We left anchorage in front of Fano, Italy early in the morning and crossed the Adriatic in one long day sail. We arrived late, at sundown, and assuming Customs would be closed, anchored in the best shelter as close to Customs as practicable and commenced dinner. Along come the Polizia and took Captain Mauro and all our passports and documents into their boat for 2 hours. Mauro came out looking haggard and told us we were being fined 600 euro each for not going in to customs immediately. We could see customs from the boat, but for a few trees and a hill. Mauro tried to go right then. NO! WE CAN FINE YOU BECAUSE YOU SAT HERE AN HOUR FIRST SO WE WILL FINE YOU!! I will leave all other commentary off the post, but I wished them badly (aloud, I’m afraid. I am not a nice person when being assaulted), something like slow deaths in bellies of whales. I lean towards drama when indicated.
So we paid the stupid fines, and consider it part of the cruising life. My advice. Stay out of Croatia. If you’re stuck paying fines anyway and your cruising permit is still good until July from last year, stay and enjoy it.