*This post is about the logistics of the trip and my recommendations on how to make the most of it. If you would like to read about the itinerary and get the goss on the parties and food fights then check out this post.*
In October myself and 4 friends boarded a horrifically early flight to Split, Croatia. We were going to spend a week on a yacht with MedSailors, a Kiwi company that run multiple flotillas around Croatia, Turkey and Greece during the European summer. If you’re considering this or a similar trip then read on for my tips to make it the best ever.
By the time I had raised the funds most spaces had booked out and the only available trip was the final one of the season in the second week of October. I was holding out hope that it would still be hot by then but as it turned out my hopes were a tiny bit dashed by cool-ish weather. I still managed to get a tan but it took some gumption to make myself jump in the ocean every day. I would recommend you go mid-season if you can.
Getting to Trogir
From Split we took the local bus into Trogir town centre . Outside the airport we were accosted by a swarm of men wanting to sell us a taxi ride into Trogir and admittedly their prices weren’t too bad, equally they didn’t appear to be licensed taxi drivers, just random dudes with beat-up Renaults. They tried to tell us the bus was 40 minutes away but we persevered and plodded out to the front of the airport. The stop isn’t altogether obvious and there is no identifiable footpath but you should see it if you hit the road and look around directly in front of the airport building. The bus was in fact only 15 minutes away.
Getting to the Marina
We trekked about 2 kilometres down the main road to Baotic Marina to find our boat. This was the point that I really wished I had a backpack, civic design elements like footpaths were basically non-existent. If you wanted a simpler way you could get a taxi all the way from the airport to the marina and spend a few hours in the restaurant, the corner store and paddling in the ocean. We had quite a few hours to kill so it was nice to traipse around Trogir rather than being stuck out at the Marina.
Check in was under a blue sun shade set up on the pier, we were assigned our Skipper (Braden) and told the name of our boat. We boarded Kant the 47ft yacht along with Braden, the official photographer and a ringer called Sue who also happened to be a Kiwi. As the only singles on the boat Sue and I would be sharing the bunk room which was very dinky. Once again my height (or lack thereof) made my life a lot easier, the bed was the perfect size. I also fit nicely into economy class seats which is good because I’ll probably never spend the money to go business.
There are upsides and downsides to all parts of the boat when it comes to sleeping. You might be down by the engine and be overly warm, you might be in the front and experience some leaking and more turbulence or you might be in the bunk room and be sleeping in something the size of a coffin with condensation dripping on you. Either way none of them are perfect BUT if you’re tall try to share a double with a friend, if you’re small or don’t like spooning then the bunkroom might be more your speed. Beds are assigned before you get there so use the notes section to let them know how your party is split and if you would specifically like to sleep with/without someone. They are trying their best to match you with similar people and fill each boat to capacity where they can.
I was planning on reverting to my childhood philosophy of ‘I had a swim today so I don’t need a shower’. I was basically going full grub and embracing my salty sea-dog ways. Equally if you are someone who values having freshly washed hair and shaved legs everyday there are excellent shower and toilet facilities in all of the marinas. (Don’t fret, I did actually clean myself on occasion out of respect to my bunk-mate).
When it comes to washing your clothes assume that you won’t be able to and bring enough for the week. There were a few laundries around but the opening hours weren’t always favourable or we were off doing activities in the time that you would be able to use them. Don’t waste your time on laundry.
The general routine went like this: Wake up, have breakfast, motor part way to our destination, stop in a bay for a swim and have lunch, motor the rest of the way and pitch up in a marina, go to dinner and then have a few drinks. Once you were in a Marina you were basically free to do whatever you wanted or you could join in the activities that were recommended by the Crew. If you felt like a solitary night you would be more than welcome to it, or you could get involved in the jager train at the bar.
Your breakfast and lunch are provided for you on the boat although some mornings we would nip out and grab something from a local bakery before we set sail. Lunch was prepared by the skipper while one of us was steering the yacht and generally speaking it was excellent. There was a bit more canned tuna than I would have liked but there was no way I was going to starve. The evenings would be spent at local restaurants where I can only describe the fare as basic balkan, this is not a culinary adventure for foodies, your best bet is to go Italian as they seem to have got that down quite well. I don’t drink coffee but I know what a good one looks like and I did not see a good one, expect instant.
I had phone signal pretty much the whole time and was using my roaming data with Vodafone for access to 4G. Some of the Marinas had their own wifi that you could connect to for free and most restaurants had it as well. You won’t be completely cut off but access isn’t guaranteed everywhere you stay.
Should I go?
If you are someone who isn’t comfortable in the water I wouldn’t rule it out entirely. Of the people on our boat only myself and one other ever went swimming off the boat. If you aren’t a confident swimmer you could take a blow up pool toy with you or use the stand up paddle boards instead. Part of me feels like you wouldn’t be getting the full experience if you weren’t in the water but equally you could just lie on the deck with a good book and catch the sun.
It’s not the most comfortable trip, it can be a bit cramped and you are at close quarters with your boat mates. I’ve done a lot of camping and hiking so I put myself in that mindset to get through it. If you need your luxuries, your space and your own time then it might not be the best trip for you.
If there is anything I’ve missed that you want to know about then leave me a comment below.
Featured Image by: Sophie Sollmann