On Sunday my hosts dropped me off in Tropea so that I could start paddling early the next morning for the promised good weather.
The dock hands in the port were all happy to see me. I had definitely spent too long there.
For all that I wanted to kayak and progress in my quest, I had grown overly fond of sitting around in a house with a fireplace and pasta, fish, cake and above all, meat. In the morning, I dragged my feet.
Finally, at ten to 8:00 in the morning I was ready to go. One of the friendly dockhands helped my carry my kayak from the storage location, a concession building under construction in the port, to the water. My boat is heavy when it's loaded, so I guess I should be thankful he only dropped it once causing me to scream like a city girl with a bat in her hair.
The weather had warmed up from the freezing snow in the mountains hail and rain on the coast to t-shirt kayak weather.
As I paddled around the point, the water was a little choppy and I was taking the waves head on, but there was almost no wind. All told, the weather was wonderful. All that waiting brought me something that may have been worth waiting for.
The water was clear and I could see the sandy bottom far below with occasional colonies of seaweed waving up at me. The cliffs were a light orange sandstone.
Once I was passed the point I cut away from the land heading directly for Palmi. At first the sea was even more choppy than earlier, but as the day wore on it relaxed into slow glassy swells.
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A ship pulled out of a port and seemed to be heading towards me. I contacted them on my radio to make sure they saw me and wouldn’t accidentally repaint their hull with kayaker. They answered that they did in fact see me, or at least, someone on the radio said something Italian that sounded like it might have been what I was looking for, and since this was the first time anyone ever responded to me on the radio, I was thrilled.
I arrived at the port in Palmi delighted that my belly chafing for the day was at an end. The port itself was crowded with fishing boats and even a few sailboats. A beach on the far side hosted row boats and an enormous double masted wooden sailboat that looked like it had been made before plastic and fiberglass was in dry dock. What there wasn't was any kind of office or potential shower.
When I pray to god I ask for some basic things: water, shower, electricity, wi fi, a supermarket and shelter.
I found a hose, then began walking towards the supermarket. The port was at the base of an empty mountain and the town proper a kilometer away. The main street had two shops open in the winter, a small minimarket and fishing supplies store and a pizzeria. Neither of them took credit cards and I didn't have any cash.
The cashier told me that I could find an ATM one town over, about five km away.
I found a campground. Like most campgrounds I'd seen, it was basically an RV parking lot. I walked in and met the owner whose house was on the property.
No, I wouldn't sleep out in the lot as though I were an RV. I'm not an RV. I would be a guest in his home. Was there anything at all he could get me? I met his wife and son. The young man spoke English and was able to translate the mother's question for me. Was there anything at all she could get me?
I lit my Chanuka candles outside. They blew out a few times so I dutifully relit them. My younger host asked me about them.
Hmmm... Why is it we celebrate Chanuka again? Oh yah, we won a civil war against the Romans in Israel I told him. Afterwards I remembered that it was the Greeks.
He even went with me back to the port and got permission for me to leave my kayak there overnight with Charter Line, a company that runs snorkeling tours in the area.
So if you find yourself RVing in southern Italy, check out Sosta Camper Prajola for a great RV parking lot experience right next to the beach and under a mountain. Then have fun snorkeling with Charter Line.
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Nautical miles paddled: 20
Totall since Napoli: 215.5
Current location: 38.390379,15.862739