Friday morning I paddled from Portovenere to Lerici crossing the Bay of La Spezia. The weather was ugly, rain and a 15 knot South East wind, but with only a short distance planned I wouldn't need to worry about getting tired. I could handle the weather just fine.
I had word that their was a boat club, Erix, in Lerici and I was counting on them to let me stay there for the Sabbath, which is why I chose it as my destination. I had asked one of the boat clubs I had stayed with previously to call ahead and set me up.
But I arrived and it was not to be. They couldn't let me stay in their club house or in one of their many boats for insurance reasons. The man who had told me this was happy to show me a place next to the building where he said I could sleep since bums frequently do.
I hung around and chatted amicably with the members of the club and brought my situation to there attention. People where annoyed on my behalf and a group of them began talking in Italian about my situation. After some time of debate, phone calls were made and a decision was reached.
The sailing school one town over would be happy to host me.
Centro Velico Caprera, one of the oldest sailing schools in Italy is a great place run by kind people. The director who I met Saturday morning told me that it's one of the goals of the school to help marine travelers such as myself. I got a warm bed and a shower. While I stayed here I was delighted to be a guest not only of the school, but of the current program. Some 30 people, mostly children of all sizes, were having a winter sailing session over break. The air was constantly filled with the sounds of happy youths, and that along with the blessed radiators warmed my heart.