August 19 2017 – August 29, 2017
Our last and most anticipated holiday of the summer was to Croatia to spend a week sailing on a catamaran. I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like sailing, mostly due to the seasickness factor, but it turned out to be such a different, exciting, and fun vacation. It helped that the sun was shining every day and that I am probably the most tan I have ever been in my life right now. Still.
The route of the trip went something like this Split -> Supetar -> Makarska -> Bol -> Vis -> Komiza -> Hvar -> Split. We embarked on this route with 15 other party week sailboats, but ended up having the nicest/biggest boat and the Lead Skipper as our guide. After hearing stories about the other boats and not being able to use the bathroom/shower on the boat, I was glad we sprang for the big guy. Our crew consisted of Me, Tyler, Mike (Tyler’s college friend), Jessica (EY Amsterdam friend) and Melissa (EY Amsterdam friend) and Josip (Lead Skip).
The route started off in Split, a town on the mainland of Croatia. The city has a big marina, some nice beaches, and a historical “Old Town”. It is also home to some of the scenes in Game of Thrones and has the caves where Khalesi keeps her dragons. We spent a night before and after the boat in this city. After loading up on some food, booze, and accessories (including my Captain’s hat) we were ready to hit the open seas.
We got our first experience of sailing while heading to Supetar. I loved it! The sun on our skin and the waves rolling under us was truly an experience I won’t forget. Supetar is on the island of Brac and was just a short sail away. Upon docking, I had the job of throwing the rope to the guy in the marina so he could pull us in. It was a nerve wrecking, but I felt accomplished afterwards. Our Skipper made dinner reservations for us at Vinotoka where the special of the night was swordfish. Which meant that there was a guy outside cutting up a huge swordfish and once it was gone, so was the special. The food was super fresh and really delicious. After dinner we headed to the Sail Week party which we found lame, so we made our own party at another club the locals had told us about called Roso. In an effort to not exhaust ourselves on the first night, things didn’t get too crazy.
Makarska was definitely one of my favorite stops of the whole trip. Although it is not an island, but is located on the mainland, it had a great beach and great city views. This was the first time of the trip where we tried to play cards and Josip made us get off the boat to explore the island and take in the local culture. So, while the rest of the crew went ziplining, I decided to lounge on the rocky pebbles at the beach. I also checked out the nearby cliff divers and got some pretty cool shots of people turning tricks. We ate dinner that night at a place on the beach called Bounty that had some great wine. Josip even joined us, and he just always made things more lively. The sponsored party of the night while in Makarska was in a cave. It was raging, but we were probably the oldest patrons. The next morning Tyler took his turn at the cliffs and even jumped off the big one!
On our way to Bol our Skip let us anchor in the ocean to stop for a swim, and I got to test out my avocado float (One of the things we had seen in pictures of Sail Week before we came is that everyone has cool floats. So, before we left, I came home from work to find a present wrapped for me on the table. I opened it up and it was my avocado! I lived in this float during the week and people in the other boats even nicknamed me Avocado). The favorite past time of our crew was definitely stopping to swim and sport in the ocean. We had a paddleboard and snorkel gear onboard that also got daily use. We would have been happy just being in the water all day, but Josip didn’t want us to be late for the beach party.
We had a water taxi pick us up from our boat and joined a group of Australians who were also on the Sail Week. They were about our same age and had the same party mentality as us (all about the day party, less about the clubs). So naturally, I nicknamed them our best boat friends, along with their skipper who they nicknamed Ricky Bobby. We found a table big enough for the whole crew and spent the afternoon drinking long island iced teas and swimming in the clear blue water. The beach party was definitely a good one and turned into people dancing on tables towards the end (NOT me). Once the sun went down, we made the trek back to our boat to make some delicious spaghetti dinner. Unfortunately, the sun wore us out and we did not make it to the party that night. We did however, get to see the people from the boat next to us fall in the water while walking across the plank to get to shore. Entertaining stuff.
