Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 72


Wednesday,after my paddle, I went into a bar to write about my day. The hour that I was there I was alone except for the bartender. When I was done I asked him if he knew anyone in the Lega Navale. In the past they have often let me sleep in their offices.

He told me to come with him. We left the bar and found a big sign with the number for the Lega Navale president on it. We called and spoke to him. The Lega Navale in Scario only had an office and it was too small for me to sleep on the floor. It wouldn't work, he told me.

The bartender told me to follow him, and we went into a new two story brick faced building next to the church. Inside there were lots of crosses and I soon found myself shaking hands with the local clergy leader had that white collar that some of them do. Unfortunately, they would be unable to help me as well. I was relieved. I'm not saying I wouldn't take a church’s hospitality, I would just feel awkward. Should I tell them I'm Jewish? Does it matter? Would it be making a big deal out of nothing? I'm fairly certain that if I was a rabbi and a properly respectful kayaker showed up at the door of my synagogue then I would help him, even if he was Christian. But that's just me.

I was getting cold and began thinking about some boats I had seen in dry dock.

We walked back to the dock. A few interested people had gathered around us as the bartender explained to them my plight. One of them took me home for the night. He lived with his mother and daughter up on the side of the mountain. They had lots of fruit trees and were happy to share fresh apples and pomegranates right off the tree with me.

The mother gave me pajamas, slippers, and made every effort to make me as comfortable as possible and kept talking to me in Italian. Sometimes I could figure out what she was saying.

By 7:30pm I was fast asleep. A couple hours later someone woke me up to try to give me a coat and a couple of shirts. My hosts had noticed that I was cold, because I hadn't bothered to dress properly since the cold caught me by surprise.  He also noticed I put the same shirt back on after my shower.

I said "Grazie, no" Repeatedly, but the fellow insisted. I didn't know how to say "I have warm clothing but am too stupid to wear it" in Italian. Eventually he left and I dropped back to sleep.

I set out to paddle the 31 nautical miles to Belvedere because I was tired of waiting out bad weather or making short days and Thursday was supposed to have perfect weather. It didn't. Whenever I left the shelter of the shore there was a headwind. Sometimes it died down, and sometimes I had a tailwind, but mostly it was a headwind.

At least the sea was flat. So I made progress by following every nook and cranny of the coast, which was nice since I got to investigate sea caves and paddle through rock gardens. One sea cave had a an opening at the end of it just a few inches above the surface of the water. I could hear from inside a deep resonant sound of waves crashing as though there was an enormous cavern on the other side of that small opening.

Four hours in I got to my chia drink bottle. It was a bottle that I had prepared several days earlier for the failed launch. I had refrigerated it every night, but it had spent a day and a half on my kayak deck. It smelled a little bad. Only a little, so I drank, and then spewed it out. It was no good. I didn't have any fuel for the last three hours of the day.

It wasn't a problem, I could pull over and prepare some more. I found a sheltered beach and took out. I climbed a rusty stairwell and at the top I explored what looked like a rustic summer resort. I searched for a while, I couldn’t find a hose spigot, or any other fresh water source. There were outdoor showers, but the water to them had been shut off.

Back in my kayak I paddled for another hour before I found a small sheltered bay.  A small rocky island was not quite connected to the mainland by a busy rock garden, and some fellow, probably Roman, had filled in the space between those rocks to create the bay.  

The harbor was a perfect place to take out and call it a day. I had no idea if there would be anywhere else this nice for the next 16 miles.

A compound of three large houses overlooked the small bay. I poked around. I found an orange orchard. In one large structure there was a small open chapel with some candles and a big painting of someone who was probably a saint.

The next door into the building was open to a large court yard where I introduced myself to a father and son couple who were working there. They were surprised to see me. They agreed to let me sleep on the beach and they gave me water. When I came back to present them my business card the door was closed.  Message received.

To prepare my food for the next day I built small cooking fire from drift wood to save fuel. To save water I cooked my pasta in a seawater tap water mix that left dish a little too salty.  When my fuel canister runs out I'll likely have to go to Rome to replace it, or come up with an entirely different solution.  For a side dish I prepared some seagull.  No, I didn’t.  I don’t even know if they’re kosher, though I encourage any of my readers who do to comment here.  

Tomorrow I'll need to paddle 19 miles to get to Belvedere, and all of it into an increasingly strong head wind. I hope I make it.

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Nautical miles paddled: 16

Total since Naples: 114.5

Current Location: N 39.934344 E 15.742815


  1. Dov,
    Following up on you comments a few days ago about keeping up ones calorie intake over a long day: I've got this quirk where I have absolutely no interest in eating unless I'm really, really hungry, which makes it really easy to get into a calorie deficit.
    I started tracking my actual calorie intake while paddling and found that I needed a minimum of 200 calories per hour, and it could easily go up to 300 per hour with heavy exertion such as headwinds or currents.

    I've had to almost force myself into an eating routine: 700-900 calories for breakfast about 8am, paddle 3 hours, eat 700-800 cal's, paddle another 3 hours, eat another 700-800 cal's, paddle another 2-4 hours, and make camp eating 100-200 cal's as soon as I landed, while setting up camp, prior to cooking a 800-1000 cal dinner.

  2. “Should I tell them I’m Jewish? Does it matter? Would it be making a big deal out of nothing?”

    It shouldn’t matter. One's beliefs should be placed in the same category as skin color and
    nationality. Hospitality, I believe, is almost always extended to the person as such. And
    that's how it should be. Your beliefs, skin color and nationality might be part of who you
    are, but they don't define you. You are more than that.

  3. Thanks for commenting. I find that the eating every hour helps me to keep an even calorie intake, but even as it is I have highs and crashes. I think I read in the New York Times that a day of kayaking burns around 6,000 calories.

  4. Ah, ordinarily I would agree with you. But walking into a church, I'm not so sure. Is it the doctrine of the church to help everybody irrespective of faith? It certainly hasn't always been, but morality across many faiths and in many parts of the world has progressed, and maybe now it is.

  5. Maybe I could get the pope to sponsor me.