Dear NCP team, dear Dario, dear Matea,
Last week we had the pleasure to charter the Whyknot (Jeanneau 57) from NCP. The Whyknot is a breeze to sail, very well equipped and maintained. It is one of the better sailing yachts available in the region and we approached NCP specifically because of the fact that NCP has this yacht in its fleet. The Whyknot is fitted with new high performing sails which for experienced sailors is a real treat. The services from NCP and the way the NCP team treats their customers, also stands out in many ways. Their professionalism is at the highest standards in the industry which transpires a high level of trust for customers chartering these type of yachts.
The Whyknot is for charter only with a skipper, which in our case was a new experience. With 45 years of sailing experience I would perhaps not have made the decision to sail with a skipper, but Dario was the best skipper we could have wished for. He instantly sensed that our family are no novices to the sailing game and gave me in particular a lot of freedom to operate and do a lot of things without help. But anywhere an extra pair of hands were needed, Dario was there before I ask. He needed less than half a word to understand where he could fill in, and that made the whole passage that we planned a hassle-free operation. Dario made this week a zero-stress experience. On a yacht there is always something that requires technical attention and Dario kept a close connection with the shore-based NCP team to secure that all equipment on board kept running smooth and solidly. We owe a big thank you to Dario for the way he kept his distance where he felt we needed that, while always being around to secure safety and zero-stress for the whole crew. He is a true seaman and, as a former professional fisherman, lives and breaths the sea. We enjoyed his company, his sense of humor and, most of all, his serenity.
The icing on the cake came from Matea, our hostess for the week. She is the most wonderful person and, like many Croats, she is caring and takes pride in creating a special event around good food and local specialities. Even before we arrived, Matea made it clear that we would not have to worry about anything: she would organize things for us, from groceries to transfers or anything else we needed. During the week, it was amazing to see how well she fitted in our family, and although even a 57 feet tall yacht can be big, when living on that private space for a week a yacht can become a small space. But Matea blended in naturally and our kids loved her for it. My daughter shared secrets with Matea that she never shared with anybody else. This says something about the trust that Matea builds with people. She does that in a very natural way and it made the difference. The meals she prepared for us were all very well prepared, and the diners she planned in restaurants at every place we visited were all carefully selected and really presented the best of regional specialities. Almost as from the first day of sailing together, we felt that Matea was truly part of the family as if she had always been with us. This is an amazing aspect of Matea’s social character and we admire her for this.
It is for the first time in our lives that we have committed, as a family, to come back to the same team, simply because NCP, Dario and Matea have made this week so special for us. Sailing with a professional skipper as a complement to an experienced sailor has turned out to be an excellent idea. As an RYA skipper, I know that local knowledge is valuable when planning a voyage. But having a skipper on board, makes so much more sense than I would have ever thought. It turns out to be the true complement to a family that has one very ambitious and lifelong sailor (myself) and a spouse and kids who like sailing but fear the moment that daddy falls overboard (which luckily never happened, but we all know that you have to plan for the less likely events in life) and the ship is to be sailed by the remainder of the crew. Having an equally or even more experienced sailor on board, makes every journey a stressless and joyful event. With 25 knots of windspeed, the Whyknot was at its best and thanks to a serene crew we made a 65 miles voyage on one day without noticing the length of the trip. And the one thing that makes sailing real fun, is to sail without stress. Add to that a galley that was well operated by Matea who kept the whole crew well served with good food and drinks, and the result is the perfect vacation.
As family holidays are all about making shared memories that we can cherish, we owe a big thank you to NCP, Dario and Matea, for making a week full of great memories.