On the way to Vis, we were supposed to stop and have a couple hours to swim. But of course, our boat showed up late to the party (Lead Skipper problems) and we only had time for a quick dip. It was fine though because I sat in the Avocado on the sun bed while we sailed instead. Once again, when we got to the island, we tried to play cards and got yelled at. This was probably a good thing because we proceeded to rent a convertible and scooter to cruise around the island. Which was probably one of my favorite things we did. The island doesn’t have many roads so we kind of just looked at the map and made wrong turns and were old school, but it was awesome. We drove up to the highest point on the island where you can see several different cities/countries. Then we went to find a beach and swam for a little bit before taking the car back for dinner. Dinner was at an amazing place where they cook the food in a coal oven. You have to call in advance because it takes a few hours to cook, and we had lamb and octopus and risotto and it was delish.
Because we had missed out on the swimming party the day before, we convinced Josip to let us get in some time before heading to our next destination. This kind of backfired on us though because unfortunately our anchor broke. It was a stressful hour while he tried to fix it while we still made our way to the next destination. In Komiza we didn’t dock at the marina, but instead all 15 sailboats tied up next to each other, and since we were the biggest boat with the lead skipper, we had to be the center and couldn’t be too late. I’m still not sure how he managed to finally fix the anchor, but he did and we had a great time floating with our new friends. The floating party turned pretty rowdy and I broke out my flash tattoos and gave everyone something sassy. While we all partied on the floats, Tyler went scuba diving and saw a sunken ship. Once he got back we all cleaned up and headed to the shore to look for somewhere to grab a bite to eat.
Hvar is the party island. We got to our docking spot pretty early in the morning after first taking a trip to the blue grotto. It was similar to the blue grotto in capri where we got picked up by a small boat that was filled with people and ventured into the cave where the bright blue color of the water was very intense. It was a whole lot bigger than the one in Italy though and we stayed inside of it for a lot longer and it was cheaper. However, since I had just seen something similar a month before, I was not as impressed as I should have been. After the grotto, we had so much time for activities around our boat and we all floated, stand up paddleboarded, and snorkeled. I even did some yoga on the SUP, but haven’t yet nailed the headstand in the wavy waters.
Apparently the sunset from the Hula Hula bar in Hvar is something that can’t be missed. Unfortunately, the water taxis were really late in picking us up and we did miss it. We didn’t let that bum us out too much and still chilled at the Hula Hula bar with our Aussie friends for a few drinks. Josip had requested that we meet him at his favorite bar of the trip, the Kiva bar in the middle of the town. It was super packed! We had a string of unfortunate events that started with Tyler getting throw up splashed on his back and me gushing blood from stepping on a piece of bar glass. It was just too crowded. So Tyler and I headed to the CLUB, because for some reason we figured that would be a better idea. It was a really interesting place with half naked men and women dancers. I can only handle so much of a club scene, so after a few hours I´d had enough and wanted to catch the water taxi back. The third strike of the night happened when the 3am water taxi was too crowded to allow us, so we had to wait a whole hour for the 4am. Because this was the party place, there were people passed out and puking everywhere. Not my favorite. I think I had a bad taste in my mouth about Hvar because everyone else I´ve talked to that has been there has loved it. Go figure!
After Hvar, it was time to return to Split. But first, we had another glorious swim. I think Josip and Ricky Bobby were hungover and just wanted us to let them rest more before taking off. We didn´t mind though, we´d do anything for one more swim! The sail back to Split was incredible and I was very sad that it was our last one.
We arrived back in Split on Friday, but our flights weren´t until Sunday so we had some time to explore. On Friday night we stumbled upon a jazz festival in a random park that was actually pretty fun!
On our last full day in Split, Tyler and I decided to rent a car to go to the nearby Krka National Park which had beautiful trails over the waterfalls. The scenery was just unbelievable with the blues and greens of the water. I imagine it´s even more breathtaking in the months where the water is more plentiful. We swam in the cool waters and really enjoyed our time exploring.
What a wonderful week spent with the best crew!