The journey to Croatia took about 17 hours from New York. The total trip took about 17 hours. 8 hour flight to Munich, Germany, a 7 hour layover, and then another 1.5 hour flight to Split. I arrived in Split at around 5:30pm and my friend Emily (a friend I met while living in Australia), and her father were waiting for me at the airport. From there we drove to the Frappa Marina where Emily’s family’s boat was parked. The boat is a 44 foot sailboat and it is GORGEOUS. “Tahnee Mara”, they call it. Equipped with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, living room area, and lots of deck space to sun bathe.
Day 1 at Sea
The next day we set out to sail at around 6:30am. The winds were North Easterly, and the winds hung between around 15-20 knots. I learned that a good sail is usually between 10-15. Getting past 20 knots can make sailing a little more risky. Because we were sailing into the wind, the boat was completely tipped over to the left for most of the day. Cooking lunch down below when the boat was tipped over like that was interesting to say the least. The pressure is insane. You have to propel yourself on the wall and fight gravity in order to not fall forward.
The first sail day was 10 hours. At around 4:30pm we got to Gradina Bay and anchored there for the night. The water was so blue and clear, it was beautiful. We blew up some floats and jumped in. The water is not too warm yet, as its only the beginning of summer, but it’s still very refreshing. After our swim, we poured some gin and tonics, and enjoyed fajitas for dinner on the boat while watching the sunset. It was a perfect first day on the water.
Day 2 at Sea
We started day two at around 7 am. Emily’s dad came in to wake us up because they had spotted dolphins. When I got on the deck, the site was beautiful. The water was completely flat, and the sun was glittering down on it. It was SO beautiful. I had never seen such flat water like that before. It looked as if you could step off the boat and start walking on water.
We spent most of this day at sea sun tanning, and arrived in the coastal town of Korcula at around 1pm. Korcula is BEAUTIFUL. It is known as the birth place of the explorer Marco Polo in the 1400’s. The buildings are very old, and the streets are narrow and lined with cobblestone. There is a main walkway that is lined with restaurants and beautiful views of the ocean. We had pasta for dinner that night, and a litre of wine between the 4 of us. We fell asleep very early that night, as it had been a long day in the sun, and I was still a bit jet-lagged.
Day 3 at Sea
We left Korcula at around 8pm and had around 8 hours of sailing ahead of us. This day we managed to see dolphins a couple of times, and really up close. One came right to the side of our boat and was showing off its belly! After passing a few coastal towns, we anchored in Cavtat, had lunch, and went for a swim. We then took the dingy to the shore and walked around the town for a bit and got some cocktails. When we got back we cooked some pasta for dinner and enjoyed the sunset on the boat with some vino.
Overall my time spent sailing has been incredible. I had only been sailing once before, and it was only for a few hours on the Long Island Sound. I love sailing because when you have the sails up, you don’t have the noisy motor on. All you hear is the waves crashing along the boat, its so relaxing. Sitting on the back deck and stretching in the early morning soon is so refreshing, its my favourite way to start the day. Although I’m slowing learning the in’s and outs of sailing and how to be a “crew” member, I’m definitely learning to really relax and not have the feeling of needing to keep busy. Sailing on the boat for 10 hours a day might seem boring or monotonous to some people, but I’m just enjoying the views and the calmness that comes with it.