We did it again, but this time in Croatia - the so called 'Mecca' of sailing.
Last year, I (Ryan) did my Day Skipper's licence with a few fellow Dad-pals, so that we could charter our own sailing boats for a new summer adventure. Skiing in the winter, sailing in the summer! The middle aged version of Point Break's Ex Presidents. Minus the bank robbery.
After last years successful maiden voyage around the south coast of Mallorca, we decided to go further afield to Croatia. The in place to be. The mecca of island sailing.
Wow! What a fantastic place!
It did not disappoint. We booked through a UK booking agent called Cosmos, who is an agent for Yachts 4 You (Y4Y). The process was good from start to finish and, the price was a little better than Dream Yacht Charters from the previous year.
The actual Croatian side of the company who managed us (Y4Y) were brilliant. From booking in, handing over, technical support and berthing back on the following Friday afternoon. It was the polar opposite of last year where we had 'shouty' blokes standing on the marina wall trying to relay instructions of where to berth, how, and how quickly it needs to be done. That was daunting, and off-putting. This time, Y4Y were composed, calm and very helpful and needless to say myself and co-skip Lee, nailed it! Boom!
It's easy to see why the likes of Fat Boy Slim has bought himself a holiday pad in the alleyways of Starigrad, Hvar. This was the most beautiful place on land we visited all week. Historic buildings, clean, cultural, brilliant food, nice people and plenty of amenities for yachting crowds who arrive via the marina.
Our voyage looked like this:-
Bol, Zlatni Rat on Brac.
Luka Thia, Hvar.
Paklenki Islands (Near Hvar)
Vis, Submarine Bunker.
Komiza, Vis (Where they filmed Mamma Mia 2)
Paklenki Islands again but a different bay.
Zlatni Rat is the famous horned beach of the country which is also voted one of the top ten in the world. I have to say, top ten is a little bit too much of an ask. It's ok, but it's certainly not top 10 or even top 50 being completely honest. It's picturesque with it's shallow clear blue waters, and it's nice how the beach headland comes out into the sea but other than that, it's a packed local 'Brighton' miniature beach in the sunshine, with a foot stabbing pebbled beach which looks like white sand from afar. It's a little fraudulent I'm afraid but worth a stop if you're passing that way nonetheless. There is so much more to see that's amazing, in Croatia.
We all learn't that Croatia has so much more to offer and see than Mallorca. Not that Mallorca is bad, it's just that Mallorca now seems more geared up for day boating owners in comparison, as where Croatia seemed a bit more welcoming to tourist boats where they actively WANT your custom. They come out to your boat to dingy you in, they come out to your boat to help you tie on to a buoy. They help you dock. It's just an all-round different, and better experience.
We merely scratched the surface and would definitely go back, to perhaps sail out of Dubrovnik and see the Southern islands, then even again to sail out of Sibenik to see the Northern Islands and natural parks' waterfalls.