Croatia: The Yacht Week 2016

Floaties are an essential part of TYW experience

Oh, what a week it was…a week of sailing on the Adriatic Sea waters, a week of relaxing, exploring, meeting super cool people, partying every night, and sleeping under the stars being woken up by the raising sun. That’s of course not the full list, but I need to stop myself from revealing too much 😉 Let me tell you, if you have never heard of The Yacht Week (TYW), here is your chance to learn about it; and if you’ve ever hesitated whether to go (as I did at the beginning), here is my chance to convince you that you are missing out (well unless you have a sea sickness…then it sucks). Don’t get me wrong, I am in no capacity marketing TYW, there were lots of flaws in the process, about which I may or may not tell you, I simply want to focus on the amazing experience I had in Croatia.

Let me start off by saying that I actually didn’t spend a whole week on the boat. Not because I couldn’t handle a tiny bathroom with no running water (yes, that happened to our boat – flaw no 1) shared with 7 other people (nota bene my friends), or for any other reason I can’t imagine at the moment, but because I would have missed my own graduation. Bad planning, right? Honestly, when we scheduled that with a group of MBA friends (or rather when I was literally bullied into the idea), I thought that 4 days stranded on a boat are more that enough. NO WAY! Knowing what I know now, a week is the optimal timeframe you need to be looking at. Leaving in the middle of TYW was not only a logistical nightmare (flaw no 2), but a FOMO (fear of missing out).  Imagine you need to leave a long awaited party at midnight because you are 18 and your parents gave you a curfew. You feel the pain. Anyways, don’t make that mistake.

Back to the beginning. My trip to Split, from where the boat was leaving, was a long one – more or less 18 hours (from Poland!). Croatia is a very popular summer destination, therefore buying tickets way in advance helps not only with the price but with proper connections. As I decided to join the party at the last minute, I had to bare the consequences. Unfortunately, I missed seeing Dubrovnik (well, I saw a glimpse of it from the bus while traveling to Split) which is a gorgeous city, and the one which serves as Kings Landing if you’re obsessed with Game of Thrones series as I am. But I’m definitely coming back to see the Croatian land(ing).

The beautiful Hvar Island

I want to tell you a few key things about supplying your boat because that’s the first thing you want to do before you get on it. Well ok, you can either have a host on your boat who will take care of everything for you including shopping, preparing your every meal (unless she’s too hangover to make you breakfast) and cleaning. In that case, you only need to worry about supplying your boat with booze and ice. As it comes with price, here are some tips on the self-service scenario. Your shopping cart should be filled with lots and lots of bottles of…water (I know what you were thinking!) Give and take 3 liters per person times the number of days times the number of people on your boat. Don’t worry, it will fit. Somewhere. In terms of food – you don’t really want to cook, but if you want to prove your skills as the MasterChef of your boat, make pasta and only when the boat is already moored. Otherwise, making a michelada is challenging. So that leaves us with lots of cold cuts, bread, snacks, fruits and veggies if you wish. As you get off of the boat every night, there are restaurants in which you can eat dinner before heading out, or you can get food deliveries in some ports too, so you won’t go hungry if you’re worried about it. Other necessities include (solo) cups, napkins, toilet paper (!), and trash bags. Every few days you’ll be able to access a store should you run out of something, so don’t really buy 112 bottles of water right away (don’t question my math). Oh! And don’t forget to buy floaties in advance! One of the best parts of your day in the water.

Getting a daily dose of vitamin D
Boat rafts as seen from up high

Our boat, named Corvo, had 7 people plus a captain. One important thing about the captain – you feed him and pay for his meals and drinks when you’re out and about! The crew apparently is paid peanuts and they count on our tips, so tip your captain accordingly. The thing about our boat was that it was already beaten up and we ended up, as I already said, with no running water (weirdly enough, there was water to flush the toilet). So the evening ritual was to jump from boat to boat using other friendly boats’ showers. Might have been a bit annoying asking for it but thankfully TYW people were chill and generous plus it was a great networking opportunity. Ok, I’m getting sidetracked…You might wonder if we were bored for 4 days on the boat. Nothing like that! The whole idea of TYW is to sail from island to island every day or every other day with all the boats, make rafts and jump the boats to meet people, party in a different place every night, and sightsee the islands (Hvar!). One of the best parts of the day though, for me, was to get up in the morning, put on a bathing suit (if I haven’t slept in it already) and jump to the refreshing water, or lay out on the deck of the boat and sunbathe while sailing to our next destination. I feel relaxed already just thinking about it. Getting our hair down under the moonlight was not bad either. Every party was organized in a super hip, open air place where we danced till the morning hours to the summer beats being spined by great local djs. This was complimented by a melting pot of super fun, open minded, and culturally diverse crowd.

Don’t forget your country’s flag!
View form right by the airport in Split

To get off the boat and come back to reality was one of the hardest parts of the trip. Not to mention that the hardest was actually getting to the airport from an island, which nearly resulted in missing our plane. Despite some bumps on the way, I would do TYW again in a heartbeat. If anyone wants to join me, holler! We’ll have a blast 🙂