A super fast fizz boat named ‘UFO’ zooms around our real life ‘Games of Thrones’ playground in this little bay near Dubrovnik. Our location is a natural film set; the real stage where the fantastical worlds of King’s Landing and Star Wars productions were filmed and have embedded their lore well before we cruised here.
We have anchored in the bay of Zaton, 8 km from Dubrovnik’s old city walls. A plenitude of day cruise and party boats depart from here offering their tours and charters showing off location highlights. It’s a busy, touristy harbour and even smaller bays sometimes feel like they are heaving with those lucky enough to be on a one week vacay in this beautiful place. Here is an overview of the bounty of boats with whom we have shared our current home bay over the last couple of days:
The UFO boat departs here each morning and returns after a hard day of hauling and dragging work, each night. It is an oddly shaped speed boat that takes paying passengers out for crazy fast rides. Tourists are dragged in inflatable tubes, donuts, bananas and what passes for UFO blow up toys at exciting speeds as they whizz and glide over the glistening Adriatic. Along with the space theme that the acronym ‘UFO’ brings, in the 2017 Star Wars film ‘The Last Jedi’ here in Dubrovnik is the imaginary location of the casino planet of ‘Canto Bight’.
Excursion Booze Cruiser
The Dubrovnik Boat departs mostly vacant and passenger-less every morning. The friendly captain always gives us a hearty wave as he starts his daily excursion route, visiting the city and picking up day trippers for tours of the old town and a few close islands. We don’t see the cruiser again until much later in the day, when it returns every hour between 5-8 pm. The cruiser is crammed with swim suit togged passengers shouting and grooving around the decks, having a fine time as the music blares and bounces off the surrounding hills. The boat quietly sneaks home around dark, mostly empty after dropping it’s charges back at city wharves and jetties. They tie off at the town quay, resting until they do it all again tomorrow with a new group of tourists. This captain clearly loves his job. Lucky fella.
There always seems to be a large number of chartered luxury boats over the weekends and none are more majestic or impressive than the gorgeous Gulet. Gulets are traditional Turkish style wooden boats but we’ve also seen modern ones that do a wonderful job of faking old style tradition using modern materials. Usually crewed by professionals, they are impressive with large bowsprits and a traditional olde worlde feel. A fleet of them arrived on Saturday and dropped anchor behind Waiata before tying off ‘stern to’ on the town quay. The video below shows you the arrival of one arriving into the bay, to join several others on the town quay.
Waiata Means ‘Music’, and Freedom to Watch Where The Boats Leave From
But for the IT sailing captain and I cruising on our catamaran Waiata, these waters are less about the extravagance and fandom of film sets and more about simply trying to live a normal onboard life. Surrounded by filmset beauty and fandom, we have the freedom to just dive in and get wet when it gets too hot and admire the beauty of our surroundings from the rear cockpit. We play music, sing out loud and sip an afternoon cider, enjoying the summer days that we hope will last. And we watch the comings and goings of the local quay, where all manner of interesting boats arrive and leave from.
Today’s track is rather aptly “Where the Boat Leaves From” – by Zac Brown Band
“There’s a place, where the boat leaves from
It takes away all of your big problems
You got worries, you can drop them in the blue ocean
But you gotta get away to where the boat leaves from
Take one part sand, and one part sea
And one part shade of banana tree
And the drinks they’re cold, and the reggae is hot
And I know this is the place for me”