A Fitting Farewell to a Great Man, Capain Jerry Nazor

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On Friday 21st July, 2017, the Adriatic lost a great man – Captain Jerry Nazor. Yesterday, in honour of Jerry, more than a dozen boats sailed in a procession together, saluting past his home; a fitting and emotional tribute.

I caught up with Jerry Nazor just over a month ago now, to capture his story of a life at sea. I officially met Jerry three years ago, when I did a tour on his boat Otac Duje and I instantly knew this man has lived a life. When I sat down with him to capture his story (read about the great man here), I didn’t just learn about his tales at sea; I learnt exactly how much a man can love his ship, the Adriatic and his family.

Captain Jerry lived a rich life, led by his heart. He never wanted for much, just to be with his family and at sea on his ship – that was just as much a part of him as the lines on his hands. All of his children worked on Otac Duje with him at some stage and as his two daughters Anka and Barbara shared – growing up on Otac Duje and being near their father were their best memories.

The boating world is a small community here on the Adriatic and, like any small community – everyone knows everyone. Captain Jerry and Otac Duje worked in tourism together since 1985 – possibly the longest surviving duo and are known as a pair all along the Adriatic. While small communities have a tendency to talk, I have never once heard anything else said about Jerry other than – a good, honest man. A rare breed of the old-school sailors, well-respected by all.

In 2011, Otac Duje caught fire and almost completely devastated the ship and family; however, the community banded together around Captain Jerry and his family, contributing to the rebuild in whatever way they could.

You can say whatever you want about Croatians, but what you can never say is – Croatian’s don’t have heart. The people I know here have the biggest hearts and strength of spirit; and there is a deep, unspoken respect that runs through communities for men like Jerry.

This is exactly what I witnessed yesterday.

At around 1pm yesterday, around 20 boats set sail from Split together led by Otac Duje with his son Krešo at the helm. Otac Duje did have guests aboard, but they were all informed of what was going on, the story we wrote about Jerry and Otac Duje was printed, so they could all learn about the great man.

The boats all slowed, sailing at minimum speed past Krilo to Sumpetar – Jerry and Otac Duje’s home. A solemn salute to show their respect.

This is not something you will see for every sailor, but once again, it shows the level of respect that an entire community has for Jerry and his family.

It was a fitting and highly emotional tribute, more touching than I will ever be able to find words for…

So, Captain Jerry, here is to your final voyage “mirno more”, the Adriatic won’t be the same without you; though we know your family and Otac Duje will be kept safe under your watch. Our deepest condolences to the Nazor family, you have the love and support of everyone along the Adriatic.

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