Episode #031: Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast Chartering in Croatia – Packing, Food & Boat Woes

white boats on body of water
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Alright so I made it to Croatia in one piece and now the sailing adventure begins!! But how did the chartering in Croatia go compared to what I was expecting? Let’s just say, I was kept on my toes! If you haven’t listened to last weeks episode, be sure to listen to it first!

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#36: So yeah, all my docklines snapped during this storm… WTF Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast

Why did I pack that and not this?!

Alright so like I mentioned last week, I packed for carryon only and packed light. In the end I think I did a pretty good job. The weather was much cooler than expected so another sweatshirt would have been nice. I somehow lost half of my underwear when we did our laundry so that was an adventure, but otherwise I did pretty well with the packing.

As for boat gear, I would have liked to have had my binoculars and inflatable PFD. Only because the weather turned out to be a little sporty a couple of times. The charter company PFDs were purchased from a Titanic auction I think. I would have also liked to have had a set of flippers, goggles and a snorkel. They could have been purchased, but I’m a cheap Scot and have about 5 sets for 4 of us at home.

It was challenging to find some medications, so bringing more would have been beneficial (allergy relief, polysporin, etc.). It was also really difficult to find decent sunscreen! The highest we were able to find at UV protection 30, and it was called sun milk. It definitely went on like milk.

I’m sorry, that costs how much!!?

Overall things were very affordable. You could buy towels, beer, food, clothes, etc., for very reasonable prices (bought a ball cap for $4 CND). The food was unbelievable! I was not expecting to have so many amazing meals. Again, at a very reasonable price. The octopus is a must try, especially when cooked traditionally by peka (try Rokis restaurant on the Island of Vis!). I think it will take years for that craving to go away… unbelievable. The other favourite thing we ate: PIZZA!! Wow they make amazing pizzas there! Loved the food scene…

Beer and wines were also very affordable. I did find it hard to find a red wine that I really liked. I tend to prefer dark, leathery, smoky, red wines, and the Croatian reds were a bit lighter for me. But I kept trying 😉

The marinas also had great facilities and were quite reasonable in my opinion. Our 42′ boat would be about $50/night which included fresh water and hydro, along with shower and washroom facilities. Now it was VERY busy when we were there, so the hot water in the marina showers was pretty much non-existent. But with water and power at your slip, a hot shower on the boat was a breeze. Marina staff were pleasant overall and Mediterranean mooring is much easier than most people think.

Apparently in January 2023 Croatia will be adopting the Euro, so I anticipate that between the new currency, and the increase in tourism to the area, things are going to go up in price quite a bit.

Why on earth did I request this boat…

So our boat was a 42′ Hanse. Beautiful boats. Unfortunately we had a few issues with ours, which I was completely expecting as it was a charter boat and they are heavily used. Our boat was renamed just before we took possession from Argo Navis to Luna. The name change was so new that all the documentation for the boat still said Argo Navis and you could still see the outline of the old name under the new. I did not dare ask if they did an appropriate renaming ceremony. I assumed they had.

Our boat had an in mast main furling system which I tend to really not be a fan of. Before we left the dock I did my usual boat checks and sure enough, the main was not put away properly and got stuck on the way out during our check. It took 3 charter workers, a bosun chair and 1.5 hours to get it fixed. We were not off to a great start!

The v-berth head hand pump leaked, but we wanted to hit the road so I didn’t worry about it too much. The beds were squeaky and uncomfortable, but nothing extra blankets and a few well-placed towels couldn’t fix. The pillows on the other hand, definitely needed replacing. Overall we were in good shape!

What is a Bura?!

So we were introduced to the famous “Bura” while we were chartering in Croatia. In Croatian they say “bura” and in English they say “bora”, so whatever you’d like! The weather was unseasonably cool for September and usually they get one bora and then the weather is gorgeous for the next few weeks. In our case, we had about four boras our first week! My mainsail was giving me grief too which meant that I could not properly reef, hence could not sail in these winds. Disappointing for sure, but we took it all in stride. I used several weather sources every day to keep an eye on things. The tides and currents are negligible there, but the wind definitely needed to be checked often. I used Meteo Consult, Windy, WeatherBug and a couple other Croatian websites to keep an eye on things.

More details to come next week….

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