In September, we spent the best week of our lives with our good friends from Amsterdam cruising through the Croatian islands. We had a great time and thought I would recap our trip by sharing my top 10 favourite moments from our Croatian Yacht Week:
- Edi’s Crew: The crew of Alexia was amazing and getting to know everyone better was definitely the best part of the whole trip. Edi warned us that we would be ready to get off the boat by the 4th day, but we all got along so well that we never got sick of the boat or each other. We are already planning a future full of annual yacht week trips 🙂
- Near-collision with a 500 person ferry: As we set sail on our first full day leaving ‘Edi’s island’, we were asking our captain why all our food in the fridge was warm. We heard a loud horn and looked up to see a 500 person ferry rapidly approaching. Edi ran back to the wheel and quickly steered us away from the boat. Fortunately, we escaped without any damage but it was a pretty comical start to our trip.
- Cove days: One of the best parts of the trip was spending a couple days in some amazing coves and just hanging out together in the crystal clear blue water. Surrounded by the absolutely beautiful scenery of Croatia, it was breathtaking. Whether it was hearing about each other’s worst chip room experiences or competing in our Filipino diving competition, these were definitely some of the best days of the trip.
- Kornati island sunset: At the end of our first day, we headed to the Kornati Islands, a national park just south of Zadar. We had just stopped into a small town to stock up on supplies (e.g. booze and food) and picked up some delicious pizza as an appetizer. We then sailed through this absolutely beautiful landscape. This is also where we discovered our good friend, Thom Washington :). We ended up docking in the middle of the ocean in the park and had a great night cooking dinner and star gazing.
- Captain Days: Bill and Melissa – who were part of the costume committee – yes we had committees 🙂 – came up with genius idea of assigning a “captain” for each day of our trip. The captain started the day by playing their epic choice of a pump up song, followed by deciding everything we would do for the day and having the final say on any debates. It was a great way for everyone to have a say in deciding part of the trip and a lot of fun!
- Olympics: The second day of our trip was Melissa’s captain day and insipired by the recent Rio Olympics, she introduced the genius idea of “Sailing Decathalon”. She came up with 10 games that we could compete against each other that day. The winner would get bragging rights and be the captain on our final day. This turned out to be the day of the lightning strike, so we had to extend the Olympic events to be spread out over the course of the week, which ended up working out great.
- Lightning Strike & Romo Pizza to the Rescue: Never in a million years did I think we would get struck by lightning in the middle during our boat trip. It was definitely an unforgettable experience and a little nerve-wracking at times but we survived thanks to Edi’s expertise. It was only our second full day on the boat and we had been sailing that morning through a fairly light storm. Melissa and I were mesmerized by the lightning off in the distance and began recording it, hoping to capture a shot of it on camera. We didn’t realize the storms were getting closer and not long after, while Melissa was recording, a lightning bolt struck the Alexia! Suddenly, all of our navigation was out and there was a small fire in the controls area. To make things more hectic, the storm and waves were only getting worse. Captain Cole took over avoiding any nearby lighthouses while Edi focused on repairing the boat, getting the minimum up and running so we could at least attempt to make it to a nearby town. At one point, Edi told us to get inside the boat, lock the doors and windows and hold on. The waves got increasingly larger and the sky was much darker. After 20 or so tense minutes of trying to keep all the alcohol bottles from dropping off the counters, the worst part of the storm started to pass by. Fortunately, we safely arrived in “Romo Pizza” (Rogonizka) a little later where we docked for the remainder of the day so Edi could assess the damage. We lucked out as Romo Pizza turned out to be a charming town with great restaurants and bars. We spent the evening singing along to some classic nineties tunes with a small band, breaking glass tables with our synchronized kicks, and inadvertently using the incorrect restrooms 😉
- Final Dinner with Edi: Our final night in Vis, Edi made us reservations at his favourite restaurant in town. This charming restaurant had their tables scattered throughout their gardens and was so intimate (the closest table to us was 50 feet away). We feasted on fresh fish and it was a great setting for our final evening with Edi to remember all the fun times from the past week. We ended the evening with officiant Bill renewing Cole and my vows with Edi & Alex as the groomsmen and Melissa & Whitney the bridesmaid. It was a night we will never forget 🙂
- Sailing into Vis: Sailing into Vis was straight out of a Jurassic park scene. It was absolutely stunning and we could immediately see why it was our captains favorite island. We helped set the scene as we played the Jurassic Park theme song. To top it all of, our captain had some serious connections and reserved a prime parking spot for us. Melissa was kind enough to thank them for all of us 😉
- “Should be no problem“: After living in the Netherlands for almost a year, we grew tired of hearing “Niet Mogelijk” (that is not possible). In Croatia, everyone’s response to anything is “should be no problem”. It was so refreshing to see that Croatians were willing to accommodate whatever you were asking and reflective of their gracious culture. The wonderful Croatians, like Edi, made our trip amazing.
Just a few more photos in case you are still not convinced that Croatia should be at the top of your travel list!
First Matey Chumbucket