Croatian Sailing

Getting There

After surviving the overcrowded, smoky and loud overnight train to Vienna, Johannes’ mother Barbara was nice enough to find me and drive me back to their house to sleep before Johannes came back from work.

Yet sleeping in the middle of the day seemed like a terrible idea for my jet-leg… so instead I spent the afternoon with Johannes’ younger sister Magdelena or Lena. We had a nice lunch at the house, played some games, went to see the turtles in the back yard and took a short swim in their pool. It was really relaxing and fun.
After this, Johannes arrived home and we took maybe an hour to nap before we started packing for the Croatia sailing trip that next day. So–Unfortunately for me the day I arrived was also the night Johannes’ father Rudy, Johannes and I started our drive to Croatia. I thankfully did not have to do any of the driving, but another night without a good sleep and a good bed was a bit exhausting.
Early the next morning we rolled into the Zadar Airport where we picked up the rest of Johannes’ family: his mother and two sisters. Once everyone had arrived in Croatia we met up with a friend of the family “Igar” and his two sons. Together both families and I went over the house of Igar’s family to eat lunch and have a little swim.
Meanwhile at the dock of Sukošan the sailboats were being prepared for us to board late afternoon.

On The Sea:

Later that evening Johannes family and I arrived at the port to board the sail boat and wow was the harbour FULL. Growing up in a landlocked state for most of my life the sight of thousands such a huge harbour was really something!
The boat we were renting was about 15 meters long and could sleep up to eight people in the beds. On board there were two queen beds, two sets of bunkbeds, two bathrooms, a dining table area and a little kitchen.
To get the best experience on this trip they had a private skipper or Captain named Robbie on board to both drive the boat and live with us during the trip. Soon after boarding we set sail and went south until nightfall. On the sea this first night it was pretty calm. No wild waves or big ships passing by just the fresh ocean breeze and a lot of sun shining down on our backs.

Stop 1- Otto Kakan Island

The first night we set anchor fairly late about 21:00 or 9pm and we were all pretty hungry. The single little restaurant on this island had been contacted ahead of time so they were still open and happy to feed us. We had a huge feast of muscles, fish and salads. The most delicious fish was this big flat and round one called a “Rom” or something.

 

Stop 2- Boce/Ston

The next day was we did over 10 hours of sailing because Johannes’ parents had recently bought property on the coast of Croatia and wanted their children to see it. We did not stop at any of the islands on the way there since we would do this on the way back north. Instead we all just got to relax, tan, read, eat and enjoy life at sea. No stress or worries in sight. The only thing we would stop for was a short break in a smaller cove to eat lunch and swim for a bit.

 

As a child my mother made me take swimming lessons until I reached the highest level and at the time I was a bit skeptical why I would even need this skill or if I would even remember how if I needed to know. .. well turns out swimming well was like riding a bike. It took a bit to adjust to the salt water and those things called waves they don’t have in all my lakes.. but after the transition swimming in the sea was really lovely. In addition the water along the coast was just so clear.. it was really incredible to see.

That night we arrived late at a lovely seaside restaurant called Gastro Mare owned by Tony, a friend of Johannes’s family. We ate a bit of antipasta and delicious truffle pasta to tide us over until the morning.

 

Sleeeeepppp.

The next day we had delicious tomato, eggs and meats breakfast at Tony’s restaurant before we set off to see the property and the city of Ston. We started by touring the property his parents bought and they talked us through all the renovations that were going to be made. It is currently in a little bit of a neglected state, but the new house in its place will surely be lovely.

One of the big things in this area is oysters. Since they take about three years to mature they are considered quite valuable. So naturally we had to try local oysters and their friend Tony knew a guy named Ceasar who was willing to take us out to his oyster farm to try fresh oysters right out of the sea. Personally.. I had never really been in love with seafood, but I also just haven’t tried much at all. After this week on the sea, I can say I really enjoy most fish, shrimps and lobster… but oysters ehh. They are not terrible.. I just wasn’t their biggest fan.

Following the oyster adventure we had a seafood risotto at local hotel, one made with herbs and another made completely black with squid ink.. yes. it looked just terrible and got all in your teeth, but it was actually pretty creamy and tasty.

