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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Yacht Week Croatia Black Route 2013 - The Finale (Solta and Split)

The final pages of the Yacht Week blog including our last night in Split to attend the first ever, ULTRA Europe event.  What are the odds I book this trip in December of last year and just HAPPEN to pick the week that ULTRA is in Split, Croatia?  Cray.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

We left Hvar first thing in the morning and sailed for Solta Island so that we could get a good spot.  This is the day where the Red and Black Routes join together and create a baot raft over over 100+ baots.  And then we raged.  The majority of the day was spent wandering from baot to baot drinking with the friends we'd made over the last few days, jumping into the water and swimming around on lilos.  The skippers blew up a giant inflatable so that people could jump off the top of the catamaran, land on the inflatable and go flying into the air.

Photo Credit: Yacht Week Website
 
 
 
 
Photo Credit: Yacht Week Website

It was a day for making new friends including RaverSunnies who came over to say "Hi" to Kukar only to be harassed by us insisting that he sit and stay awhile (with a complimentary beer of course).  As night descended our skipper friends meandered over.  Eggs' poor puppy dog eyes begged for some leftover pasta because he'd eaten at the restaurant and apparently it was terrible.  Our pasta got high marks!  Hugh Jackman and RaverSunnies were introduced to Winston and soon we broke out the glow in the dark wristbands.

 
 

After pre-partying on the baot we headed to shore. You walk along the baots to get to the one catamaran that has a wooden plank connecting it to shore which is why it is good to get there early (less baots to get across).  At the top of a bunch of wooden steps is a three-story restaurant/bar called Sismis Cocktail Bar.  During the day you can also order food for pick-up from them or eat at the restaurant.

I was starting to feel a little sad and reminiscent since this is really our last night with everyone because tomorrow the people who have tickets to ULTRA will end up separating from the Yacht Week group.  I spent a solid thirty minutes in a hug-fest with the Lil Bros from Sydney.  Unfortunately I realized too late that I never got last names or contact info!  Hopefully I see them again someday!

As per usual I ran into the Canadians and gave #5 a huge hug that lifted him off the ground.  This immediately made all his friends giggle so I decided to pick them all up too.  Bashful was fairly easy to lift but then I turned to BeachBoy who stands at close to 6'4."  He just smiled down at me while all the other guys told me it was okay and I should give up.  I bent my knees, grabbed BeachBoy around the buttcheeks and not only lifted him into the air but did a little twirl with him too.  HAH.

At this point I had yet again lost track of most of my crew probably because a lot of them were tired.  I started to walk back to the baot when I ran into Kukar.  We had a lovefest too.  She really has been the greatest addition to our baot and the trip.  Love that girl.

A fairly chill night coming off of Hvar but I didn't mind getting a good night's sleep.


Friday, July 12, 2013

We woke up early for the six or so hour trip back to Kremik and decided fairly early on that we weren't going to do the Regatta because we needed to get back for ULTRA.  Basically the last day of Yacht Week in Croatia everyone gets dressed in costume and races each other back to the harbor using the sailing skills you supposedly learned throughout the week.  It was 2-3 knot winds that day so it would've taken us FOREVER to get back so we opted out.  Plus we kind of just wanted to lazily lie on the front of the baot and sleep instead of getting all dressed up in our costumes.  For your enjoyment I've posted some examples of costumes from other people who did do the Regatta.

 
Photo Credit: Yacht Week

We arrived in Kremik early which was nice because it meant a shorter line for the gas station.  Gas for the baot ended up being about 160 kuna each.  The good news is that RaverSunnies had helped us snag a hostel in Split (the entire city was sold out thanks to ULTRA) so that we could just crash there after ULTRA instead of taking the 1.5 hour bus ride back to the baot just to disembark tomorrow morning at 9am for another 2 hour taxi ride to the airport.  The only unfortunate part is the hostel was like 55 Euro per person.  Not cheap.

The next few hours were spent cleaning the baot and getting rid of a lot of our stuff so that we wouldn't have to cart it back to the U.S.  We also had our final crew dinner (unfortunately sans Kukar) at the lone restaurant at Kremik which was delicious but took forever. We finished just in time to grab one of the few buses leaving for ULTRA.  It was sad to say goodbye to Kala... she'd been a great baot.


The bus ride (70 kuna per person round-trip although we were only taking it one way) to Split was absolutely outrageous.  We obviously had brought the alcohol we still had left with us on the bus (about 12 beers and a full bottle of Jack Daniels).  We knew we weren't going to spend much time drinking once we got to Split so we downed the beers and then started passing the bottle of Jack.

