I fear I may have painted our Croatia sailing adventure in a poor light last week – the truth however is that while there is a lot of alcohol involved, so too did it involve an amazing group of people, a beautiful coast line, swimming, sunbathing and simply being on holiday!
We started in Dubrovnik where we were able to meet up with lovely Dana (you will remember as our London tour guide) who was just finishing her own Croatia sailing trip and was able to once again impart words of wisdom over dinner and drinks with her sailing companions.
We explored the walled city, including seeking out the setting for iconic Game of Thrones scenes (fan girl!) before heading to the nearby port to meet our own sailing group. We had a bit of time to kill, so sat in the park near the port surreptitiously checking out other likely looking candidates and crossing our fingers we weren’t the only couple/the oldest/the least party-partyers.
Luckily our fears went unfounded and we met what turned out to be an amazing group of kiwis and Aussies (one token Brit also) – and also our awesome guide Mon – ready to swim, sunbathe, enjoy beautiful Croatia and party the nights away!
Our first group activity was heading back to Dubrovnik old town where we were given a tour of the city by a permanent resident. She was adorable and hilarious and who told us about her own harrowing experiences of the war which I was ashamed to say I had never even realised had occurred, despite it being during my lifetime.
That night was our first dinner as a group where, much to the disapproval of the other diners, our newly elected ‘captain’ tried out the ‘rules’ of the boat. These included (but were not limited to) ‘earthquake’ – which involved everyone dropping to the ground – last person to do so being subjected to progressively more interesting punishments as the week wore on! This proved endlessly hilarious while walking through streets, in restaurants, clubs. Variations became ‘man overboard’ where everyone had to jump into the water (not as fun as you would think three times in a row when you really just want to go back to sleep), and ‘Ducks’ where we had to follow the captain in line, waddling and quacking. Again, hilarious.
Our first full day took us to the Island of Mljet where we anchored for a swim, boated ashore to check out the beautiful national park lakes, before a pirate party of such magnitude that I slept through breakfast until half an hour before the three course lunch that we were fed every day.. Something that became something of a pattern as the week wore on!
The tour took us to Korcula which has a mini walled city similar to Dubrovnik, where we had cocktails at sunset, before on to the famous Hvar. After our morning swim spot, we walked up to the fortress for a view of the city. After, seeking out one of the daytime bars that line the beach front. Later, we drank Long Island iced teas and danced in the street before water taxiing to amazing party Island to continue the night!
The next night Kelly had been nominated captain for his stellar (and hilarious) pole dancing performance in Korcula (one of the clubs featured novelty stripper poles, which naturally became part of the antics) with a big job ahead of him of motivating the team for a third night, this time for the rave in a cave at Makarska.
By this stage, breakfast had become something of a myth, jumping off the upper deck of the boat was replaced with gingerly plonking into the water to float on inflatables and everyone was thoroughly ready for a quiet night. Pity then that 3/4 of the boat woke up more sick than ever, having either obtained some sort of virus, or succumbed to food poisoning from the burgers at an (apparently) dodgy sandwich shop! One of the Croatian crew members recommended a shot of vodka to cure them – alcohol to kill the bugs! While this was laughed off, it didnt escape my notice that that has been the only night alcohol had not been consumed.. Maybe there was some truth in it!
I fortunately didn’t succumb to the lurgy sweeping the boat and while the others (Kelly included – I wasn’t very nurse-like) I walked up the trail to the pirate fortress with two others who had managed to escape illness to catch a view of the bay.
That afternoon we docked in Split, our last night of the sail. Unfortunately, things had still not improved much, with some seeking beds in hotels with proper bathrooms and showers and air conditioning to assist their recovery. While it was a rather miserable end to a fantastic week, we have hopes to catch up with some of those we might be crossing paths with further on our travels!