My motivation was to share my love of the Croatian coast so that visitors and locals would be encouraged to protect it from uncontrolled development that would “denature” it.
The Croatians who live along the coast have a strong culture rooted in the sea and in the land, but they live in the same world as we do, in France, with similar economic and social concerns, especially after their entry into the European Union.
We have been happy to meet local actors on the islands and along the coast who are seeking to develop “slow tourism,” more in tune with nature, and who have conserved, in spite of the throngs who visit each summer, their appreciation for welcoming tourists and sharing with them. Croatians will receive you at their homes or in small guest houses, and they will let you taste their own (homemade) “domaća,” they will want you to share in their activities in the low tourist season, such as harvesting olives or mandarin oranges, hiking, singing, regattas on old sailing ships, etc. They hope you will become attached to their homeland because it is unique, and that you will remember it. Perhaps you will even return, and then they will know you, and you will be a friend.
It is through the eyes of my expedition partners that I have truly understood the extent to which these people are warm, curious about other people and cultures, and generous!
Regarding our ecological sailing experience, we decided to approach our departure without any particular preparation, so that we would encounter the same issues that recreational sailors would face.
To sum up in a few words, we now have a heightened consciousness of our impact on the environment, not only at sea, but also on land, in our daily lives. We have also realised how much easier it is to make good choices for ecological sailing when we could simply take our time. Hurray for “slow tourism!”