Somehow we managed to end up on the top of the bus with all the crazy Peruvians and Brazilians.  They managed to chant and sing every single reggaeton song on my Internat'l Spotify playlist which was hilarious.  Most of the skippers we knew ended up on the top level with us as well.  This was the moment when the French skipper, "High School Musical," would get his name.  As I'd mentioned he was the skipper for the Brazilians so he ended up on the top level with us and was forced to take pulls of Jack Daniels just like everyone else.  The only person who didn't look like they were having fun was Eggs whose sad puppy dog eyes earned him a few extra beers.  We also got to know two new skippers, Mac and Mr. McGregor, who were delighted by the offer to take pulls of Jack.

Upon arrival at ULTRA, we lucked out that we were with skippers so we didn't have to wait in the special Yacht Week line to get our tickets.  Yacht Week had VIP tickets that gave access to their VIP lounge section at ULTRA which was a huge bonus.  We had our own bathrooms and our own bar which reduced the amount of lines.

We then piled into two cars to go to the hostel to drop our stuff and pre-party for a few hours.  RaverSunnies would get his nickname because he pounced on Judith's blinking sunglasses begging to wear them and promising he wouldn't lose them at ULTRA.  I would find out the next day that he had dutifully kept track of them, returning them to Judith at the end of the night only to have her bestow ownership upon him due to good behavior.  He was thrilled.

Once everyone had taken a sizable number of Winstons and decked themselves in glow bands we walked back to ULTRA.  Within two seconds of entering I once again lost my entire crew (do you see a pattern here?) and ran smack into High School Musical.  We ended up dancing for hours to awesome EDM DJs before leaving to find pizza.  By the time we left I had finally gotten him to say "yeah, yeah."  He despised that phrase.  For my first time at ULTRA all I can say is...INSANE.


Photo Credit: Yacht Week

 

Inside Jokes:
"Yeah Yeah Favorite!"
"Oui, oui"
"Only two wishes left"
"It's 4:30am! The bus leaves at 5!"
Crazy Belgian


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Clearly everything that could've gone wrong last night did.  I remember JagerMan coming back some time in the night and then much much later Judith arriving.  When I woke up at 9am, there was still no sign of Crispy.  Turns out she couldn't for the life of her figure out how to get back to our impossible hostel so she'd stayed at a hotel with a bunch of people she met wandering ULTRA alone.  I was just thankful she was alive and unharmed.  Just goes to show that you have to be a tough cookie to handle Yacht Week.

We all managed to make it to the airport, although Crispy and I would be delayed just long enough to miss our connection in Frankfurt resulting in us staying overnight in the most boring town in history and not making it home until Sunday.  So much for having a day to recover!  Lufthansa did do a beautiful job of taking care of us though.  It was a super easy process to rebook our flight for the next day, immediate shuttle to the hotel, dinner included in the price, etc and shuttle back the next day.  Love that German precision!

Looking back after being home for exactly a month I can tell you that I learned a lot about myself and my friends from that week.  It was a challenging trip but also an entertaining and enlightening one.  I enjoyed myself so much that we've already booked Yacht Week British Virgin Islands for NYE so that's the best review I can give - I'm doing it again.

Here are some of my overall recommendations for those that are thinking about doing it:
  1. The majority of people on the trip are 21-25 so you will likely have the best time if you fall into that age range
  2. The best situation would be to get about 8 people together, split in half and get two baots and fill the rest of the spots with randoms.  It ensures you have your friends but meet new people too.
  3. Select people to go on your baot that:
  • can go all day all night forever (obviously)
  • are probably single (tend to be more social and reduces the "this is our room" mentality since you all end up sleeping on top of each other)
  • aren't private (again there is no such thing as personal space on the baot)
  • are no drama (this one is super important - you can't take sh*t seriously or you will find plenty of things to complain about)
  • are capable (as you can tell from my  blog there are often times on Yacht Week that you find yourself alone because everyone got drunk, hooked up, bailed, blah blah, so you have to be able to make it home on your own)
Stick to the above and I guarantee you this will be one of the best weeks of your life.  It's only been a month but many of these people I know I will see again because of the connections we've made.  We've already had Auz visit NYC and RaverSunnies is coming on BVI as our skipper.  Hope everyone reading this has the opportunity to experience this once (before it gets shutdown haha).

Bon Voyage!

2 comments:

  1. How have you spelt 'boat' wrong throughout?

    ReplyDelete
  2. This person ^^^ is dumb!

    Do you remember Lead Lifesaver's real name? I may want to request him for my trip!

    ReplyDelete