For the past week and a half, I’ve woken up, immediately craving beer. My skin persistently thirsts for the salty water of the Adriatic Sea and itches for the intense Croatian sun. A deep and empty sadness permeates my liver. I am experiencing The Yacht Week Withdrawals, and it isn’t pleasant.
The Yacht Week- Croatia was my favorite trip thus far for 3 main reasons:
- I went alone and joined a random crew which turned out to be the absolute best way to experience this adventure.
- I met people from all over the world who shared my genuine interest in fun, exploration, connecting and kindness.
- By the end of the week, I was known as “Erica from America” and 50% of the time I was called, it was in a British Accent. Which I am a total sucker for.
TYW is a series of seven-day sailing events in 6 destinations around the world. The destinations include: Croatia, Greece, Thailand, Italy, Turkey, and the Caribbean. In addition there is also an Ultra Europe route and The Ski Week.
How it works:
- You round up your friends or decide to join an already existing but not yet complete crew. If you choose the latter than you should use TYW Crew Finder and the TYW Facebook pages to find a crew that best suits you.
- You pick your destination and week from the above list.
- You book a boat on TYW’s website.
- You sail away into a world you never knew existed. Where the rules are minimal and the bikinis are abundant.
The Croatian Red Route- Week 27
Day 1- Trogir:
We checked into the marina and did the “Big Shop” where we stocked up on booze and food for the week. Finding a home for all of the supplies on the boat was like cleaning for the cleaning lady. We hid beer cans in so many nooks and crannies that when the week was over it was like Christmas morning uncovering it all. Except at that point in the week, no one was thirsty. At night we headed to Trogir for the Welcome Party right next to the marina. This is when I learned all of the flags of the world because it turns out that the education system in the UK is much better than America. Come sunrise, this knowledge was replaced by bigger priorities. Like naps on the hammock and floating around on our unicorn.
There was the perfect balance between internationals and people I grew up only a county away from. I quickly realized that I wasn’t too out of my element as my route was filled with Rutgers alumni and locals from NJ. We made ourselves right at home with an obligatory twerk off. I may or may not be in the video below:
Day 2- Vis:
Day 2 was full of swimming and soaking up the sun. Day drinking highly encouraged. We rafted near the marina next to about 8 other boats. This made the pre-game a true obstacle course topped with swimming and a spinning shot wheel. TYW 10th Anniversary dinner and party took place at Fort George. Yes, we partied in a fort and yes, it was incredible. This party was well balanced by the formality of a very elegant dinner and the excitement of champagne showers at sunset. By the last song, the dance floor was covered in equal amounts champagne, glow sticks and dignity.
Day 3- Komiza:
Raft circle party by day, Lunatic Beach by night. But not before a picturesque dinner in the hills of Komiza.
Lunatic Beach Club is known for where the dance floor ends and the ocean begins. You have to walk along a pitch black trail to get there. Nothing like the fear of being abducted in a foreign land to get you ready to party! If that didn’t make things interesting, the pole in the center of the dance floor sure did. Oddly enough, not one person seemed too shy to take it for a spin. Face paint and glow sticks were encouraged and made this night extra rave-like. By matching body paint with body paint, it was quite apparent who was getting close with who. Basically by sunrise, everyone was covered.
Day 4 & 5- Palmizana/Hvar:
Two days. Same marina. But two totally different experiences. Palmizana is cute, quaint and quiet. Doesn’t sound like the previous days right? Wrong. Don’t let the stand up paddle boarders cooly coasting by fool you. The boozy brunch in a private cabana post yoga is deadly.
Water taxi to Hvar, widely referred to as the St. Tropez of Croatia, decorated with marble and filled with boutiques, bars, restaurants and cafes. Hula Hula bar at sunset for the ultimate beach front party (Miami style) followed by fratty Kiva Bar (Alpha Epsilon Pi basement style). Since this is a two-day stop over, day two will be long awaited as you prep your linen and flower crowns for the most memorable party of them all, the Carpe Diem White Party.
Day 6- Natural Bay at Starigrad:
As if things could get any better from here…the Red Route and Black Route meet in a natural bay and raft together for the night in traditional Yacht Week fashion. The evening is spontaneous and often ends in late night parties including but not limited to a boat full of Brits scream singing London Grime and throwback 90’s hits. There may or may not have been a drunk unicorn interpretive dancing to Celine Dion after hours. Most people woke up on the wrong side of the raft and had to swim or bribe a skipper for a dingy ride back.
Day 7- Regatta Day:
If you were anything like my boat, you’d be too hungover to truly embrace this experience. But that didn’t stop me from ripping the blow horn. Yachts dress up and race each other to find out who the real MVPs are. Safe to say we were close to last and gratefully took the honorable mention.
The regatta winners are chosen based on:
- Sailing time
- Atmosphere on board
- Clothing and decorations
My personal score for our boat by each category is as follows on a scale from 1-10.
- Sailing time= 3 (we were close to last)
- Atmosphere on board= 4 (50% of the crew physically stood up for more than 3 minutes)
- Clothing and decorations= 5 (we pulled off fairly cool fire fighter costumes considering our lack of preparation)
Only evidence that we actually participated is as follows due to the physical and emotional state of our crew post white party:
Regatta winners were supposed to be announced in Split at Vanilla Night Club. But I was too immersed in the awesome music, fireworks and bottle service to really notice. This night felt like the 4th of July on steroids. Cue the “U.S.A” chant…
Day 8- Check-out:
The Yacht Week Withdrawals are real. And they will haunt you on every social media platform, every accidental gaze at your photo gallery and most detrimentally, in that empty space that now exists deep within your soul. The first step to becoming a real person again is to admit that you have a problem.
“I have a problem…”
There’s no denying that this may be the best problem I’ve ever had. The next step is to book another route so you have another crazy experience to look forward to that will make existing in the real world tolerable.
Literally just joined a group chat discussing Greece 2017.
To learn more about TYW besides this great blog post and to book your own boat or cabin, visit their website. Just be sure to take me with you. I promise to bring champagne.