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Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Yacht Week Croatia Black Route 2013 - It Begins (Frapa, Vis, Komiza)

Alright, time to begin the blog you've all been waiting for.  Just to provide some sort of a timeline/itinerary so you can follow along below is a list of the day and what island/port we were at.  We were on the Black Route which in my opinion is better than Red.  Mostly because you get to Solta first so you get a better spot (that's the one day that Black and Red route meetup).  Today's blog covers the first three nights.

July 6 - Board boat / Night in Frapa on the mainland
July 7 - Night in Vis Town on Vis Island
July 8 - Night in Komiza on Vis Island
July 9 - Night in Palmizana (closest anchor to Hvar Town)
July 10 - Night in Palmizana (closest anchor to Hvar Town)
July 11 - Night in Solta
July 12 - Night in Kremik Harbor (or in our case Split cuz of ULTRA)
July 13 - Normally we would disembark from the boat this day but we were already in Split

Photo Credit: Yacht Week Website

continued from my Split blog post...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Work up this morning with money stuck to my ass... must have been a good night?  I then exited my bed to find a scene from the Hangover greeting me in our Split apartman.  Some weird goo on the chair, some other weird goo on the ceiling, glow in the dark paint up ended on the table, a 4 foot blowup schlong abandoned on the floor.  Is this a vacation or a bachelorette party?  Almost immediately after surveying the damage I heard a knock on the door.  Keep in mind I am wearing Judith's shirt that says "I came to party and f--- bitches."  I open the door to a small Croatian woman telling me that it's time to check out.  I convince her to give us 20 minutes, shut and lock the door, and start yelling at the crew to get moving.  Forty minutes later I'm fairly sure we will get our deposit back and we wander down to the boardwalk to determine what we are going to do until it's time to head to Frapa Marina to get our boat.

The six of us collapse under a palm tree mostly on top of each other to try and avoid the hot sun beating down on us.  Ryan Reynolds manages to locate an gelato shop that sells a "whiskey" flavor.  Turns out it actually has whiskey in it so he immediately dumps it on me to finish.  Yes, I do.  Meanwhile, we are carrying around the remaining alcohol from the previous night and Ost. gets the great idea to have people draw cards from a deck and if you get the joker you have to take a shot of vodka.  What happens?  My first turn... I get a joker.  FML.  We sit around half sleeping wasting away an hour until it's time to jump in a taxi.

Inside Jokes:
Do you like ears?
"I just get used for my body"

Turns out Frapa Marina is FOREVER from Split and ended up costing us 600 kuna.  I proved how worthless I was at math when I tried to tell everyone how much that was per person in US dollars.  As soon as we arrived it started POURING rain, we couldn't figure out where in the marina we were supposed to meet.  Once we did find the meeting location we couldn't find our skipper and no one would tell us what was going on so we just decided to buy drinks and sit around until someone came looking for us.

Finally, our Swedish skipper, Kukar, found us and helped us get our wristbands and fill out the paperwork that pretty much says Yacht Week isn't responsible for all the punishment we were about to do to our brains and bodies.  Her nickname was created from the term, krossa kukar.  I will let you ask a Swedish speaker what that means.  I recommend standing far enough away that you don't get slapped.  Synonym - "crushing pinjas"

We would told to grocery shop at Frapa Marina before we boarded a bus to Kremik Marina where our boat was anchored (this was super annoying that we had to go to two different harbors.  Yacht Week if you read this I would rather have just chilled in Kremik).  Turns out we DIDN'T need to buy groceries here... you can buy them in Kremik.  We spent 1000 kuna total between the four of us.

