Once I decided to go to Croatia, I knew island-hopping is the way to go! Now I just need to figure out how. There are few boat companies that do island-hopping, but I just knew my sister and I aren’t big on partying for 7 days straight. I wasn’t keen on large, overcrowded boats either. Then, I found Medsailors. It’s a company from NZ that offers 7 days skippered sailing on a yacht of around 8-10 people. Long story short, it didn’t take long for me to book with them on Voyager route from Dubrovnik to Split!
Our boat was called Ivka and we trusted our dear lives on Carrie as our skipper along with 9 other shipmates. 5 of them are Kiwis, 2 Aussies, and 1 British. Medsailors also asked for our preferences of shipmates, like range of age and how we like to sail (party everyday, every other day, or just relax) and their attention shows in how we got the group we did since we got along really well with our shipmates! It was essential to how much I enjoyed the trip, just great great crowd.
There were 7 other yachts, and all our boats form a flotilla. There are Premier and Premier Plus boats, with the Plus being newer boats. The cabin wasn’t that big but it was enough and we spent most of the time on the deck anyway. Basically, we sailed for 5-6 hours max each day, one island to another. I feel like Medsailors has a balance to the route they have. We went to bigger islands like Korcula and Hvar, which are good for having nights out but there are also smaller islands like Sipan, Mljet, Vela Luka or Stomorska, where we could just relax and recharge our energy.
Best way to wake up : a swim in the sea!
First thing we did after setting off from Dubrovnik : swim. First thing we did every morning : swim (no, no, I didn’t forget my breakfast). Last thing we did before arriving in Split : swim. With the sea being so clear and the weather beautiful (and sunny!), you can’t not want to jump in straight from the yacht into the refreshing seawater. I also love paddle boarding! It’s also a form of transportation as my shipmates used it to get to the nearest store on the shore to get some tonic water, creative.
(Not) the best way to wake up : seasickness!
My sister and I thought “Ooh..what a good thing we don’t get seasick so easily. Would have ruined the day ae.” Little did we know…
The first few days the weather was perfect and the sea was calm. We knew the weather forecast didn’t look good for the next morning, yet we foolishly made the decision to watch TV series while the boat sailed AND rocked. Didn’t take long for us to feel nauseous, which was the worst! I tried to sleep my way through it but my sister wasn’t so lucky and had the worst seasick I’ve ever seen she had. The hours felt soooo long! But hey, we made it to Korcula (where we headed) and my sister recovered quite fast. We proceeded to have good meals to replace all that we had lost. Lesson learned : 1) don’t watch TV series while your boat sways, even if it’s the season finale of your favorite show! 2) stay on the deck, have some fresh air, it did help. Other than that day, it was a pretty smooth sailing.
The best way to sleep : on the deck, under the stars.
Sometimes, we went out after dinner to a local bar (and ate hamburger at 3am, or tried to find calamari at midnight, just because.), but some nights we just slept early. Like a normal person, I did sleep in the room for the first few nights. Then the night before the last, I think it was in Hvar, I tried to sleep out on our seat on the deck (still under the hood, so I couldn’t see the stars), I just put on some seat cushion, blanket, sheet and pillow. The fresh air lulled me to sleep and while it did get cold at dawn but it was much better than the heat for sure (and I’m pretty sure my sister enjoyed the extra space!). Then the next night I literally slept under the sail and the stars, it was really awesome. I would have liked to enjoy the stars a bit more, but unsurprisingly I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
Not my typical holiday, in a good way!
When I travel with my family, we usually just hustle to do things, do this, do that, go here, go there. This sailing holiday was very different and refreshing for me as we were never in a rush to do anything (except to eat, that is.) and I pretty much just enjoyed playing cards, soaking the sun, playing sudoku, having some snack (and a sip or two of ehem, tonic water), sneaking a nap, having good talk, and just immensely enjoying the time. It was a really relaxing holiday. My NZ friends caught a fish once though, how productive!
Food, Food, Food!
You know how people have bikini body throughout the summer? Yeah well, I don’t. In Croatia, I didn’t find any Asian food (or people, for that matter) but luckily there were stellar choices of local food. On Ivka, as well! Breakfast was usually self-served, some prefer cereal but I usually had some bread with chocolate sprinkles with coffee or blueberry yoghurt (and only, blueberry yoghurt). One day, we got our Indomie stash and ended up cooking for some of our shipmates as well. One of them actually went on an Indomie diet for a week as a bet, probably not the best decision. Around our midday swim/lunch stop, Carrie put her chef hat on and whipped up some great delicious lunch while we swam. Then after we docked, my sister and I found local konoba (restaurant) to have some snack…or mussels. Some nights, we had our dinner pre-ordered at a konoba. The dinner was generally delicious. Some nights, we could choose our own restaurant. Like that evening in Vela Luka where we ate pizza like the world was ending.
You couldn’t imagine how big the pizza actually were. But these are said to be one of the best pizza in Croatia, so no regrets.
Ready, Set, Paddle!
On our last full day of the trip, we had a paddle board race with our flotilla. From what I’ve read, Medsailors sometimes do sailing race, in which I would have been useless. At least with paddle board, I will be less useless.. Anyway, it was a relay where we had to do it back and forth 5 times. We actually did pretty good and had the 3rd place. It was really fun and I just hoped Medsailors would do more of these activities.
7 days flew by like our sudoku book flew by us into the Adriatic sea : it happened so fast! It’s safe to say my sister and I had a really, really great time onboard Ivka with everyone. Definitely a good value for your bucks and something I’ll cherish for a long, long time. I am even wearing the Medsailors’ crew tank as I write this post! However, for all 11 days that I spent in Croatia, I DID NOT go to any national park, so someday, I will come back for you and your national parks, Croatia!
Anyway, thank you so much to Medsailors for taking great care of us and I hope to see you next year in Greece!
*crossing fingers, putting gold coins in the piggy bank*
*chocolate gold coins for my snack*