Uživaj, a Dalmatian Odyssey #4: A Sailor’s Perspective: Nathalie Ille, on Ecological Cruising

«In addition to the pleasure of gliding across the water, propelled by the elements, traveling by boat is an entirely different lifestyle.  Throwing off the bowlines, even for a short time, refreshes the spirit like nothing else.»


The Sea

At sea, our impact is immediate.  When we wash dishes, we see soap bubbles on the water, and when we put on sunscreen, a lovely oily sheen inhibits the fishes’ breathing.  The sea is the realm of doing with little.  We use little paper, with little soap on the sponge, and choose products that have little impact on the environment.  We make our presence felt as little as possible and continually learn about and question our impact.  We should apply this concept more generally, in our daily lives on land.  To live on land as we do at sea, and to find new ways to respect nature, we can suggest initiatives in our workplaces, and transmit to our children the value of doing with little.  I learned quite a lot on this voyage.  I learned that I could go much further in my daily activities.  Let us not become complacent with the many comforts that we enjoy today.  This is surely the most difficult thing.


Sailing with Crew:

Sailing is also a marvellous living laboratory, where face-to-face interactions force and create strong bonds.  The boat is a microcosm of society in which we are obliged to adapt to each other and to accept each other as we are, or the concentration of people per metre cubed could quickly lead to drama.  So even without noticing, "we take it upon ourselves" and we learn to be considerate of each other.


Cruising in Croatia:

Sailing in perfect safety!  The boat was provided to us by Dream Yacht Charter.  Their crew is very professional and very reactive in the event of technical problems on the boat.  For this, they have locations on all the surrounding islands, which is very practical in the case of engine failure!

Sailing in Croatia is confusing, as the islands come one after another, and one has the impression of navigating a great labyrinth when sailing north.  You must watch out for wind accelerations due to the relief of the islands; however, all these islands also allow one to sail on a flat sea, even in strong winds, and they do make sailing much more enjoyable.

When? In the low season!  In mid-October, we still have beautiful days, the moorings are deserted and the people are nice.  Croatia is a more authentic place, to discover it off-season allows one to take in the preserved beauty and get to know the people who wish to share their cultural heritage.

And even if the water is colder, numerous cultural and outdoor activities are still available.  In fact, in the high season, the islands are not prepared to welcome so many visitors, and the villages appear to be "invaded" and loose their charm with the waves of tourists from large cruise ships.


JEANNEAU