Wonders of Dalmatia: A Day at Sea From the Perspective of a Sailing Novice

Total Croatia News

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Jona Christina Davis

 Let me start by saying I’m a born and bred seatown girl. I was born in Rijeka, lived in Rovinj for a couple of years, then moved back to my hometown. I spent my childhood summers in a darling little bay in Istria; my grandfather, a former seafarer, taught me how to swim when I was 2. My mom taught me how to open my eyes underwater. For as long as I remember, I’ve been a good diver, an even better swimmer, an enthusiastic little fish who didn’t shy away from trying any activity related to water.

And yet, never in my 28 years have I spent a full day on a boat. Until now.

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Last weekend, I headed from Rijeka to Split for a boat trip with coworkers (now friends!) from TCN and Total Croatia Sailing. We were welcomed by the incredibly nice team from Dalmatia Cruising, waiting for us on the charming Polaris boat. She’s a proper beauty, offering us shelter from the midday heat on the lower deck, yet constantly luring us with the open upper deck where we soon headed to hang out and dance to the mesmerising summer tunes provided by our DJ.

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My experience with sailing comes down to zooming around on a little rubber boat from beach to beach in Istria. Getting to try out the all-inclusive boat trip, including some island hopping, was close to a religious experience. I went in thinking I’d be tired and not the best company, as I’ve just spent 8 hours on a bus from Rijeka to Split with close to no sleep, but I was mistaken. There’s a certain magic when it comes to boats; just being out on the open sea, hanging out with people you like, a glass of wine in hand, works wonders for your well-being. Add Dalmatian waters as a location, and you can’t go wrong.

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The crew of Dalmatia Cruising took us from Split to Šolta, where we enjoyed some olive oil tasting and admired the untouched beauty of the island, but for me, the best part was just hanging out on the upper deck and mingling with the crowd. When a bunch of positive people get together, an all-around fantastic vibe is always quick to form in the air. That Saturday afternoon, there were no troubles and problems; we feasted on the amazing lunch the crew prepared for us, we talked about our experiences travelling, we brainstormed to come up with our next creative endeavours. We jumped off the boat like children, squealing with delight. The water was just the right temperature, we had the whole area for ourselves – perfection. If you haven’t spent a lot of time at the open sea, it’s hard to describe it; if you did, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that immediately after you’ve sailed out, you get immersed in an incredible feeling of total freedom.

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I’ve been to Dalmatia before, but usually in winter, so I always thought all the photos of the islands online were at least a bit photoshopped, you know? Suddenly, I was sailing around Šolta and Brač, staring at the unimaginable shade of turquoise and thinking how lucky we are to live in such a gorgeous corner of the world. I spent the miminal amount of time on my phone, instead just soaking in all the beauty around me, but I couldn’t resist snapping just one pic of the water. It was the most honest #nofilter tag I have ever typed out in my millenial life.

The only downside of the day was the looming trip back. It had to end, and I’m sure all of us would’ve gladly stayed a few more days… or weeks, or months. It’s a special feeling, exploring hidden bays and beaches of the incredible Adriatic coast, and it leaves you grateful for the experience. In some way, it’s good the trip didn’t last longer, as I can’t imagine getting used to sailing around the islands and starting taking it for granted. Better leave it for special occasions – when you feel the open sea calling, there’s always a boat waiting to take you away. I fell in love with Polaris, and I already decided I’m heading back to Split this summer. A great crew, fabulous people, food, wine, and summer in the air – what more could you wish for?





Photo credit: 3 Gray Goats Photography, Jona Christina Davis


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