When I first decided to quit my job and yolo Europe instead of working, I asked myself, what do I really want to do with my time to make it really special? Like, what is something totally awesome that I would never do in 100 years in AU that would completely blow my mind?
My answer: Boats. I want to go on some boats.
In my head, luxury is being on an island close to crystal clear waters (I am Scorpio after all) with nothing better to do than sun and lol around – and if rap videos are anything to go by – the only way to really enjoy an island is on a yacht.
A quick Google search lead me to MedSailors.. fast forward 4 months and we finally started a week of pure bliss..
MedSailors is a company started by three globe trotting kiwis and they offer three sailing destinations – Turkey, Greece and Croatia. I’m not sure if you are up on the Euro scene but Croatia is the hippest up and coming destination of all of them.. if you like GoT.. you will like this!
Having been in NZ / AU most my life, I am used to swimming in the freezing Tasmanian Sea, however, the Adriatic sea which is between Italy and Croatia is warm (due to being close to land and shallower than bigger seas), blue (because of bright sunshine) and amazingly pretty.
Our week was epic and included lots of swimming, cliff diving, paddle boarding, bike riding, partying and lots and lots of eating.
The Medsailor’s Discovery Route Croatia has about eight boats at a time depending on demand, which all dock together every night – so you are always meeting people and making lots of new friends. There are other sailing companies who also dock up at night who you meet along the way.
We were in the Premier Plus boat ,which was well worth it due to the bigger interior and boat space.
Here is how the week went..
DAY 1: SPLIT / SESULA – ALL ABOARD!
Getting on the boat itself was a bit scary at first – a tiny little plank about 30cm x 100cm long which connected the wharf to the boat. I managed not to fall in the water and I am sure you are happy to know that after a week, walking one foot in front of the other while balancing became second nature.
After a short run through of the boat rules, we set sail to Sesula, a tiny little pristine bay on Split. We got there just in time for our first very swim of the trip which included a small cliff jump in preparation for the up and coming 18 meter jump off a submarine tunnel.. more about that later. I tried my first attempt at doing a headstand on a paddleboard and flailed, then of course all of the boys also wanted to attempt it – it is harder than it looks!
After our swim we went to Sismis restaurant for dinner. Sismis is an open spaced restaurant made from stone, which has amazing ‘indoor outdoor flow’. You are basically sitting in nature but obviously protected and comfortable on the sheltered wooden tables.
We order the traditional Croatian dish ‘Peka’. Coming from the Dalmatian region, the dish is made with meat (we had octopus) and vegetables (mostly potatoes) and is slow baked in a giant bell shaped clay pot called a ‘cripnja’. Flavours such as garlic, rosemary, salt, wine and olive oil are added and the result is amazingly tender meat – there was mixed reviews from the table, but I myself thought it was some of the best octopus I had ever eaten.
The highlight of the evening was when a rouge goat came to say hello to us at the dinner table – of course I took a selfie with him.
After dinner we took it pretty easy and hung around hand fishing off the deck.
That night it was much too hot to sleep in my cabin so I slept on deck under the star. Amaze.
DAY 2 & 3: VIS – LEAP OF FAITH
Vis is the furthest island from the mainland, which was used as a military base during WWII due to its location. Yugoslavia leader Josip Broz Tito established many a network of secret submarine tunnels that went under its hills, which today are mostly abandoned but can be explored through a Military Tour.
Day 2 was a bit of an experience, the weather cracked it and we had a long five hour sail to Vis. One of the girls was prone to sea-sickness and an hour in she started being sick. This had a domino effect and five out of eight of us, including me, also had a chuck. It was all pretty funny, and of course all apart of the sailing experience. Luckily enough, she secured seasickness tablets and the remainder of the trip was accident free.
Because of the weather, we docked here for two days and skipped an island. We made the most of the rain, played cards for hours and lol’d around inside – we were pretty lucky as we have the premium boat which included a massive table inside. It was worth the extra $$ as the other boats didn’t have such a luxury so I have no idea what they did that day!
The next day the weather was back on track and we had a really amazing day -this was great news as this was the day I was scheduled to do my Medsailors Instagram take over!
We hired bicycles and rode to the entrance of the submarine tunnels, which is about 18m in height, with the sole intention of jumping off it.
The jump itself was pretty scary.. but I still did it twice – the first time I didn’t think too much about it so it was pretty easy. There are lots of stories of injuries such as dislocated shoulders and broken backs from people who didn’t jump safely. To avoid injury, it is recommended to pencil drop, then once you hit the water spread your arms and legs into a starfish to slow your speed down. I kind of landed on my ass a little bit that hurt like hell, but the pain went by the time I swam to shore, so I thought I would do another!
The second jump I freaked myself out – my friend Daniel and I wanted to jump in tandem, and I waited to long / thought about it too much. Then my other friends started counting down, so I guess I was going down! It was ok and I am really glad I did it.. would I do it again? Hm.. maybe only if there was a cute boy to impress ^__^.
After all the lolling, we went for another bike ride, got ice cream, swam at another beach, made a human pyramid at the sunset pre-drinks party and then got ready to go out to a party in the ex military fort ‘George’.
The fort George was built by the British in 1813 and was used for musketry and light cannons – these days it is used as a restaurant and nightclub.
As you probably have seen, I like hats, and there was a dude dressed in a captain’s outfit, which I just had to try his navel cap.
The party was pretty cool – there was about 1000 people there and we danced like idiots until we decided to call it at 3am.
