We spent the night at anchor in a beautiful and quiet bay. I just woke up, everything is calm on board and I say to myself: “It’s time to get up, take a jump into the azure blue water and enjoy a fine espresso afterwards”. The morning sun warms my face, the water in the lonely lagoon is as smooth as glass, everything is quiet, I only hear the crew preparing breakfast very quietly…..
After a short sunbath on the fluffy padded foredeck with my book, the smell of fresh bread and coffee gently envelops me – it’s time for breakfast. Petra our good soul on board and the onboard chef Edi have prepared a fine, rich buffet where I feel as if I had arrived early in the morning in the paradise for connoisseurs, because of the large selection of cheese, muesli, egg dishes and fresh fruits. I order a fried egg: “Over and easy I like it”, Petra says with her refreshing smile: “Of course with pleasure”. What a wonderful start to the day!
After this delicious breakfast most of us lie on the sun deck and read, enjoy another cappucino, or go snorkeling in the crystal clear and warm water with a diving mask and snorkel. I say to myself: “This bay is so calm and smooth, I’m going on a paddle tour with one of the two SUP’s available on board, who’s coming along? But before that we discuss with the captain which bay we will go to afterwards. He says we will travel one hour under engines to Brač in the bay “Lučiće” which means “the small harbour”. He further explains that the winds in the afternoon are good for hoisting the sails on the way to the island of Hvar. Wow, I am looking forward to it!
Everyone is back on board and everything is stowed away. The crew lifts the anchor and the engines of our yacht are started. The journey continues to Brač. On the way, while the steep cliffs of the island of Šolta slowly and impressively pass us by, we play a game of Scrabble on the sun deck. I lose but that is not so important, because this view here in front on the bow of the ship, rewards with a spectacular view and I am looking forward to the next corner we pass, where again something new appears on the horizon to discover.
After an hour of exploring the island we stop in the beautiful jagged bay Lučice on the island Brač. The anchor drops and the captain lays a landline at the stern of the ship to one of the trees on the shore. So we are very close to land, where the water is very shallow, turquoise and crystal clear. It feels like the yacht is lying in a turquoise swimming pool! We find ourselves in a wild paradise which we have all to ourselves. And this in the middle of August where high season is on land! I think of all the people lying on a packed beach, surrounded by noise and crowds of people right now…… It is nice to be here!
Edi, our cook on board, was already preparing lunch during the short crossing. I take a quick look into the galley and see that there is tuna tartar with diced avocado for the starter, mmmm delicious! ….. But now I have to jump into the blue of the bay with my snorkeling equipment and explore the underwater world before I go to the richly set table for lunch with the right hunger! Maybe a good drop of cool white wine with your fish? And what would you like for a sophisticated dessert today?
The food was excellent and for dessert we had fresh fruit salad garnished with a dash of whipped cream and fresh mint. As Captain Markus had correctly predicted, the wind from the west is freshening up. The crew prepares everything and then they say: Hoist the sails and head for the island of Hvar! The engines stop and the only thing you can hear is the wind blowing through the sails and the sound of the water at the bow of the ship – uniquely beautiful as well as calm, stable and calmly sailing this yacht under sails. We make a good trip and gather all together on the front part of the ship to watch the water dividing at the bow. Back on the aft deck, our skipper explains, while at the helm, how these even air currents created by thermal effects, Mistral is called the wind that starts dancing with the sun around noon. We all sit together on the front deck, looking at the big sails above us and listening to the “harmonious sounds of the sea” ….. I feel true freedom and I am far away from everything that was bothering me last week before I came on board.
After a good two hours of sailing we reach the bay in front of the town of Stari Grad on the famous island of Hvar. Markus explains to us that Stari Grad means as much as “old town” and that there is a lot to discover in the evening in the narrow streets of the 2400 year old stronghold of the Greeks who settled here at that time. But before that it is time for my last jump into the water while the crew prepares everything for the upcoming harbour manoeuvre. In the meantime, Perta serves us a refreshing drink as desired, while we marvel once more into the low Croatian sun.
The anchor is raised, the crew concentrates on the maneuver – it is exciting to watch how well-rehearsed and experienced our crew is. Almost a little bit proud we stand on the foredeck while entering the tranquil old town harbour. All lines are tied, the passenger bridge at the stern of the yacht is lowered and we are greeted by the harbour captain. It is obvious: this is not the first time this ship docks in Stari Grad. They know each other well and we are given a warm welcome.
Now briefly take a shower and then go to discover the place. Captain Markus recommends a walk through the small old town. It feels like strolling through an open-air museum, he says. In fact, in the winding alleys on the traces of the ancient Greeks we can see a lot of antiquity and occasionally also “old hippies”, which got stuck in this small contemplative place on the island. They ran mostly small galleries or workshops, pursue their arts and live a content existence still driven by their idealism from old times. It feels like time has simply stopped here. They take time to chat in the alleys, live the day to the full and welcome every visitor in peace. Our crew has reserved a small family owned restaurant for our dinner, “Kod Barba Luke”, which loosely translates as “At the old uncle’s in the harbor”, and that’s exactly how it feels, Katarina the Host welcomes and warmly invites us to the table, serves us wine from the island and presents the freshly caught fish of the day. We see the mother diligently making pasta in the kitchen. And the uncle?….we have not seen him. We think he caught the fish early in the morning in the bay with his small fishing boat.
Well-fed and with many beautiful impressions of the day we return on board. Meanwhile, the crew has polished the ship to a high gloss and everything is finely prepared with candlelight and homemade snacks on the table. We tell you about our experiences and treat ourselves to a nightcap. Some of us will have a glass of red wine, others will try the fine local Rogač liqueur, which is distilled from the carob seed, a real Croatian classic, on Petra’s recommendation. For a while we listen to the traditional music band which can be heard from far away on the village square and look forward to the next day when we set sail again in the morning, have breakfast on the way and head for the next island. Another day in beautiful bays, with good food and the sun of Croatia above us. Meanwhile I do not even know where my cell phone is, I think in the cabin. When was the last time I did not have my cell phone with me all the time? It is time to go to sleep satisfied…..