#21 Marettimo – Departure

Marettimo is a place of disarming beauty. If it is true that all the islands are beautiful places, without exception, Marettimo is probably more beautiful than many others – because it is remote at the right point, because its morphology is impressive and wild, because the small village is cute and because underwater it hides real marvels.

It is an island of seamen (which is rare, given that most islands had a predominantly agricultural economy), and this can be felt immediately. Its people are used to emigrate and to greet in return. They are passionate and smiling, open. I met nice guys like Francesco, willing to share his wonders beyond a mere tourist logic, spontaneously and professionally. It is a pity that from next year even primary school will not reopen …

I interviewed Vito Vaccaro, historical memory of the island’s identity from which we should start seeking an idea of future. He told us, for example, the story of the salmon fishermen, who still today go to, and come back from, Alaska to fish for one or two months every year.

Then Leonardo, the beekeeper of Isola Del Miele (the Bee’s Island), who produces here tons (it is not a joke) of honey – he has even won several national prizes. He told us that here there is no mortality of bees issue, because there is no agriculture that pollutes the air with pesticides that damage the insects.

And finally my friends from Blu Tek Diving – MarettimoDavide and Diletta, who out of love for Marettimo and its sea bought a diving center a few years ago and even got married here. After some dives, for the first time the absolute primacy that the sea of Ustica has in my diving experience started to tremble. A very special thanks to you, guys.

The bow is pointed to Levanzo, now, just 12 km away while the Scirocco blows …

(The picture is by Ferdinando Meli, whom I thank a lot. That guy is me next to a wonderful colony of Leptogorgia sarmentosa.)

 


Posted on: 2.Jul.2018   Leave a comment

#21 Marettimo – Arrival

Finally, I spent less than two and a half days for “the big jump” from Carloforte to Marettimo. Waiting for the right weather forecast it’s been intriguing, and so it’s been choosing the departure time – and being eventually right – as six hours before or after could have made things dangerous. So rapidly do the winds change in the Mediterranean Sea. Even so, the rudder got damaged and needs to be fixed straight away.

As I passed Capo Carbonara, Sardinia’s southeastern tip, the jump in the void has really been startling. When I turned the rudder to 120 degrees, my heart beat went through a sudden change. I felt really vulnerable.

For 24 hours I felt again the emotions of the Atlantic crossing, two years ago. I’m not only talking about the really big swell coming from nowhere. But also the thorough loneliness that magnifies the thoughts and makes them pure observations: of the weather, of the colors, of the wind, of the ever present shearwater, of the boat. The present and nothing else.

Yet it’s time to come back to the social and solid reality. But then here I am in Marettimo, one of the most amazing places in the Mediterranean Sea. I won’t complain…

 


Posted on: 28.Jun.2018   Leave a comment

Island people – Marettimo – Davide Di Franco, Diletta Giannola

Guess what, I am not gonna go diving a little bit during my trip through such crazy places? And what’s better than doing it with people who actually chose the Island, leaving back a whole life to devote themselves to the Island?

Let me introduce you Davide Di Franco and Diletta Giannola, owners of Blu Tek Diving – Marettimo. Both form Palermo, him always fond of scuba diving, her former dancer of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, a few years ago they decided to bet everything on their passion and love, mutual and for the sea. They chose Marettimo – unquestionably in the top 3, I dare say, of best diving destinations in Italy (and in the Mediterranean) for its underwater caves and unbelievable sceneries -, boat an old fishing boat named “El Merendero”, and the dream has come true. They even got married in Marettimo!

I can’t wait. Above and under water, take me discovering your island’s pearls of beauty…

Posted on: 22.Feb.2018   Leave a comment