#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

#25 Lampedusa – Arrival

ay what, Couldn’t you just go straight? No, ’cause Scirocco blew exactly from the direction I was meant to go for two and a half days in a row! And since a sailboat can’t just sail against the wind, zig zag, zig zag, I hauled for two days and a half indeed, with the boat heeled all the time.

In the meanwhile: it was extremely hot (the picture is dedicated to my friend Francesco Corica), I put some sunscreen (but only on my nose), in the night it was full of phosphorescent Pelagia noctiluca (the common pink jellyfish) and some dolphin, at dawn there were three small turtles, but most of all I enjoyed listening to the VHF radio in the Sicily Channel: Arab, Balkan, Japanese, French, Sicilian, Sardinian voices, and we even had some 30 seconds of Despacito, then Bella Ciao “live”, and a satanic voice with a Maghreb accent saying “Shut up your fucking ass.”

In the middle of the night, I made it to Lampedusa, the mythical Lampedusa.


Posted on: 15.Jul.2018   Leave a comment