After a hiatus from sailing adventures and blogging, I’m back at it! My friends and I are chartering a sailboat out of Split, Croatia to explore the islands of the Adriatic Sea.
On May 21, Tony, Jacque, Jack and I will step aboard Vana, a 39 ft Bavaria sloop, for two weeks of fun and adventure exploring the islands and towns along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. We are chartering Vana out of the ancient city of Split, Croatia from a small family-owned charter company. Vana looks adequate for us. She is a modern plastic sloop that should sail much better than Akela, but it can best be described by classic- -boat-snobs like me as “just another modern plastic sloop.”
In the decade before we purchasing Akela, I had been certified as bareboat charter captain, and every year or so I rented a sailboat in some cool place. We crossed the gulf stream from Florida to explore islands in Bahamas, sailed among the great gray whales among the Channel Islands off California, and even had our honeymoon sailing the islands near Ft. Myers, Florida. But after 23 years sailing my own boat tens of thousands of miles, I have long since lost the documentation that allows me to take responsibility for charter boats. No problem. I went through 4 weeks of online classes and 2 days on-the-water training in Long Beach. I’m now quite knowledgeable about obscure nautical rules, can back up in a crosswind, and I have the necessary paperwork to captain a little plastic sloop in Croatia.
We don’t yet have an itinerary for our trip. We have been reading about the cool places to go, but we’ll probably just wing it and go day-by-day according to our inclinations and the weather.
Why Croatia? Well, we wanted to go to Europe and I had heard from other boaters how beautiful Croatia is. I looked at charter boats in Italy, Croatia, and Greece. Croatia looked like it had the right combination of amazing things to see, affordable boat rentals, and people friendly towards Americans. But Wow, Greece looked really cool too! Maybe next time…. And maybe you, dear reader, would like to go on the next trip to Greece.
Croatia sits right between Italy and Greece and played a prominent role when each had their time of glory. Croatia has well-preserved remnants of the ancient civilizations, as well as a thriving Mediterranean culture. It wasn’t too long ago that Croatia was bound with Solvenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, and Montenegro as the Republic of Yugoslavia, which was on the other side of the iron curtain from us. I know very little about this part of the world and I look forward to learning more about the history, people, and customs. The food and drink there looks especially interesting! I expect that we’ll stop frequently in little coastal towns.
So stay tuned! I hope that we have things worth writing about and that we capture pictures worth posting.