Sailing day in Slovenia

Do you remember our adventure in Australia, where a koala scared us to death? Well, we definitely remember that moment and we even wrote a story about it and sent it to Slovenian competition for best travel adventure story. Apparently the jury liked it since we won 2nd place and the award was sailing day with S-Adventure (Slovenian traveling agency). Pretty cool, right!?

Jadranje po slovenskem morju z jadrnico Elan A340
Looking up
Rok has sailed before and he was trying to convince me to go on sailing holidays for many years, but I wasn't that interested. So he hoped that this award and sailing with experienced skipper will change my mind. Was he right?

We met our skipper Andraž in Portorož port on Slovenian coast. He expected a relaxed day on the sea where he will teach us some basics about sailing. But he was wrong. Already early in the morning it was windy - more than he wished for, he admitted. Too windy for newbies to learn. Anyways, he gave us quick lesson about the sailboat, names of the things on it and how to navigate it. Interesting fact: there is one part named "boom" - imagine why? Because it is in the height of everyone's head and people keep hitting it :) Rok tried it right away and many times during the sailing, Katarina however is too short for that.
After that we opened the sails and headed towards Savudrija in Croatia!

Skipper and Rok unanimously decided that I should be the first one to navigate the boat. "What?! Are you serious, guys? I have never been on the sailboat before and now you expect me to navigate in on this rough sea with strong wind?!" But I tried ... skipper said that boat won't flip over that easily ... But there was strong wind between 15 - 20 knots and high waves!

Katarina trying to navigate the boat - at the beginning the skipper was there to help her
I was scared! When we were in the port, getting ready for sailing, it looked nice and I was already planing a sailing trip around Greek islands in my head, but once out on the open sea with a steering wheel in my hands I changed my mind immediately.  It was nearly impossible to keep the direction of the boat. Every wave turned us for a few degrees and then I tried to correct it but turned the steering wheel too much and the boat went way too far out of the course of sailing. Again I tried to correct it, turned the wheel and again the boat leaned and almost flipped around (in my head, skipper said it was nothing). After 15 minutes of trying I got angry: "Where is auto-pilot? Is it even possible to sail straight ahead?" All I managed to do was zig-zaging ... on some waves we gained a lot of speed and skipper compared it as driving 200km/h on a highway on your first day of driving classes. And yes, it felt like it! Scary and too much for me as a beginner.

When I was left alone behind the steering wheel
At some point we turned the boat at started heading towards Trieste, Italy. Rok and skipper somehow turned around the sails and my job was to keep the boat steady during that time. Almost managed it :)
Soon after that we came to calmer waters, waves were smaller and the wind was weaker. All of a sudden navigating a ship wasn't that hard anymore. No more zig-zaging, keeping the direction was easier, the speed was normal and sailing just got nice - I have to admit, I started enjoying it!

Indicators of the wind on the sail: red and green ribbon
Too soon my time was up and Rok took over the sailboat. When I was just sitting there on the deck, nothing to worry about, he was driving, I was just enjoying the sun with light breeze on my face and beautiful views around - I like this aspect of sailing (very girly, comments Rok here). Rok, however was born to drive, I think. Being that a car or a sailboat, he has no problems, he just knows how to do it. So he turned the sails to collect all the wind, leaned the boat and he was speeding along Slovenian coast with a huge smile on his face (and obligatory red pirate hat on his head).

Pirate Rok and our skipper
Now for all sailing experts a few information about the sailboat: it is Elan 340 (Slovenian made!), very responsive when sailing, 10m long and can accommodate max. 6 people.

View towards Portorož
Interior of the boat: left kitchen, middle: dining place and a bedroom at the end
Skipper Andraž was always keeping an eye on us when we were navigating the boat
The sailing was an award for 2nd best story, given by S-Adventure travel agency, however, the opinions are our own.



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