Monday, February 7, 2011

Into the Mountain

Day 64:

Today I paddled to Pozzuoli. While at first the scenery wasn't exciting, the weather has continued to be warm, sunny, and almost without wind.

I passed a small orange hill that had a tunnel leading into it. There were a number of rocks coming out of the water near the entrance to the tunnel, so I had to proceed very carefully to avoid them. The cave itself was a couple of meters wide with a very high ceiling.

As I paddled in I was pushed by waves that picked up strength when forced into the narrow passageway that weaved, turned and got thinner, before a light ahead gave way to an opening. I passed through the mountain and came out the other side into a stream bed.

I paddled up it a little ways then tried to turn around, but couldn't. The way was so narrow that I couldn't even turn around, so I paddled into the turbulent tunnel backwards, out the way I came. The only times I hit the walls were when I stopped to try to take pictures.

The rest of the day I paddled by islands and around large colorful cliffs with lookout towers and castles ready to defend against pirates. At least, they were probably ready 500 years ago. I explored four more caves, and passed others by. The last one was also a tunnel and turned out to be a shortcut through a mountain.  My day ended crossing a bay.

I was paddling near two sailboats when a larger ship came hurtling through. There was no way he didn't see the sailboats and me, and being a more maneuverable vessel then ours, we had the right of way. But the big boat didn't care and came straight at us from behind.

As I turned 90 degrees and scurried to get out of his way I took a moment to share my feelings with the pilot. From his lofty place up high in the ship he wouldn't have been able to hear me. But convinced as I was that he could see me, I hope he could also see the salute I gave him, one from each hand.

Tomorrow I finish my trip in Naples.



  1. Its good to know international sign language.

    Make sure and get a bunch of pictures of details of your you have things stowed...patches you've made...etc...

  2. Yes!!! That Josh is a genius! ~ ed.

  3. How do you Dov?
    Really makes me happy to read your blog every few days, I remember him and reading (more precisely, there is Google's translation ... well what I write now is to them ...).
    When do you expect to finish the trip? You go back to Israel at the end?
    Would love to hear ... Really glad to see you enjoy.
    Goodbye, Israel Ryza.

  4. Yehuda (yeah, that Yehuda)February 8, 2011 at 9:30 AM


    Kol Hakavod! I may not have commented previously, but I've been following your every step. I'm proud of you. We'll talk when you get back (and, if you lighten up a little, I'll even buy you a beer or two).

  5. I'm so pleased you've been enjoying it. I'll email you in a few days after I get back home to Israel. Hopefully I'll be at Bar Ilan.

  6. Remember how this same conversation went down after I finished biking from Jerusalem to Eilat, sort of?

  7. Yehuda (yeah, that Yehuda)February 9, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    I remember your exact words when you got to Eilat - they were "ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh".

  8. Some of the knots on the kayak when it arrived where insecure and fell through, so I retied them. These knots include the the ropes holding the handles at the front and back of the boats as well as the strings securing the hatches. I repaired damage to the hull by replacing chipped fiber glass. I attempted to add a shlef in the cockpit above my legs bye attaching some bungee cords.
    On my front deck I had:
    a deck compass that told me which way the boat was pointed,
    a small clear compass that I used to make navigational decisions,
    a water proof chart,
    pliers/wire cuter that were often very useful, in a worst case scenario they could have been used to cut a fish hook,
    a fishing reel with a lure,
    a red green navigational light in the very front,
    and a camera tied down with a bungee.

    On my back deck I had:
    a spare paddle,
    a paddle float that I occasionally used as an outrigger, (reentry was accomplished by underwater entry and roll)
    a pump,
    and a white navigational light in the very back.

    In my life jacket I had:
    a GPS,
    a VHF,
    a headlamp,
    and a whistle.
    I also had an emergency flashing light that I never got to work. It lived in my front compartment.

    In my cockpit I had:
    drinking water depending on how far I had to paddle,
    a high carb high protean lunch in a nalgien bottle,
    a sponge,
    a sawed off water bottle used as a bale bucket,
    an S.O.S. quick grab bag that included three rocket flares, two orange smoke makers, and a GPS SAR beacon.

    All of the above items were tied down.

    In my front compartment from front to back I had:
    a sleeping pad,
    a large dry bag containing my sleeping bag and bivi sack,
    a bag with my stove and a couple of lighters,
    tefilin/daily prayer book in a dry bag,
    odds and ends.

    In my back compartment I had from front to back:
    first row all vertical:
    an Office bag that included my computer, a notebook, all my charging equipment, and things I would take with me when leaving my boat.
    a spare rudder set,
    and dry bag with everything I rarely or never used including repair equipment and first aid.

    after that:
    three horizontal dry bags with all my clothing,
    my land shoes,
    a small super light wait back pack,
    a duffel bag,
    two 5 liter empty water bottles, when they were full they were in the first row and most of the first row was moved to the front compartment,
    a sea anchor,
    a second paddle float in case I wanted to sleep at sea.

    I probably left stuff out. All my gear together weighed about 45 pounds, excluding food and water. My boat weighs about 41 pounds. Feel free to post any questions about what gear I used, how it went, or on arrangement.