There is a song by Christopher Cross called “Sailing” which speaks of one man’s love for the call of the ocean and the joy of sailing across it. “Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be just a dream…and soon I will be free.” I have heard the call of the ocean since I was a child. When I was able, I started sailing in various places around the world.
On my most recent sailing trip, I decided to take a trip down the coast of Croatia. When sailing the Mediterranean, Croatia might not be the first country that comes to mind, but after hearing from several others who had raved about it, I decided that I needed to see what they were talking about. Croatia is a country in Eastern Europe with a long coastline that hugs the Adriatic Sea. My journey started in the coast of Istria and ended up in the bewitching city of Dubrovnik. This trip might only take 7 hours in a car, but in a boat, it takes about 4 days as you will want to spend your time leisurely exploring some of the more beautiful bays and islands of this gorgeous coastline.
Istria is a charming coastal town rightly called “The Magic Island.” Set mainly on a peninsula that juts out into the ocean, the colorful buildings are a reflection of the spirit of the people that live in this area. As I set sail from the marina in Rovinj into the Mediterranean, the waters were warm and the weather was ideal for a summer’s day. The boat was sleek and the journey was one of the smoothest I’ve had. The winds carried the boat forward almost as if motorized and I relaxed and enjoyed the euphoria that comes from sailing alone on an indigo ocean. I sailed around several peninsulas, the Elafiti Islands which are mostly uninhabited islands near Dubrovnik and other picturesque villages that seemed to sit almost in the sea itself.
The highlight of my trip was landing in Dubrovnik. Enchanting is the only term I can use for the town of Dubrovnik. A protected UNESCO Heritage site, this town will capture the heart of any visitor. After docking my boat, I walked through the stone gates and wandered about in amazement. The buildings in the Old Town were crafted after the Gothic and Renaissance eras, but the white stone used to craft the buildings has mellowed over time only becoming more beautiful with the years. The streets literally shine as they reflect either the sun or the golden street lamps in the evening.
I fell in love with the town in an instant. I ended up renting a luxury holiday villa and stayed for several days. As I walked around the city over the next couple of days, I felt as if I had stepped back in time about 400 to 500 years. As I walked down the streets at night, I swear I could hear ancient laughter carried on the breezes from the ocean.
Reflecting on this journey, I would have to say that it was one of my better sailing trips and one I would recommend to any sailor. I look forward to doing it again sometime in the very near future.