After 12 months of planning, roughly 45 sailors across 13 boats met outside of Split and spent 7 amazing days sailing the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia. The 2023 club flotilla was held a few weeks ago and it was one for the memories!
We arrived at The Moorings/Sunsail base on Saturday morning to start out charter on a mix of 13 monohulls and catamarans. After a private HS skippers meeting, boat orientations, and final provisioning; we set off to the first destination of Sesula Bay on Solta. A 12-15 knot breeze on the beam made for a picture perfect first sail where we ended in a quiet cove with crystal clear water. Ashore, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner atop the hill overlooking the bay indulging in fresh fish and Rose.
After a peaceful night’s sleep, we set sail to Vinogradisce on St. Clement. The wind started slow but soon picked up to 15+ knots from the West leading to a fun filled 3 ½ hour sail. The bay in Vinogradisce was truly magical for swimming, people watching, and basking in the sun. Ashore were several restaurant options including five-star fine dining. Restaurants prided themselves on their seafood options and many of us ordered meals family style with fresh caught fish, octopus salad, lobster, scallops, cuttlefish risotto and much more.
Our plans to head to Stari Grad on the island of Hvar for day 3 got altered due to the North East breeze known locally as The Bura, so we took safe anchorage for another night in Vinogradisce. The Bura was strong with some boats reporting 40 knots indicated on their wind instruments. Viongradisce worked out as it was a short water taxi (more like high thrills speed boat ride) to the neighboring island of Hvar. There were many opportunities to explore this lively town including a shaded meander to the Fortica Fortress atop the town. The views looking down over Hvar were truly magnificent and the medieval castle was a great stop for all the history buffs.
With the Bura weakening on Day 4, we set out to get back on schedule with a course to Stari Grad. Wet and windy, the sail took around 4 hours where reefing was necessary and heeling was not optional. Wind gusting to nearly 30 knots combined with 5 foot waves in short intervals; these were conditions most had never experienced. Were happy to report the only casualties were a few spilled cheese boards. Pulling into Stari Grad, we lined up the fleet on the town quay, which made exploring by foot even more accessible. The town of Stari Grad looked almost unreal with immaculate cobblestone streets and spectacular structures. We rinsed and repeated with good food, great wine and even greater gelato.
By Day 5, the wind had calmed so we were able to continue our original plan to Vis Town on the island of Vis. Sailors had a choice to either tie up to the town quay or grab a mooring ball if you wanted a bit more privacy. Word got out that you could rent E-bikes for a self guided tour through the steep hills and vineyards to the other side of the island where you were awarded with amazing views coming into the town of Komiza.
Day 6 we left Vis with several of us taking a slight detour to the calm bay of Rogacic. Here the water was crystal clear and you could swim or dingy into a submarine tunnel which was used to hide the subs during the cold war. A few of us jumped off the top of the 18m tunnel into the water below after being informed it was a Croatian tradition. This final night was spent at a ACI Milna on the island of Brac mainly to get us close to the base for the final day.
Since we did not need to be back to the marina until 5pm on Day 7, we took this last opportunity to sail and explore other parts of the islands. One popular spot was Blue Lagoon, where just like the name describes you could see all the way to the sea floor. Swimming and snorkeling here was a must and a perfect way to end this once in a lifetime vacation. Shoreside that evening we traded stories about our favorite parts, shared the rest of our food and drink, and said our goodbye prior to most of us leaving the next.
The annual club flotilla has become the highlight of our year and Croatia did not disappoint. We’ll be back!