Here's what we bought and my thoughts on each:
  • sliced ham - pretty much the only thing I ate the entire trip
  • cheese - pretty much the only other thing I ate
  • pasta/pasta sauce - came in SO handy for the few group dinners we managed to have towards the end of the trip but in general no interest in making food just eating it.  Also buy more pasta sauce then you think you need.
  • tuna - ate this too although check the labels.  The first one we opened up had beans and other things mixed in.  Although it did provide for a running YW joke... "Mexican tuna!"
  • beers - duh..
  • ice - for the beers.  Anytime you see ice on the trip buy all of it.
  • red wine - a really good idea for when the beers get warm, you have an alternative
  • hard alcohol - buy something you are willing to take pulls of straight because your mixers will eventually get warm (hello Jack Daniels)
  • mixers - for while you have ice
  • yogurt - bought it and I never ate it but I think others did.  Easy solution to breakfast
  • eggs - bought these the first day and they were never used... funny joke later on this one
  • bread
  • bagel crisps - amazing because you can eat by themselves or with tuna or cheese, etc
  • milk - probably kind of pointless but we did get cereal
  • cereal
We then waited forever for the bus to Kremik which was 30 kuna per person. My recommendation if you have to do this is to split your group in half.  Half of your make sure you make it on the boat, with your skipper, while the others throw all your stuff under the bus.  That way worst case the first group can get the boat in order while waiting for the others.  We magically managed to get everyone on the same bus.

We boarded the boat on arrival, selected rooms (JagerMan and I took the back two smaller rooms that have ZERO head room and Judith and Crispy took the front room that was slightly bigger with more head space) and then immediately began decking out the boat with fun stuff, our shocker flag and the Xmas lights, while our skipper boated us BACK to Frapa Marina for the first of the Yacht Week parties.  Again this is where I get irritated that we had to go Frapa - Kremik - Frapa.  I get that some marinas don't want us there because we are loud but this was just a major pain.  They should've had us check in at Frapa while the skippers brought the boats from Kremik.

The boat was AWESOME.  We had so much room and it looked brand new.  I later learned this boat would cost like $300,000 to buy.

Regardless the sail to Frapa was gorgeous and our flag looked AWESOME.


We spent our first night teaching the Colombians on the boat next to us how to "Winston" (Winston is my flabongo.  He got more action on the trip than the rest of Yacht Week combined.  We soon became known as the Flabongo Boat).  They were very intrigued.

From there we went to the club where the Yacht Week party was being held.  I immediately lost all of my crew, got pushed by some random dude and ended up at the bar fairly drunk talking to some Croatian guy who kept blowing cigarette smoke in my face while repeating the only word he knew in English.. "Kiss kiss?"  No. Thank. You.

I clearly wasn't having it so I wandered back to the boat for lack of a better idea.  Thank god for the Xmas lights or I never would've made it home.  Hmm not a great start to Yacht Week.  Maybe I came in with too high of expectations?

On a side note - the fee for one night at port in Frapa was 600 kuna (that's just ridiculous).

Sunday, July 7, 2013

We left Frapa early and sailed six hours to Vis Town on the island of Vis.  Definitely glad I randomly brought Dramamime because turns out I was a little queasy out on the boat.  Today was the day that Crispy would inherit her name as she managed to burn the crap out of herself by misjudging when to finally apply sunscreen.  It's also cool because you can stop whenever you want to jump into the water and have a lazy swim in the middle of the ocean.  The view of Croatia from the water just can't be beat.

Upon arrival in Vis, there are two option for the boat.  You can dock at the marina (pros - get electricity in the outlets, AC and showers and don't have to pay for water taxi; cons - more expensive port fee) OR you can dock out in the bay (pros - all the cool kids do it, cheaper; cons - less amenities and have to take a water taxi to the boat).

Photo Credit: Yacht Week Website

We opted for the bay (partly because the marina was full) and it turns out it was the far better decision.  This option involves tying all the boats up next to each other in a line, like a raft, with the backs of the boats all facing the same way.  The cool thing about this is that everyone hangs out behind their boat in their floatie so you start mingling with people on the other boats.

This particular day we ended up next to Skipper PBR and his crew of Pervians, Australians and a Texan.  One of the Peruvians, Sling, and I spent the majority of the afternoon trying to play beer pong using the blow-up beer pong rafts we brought with us.  It was IMPOSSIBLE.  The tiniest wave and you'd miss your shot.  Not to mention you are trying to balance on a lilo the whole time.  We also got to know the two Aussies, Dancey (named for her ability to find herself completely alone on the dancefloor and not care) and Flume (for her love of exceptional Aussie DJs).

