#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

#29 Tremiti – Departure

I leave behind Tremiti too. Small rocks colonized by the Bourbons where people speak napolitan. The two main islands, one right in front of the other, are so different. San Domino, the largest, hasn’t got almost anything historical. Only small villas and touristic buildings, all rather recent, but merged within a pine forest and a surreal atmosphere half Croatian half from a wood in the Appennini. San Nicola, on the other hand, is a small jewel to be taken care of. A Cistercian abbey staring at the sea from above, with walls, cloisters, and a very nice little village.

I did one of my best dives ever with yet another great diving center, which has more of a big family than a diving center, actually. From the region of Marche in the Center of Italy, Tony – a unique guy with the gentlest heart – came here twenty years ago. Back in those days, he was a pioneer here, but how many thousands of people have dove with him since then? His sons, Luca and Gianmarco follow him with enthusiasm, and so the future becomes the present. Thank you for an unforgettable welcoming, Tremiti Diving Center, I felt at home with you.

Then I talked to he mayor, Antonio, full of ideas and initiatives that in my opinion point to the right direction. The first local law in Italy banning single-use plastics was recently approved here thanks to his engagement and the one from . Congratulations, but now it’s about having that law respected, thus changing people’s mind for real.

There have been storms, because of strong winds the rubber tube of the boat got pierced and was already repaired thanks to the solidarity of the people here, and there have been fireworks on a gray but not-so-hot day. Now the bow points to Croatia and we will follow its coast to the North all the way to Grado. 250 nautical miles and then only one leg will be left…

 


Posted on: 16.Aug.2018  
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#29 Tremiti – Arrival

More than five days within these less than five square meters of living space to go from Gallipoli to the Tremiti Islands. It takes quite some patience to make it!

Yesterday night, in the desperate attempt to make it past the Gargano promontory, which seemed to spit me back at every tack, some nasty winds arouse, with nasty waves seldom splashing inside Maribelle. Half intentionally half not, suddenly I found myself at 200 meters from the appealing lights of Vieste, the easternmost town in Gargano. I could see the people and thought they were all on vacation. I hesitated a bit, the land and some rest were calling at me. Then, who knows why, I carried on.

This morning, too, my electric toothbrush fell at sea. I stared at it, white, almost transparent, while it drifted astern.

 


Posted on: 11.Aug.2018   Leave a comment