Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Every Yacht Charter Must End

Trip date: May 2019

Day 6 of our chartered cruise; we left Hvar under sunny blue skies, for the island of Vis. This was after truffled scrambled eggs and mimosas of course! Our destination was about 2 hours away and the weather was perfect to hoist the sails and let the wind carry us along.

This was the first time we had been able to actually sail for any real amount of time. It was great! You could see Roko visibly relax in the warm weather, it had been stressful for him to have a charter in not great weather. And he was tired of being cold!
We sailed into a small, pretty cove on the other side of Vis and anchored to a buoy. It was quiet and warm and we sunbathed on the trampoline with glasses of chilled white wine and snacks of local cheese. My plan to swim changed when I dipped a toe in the water, but we had a great time lounging in the sun.

There is mooring in both Vis town and in Kut, which is just a mile down the shore. Roko decided that the chop would be a bit less in Kut and glided the Sundance into another front row spot. Kut is also the oldest town on the island, having been built by the Venetians in the 17th century, and is super cute with just a few restaurants and a grocery.

Aaron and I left to explore the waterfront in the brilliant sunshine; it was just a 20 minutes walk to Vis. The town may look familiar to some as it was the portrayed as the Greek village in Mama Mia II.  We didn't sing or dance but we did stop and enjoy an Aperol Spritz while taking in the gorgeous day and checking out the yachts in the marina.

We continued our walk out to the Prirova peninsula where we visited the 16th century church of St Jeronim (also in MMII) and it's scenic cemetery that gives all residents wonderful views of the sea. 

We made our way back to Kut and had a little happy hour with a view of our yacht before heading out to dinner. It had been a lovely and relaxing day in the sun!

Roko arranged our evening excursion to a winery and restaurant called Roki's. They had a van pick the 3 of us up and drive the 15 minutes inland where we were greeted warmly since Roko knows them personally. The specialty here, besides the wine, is peka which is a dish of meat and vegetables, cooked "under the bell" or under a lid. It's a dish you need to order in advance as it takes a while.

Peka is also a very traditional dish, made in homes across the country, and served for family meals. The most common meats are veal, lamb, or octopus. We had ordered both a lamb and a vegetable peka and were shown the outdoor grill where the dishes were being cooked by covering the lids with hot coals. 

Having checked on our peka, we had a quick visit to the winery before being sat for dinner. The dining room is casual, with wooden tables and checkered table clothes, very cozy. We had an appetizer of cured anchovies, tuna, olives, and a tuna paté. Then the vegetable and lamb pekas. Entirely too much food! 

Aaron thought the lamb was too greasy, but I thought it was great. The potatoes on the bottom soaked up the juice and were delicious. As we found in Hvar, everything in Vis was cash only!

The next morning we sailed 2 ½ hours to the island of Solta, our 4th and last island of our charter. Roko gave us two different options on where to moor, one was supposed to be great for swimming, but the weather was calling for rain so we opted for the more sheltered marina at Maslinica.
It was a pretty rough sail over; Aaron and I opted to stay inside at the kitchen table for the first time. We had wi-fi onboard the Sundance so we spent the morning catching up on emails and doing some research for the nights we would spend in Split when our cruise was over. It was steadily raining with no signs of letting up when we arrived in the tiny harbor. We even watched an outdoor wedding take place, everyone with their umbrellas up, from the shelter of our yacht.
We tried to brave the weather, and set out for a little walk around the harbor. It was very wet!! And we were the only people out. We made a quick loop and headed back for lunch onboard the catamaran and an afternoon of cards and dominos. At least we had plenty of time to pack :/

We chose Sampjer Restaurant for our last dinner with Roko. A van picked us and some others up at a specified location at the marina. The restaurant sits at the top of a hill, with lovely views of the surrounding islands. We even caught a bit of sunset.
Dinner and service were good and it was nice to have them drive us up and down since it was chilly out. We were a bit sad that this was the end of our trip, even if the weather hadn't always cooperated, as it had been a blast.

We sailed into Split the next morning, for an 8:30am disembarkment. Many charters come back and spend the last night in the Split marina but Aaron and I were going to be staying in the city for a couple of days so we talked them into doing a morning drop off.

Roko made a quick stop to gas Sundance up for the next charter. Then we put the buoys out one last time (Aaron and my official job during the charter), tipped Roko, and said our final goodbye. Sail Croatia arranged a transfer for us to our hotels in Split. And with that we were back to land. 

I would highly recommend Sail Croatia if you are looking to charter a boat in Croatia. Our entire experience was top notch!!

All photos from the Dalmatian Coast cruise here.

Other posts from this trip:

Eat, Drink, Dubrovnik
Lokrum Day Trip
24 Hours in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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