Everyone who meets Marko Mrcic falls in love with him, no matter who they are.
His smile is contagious and his enthusiasm for his boat, his work and his country is admirable. If all boat captains were like Marko, the charter industry would run smoothly at all times.
Marko has been the proud owner of Libra for six years, and was a skipper on catamarans and other boats ten year before that. Libra is a typical Turkish gulet that is a common sight along the Dalmatian coast.
These boats are ideal for charters, as they are equal parts motor and sailboat and generally have tons of room both above and below deck. Libra is a more traditional gulet than boats that have been built in more recent years, but it adds to her charm. She is 34 metres long (112′) and can sleep up to 12 guests in her six cabins.
Marko said that is was “love at first sight” when he came upon Libra for sale. “When I saw Libra and it’s beautiful lines, a lot of space on deck and beautiful middle lounge area, at that moment I knew she was perfect boat for charter,” said Marko.
Marko always has three additional crew onboard, including a chef. The team he had when I was onboard offered impeccable service throughout the charter. Nikola, Marko’s brother, was first mate, and these two worked seamlessly together. In fact, Nikola and Marko are co-owners of Libra.
Antonia Buktenica has been chief stew for several years now and always seemed to know what you wanted before you yourself even knew.
Antonijo Misicin, the chef, cooked up amazing dishes that made me want to never leave including a lentil salad dressed in fresh yogurt and a beef bourguignon that melted in your mouth.
“For me it’s important you have ambition to learn from me and my way of work, and you’re a really, really kind person,” Marko said. “Those two things are most important to me,” he continued.
And they all seem to work seamlessly together, or at least seem to (I don’t speak Croatian, but pretty good at reading body language.) But they do seem to genuinely to love and respect one another.
“We really are like a big family. It’s the best part of our job,” said Marko.”We always help and support each other. Croatian maritime history is really long and from every island people, fisherman, sailors, seamen are helping each other. We learn that from childhood. It’s normal for us.” He continued.
Which definitely seemed to be true, not only among the crew on Libra, but between the captain and crew on the other boats as well. Maybe it is because a lot of the gulet charter boats are owner operated, or maybe because Croatians understand the true definition of camaraderie. Whatever it is, it makes for a truly enjoyable charter experience where you feel more part of a family than a charter service.
At every port, Marko offered advice on where to go to eat. He was always more than happy to talk about the good and bad parts of Croatian history (their history is long and therefore has many parts), and he always had this genuine air of being so happy to do all of it.
“I really like my job and still not sure which part is the best,” he said.”I like boats, sea and interaction with people.”
While some of the other, more modern gulets may provide more luxurious layouts and electronics, the experience you get on Libra gives you this true feeling of authenticity. And she does have some of the typical accessories that guests look for, including paddleboards, skis, snorkeling gear and perfect Wifi.
And what you receive in terms of a stellar crew is incomparable. I looked at the guestbook and it contained pages upon pages of glowing compliments toward Marko and his crew. It was easy to see just how much everyone enjoyed themselves by the descriptive lengths they went to in order to express their gratitude.