Hoffnungsflotte 2016 – Croatia
Northrhine-Westfalia, cloudy and about 15 degrees, occasional shudders, but all this can’t spoil our excitement. Finally the “Hoffnungsflotte” (hope fleet) Croatia 2016 starts!
It’s 12 o'clock and we meet at Cologne Airport, at 2:10 pm we finally sit on the Eurowings plane to Croatia. The kids are quite nervous, it is the first flight for many of them, but the friendly crew is looking after the kids with snacks and drinks and we enjoy the time over the clouds.
Sunny and about 20 degrees as we land on time at 3.50 pm in Split, where we take taxis to Primosten and the marina. At the harbour we are already expected from the kids from Hanover, which arrived a few hours before us. Susanna, the managing director of ANAMORE YACHTING, also welcomes us to her "port". A short walk to the sailing yachts and a quick briefing by the nice and helpful staff of ANAMORE YACHTING….ready to go aboard.
After all the formalities have been completed and Susanna has greeted us personally on each ship, we are ready to unpack our bags and get settled. Now we have enough free time to get to know each other and of course to enjoy the crystal clear waters. Once the bags are unpacked, the first group members jump into the beautiful water. We have lots of fun and the day is about to finish with a super delicious meal in the restaurant of the Marina Kremik. The restaurant team has a brilliant menu for us and we spend a relaxed evening together.
The first night on board is peaceful and the day starts at 9am with breakfast on board. At the skipper’s meeting at 10 o'clock the last details for the first leg to Skradin are discussed, a few purchases are done and at 11 o'clock it is called "Let go". 5 charter and one owner ship start their journey.
As soon as we leave the harbour, the first water-battle of the week starts. Now it is everyone against everyone, the weather is great and we have a lot of fun. Armed with water guns and buckets, we attack each other, and without mercy to anyone, everybody gets their share of water.
After this battle, we all need a boost and there are snacks and treats from the galley for all of us. The sun is shining, as it should be for sunshine4kids, and we decide to stop for a swim. The little cool down is just amazing. We havie lots of fun, enjoy the sun and the (still amazingly warm) water.
At about 5pm we reach Skradin and anchour in the river. Dinner is on board and we end the long day with a very amusing games evening. Time to get to know each other a little better.
The day starts at 9am with an extensive breakfast on board. Today there are quite a few things on the agenda, so we start right on time at 10 o'clock and cruise along the coast, side by side to a big passenger ship, to the Krka waterfalls.
During our hike through the national park, the sky clears up, the sun comes out and the brave ones can go swimming at the foot of the waterfalls.
After all the water fun we are dry again and warm up. Strengthened ourselves with a little something to eat, we are ready to hike back to the ships. Now we have free time, go shopping, explore the place and play football.
When it starts to rain and thunderstorms around 6 pm, we find ourselves on the boats again, eat dinner, play card games and entertain us, until the beautiful and exciting day ends at 10 pm and we happily fall asleep in our berths.
After a cold night, the sun welcomes us for promising nice day. Today we leave to Vrgada. Driving down the river back to the Adriatic Sea and thanks to the wind we are able to sail a bit of the way. This is the opportunity for the children to get really involved and get a little work out right away.
We enjoy the peace, the wind and the waves, but unfortunately we have to change our plan due to a Bora warning. We have to continue a bit further along the coast and anchour in a sheltered bay in front of Murter.
Despite the sheltered bay in which we stayed, it was a somehow restless night. Nevertheless , we are getting ready for departure and leave at 10 o'clock this morning. The destination today is the island of Dugi Otok, more precisely the National Park Telascica. The engine purrs, the crew sleeps for the most part and the crossing is calm and relaxed. In the bay of Mir we get a mooring, get the dingy ready, pack our things together and then we go again for an adventure.
