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BEST STORY COMPETITION

Send us your best story or anecdote from your Katarina Line cruise and participate in "Best Story" contest. Best one wins a free cruise for 2 persons next season. 

We witness a lot of funny anecdotes each year and have decided to run a special "Best Story Competition". Send us your funny or even a serious but interesting story connected to our cruise. We will publish the best ones on our Facebook page and the winner wins a cruise for the next season. Contest is open until the end of the year.

Please send your stories at:

  

WINNER 2019

Victoria Todd

STORY

Dad and Daughter in Dalmatia


The length of dining room windows shown all blue, the morning sky became the
morning sea at that shade of early indigo. Within was different – within was variety and
activity – strong coffee and filled tables: a large group from Germany come for the warmer
open waters, a table of older French couples who always ordered a bottle of white for dinner
and laughed through until desert, a range of couples from New York, Johannesburg,
Tasmania, and Melbourne on their own sweetheart getaways, four recent American college
graduates, a solo woman adventurer who had been to Croatia many times over. We were the
only father and daughter pair – I wondered how many there had been before.


I don’t suppose many fathers and daughters often sail solo together across the
Adriatic. I imagine fewer do weeklong cruises in shared cabins after not having seen each
other for almost a year. Going from a bi-weekly ‘I miss you’ to an everyday ‘good morning’
is a wonderful, strange transition; sharing a banana with fresh yogurt and honey, passing the
sugar, passing the time after the sugar, all while sharing that same hazy blue view is
something else entirely. And we did this all on Katarina – Split to Split – one week in early
June; there are fewer times I’ve felt more appreciative of international travel, the sea, and of
being my father’s only child.


We gorged on three-course meals with coffee caps on the backend of the dining deck;
we splayed out and sun-screened; swam in the cool and calm post breakfast; read together and
reflected on our respective novels. We gazed out as sharp gray rock smoothed and curved into
the sea, and as whole islands passed us by. The Adriatic, always sedate and glossy, delivered
us to the old stone coasts and winding streets of Makaraska, Korčula, and Hvar, designed like
fish spines to catch the wind off the sea and cool the old cities in the summer.


We united again every night after dinner below open night skies and talked of things
fathers and daughters don’t talk about when they live 7,000 km from each other: about being
lost and anxious at 23, about sweet Trstenik raisin brandy, about walking meditation and the
essentiality of mindfulness, about sweet cherries in exchange for Croatian rakija, about
missing home and yet still needing to explore the world as a young, restless soul, about how
grateful and proud you can be of your own father for having travelled all his life and retired
with the dream to do more, of the glorious taste of Ožujsko after biking the Mlijet lakes for 14
km. We said many živili’s. We said many goodnights. We said many goodmornings.


And in the end, we said a very gracious thank you: to a wonderful, exuberant crew we
had grown close with; to the sea for having carried us all that way; to the Spalato for being
our home at port always waiting; and to Dalmatia, for being as spectacular as she is, and for
having allowed a father and a daughter to reunite after so long. If only for a week, these are
the days that seem to stretch forever, with no agenda beyond cultural exploration, simple
relaxation, and the occasional Croatian cheers to life: Zivili, always.


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