islands 60km north.Fishing tradition is slowly dying out – since we entered EU, local fisherman are no longer allowed to fish for themselves unless they pay a hefty sum of cash for a licence. It doesn't help that commercial fisherman are more numerous constantly reducing the fish base. It's different here on Kornati.
How hard can life be on an island?
'You've seen the beasts?' – he nods with a smile looking at a donkeys that turned around the corner wandering in the maze of small lanes.
'We have to give them water. They wouldn't survive otherwise.' – he turns towards the sea and rests his hand on the side of the bench. – 'They were owned by an old man in the next bay, a cousin of mine. He died and now there is no one to take care of them so they wonder around and in the dryest months they come to us.'
We talk about the animals and how life here was always a cohabitation with animasl. We finish the drinks, and Ivo takes his phone and pushes it around the table with his hand. It feel like the little machine is a big burden and a source of frustration, that he would like to avoid:
'...it's a very calm day today. It will be like this for days... ' – he snuggs keeping his worried look. This is normal weather for late summer.
'...but our water is running low. We'll need to call 'Bokanjac' – he says with a worrying grim refering to the the water carrying boat that supplies the islands with water and sells it at a premium price.