I also of course introduced them to Winston.  Sling was suspicious at first before seeing Winston in person.  I had said, "I came home early last night thanks to Winston."  Sling took this to mean that Winston was another handheld product one would use if they came home from a club early.  Once he saw Winston though this hilarious miscommunication was immediately rectified.  Come on now!  Around this time I managed to lose my lilo which was retrieved by Lead Lifesaver (thus earning him his nickname).

A little backstory on Lead Lifesaver... when we first booked our boat we were told that LL would be our skipper.  We, of course, Facebook stalked him and were on the verge of making hilarious crew T-shirts with his face on them when we found out another boat had requested him and we were switched.  Please note, Kukar is the shit (she crushes pingas like a pro) but it helps explain why we were already loving this kid before we'd even been properly introduced to him.  Needless to say he would come to spend a lot of time on our boat.  Cuz we rock.  This is also a good point in the story to tell you that you can request a skipper if you want. 

We partied on the boats for the next few hours while we did a shower rotation.  Winston made friends with the only other flabongo on the trip, Frederick.  I would later come to learn from Frederick's owner that he was stolen in the night later in the trip.  Thank god most nights Winston slept in my room.  I can't imagine the devastation if he'd been kidnapped!

Next we headed inland for a quick stop in the Swedish boat filled with Kukar's friends before we went to the Yacht Week sponsored party.  This one was set up in an old castle; it was SO cool.  The dance floor is in the middle with stadium style rows of grass covered in tables that you can reserve.  As mostly girls we didn't bother to reserve a table but if you are a boat of dudes I suggest this is the second best party on the trip to get a table if you want.

 Photo Credit: Yacht Week Website

Unfortunately, the Yacht Week gods were against me again this night because within 30 minutes of dancing both my flipflops exploded.  I will reiterate... Girls DO NOT bring cute flipflops.  Bring functional flipflops.  Or suffer the wrath of the thousands of pieces of glass littered all over this place.  Within minutes my feet were completely cut up putting me in a terrible mood.  I also managed to lose my friends again, introduce myself to one of the skippers in an attempt to be friendly only to be asked point blank if "I wanted to makeout" and then immediately ditched thanks to the look of shock on my face, and finally end up alone.  Man this sucks!

Unsure of how to get back without ripping my feet apart even more I manage to look up and see a skipper from some other yacht company dancing on one of the wooden "boxes" littering the dance floor.  But the main thing I noticed was that he looked fairly strong and had shoes.  I kindly pointed out that I would be needing his shoes and a piggyback ride to my boat.  Winning.

Inside Jokes:
"Hello Guy"

Monday, July 8, 2013

Woke up to some PAINFUL feet and a questionable attitude so I spent the majority of the morning and afternoon berating myself.  I think I was just expecting that you show up at Yacht Week and make a ton of lifelong friends and have the best time ever (like college).  I wasn't really expecting everyone to just get really wasted and suck face with whatever random person happened to be next to them at the time. The bad mood was compounded by the fact that someone had forgotten to lock the shower door in place so it had gotten lose and locked us out of the only bathroom with a shower.

We left fairly early so that we could take advantage of sailing to the Submarine Bunker and the Blue Caves before making our way to Komiza (the next anchor point).  The Submarine Bunker was pretty cool.  You climb up along the side of the bunker to the top and then jump off into the water.  It's supposedly 53 feet (from what I could find on Google) but it sure seems higher.  The trick is to just step off the side rather than jumping to ensure you hit the water in as straight a line as possible.  I tried to get both arms in but managed to only secure my left leaving my right to hit the water hard enough to make it smart for a couple of hours.  Judith ended up much worse off.  When she hit the water she somehow ruptured the inside of her mouth resulting in a ton of blood and a bruised cheek for half the rest of Yacht Week.  She was TROOPER.

Then we tried to go to the Blue Caves but the motor for our dinghy was broken so we had to row in which took like 30 minutes.  We got to the mouth of the cave only to find out it costs money.  Screw that.  The day was just not turning out as planned!

Finally we arrived at Komiza and once again decided to tie up in the bay.

