Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 75


I had to wait until 8:00 for the supermarket to open. So I went back to sleep and woke up at 7:30. It turned out that the supermarket was a long walk away, and once I was back and packed up it was 10:00.

I had 15 nautical miles to paddle. There was a storm out at sea and I could expect a stiff head wind coming from land. At least the water would mostly be flat and hopefully if I stayed close enough to the coast, I could steer clear of the wind. Hopefully.

A wizened old man asked me when I was leaving. "Tempo parte?" were words I understood.

"Adesso."[now] I told him.

He told me not to. He told me the weather was no good. He showed me how even in the port the wind was blowing ripples across the water and he pointed the clouds that were cartwheeling over the mountains. This sorcerer knew what he was about and nature itself was at his command to demonstrate to me its fury.

I explained that I would try to stay close to land. Beaches would line my entire route, so worst case scenario I could stop wherever. And besides lovely as it is, San Lucido wasn't exactly the Garden of Eden. I pointed to the spot where I had slept in the sandy litter strewn concrete port.

"Hai dormito qui? [you slept here?]" He asked me in surprise. Had he but known I could have slept on his fishing boat. He pointed to his fishing boat. It was not a yacht. It looked like the sort of place thousands of fish had been gutted and countless gallons of diesel spilled.

"Thank you, that's so kind!" But I think I'll try to leave today anyways. If things get rough, I can always turn around.

And when I started, things weren't rough. That came later.

I paddled just a few yards from the beach and the wind gradually grew stronger.

Two men were standing near the water and started yelling at me to stop. I thought they were fishermen so I aimed a little farther out to steer clear of their lines, but they kept yelling at me to stop, so I did. They spoke to me in Italian and I didn't understand.

"Quanti meter?" I asked. [How many meters?]

“Duecento [two hundred]” one of them told me in Italian. I looked out. There was a black flag at about that distance. I went to paddle around it thinking it would probably just be easier to paddle over there line, but not a good idea since I didn't want to set off a mine.

The wind continued to get stronger. Some of my breaks I was able to find shelter for and others I wasn't. I was washed hundreds of feet out to sea.

Into the wind I told myself. "It's hard, but I can do this. I will do this." The sea was still mostly flat so I pushed forward. My seat back broke off.

I had over the summer sampled an Inuk at the camp I worked at. The seat in that one broke also. The Nelo rep promised me the boat they would send me in Italy would have a different seat. It didn't, but the Nelo rep promised me a lot of things that never happened.

I tried to fix the seat, and my fix held for about five minutes before it broke again. The next time it only held for two minutes and after that I had a few 30 second goes, before giving up entirely.

I passed what I could only call a micro port. In good weather I could have taken out there as a sea wall protected the small bay from the sea, but today the opening faced the wind and provided no protection at all. It would not be an easy place to give up, and I wanted to arrive in the larger port at Campora San Giovani in a desperate hope they'd have a shower (They don't.)

I paddled without a seat back into the ever increasing headwind. I smiled and waved to fisherman who looked at me like I was crazy.

My back ached. My shoulders hurt. My progress was slow, but I kept at it, and eventually I arrived in a modern looking port crowded with motor boats and small fishing boats.

The captain of the port greeted me from the dock and before I could get a word in, told me I was welcome to stay for the night, where ever I was going, where ever I was coming from.

"Will you be leaving tomorrow?" he asked me in Italian?

"Oggi vento bruto, domani ..." [Today the wind is bad, tomorrow ...]

"Multi bruto." he completed for me. I could stay until the storm passed and shower with their hose. There was a small shack over there where I could dump my stuff and sleep. I was welcome to what little they had.

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="2912,2913,2914,2915,2916,2917"]


Nautical miles paddled: 16

Total since Naples:  171.5

Current location:  39.055401,16.091937


  1. That's an unlucky break. I hope you're able to fix the seat back without too much difficulty. At least you'll have some time to find a solution because of the weather.

  2. "unlucky break" da da ching! Zip ties are a wonderful thing and should do the trick.