First we walk to the nearby salt lake and go swimming. The water is quite cold, but that does not stop us from jumping and raging around. After some time, however, it is too cold in the water and we decide to hike to the steep cliffs and enjoy the fantastic view. Back at the ships we have dinner and sit for a long time chatting away.
Thursday, October 12th.
After breakfast we go to the skipper's meeting. We have to re-schedule once again, as a Bora warning has been issued. We leave at around 10 o'clock, instead of sailing to Zirje, we go under engine power to Zlarin in the harbour. The crossing is long and cold, most of the crew sleep most of the time. At about 5pm we reach the port, the kids enjoy the country walk and go explore the town.
At 7pm, suddenly, is action on the schedule again. A car ferry comes ... and wants to come alongside exactly where we have made ourselves comfortable. So everything is stored away quickly and we are waiting until the ferry is gone and we can return to the wharf. Our children are brave and help to tie up at the jetty. Now that all ships are secured, dinner is finally cooked, and eaten on board. Afterward the kids can still play together ashore and bringing the day to an end. The skippers and carer also use the evening to sit together and reflect about the first impression of the week. We all agree: Always again!
Friday, October 13th.
The return trip to Primosten is windy and a dazzling affair, so most children take the chance and stay in their bed for the entire ride.
At noon we reach Marina Kremik, where we are welcomed by the staff of ANAMORE YACHTING. Before the bags have to be packed again, we use make use of the sunny day and go swimming again. We spend almost all afternoon at and in the water, swimming, sunbathing, looking for shells and stones. Enjoying our holiday to the fullest.
At 7 pm we are invited again to the restaurant of Marina Kremik. The food is great and when the plates are empty, we are papp-filled. As a special feature of the farewell evening, our sunshine-mom Gaby has come up with something special. This time not for the kids, but the skippers and carers present a little something. In pairs, a film scene is played, whereby the kids must guess what movie it is. With the idea Gaby once again hit the mark, we have a lot of fun.
The show starts with Gaby and Steffan in "Titanic", the kids know of course straight away. The "Dirty Dancing" scene by Tim and Laura is also recognized immediately. It is even more difficult with Jürgen and Michaela, who by Loriot the bathtub scene of Mr. Müller-Lüdenscheid and Dr. Klöbner to the best. Also "The Time Warp" from the Rocky Horror Picture Show presented by Andreas and Sasika is not recognized right away. It is easier with Anke’s and Falk's interpretation of the "I am your father" scene from Star Wars. Volker and Iris present us the "shower lamp" from Kokowääh 2 and earn lots of laughter for it. However, it is only Ole, who in his role as Gollum of "Lord of the Rings" drives us all the laughs into the eyes.
The evening is a huge success; we have lots of fun and sit together for a long time. Today also the bedtime curfew is not taken so seriously, after all it is the last evening.
It was a pretty short night and at 8 o'clock at breakfast the eye rings are still very deep. However, the next recovered-sleep still has to wait, we pack the bags, clean the ships, say good-bye to Susanna and her team and get off to the airport at 10 o'clock in the morning.
Around half past four we land in Cologne, about 1.5 hours later, the second group also landed in Hanover. The farewell at the airport is as always difficult, but warm and this week will probably be a long time in our memories.
We are humble because we live in prosperity and love.
We are grateful for the hope and joy that we could give.
Thanks to all sponsors who have made the fleet possible. We would particularly like to mention ANAMORE YACHTING, who have taken care of us with a lot of commitment and joy and have made the fleet possible with their first-class sailing yachts. Our thanks also go to Eurowings, who have borne a large part of the flight costs and have brought us safely from Cologne and Hannover to Split and return.
Thanks to all skippers and carers who have given the kids a great holiday with lots of heart, joy and humour, and are happy to sacrifice their free time for the kids.
Thanks to our sunshine kids, you have brought life into the week, kept us busy, showed us your appreciation and love with small gestures….these made the week unforgettable!
Thanks for the nice time! In this sense, to the next fleet!