I hadn’t grown up a boat person. The closest I got to a boat when I was younger was an occasional invite on my friend’s boat on the Long Island sound. Other than that, I vaguely remember going sailing once when I was really young, and absolutely hating it. I hated the boats ability to completely tilt over to one side, making it seem like it was seconds away from tipping fully over.
When I found out that I was going to be sailing all the way from Croatia to Italy, I was beyond stoked. When I looked at a map to see point to point where we’d be sailing, I then realized the trip would definitely be a full 24 hours. I’d be sailing across the Adriatic Sea in the middle of the night, and was absolutely terrified of the thought of it. However, knowing me, I like to think of myself as a semi-brave person. This means I will do most scary things, if not all, but I will announce how scared I am throughout the whole thing.
Prepared for the worst
Luckily, I was in the hands of a trained skipper, and the boat was equipped with all things meant for the worst of the worst emergencies. Life jackets that manually inflate when you hit water, complete with lights, whistles, and a gps tracking device. Radios that could reach far past closest land to us, to receive mayday calls. Above all, the most impressive on the list was the emergency lever on the boat. All you had to do was pull it down and, “all hell broke loose”. The coast guard would immediately be alerted that our ship was sinking, and helicopters would be on their way to rescue us. Sounds comforting right?
I won’t lie, all of these fancy emergency features definitely made me feel better. However, I was still nervous. It also didn’t help that the night before the crossing, I was forced to watch the movie The Guardian. For those of you that have never seen it, it’s about the U.S Coast guard rescuing sinking ships, LOL.
Hoist the sails
We checked out of Cavtat, Croatia at 9am and began our journey across. Our day consisted of admiring the views, reading, talking, listening to music, sun bathing, and dancing. We even managed to play a few cheeky rounds of charades which was actually hilarious.
About 4 hours into our journey, the coastline of Croatia turned invisible. It was nothing but 360 views of sea for the next 18 hours, truly incredible.
We were relatively lucky with the weather during the day. Low winds, mostly good for sailing, and no big swells. However, when night fell, the winds rose, and so did the swell. The winds starting blowing from the west, and the waves followed suit. Because the waves were hitting the boat from the side, it was rocking back and forth non stop the entire night. At first I panicked, but then my friend Emily put on a Paul Carrack album. Who knew Paul Carrack could save the day like that, what a guy! The rocking motion of the waves and the music literally rocked me to sleep. I woke up a couple of times throughout the night to check on Emily’s Dad who was sailing the boat, but in the end I probably only got about 4 hours of sleep.
Before we knew it, the sun began to rise over the Adriatic. To make a perfect setting even more perfect, we were greeted with dolphins that rode the bow of the boat for a solid 10 minutes. It was a beautiful morning, and the waves and wind had settled down. We spotted the coastline of Italy, and immediately began screaming, “Buon Giorno Italia!”. This was eventually followed by some Dean Martin singalongs such as, “Amore” and “Volare”. You know, the classics.
I really enjoyed our long haul sail across the Adriatic. In total, it took 26 hours, and we sailed a total of about 100 Nautical Miles. For me, the best part of the sail was when we completely lost sight of land. It was an incredible feeling to be in the middle of the ocean with nothing else in sight, but water. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to experience something this amazing. It definitely intensified my appreciation for nature, and the natural beauty of the world we live in, and I only hope that I am given this opportunity again.