FreeSpirit Chasing Kornati
FreeSpirit is a small and charming sailing center on island of Murter, Croatia, runned by a team of young and vibrant people who just love to be around the water. FreeSpirit offers you all kind of activities on their brand new Seascape18’s – from sailing courses to sailing adventures. First week of July they organized their first sailing adventure, Chasing Kornati. Read the report written by a happy sailor girl that joined them. If you would like to experience the Kornati on Seascape18, you can join them on the first available date.
This summer I decided to join my friends Ivan and Barbi, the owners of The FreeSpirit Sailing School from Murter-Jezera on sailing adventure with Seascape 18 to the Kornati national park. Marina organized and made my trip and accommodation in the Free Spirit hostel really stress-less. First two days we were sailing around the beautiful Murter-Jezera archipelago, a perfect place for getting to know the boat, sailing around small islands overgrown with pine trees …with smile on our faces, lots of fun and joy. And challenges as well: “You know, how to sail, so remember: just observe and sail”, Ivan said to me with that smile on his face. Every day he gave me a new challenge, just the right one for me to do the next step towards my sailing confidence, huh.
On Sunday evening, the preparation for the Chasing and the short briefing took place. Welcome dinner at Konoba Kunjka, one of the 66 top restaurants of the Dalmatian coast this year (regarding to Germany Maritime) in the beautiful Medoš bay of the Kaprije Island followed – njami.
Tuesday morning – off we go; course Kornati national park. Wind was rising, Barbi & I were chasing Opat, the entrance of Kornati Channel, Ivan & Mike were fooling around us and enjoying sailing… The wind was getting stronger, so we put the first reef. As we sailed into the Kornati channel, the wind was stronger and stronger … islands were closer and closer together, from one tack to another… but we were really THE team! After few miles we managed to catch up and overtook boys… yeeee! We are in the regatta and we are the first in the race now?!?! Great!!! “Hm, are we really in the regatta or the boys are just having fun sailing? No, that is a serious regatta”, we decided after few minutes of observing (and boys confirmed it after a few beers at the end of amazing day!
After a long and challenging upwind through Kornati channel (inVrulje we took down the main sail because of too strong wind) all together up to 40 miles with 20+ knots of NE and NW wind and gusts on top of it at the end of the day, we were rewarded with cold beers and the beautiful sunset from the terrace. Yeeeaaaahhhhh!!! Yes, we managed it, Barb!!! Delicious dinner made by Ira & Vid, warm and hospitable hosts of Risanka in Šipnate bay of the Kornati Island, our eco base for the next few days. The Robinson style paradise: stars in our eyes and on the sky, tired, but with a smile on our faces … fun, joy – such a great end of this challenging day!
On Wednesday we visited Telašćica nature park at Dugi Island. Unique nature, narrow passages up to the end of the bay … Mike did really a great job on the helm. We visited the famous cliffs on the open-sea side of the bay and swam in the Mir salt lake, rest a bit, ice cream and then sailed back all the way downwind to our base, fooling around with gennaker.
Thursday morning came with “olujna bonaca”, no wind at all. We went on the top of the nearby hill, beautiful view of the Kornati national park… amazing. Paddling with sea kayak, took a trip to outer side of Kornati islands to explore some great cliffs, swimming, music… In the evening, paddling straight to the sunset. Only me, the sea, Kornati and the sunset… you can really hear the silence there. No words can explain that peaceful feeling.
In our eco-base Risanka, every evening we played “Uno”, laughed a lot, played the guitar and enjoyed in great company of amazing people, tasting home-made food and drinks. Nights full of stars, smell of the sea and grass, sounds of the waves and crickets, quiet music in the background, a glass of red vine or cold “rakija” and a great company…… I could stay there forever.
Friday morning started with some light wind. Time to say “till the next time” to our hosts and sails up. After few miles we reached the Mana cliffs, looking for deep water solo climbing spots on the Kornati outer islands cliffs. Sailing with genaker all the way back to Jezera, downwind through Kornati Channel, stop for some swimming (it was hot hot hot)… and finally return to Jezera in the evening.
Our Chasing ends with farewell dinner at Konoba Kod ribara in Jezera. Delicious food and some Dalmatians songs at the end made this evening unforgettable. And of course, Uno, at the end of the last Kornati Chasing day.
Chasing Kornati is a sailing adventure I will never forget. An amazing adventure filled with fun, joy, happiness and challenges is behind us. Excellent Seascape, great people, lots of fun, smile and joy …. Sea, Kornati islands, sailing, sea kayaking, excellent food and service, sunsets and great company, crickets, cold beer, stars…. ahhhhh…total disconnection… Free your spirit, for sure! Great feeling when you turn back and see how frighten were you on the first day on Seascape and how »izibizi« is that sailing now… but still so much to learn!!! Free Spirit & Kornati, here I come again!!!
Saša (with the smile on the face)