The rest of the day we explored the city of ston and saw the longest wall in the EU mainland. It was quite impressive and cool to see. We did some food shopping and then headed back to Tony’s area for a swim before the four course dinner or five if you include the array of deserts.

Stop 3- Lastavo Island

The Island of Lastovo is one of many older military islands and was only recently open to the public in the last few decades. It was a quaint old little town with a real interest in … having the ugliest Chimney? Seems like a bit of an odd hobby or interest, but cool to see and a very fun/unique way trait of this particular island.

After docking at the port of Zaklopatica, we took the road up the hill to the old town at the top. The town was very beautiful, nestled into the valley with lots of protection from invaders. In addition the amount of history was endless. We stopped in the city there for a few local meats, homemade iced tea and cheese.

 

Then we headed back to the boat were some of the group took a swim and others relaxed and enjoyed the views before dinner. At this island the skipper/captian had called to arranged for us a very authentic seafood/fish soup. The soup was made with a minimum of 5 types of seafood–  for example–fish, muscles, shrimp and lobsters. The broth had a tomato base, but was mostly made of all the mixed seafoods flavors coming together. It was pretty delicious and … HUGE. I think the pan for our side of the table was about 2 ft long. No exaggeration.

Also, the seawater was so fresh and clear there were actually these things called sea urchin or sea hedgehogs that could live there. They were quite terrible to step on though so you need to be careful, but it was pretty cool to see.

 

Stop 4- Vis Island

Next we stoped at the island of Vis, arriving at Komiža port. As Lastavo, Vis was also an old military island except it didn’t have an old city on top, but a nice castle, caves and beautiful sunken ships/planes from the war. 

Before the island though,  we  stopped at the famous Stiniva Cove. This rock beach was the most famous on this island and was a sort of lagoon with green crystal clear water below beautiful rock features. To get to this beach we had to swim in from the boat maybe 15m, but it wasn’t bad and apparently the walk from the port is much less pleasant.

 

We all got into the town and explored the streets a bit together, As we walked around we found endless groups of little kittens and oh my were they precious(:

img_0458

Later that day Johannes and I took our time wandering back through the city and we discovered the tower on the pier. The building had a beautiful view over the harbour and really interesting information inside about the “Battle of Vis.” The small museum display showed some really incredible shipwrecks and such from this time that are still there you could scuba dive to… maybe I should get a scuba license so I can go back and see these underwater treasures!

 

That night we had a late dinner at a nice restaurant off the coast and discocered a drink called “jamnacia sensation”–a sweet lime bubbly water.

Stop 5- Kaprije Island

During the day sailing we had great luck seeing a whole group of dolphins swimming around the boat. We saw them jump and even saw their whole bodies clearly through the water!

On the island of Kaprije we stopped at a really small port. Only one restaurant with maybe four other  boats fit. There we ate a small lamb in a stew, played card games late after dinner ended along side adorable kittens.

 

LAST Stop 6- Zadar

 

The last day we sailed back into Sukošan port. There Kathrine left for a wedding, we bid farewell to the skipper Robbie and then we went to have dinner in the town of Zadar. We ate very well and had delicious wines.

 

Heading back to Austria

The next morning Johannes, his father and I started the journey bazk to Austria, but we first stopped at the National Park in Croatia. We saw incredible landscapes and countless #’s of waterfalls. It was a bit touristy with all the developed paths and routes to take through the park, but the views were much worth it. My favorite part was being able to see right the fresh mountain water.

img_0629-1

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

After this we headed back to austria stopping for a meal that night in their wine region boarding Slovania. At this place we drank an incredible wine, holunder/elderberry juice mix and ate traditional meats with paprika sauces with cheese and tomatoes in a pumpkin seed oil/extract. Delicious!!

A few hours after eating we made it back to vienna and slept well!

Gopro video from Johannes will arrive one day.. 😉

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Rita Tobin says:

    Hi Maggie
    I am enjoying readying about all that you are doing and seeing. It sounds like you are having a wonderful time and will have lots of good memories to look back upon when you are an “old bird” like me. Your mom tells me you are in Budapest (a place I would love to see) and will be going on to Florence. I vacationed in Italy some years ago. Florence was my favorite place to see but I also loved Rome. Keep
    writing that blog. Stay safe. Hope to see you when you come back home…….Love and Hugs Auntie Rita

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s