I can't figure out the quote thing, so I'll try to just answer your questions roughly in order....
- the main problem is the fact the bottom, in all the places we anchored at least, was rock with a thin layer of sand, and/or seagrass/weed of some type. The additional problem being that charter boats invariably have poor ground tackle to start with.
Running a line, or lines, astern to rocks stops the boat rotating about its anchor an dragging it all overt the anchorage. We always tied to whichever was the windward shore so we were being (if anything) blown off. The boats bow anchor effectively acting as a kedge. Sounds weird but worked fine and its sheer weight (of the anchor plus 6+1 scope
of chain) being enough to keep the bow in the right place. This only worked I guess because the anchorages
are so well protected and the wind
direction was predictable.
We also anchored in no more than 3-4m of depth
each night so a couple of times when we were in the middle of a larger lagoon
we were able to dive the anchor and physically wedge it by hand into an old mooring
(concrete tyre or some very heavy chain left on the bottom - most anchorages
have this old crap on the ground)
Watch chafe on your stern line, you can use the chain for the kedge anchor to ensure that the sharp rocks don't cut the stern line. Or just use the kedge and wedge it into the rocks by hand. Means a more arduous trip in the dingy though.
I'll add that no amount of setting, resetting and backing down would set the boats undersized (and fake) CQR
anchor into many of the grounds that we tried.
Air con- don't think it's even an option, although you won't need it, always seemed to be a nice breeze at night and I was never too hot.
Changeover day chaos- The simple way to avoid it is just come in a day early (change over day is usually Saturday so come in on Friday) . Get your fuel Friday afternoon when it's quiet and then spend the last night of your trip in the marina.
I say embrace the madness though, it's the best way to learn, and plus it's not your boat. The very worst thing that can happen is that you have to pay out £1,000 in damage excess. And that won't happen, the worst thing that will really happen is you cock up when docking
for fuel and look like an idiot, well don't worry, you'll be in good company!
If you're not living life on the edge then you're taking up too much space.
The main thing that I liked about Croatia was the sailing was better than Greece, more challenging, with a real need to watch the water
ahead for changes in wind
Last year me and a pal chartered in Malta
for a week and it was a totally different holiday, very easy sailing around an island and quality sandy anchorages, its an easier place to go if you don't fancy Croatia, but to be honest Croatia was more fun if you want to really sail.
Her's a short video I made of the Malta
trip, haven't had time to edit the Croaita footage yet.