DAY 4: HVAR – SIEZE THE DAY
Hvar was probably the most anticipated island of the trip. It is the fourth biggest island of Croatia and is known for it beautiful beaches, fertile soil (which grows grapes, olives, fruit and lavender), and of course its epic night life.
We spent the day going to it’s beaches and chilling out – when I say beaches, I think it must be said that Croatian beaches not the sandy beaches you see in AU, it’s more rocks and water – as there isn’t as much surf as back home, the rocks just don’t get crushed up to make sand. I think they’re pretty cool – it means no sand in ya undies for days, but it also means you need to be careful of spikey sea urchins aka kina!
We got ready around 5pm and hung around playing drinking games. Now you know I don’t drink, and I am happy to say I kept this up the entire trip and had an amazing time without feeling like I was missing out – instead of alcohol I participated when I wanted to with water or Redbull. The obvious benefit was I could stay out all night long when others piked and didn’t feel terrible the next day! I tell you, about 1-½ years, I don’t miss it at all and it is really easy to enjoy myself and have fun.
We took a taxi boat to the mainland and went to Hula Hula Bar where we caught the end of an epic sunset. As there was no time for dinner, we stopped and got pizza for about €1 on the way. Perfect!
In-between venues; people got lost, we made new friends, danced, lol’d, got reunited with said lost people and then made our way to ‘Kiva Bar’.
Kiva was a lot of fun – a small very happening bar down an alleyway which is packed most nights where I also ran into the same guy as the night before!
In addition, found a new buddy with an equally captivating headpiece.
By 1am, most of our ship had gone home except me and my other single gal pal Bec. We recruited some members from another boat and got a decent posse together in preparation for the much-hyped ‘Carpe Diem’ aka ‘Party Island’.
Side note: You will want your skipper to come to Carpe Diem, and they will tell you “Sooooorry! I can’t… I might missed the last boat and miss our departure, blah blah blah”. These are lies. They can go.. they just dun wanna.
Anyways, I can understand why. Although Carpe Diem is pretty cool, it wasn’t as amazing as it was hyped to be and the 200 kuna to get there could have been better spent staying on the mainland. That said, we managed to get in some solid lol’ing and got home around 4am – tired, voice gone, with dirty feet and messy hair. Great night!
DAY 5: STARI GRAD – CHILLAX TO THE MAX
Stari Grad is the oldest town in Croatia and one of the oldest in Europe, founded around 384 b.c. It has a lot of old old buildings and monuments but overall is a pretty sleepy town.
The weather was cactus again and everyone was feeling pretty chill after a big night. We explored the town for a little bit and it was pretty damn beautiful.
The boys wanted to go off the beaten track and explore the alleys to find a dinner spot – we found an awesome one, which luckily enough had good prices an enough seats for eight of us. Unfortunately dinner took two hours for only the entrée to arrive – after our entrée we gave up and got street crapes and ice creams.
We then checked out the main bar on the wharf but we weren’t feeling it so we went home for a quiet one on the boat.
DAY 6: MILNA – TOGA TOGA TOGA!
On our last full day on the boat were sailed to the beautiful bay of Milna where we crammed in as much swimming, SUP and flips of the boat as possible. At this time I was pretty good at headstands on the SUP and the boys were getting there too – HOLD YOUR CORE!
On the way to the next stop we had a yacht race against the other boats. Apparently we came second.. then the first boat was disqualified.. then we were first, and somehow we got disqualified. I dunno what happened.. but Kiwi’s from Tauranga won so good enough I suppose! I GoPro’d the whole race in timelapse mode and took over 3000 photos.. bad idea as most were terrible shots of nothing and were deleted haha!
That night we had a party where on the previous trips the boats all dressed up as either captains, pirates or in togas. We had FOMO that the party was no longer themed so we dressed up anyways. Our skipper showed us his expertise sheet tying skills. They were pretty impressive – he managed to outfit us all in individually designed togas to ‘max’-amize each of our best features. Max of course wore the least out of everyone – you got it flaunt it I guess!
By the end of day six, all of the boats were pretty integrated and we had all made lots of friends and were one big happy boat fleet family. Another 3am bedtime – why not, we can sleep when we are dead!
DAY 7: SPLIT / DALMATIA – PANIC TAN
Our last day as we headed back to Split was what Max calls “panic tanning’ day. As the name eludes, it is when the crew (female AND male) try to get in the most sun before going back to real life so they can prove to their co-workers they had the best time ever.
This didn’t work for everyone as we had a few fair people on board, but lobsters all round was the order of the day. One of the most experienced tanners, Nick, gave solid advice “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize”. Once you have a tan, you better protect it yo.
Again, we swam, floated on lilos, made silly videos on the go-pro and perfected our flips and headstands on the SUP.
Additionally, we finally got to try our hand at water skiing on the SUP – an experience I ruined my freshly straightened hair for –oh well – there is always time for more straight hair, but when else will I get pulled on the back of a boat from a rope on a SUP?
After we disembarked, said our last good byes, crammed in some final selfies, and we all headed to our next adventures. – some straight back to work, some to Dubrovnik and others to Split.
An amazing week and a highlight of my European adventure that I will never forget. Medsailors did a wonderful job of balancing activities and downtime and making sure there was something to do each night. Apart from the two days of crappy weather, the trip was a dream and I can’t wait to try their other two destinations! Fingers crossed that will be a day soon!!![line] Clicky Clicky..