Often the first charter experience of newly minted bareboat charter certificate holders is with one of the many charter companies in the Caribbean or Florida but there are many other exciting destinations waiting to be discovered by our enthusiastic new seafarers.
One region that is mostly overlooked by American sailors is the Mediterranean but many rewards and unforgettable vacation memories await those who decide to sail these waters.
The Mare Nostrum of the Romans offers a wide choice of destinations, from Turkey to Greece, Italy, Croatia, France and Spain. Whereas most of the charter vacations in the Caribbean are taken in the winter, the Mediterranean is a summer destination.
Because of the local laws, skippers of charter vessels in the Med must have an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) and a VHF license. The ASA 104 is our equivalent of the ICC and the American Sailing Association can issue an International Proficiency Certificate, which includes the required recreational VHF license.
So, you have made up your mind and you have decided to go and charter somewhere in the Med but you don’t feel comfortable making that big step by yourself. You really don’t know the area, don’t know the customs, places to go and so on. This is where flotilla sailing becomes an attractive solution to the problem. Fortunately, ASA affiliates offer flotillas in the most popular Mediterranean countries, like Croatia, Greece and Spain.
One of the most popular ASA flotilla destinations in the Med during the last few years has to be the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. It offers a vast mix of great cruising, history, culture and gastronomy. Through its flotilla program, ASA has introduced close to two hundred sailors to Croatian cruising and many have come back several times to discover other flotilla itineraries.
The sailing is, like in the BVI, line of sight from one island to the next. However, unlike in the Caribbean, at the end of the day, you get to discover a new island with its own scenic ports, centuries old history and typical foods. Although Croatian is a very difficult language, all people involved in tourism do speak English fluently and they are very friendly and hospitable. Because the flotilla leaders are familiar with the area, they will guide you safely from one place to another and show you hidden treasures that you would never find on your own. They will even help you get familiar with the challenges of Med mooring and the handling of the appropriately called slime lines.
Join the September Croatia flotilla and discover magical blue caves, abandoned secret Cold War naval bases, Roman ruins and medieval castles. Taste some of the best Mediterranean cuisine and sample delicious wines that are still unknown in the U.S.A.