Following our driving extravaganza we made a very smart move to Croatia and boarded a rather sensational boat “The Princess Tuna” thanks to the legends at Sail Croatia. One of my favourite feelings is that mixture of excitement and anticipation you get when looking over a country you’re about to land in that can kind of be summed up with a “That looks incredible… shit, I hope we like it here.” That’s kind of important when you plan on spending at least a month in a country. Fortunately Croatia is supremely perfect. Seriously, we nearly didn’t leave.
So back to the sailing trip. Sailing may not be the right word for this trip as our boat didn’t actually hoist a sail at any point. Makes no difference to me whether I’m propelled by the wind or a motor but sailing just sounds a bit more exclusive – it’s not really.
So we started in Dubrovnik with an afternoon of introductions and the smallest period of small talk in history. Never in my life have I seen 25 complete strangers hit it off instantly. It was as if we were a bunch of old mates catching up. On board were a bunch of Aussies (one a borderline German), a couple of Kiwis (one of which is both Dan Carter’s cousin and probably Richie McCaw’s love child), a few highly irresponsible Poms, some Canadians, Americans and an Argentinian, not a bad mix. It was only a brief 5 minute lull before everyone was on the beers expediting the potential for a bunch of 30 (ish) year olds to act like children. So that afternoon set a pretty good precedent for the remaining week on the water. As did that night in Dubrovnik… things escalated rather quickly.
If you ever see a “Party Boat” on a menu anywhere just walk away, another tell tale sign of obscene hangover potential is if they sell cocktails by the bucket. A party boat, by the way, is a bottle of vodka on ice surrounded by cans of Red Bull. A wise group of guys would stop at one after the “look at me!” factor had worn off. Some are less wise and apparently enjoy self harm and continue to ingest boats of the party variety for an entire night. Who was I to argue, I was drinking with doctors (oh and Tom who “works in insurance or something”) so I naturally assumed I was doing the right thing. Anyhoo, this resulted in a pretty epic night by all involved, a lot of empty buckets and the next day putting together the lost pieces of memory. I even forgot that there was a huge thunder storm as we left the pub back for the boat. Not a bad start.
From here we headed off North, working our way through the Islands. Each morning we’d wake up parked in an aqua blue bay somewhere in the Adriatic to the sound of the breakfast bell. Each morning involved very little more than classic catches off the top of the boat, throwing rocks at stuff, soaking up a bit of Vitamin D and, of course, washing oxygen down with beer. This went on for the next week, each night we’d stop at another port (mostly on one of the 1,426 islands in Croatia) and do it all over again. We managed to squeeze in plenty of other fun stuff along the way too like hooting around in mud in buggies and white water rafting while again acting like children.
And that’s that. It was a thoroughly enjoyable yet exhausting week. I think the two most common phrases uttered that week were “It’s not a tuna” (think Arnie in Kindergarten Cop) and “I’m too old for this shit”. I didn’t get the big camera out too much but the little one was floating around a fair bit and managed capture many moments of drunken hilarity. Had a ball, met heaps of spot on folks that we’ll no doubt catch up with again, loved it, would do it again.
By the way – there’s a rather large number of photos here so I’m just putting them in a quick gallery so it doesn’t take a week to scroll through. If you want to see them bigger click one of the pics and it’ll load a slideshow, you might need to wait a little while for it to load completely.