 Photo Credit: Yacht Week Website

I immediately retreated to the water to make friends and cool off.  At one point a guy swam nearby so I introduced myself.  BeachBoy then introduced me to his boat of Canadian friends.  I sat next to #5 and Bashful and was in the midst of introducing myself to them when they said, "Oh, we know you."  Uh oh.  Bashful then goes on to explain that they had met me last night at the castle party.  Apparently I had walked up and they had said hello only for me to say, "I lost my shoes so I guess I'll stand here and talk to you guys."  Hahahaha THAT came out wrong.  I laughingly apologized for coming off as a total "B" pointing out that I was miserable at that point.  So, we started over and before long were having a great time.

Once again Winston made an appearance and tried gin for the first time.  Not sure he liked it.  The Canadians also explained that they knew who we were (the shocker boat girls).  Apparently our reputation proceeds us...

We continued to make our rounds to the other boats, introducing ourselves and making funs.  THIS is the Yacht Week I'd been looking for.  We meet some kids from Chicago kids who apparently had a girl on their boat who had been sexually harassed the previous night and when she said something to police they ignored her resulting in her punching the cop and being thrown in jail.  Apparently this was the THIRD mishap on their boat and their skipper had screamed at them, said he wanted a new boat, and then quit.  We played football until it was time to get ready for dinner and going out.

If you want you can buy water taxi tickets in advance (40 kuna each).  Lucky for us, Lead Lifesaver had fixed our shower, earning him another brownie point and the luck of us using his body as a canvas for our glow-in-the-dark paint.  Covered in paint we all jumped in the water taxi for our first dinner out together.  I ordered carbonara which was awful while almost everyone else got pizza which was apparently pretty good.  I'm telling you... the only things you should ever order in Croatia are rumpsteak and pizza.

From there we went to the Yacht Week sponsored party which this time was at a open-air club on the beach.  It was a little dead because we got there too early (I recommend showing up to this one around 2am) but we didn't care because we were a three woman dance party (YagerMan slept it off this night).  We ordered the "Special" which is some crazy blue drink that comes in a pitcher with a bunch of straws.

Photo Credit: Yacht Week Website

Tonight would be the night that BeachBoy earned his nickname...after wandering off with a lady and getting caught in the act.  Bwahahaha.  He was not amused.  I also managed to run into the same skipper from last night.  "Mr. Makeout" was just as dodgy as before.  Ick.

We spent the rest of the night dancing like idiots with #5, Bashful and BeachBoy.  It was the start of a beautiful hat-sharing relationship with #5 (his lucky number is 5 which was stitched onto the beloved hat) that pretty much involved #5 cautioning me not to lose his favorite hat, me telling him to chill, him not chilling and then eventually high-fiving me after three people tried to steal it and I refused to give it up.  Come on man where's the trust!


Bashful would also receive his nickname this night as I kept taking the bottom of the boys' shirts and looping them through the neckhole to create a manly bikini look.  Bashful kept pulling his back down which just encouraged me.  

And then Crispy caught sight of the t-shirt fun and her claws came out.  My shirt sadly was the object of her attention resulting in it going from a tank top to a vest.  At this point #5 pointed out that if you are going to wear a ripped shirt you might as well make it into a cape!

We FINALLY tired ourselves out around 5am and started the long walk back to the marina to catch the water taxi.  Along the way we started skipping yelling "Yeah! Yeah!" until some local Croatian boys walked up to us asking me, "Why do you keep yelling 'eggs'?"  Turns out that "ja-ja" (pronounced "yeah-yeah") means "eggs" in Croatian.  When we got back to the boat I confirmed this.  Hilarious.

Our night ended scandalously with a little skinny dipping.  Unfortunately, Crispy had developed a strange accent from spending so much time with foreigners and kept yelling "Come party on our ba-ot!" at the top of her lungs.  This resulted in a large group of people coming to our boat to join the swimming and finally Judith and JagerMan coming topside to tell them to get off the boat.  What a mess!  It would also be the introduction of the word "Baot" into our "extensive" Yacht Week vocabulary to go with "Yeah-yeah," "No-no" and "Shocker!!!!"

Inside Jokes:
Step, Step, Step, Splash!
The 25 minute swim 
Skipper Tanks
What are you doing on the beach?

Overall this day was a huge success and had me feeling like finally I was on the Yacht Week I'd expected.  I was looking forward to the next day when we would sail for Hvar... my favorite island in quite possibly the world.

Stay tuned!

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