Thursday June 28 Split, Croatia

Written by Jack van Ommen on June 28th, 2012

I am back on the main land, the Dalmatian coast. 43 degrees North. That is about as far north as I will be for the next month or so. From here I plan to sail back to Vis and then cross to Italy and follow the east coast of Italy and around Sicily. I might make a stop in Tunis. Split is an amazing city. A mixture of baroque from the Austro-Hungarian rule, remnants of the Venetian, Greek and Roman colonization.  The cathedral is remodeled from the mausoleum of the Roman emperor Diocletianus, third century.

I am anchored out. Hopefully I’ll get a more restful night this way. Last nigth the swell jerked the boat violently on it’s mooring lines. I had coffee with the two Skansi cousins, Tom(islan) and Srdjan. Tom is a retired surgeon and lives in Virginia Beach. He has a very nice home here in Sumartin as well. Several years ago he sailed his catamaran from Virginia to Sumartin and back. Srdjan worked as a bridge officer on tankers and later on supply vessels for the oil platforms, all over the globe. They are related but from two different Skansi clans in thjis town. Tom is of the Mala Banda (short side of the harbor) and Srdjan from the Vella Banda (Long side). About 3 generations up from the two cousins a “short” and a “long” Skansi married each other. This practically guaranteed that most of the Sumartin Skansis are related. (The Gig Harbor Skansis changed their name to Skansie). Next I poked around in the boat yard. There are no new boats built any longer, just maintenance and repairs. Then I paid my respects to the padre of the St. Martin church. I could have spent more time with him. Great guy and very willing to help any one in finding their ancestry in Sumartin. There are church records and he has access to a detailed work on many of the Sumartin families written in Croatian and Italian. Srdjan Skansi volunteers to be the email relay for anyone inquiring to father Miro Ancic, ofm.  Father Miro served the Croatian community years in Vancouver  and outlying areas for 8 years. He told me how he had trouble crossing the border into the US, they suspected him to be a muslim terrorist. When you look at the below picture, you’ll have to give the border guys some slack, he does not look like a regular kind of man of the cloth. We sat under the grape vines, shared a Grappa and his experiences as a missionary in the Congo and on leaving he plucked a bunch of ripe figs for me. I figure that the people in Vancouver hated to see him go. I have a lot more notes to go through. I plan to work up something to be published in TNT and/or Gateway.



4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Dana Goluza says:

    Hi Jack. I really enjoyed reading your article describing your travels. I was especially interested in reading that you met Fra Miro Ancic. He is GREAT! I lived in vancouver for years and was a big fan of Miro. If there is any way you can help me get in touch with him i would appreciate it.

    God bless.


  2. Sofi says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience travelling around such kind of nice places. I was wondering if you can also help me to get in touch with Fra Miro Ancic. I’m going to África very soon, as a missionary. I know all the great work he has made there, but I couldn’t find his e-mail address on Internet. I would like to talk to him before I go there. I would appreciate it. Best regards from Málaga, Spain.

  3. jackvanommen says:

    Dear Sofi,

    The web site for the Croation Catholic Press is: