#30 Grado – Departure

I already wrote much about Grado. My emotional introduction to the lagoon; Gianni Maran: artist who’s one of the most generous and talented persons I’ve ever met; an island, Grado, which is also a border to the Balkans, and which struggles as many others do to defend its identity against the jaws of tourism and modernity.

Time to set sail again, now. For the very last time. Another lagoon ahead, the Venetian one. I guess that for a moment it will resemble Itaca to me, or as more poetically the Greeks call it, Ithakí.

 


Posted on: 22.Aug.2018   Leave a comment

#30 Grado – Gianni’s fish

In Grado I met another special guy. Gianni Maran  is a staggering, profound, all-round artist who never takes himself too seriously (take a look at his website). But above all he’s a friend, capable of an extraordinary welcome to a perfect stranger like me who calls him from the sea only a few hours before arriving.

And then it becomes evident, once again, that in the North (this is the northernmost point of my journey) as well as in the South (well, I let you guess what the most southern point I have touched is), islands are the places of hospitality. Forever and ever.

 


Posted on: 21.Aug.2018   Leave a comment

#30 Grado – Arrival

Almost four days and a half, not bad to cover a distance of more than 300 nautical miles. Well, I guess, I think I dropped the sense of time and space off in some Croatian island where I wish I could have stopped. Actually, I hope I’ll never find it back…

Quite some things have happened since the departure from Tremiti! To start with, only a few miles away, I got myself into the second storm of the voyage – the first had been on the very first day, unforgettable, from Palermo to Ustica in the night. This time I saw it evolving, huge, between the Gargano and the region of Molise, and coming towards me. Thunders, lightnings, and then, while the sky was still clear above me, a crazy wind came all of a sudden! I even thought about lowering all sails, but then I only took a reef and I was right: pushed by the wind, I kept the storm astern and it eventually never rained on me!
Then the unexplainable charm of the Croatian islands. Billions of them, tiny, huge, elongated, rounded, all with such sweet skylines that it’s hard to believe that mother nature built them this way. Fuerhermore, while sailing along them, for at least a hundred miles the only sign of civilization were lighthouses.
Then, I can say I tasted Bora (strong winds falling down fast and cold from the Balkans into the Adriatic Sea). In the middle of Quarnaro (the bay separating the islands from the Istria peninsula), after sunset, I was floating windless when out of the blue a very strong gust of at least 20 knots pops up: the boat heels hard, I reach 6 knots hauling, and pof!, it’s gone! It all lasted 30 seconds at most.
And finally this incredible arrival in Grado, the canal entering downtown, and me I’m rather parked than moored, by the very sidewalk.

Out of the 2300 nautical miles of this trip, only 50 are left. We might have made it…

(Let’s add a quotation, too, to remember myself how important have Modest Mouse been along this voyage: “Rows of lights to illuminate lines / Why don’t they turn them off and let us see night?”, Modest Mouse – Ohio)

 


Posted on: 20.Aug.2018   Leave a comment