*This post is about the itinerary of the trip and the hijinks we got up to. If you would like to read about the logistics and what to expect then check out this post. Or scroll straight to the bottom for the Too Long, Didn’t Read Round-up*
I’m convinced I have salt water in my veins, I never feel more at ease than when I’m at sea. Living in London doesn’t give rise to many opportunities for ocean swimming or water sports so I was determined to spend at least part of my annual leave for 2016 by the sea. MedSailors were recommended to me by a friend who had done the trip the year before and raved about it so I decided this would be my watery week away.
I had lain awake until 2am while my flatmates had an almighty party before I had to get a train, a plane and a bus to Trogir town centre. It was here I ate the most insipid omelette ever created before setting off on foot for the Baotic Marina with my 4 friends in tow. We stopped on the way to buy snacks, two bottles of very cheap gin and a bottle of mystery liquor with a picture of a monk on the front. It claimed that it had been blessed by God and I was onboard for some monotheistic merriment.
We checked in and boarded Kant, a 47 ft yacht and our home for the next week. We set sail and man did it feel good to have some salt air in the whiskers. Our first port of call was:
A very dinky place with just two restaurants, one of which was closed at this point in the season. My early morning had knocked me for six so I ate and went to bed early to ensure I was fresh faced for the rest of the trip. My apologies for the poor form, I promise you it gets better.
Next up was:
The waterfront had recently been overhauled into a beautiful promenade that stretched all the way along the bay. We hired bikes and cycled from the Franciscan Monastery on one side all the way out to the opposite point to explore the huge abandoned mansion on the spit. Our Guest Manager was fairly convinced he was going to open a curry and karaoke bar there and make his fortune.
That night the Crew had organised a punch party for us in the park so we could get to know the other travellers over a plastic cup of suspicious pink liquid served from a chilly bin (eskie, cool box, whatever). Dinner was a choice between a pizza place serving steins of beer or Kod Pavela. We went with Kod and the meal and the service were some of the best we had on the whole trip. The bar for culinary excellence wasn’t set high and yet many places failed to come close, in some cases wine was left on the table which is an utter travesty.
Our next stop was:
A beautiful secluded bay with Wifi, great showers, two shops and a sandy beach just over the hill, all the necessities for a happy life. We spent the afternoon swimming and mucking about before we jumped in a water taxi to take us to Kiva Bar in Hvar for our first proper night out. This was the night the monk liquor was unleashed making it a truly blessed night. Kiva bar is tiny and in high season the party spills out into the street, being the end of the season I had a good chunk of the dance floor to myself allowing for a full body and soul takeover. No one lost an eye so I deemed the night a success and prepared to feel the pain the next day.
The following day we were headed for:
It was here that we self medicated the hangover with bright blue cocktails on the top of a 14th century tower. I was constantly blown away by the architecture and the buildings on this trip. It was picturesque in the extreme, every turn of a corner presented something else for my amateur photographer self to get excited about.
Mildly pissed we descended from the sky for an al fresco dining experience that was completely drowned out by a torrential downpour (is there any other kind? ). We grabbed our spaghetti carbonara and scampered indoors as the streets turned into rapids. The proprietor of the restaurant then very kindly gave us shots of grappa and a hair dryer to help us warm up and dry off.
This relatively quiet night was followed by one of outrageous debauchery in:
We visited the Hora Vineyard for a wine tasting and Peka, a traditional dish cooked in a large iron pot over hot coals. Everything we ate and drank had been grown on the fertile plain surrounding us, a UNESCO world heritage site that has been cultivated continuously since 384BC.
Because we were the last trip of the season there was excess wine that simply had to be drunk. The Skippers could all see the end of season in sight and were getting ready for one last blowout. The music was cranked to the fullest and the party took to the tables to shout the lyrics of The Proclaimers ‘I would walk 500 miles’, all while enjoying the best wine we had encountered the entire trip. The party moved back to the water’s edge where a Jager train had been set up on the local bar. The less said about that the better…
Our final night was spent in:
A ghost town by this point in the season with very little happening. Luckily most of us were ready for a quiet night so we ate ribs at a grill restaurant on the hill and dared our Skipper to eat progressively hotter chillies until it was time for bed.
The following day we went to battle on the high seas as we sailed back to Split. All of the leftover food would be binned when we got back to shore so the only responsible course of action was to fling spare sausages at each other. We had been quite successful lobbing an egg into the cabin of our neighbouring boat and getting the others with several potatoes via slingshot. We then took a direct hit from a litre of tomato passata that ended the game. It looked like a pizza chef had been brutally murdered on the boat and we used up the last of the fresh water washing it down.
Back in Split we had a day to look around before home time. We hit the Ethnographic Museum which I thought was interesting and great value for money. We also bought the combination ticket for the Cathedral, not something I would have bothered with in hindsight. It was in Split that we ate the best meal of the trip at Articok, if you’re a vegetarian or feel like you’ve been missing vegetables then this is a great choice. Food service is a little slow but only because the meals are actually being finessed, it’s worth the wait.
And all too soon it was time to go back to London where I couldn’t swim in the ocean everyday or wear a bikini instead of underwear. For me the trip confirmed that my life needs to be by the sea, so come 2017 I am packing up my London life and heading for Antibes. The end goal being to get a Divemaster job on a super yacht, follow me to stay tuned for that adventure.
TL;DR Round Up
Highlights: Being on the water with absolutely no plans or pressures. I also dedicated quite a bit of my baggage space to a large beach towel. This ended up being really useful for both sunbathing and wrapping myself up in to keep warm.
Lowlights: That the weather wasn’t a bit warmer, if you don’t like the cold then book for mid-season rather than end of. We also didn’t sail that much, we were often motoring because let’s face it, it’s much easier to do that than try to sail a yacht with a bunch of noobs.
What I wish I’d known before: To take a bit more warm clothing, no matter what time of year you will definitely want a raincoat/windbreaker as sailing during the day can get pretty breezy.
How much I spent:
- MedSailors Trip fee: £344
- Flights £90
- 1 night stay in Split £50
- Transfers & Fees: £100
- Spending money £300
You have to pay a ‘marina fee’ which they appear to spend on groceries and fuel as well. I can’t confirm that but it seemed like the 620 Kuna we had to pay at the start of the trip wasn’t purely for mooring fees but for provisions as well. There are few extra things like water taxis and vineyard tours that you will want to do that push the cost up. I ended up spending more than I intended to and I can’t place my finger on why exactly but day to day it was more than I had imagined. I was also done over by my AirBNB cancelling so ended up spending double for the night in Split.
Featured Image by: Layton Diament