Ever since my sister did her OE and raved about sailing around Croatia – her all time favourite trip – it has had a firm place on my bucket list. So when some of our friends announced they had booked a week sailing the Med Sea, they had no choice, Andrew and I were taking the remaining two spots on that yacht.
It was absolutely the best decision and now two weeks after returning to London, we are still stuck with our holiday blues, reminiscing of our time sailing around the islands of Croatia.
We started our trip in Split, with 6 out of our 8 man crew arriving on the Friday before we set sail. I had farewelled Andrew in London, as he had his CFA exam, and wouldn’t be joining the group until Sunday. In Split we spent our time exploring the Old Town, getting lost within the city’s alleyways and taking in the views over the busy port from Park Marjan, not once but twice. Our time here was short and sweet, but we had plenty to look forward to over the coming days – which we were beyond excited to get started.
We booked our holiday with the highly regarded MedSailors – a Kiwi owned company that offers sailing trips in Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Italy and the Caribbean. We opted for the Voyager cruise which took us from Split to Dubrovnik in 7 days, mooring in some of the more remote and most popular islands and bays including – Solta, Hvar, Lovište, Korcula, Mljet and Šipan.
At the Baotic Marina in Trogir (just outside of Split) we quickly got acquainted with our Skipper, Shane, a 20 yr old (so young!), passionate sailor from South Africa, on his first solo trip on the Voyager route. We boarded our home for the next week – the De La Fontaine – then cracked open a drink to celebrate setting off early.
Upon setting sail, Shane introduced us to some of the basics of sailing, our yacht, and taught us some knot skills etc., basically, he was starting to sow the seed so we could smash the regatta race in a few days to come. It was hard for him to hide his competitiveness – and we were all on board.
It was just a short sail to our first destination – the quaint bay of Sesula on the island of Solta. After a dip and SUP in the crystal waters, we headed to a restaurant for dinner which offered beautiful views out over the bay. We were all a bit giddy when it started to sink in that this was going to be our life for a week. Never has the quote “living the dream” applied so accurately.
The morning routine of early rising, a refreshing swim and a continental breakfast came easily, and usually by about 9am we were setting off for our next destination. Each day we would normally sail for a couple of hours then find a quiet bay along the way to anchor up and have lunch and another swim. By late arvo we arrived at Palmižana Bay, on a small island, not far from the ever popular tourist destination of Hvar Town. It was here that Andrew was itching to join us and we got to celebrate the milestone of finishing his CFA exams.
After a quick ‘punch party’ put on for us by MedSailors, we headed across to Hvar on a water taxi to explore the Old Town. We headed straight up the stepped alleyways to the island’s Fortress which offers amazing views down over Hvar Town and out towards the Pakleni Islands. We enjoyed watching the sunset from Hula Hula Bar before heading to meet Shane and some of the other boats at Marinero for a delicious seafood feast. The Croatian cuisine was starting to win me over and I indulged in the fresh seafood every chance I could. After a few more drinks and working up a bit of a sweat on the d-floor in Kiva Bar we headed back to Palmižana.
Day 3 was definitely a highlight for various reasons – dolphins, dance parties, new job announcement for Andrew, mastering our sailing, SUP bar, a beautiful sunset and the most comfortable chairs ever. It really was such a perfect day filled with a lot of banter and laughs. I somehow got the job of being on the winch and I tried to learn the art of easing, trimming and tacking – it was all a lot of fun and I was thankful that Shane was such a great teacher. We moored at Lovište on the western tip of Pelješac peninsula, this was a slight variation from the MedSailors advertised Vela Luka stop, but we had a great afternoon here and a delicious dinner at a local restaurant on the waterfront.
Continue to Part Two…