#17 Capraia – Departure

The moment comes to leave this one too. Splendid, enchanting island Capraia, worth understanding and protecting. A lot of young people here with ideas, which is the best way to the future.

Thanks, GermanaFrancesco, Giorgio and Stefania, Fabio, and Marida. I truly hope I’ll see you soon.

And now, a new continent, oops, a new country, oops, a new region: Maddalena here I come!

 

Posted on: 9.Jun.2018   Leave a comment

Disappointment (and anger) about Pianosa

After Capraia, where I’m stuck by nice westerlies, the next island in my plan was Pianosa. A critical island, which has been inhabited for decades only by the inmates of the Porto Azzurro (Island of Elba) penitentiary plus a few guards, and by Giulia Manca who manages the only hotel whose employees are the inmates themselves.
Pianosa is at a fundamental historic moment: the transition between being an island-prison and a possible huge touristic attraction with its splendid sea protected by a marine reserve, some very important Roman remains (great catacombs in particular), and a fascinating land.
I felt the urge to relate about Pianosa perhaps more than for other islands, because the future is being written right now, whereas for the others the important decisions were taken a few decades ago with the beginning of mass tourism in the sixties.

Now, in Pianosa mooring is banned by the Parco Nazionale Arcipelago Toscano (Tuscan Archipelago National Park), because of the marine reserve and for the presence of the inmates, I suppose. One can only reach it from the Elba Island with a private boat allowed to do it. However, mooring permission is not infrequently issued for scientific and / or sociological reasons – at least that is what they official say.
I had therefore officially asked my beloved Tuscan Archipelago National Park for this permit months ago, explaining that my boat does not pollute – it’s a sailboat with an electric engine – and that any inmate who wished to steal Maribelle would not have gone far. My reasons were sociological, clearly, because I was visiting all the italian minor islands with my solo sailing trip and I thought it was essential to relate the situation in Pianosa for the reasons mentioned above.

But since in this country you have to lick asses to get something, my friends from the National Park refused my pledge with few, ridiculous words. Thank you, Tuscan Archipelago National Park, you might have lost – or wished to – an opportunity to talk about Pianosa’s critical transition, which attracts so many wealthy interests…

Conclusion: I have to find myself another 33rd island!

 

Posted on: 8.Jun.2018   Leave a comment

#17 Capraia – Arrival

Well done, Maribelle!

Here I am in Capraia after 22 hours partly frustrating, partly scary, partly exciting.
First, a gentle night breeze spit me out of the Gulf of La Spezia. Then it all becalmed thoroughly for long morning hours – I’m getting used to this scheme. And finally, suddenly, strong south-westerlies – hence at a close reach – with waves up to 2 m. Having learnt Circe’s lesson, rather wet, we held on, averaging 5 knots for hours, and here we are already!

 

Posted on: 5.Jun.2018   Leave a comment

#15 Isola d’Elba – Departure

Time for leaving the Elba Island too. By the way, is it the largest among the small islands or the smallest among the great islands…?

I was afraid of its size, I was wondering whether I wound find out any insular spirit… I doubted, and I was wrong. For there was Tiziana Pisani who by complete chance wrote to me out of the blue in the very morning of my arrival and magic, coincidences started.

In the Elba Island there is Vincenzo Bono with his Terra e Cuore project: breeding of goats and production of cheese, ice cream (awesome!), saffron… born and raised in the region of Venice although with sicilian blood, he (and a great woman at his side) wandered through so many islands of the Mediterranean, including the tiny Othonoí (where incredibly I was too), before choosing or letting himself being chosen from Elba. A man that moved me.

There is, then, Umberto Segnini. This time I really don’t know what words to use. A spirit of a whole other category, traveler of islands of the world – but the Mediterranean wins anyway on the Pacific – whose ability to listen amazes and that of speaking, slow, exact, fascinates. The philosopher of the islands, who believes that all depends on the children and therefore takes them sailing around other islands with his awesome, very important, IsolaMondo project.

Then a great SCUBA dive (it was time!) with Domenica and Susanna from Marina di Campo Diving, helpful, kind, professional: it was full of small red coral branches!

And finally the music. Finally. The Ravanatèra – canzoniere d’isole who revist with a modern mood the traditional songs of the islands! The Islands!!! And La Compagnia Scapestrati, cheerful, big-hearted, friends.

What a pity once again to leave after only two days…

Posted on: 1.Jun.2018   Leave a comment

#15 Isola d’Elba – Arrival

Here we are in Isola d’Elba! Many, too many sailing hours, submitted to these changing breezes, sometimes light, sometimes strong, coming, disappearing, turning, at times just for some minutes. As if nature itself were breathing. That’s the Mediterranean too…

 

Posted on: 30.May.2018   Leave a comment