Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kissing Into Italian

I'm in Finale Ligure. Yesterday was too windy to paddle. I met a member of the local kayak club who has told me that he will attempt to help me find places to stay for every night between here and Sicily. Currently he has me covered for the next four stops. I will call him Banjo.


Banjo doesn't speak a word of English, and I speak only about 17 words in Italian (and counting!). So we talk in front of my computer and use a translation program.

For example:

English: it's raining it's poring the old man is snoring

Into Italian and back into English: rain that the old man is snoring

after a round through Hebrew and Afrikaans: rain, the old man is snoring

Finally, translating it through some languages that I've never heard of including Azerbaijani:

I got: rain, old men kiss

Needless to say, I have a little bit too much free time on my 2nd day off. And it's raining out.

This morning the receptionist told me that I could stay if I wanted to, but that I should try paddling away and see how it goes. I don't think he liked me. Maybe if I stay close to shore, he said, I would be OK.

The forecast called for a 23 knot NNE wind. A direct headwind. Some time ago I came up with the rule for myself that I don't paddle into 20 knot winds because it makes me miserable. While the receptionist was appealing to my more energetic side, I've already made the mistake of not following my better judgment too many times. I would not be convinced now.

But I was already suited up so I did some laps in the harbor and then thought about practicing some techniques that would get me wet. As the air temperature has been frigid for awhile, this being an unusually cold winter, and a result of my initial month long delay having me much farther north then I had hoped to be at this time, I wasn't sure what good a dunk would do for me. The idea of testing whether or not the water would make me hypothermic didn't seem too bright. When people recommend clothing for these water temperatures they recommend a dry top. I had a neoprene jacket and a splash top.

I paddled over to be next to the ramp and rolled. The water was cold, but exhilarating. I did it a bunch more times until I felt that I was on top of my game, and then went to take a hot shower.

When my gas stove's canister runs out I start on the backup canister and pick up a newone at the next opportunity. I haven't been able to find one in some time. Fishing shops also seem to be closed for the season which is why I still haven't replaced my last lure. I'm not far from Genova, hopefully my fuel will last and I'll be able to replace my canisters there.


  1. question: have you caught any edible fish?

  2. Howdy from TX.
    Hope fishing is going well over there in S. Europe.
    Please post some pictures from your fishing trips.

  3. Rick,
    Thanks so much for your post. Unfortunately, I haven't caught a single fish. I lost my third lure about a month ago and all the fishing shops are closed for the winter so I haven't been able to replace it. If I do catch anything though, assuming I can find a lure, I'll be sure to take a picture.