I paddled in a straight line to Catanzaro Lido, taking me three miles off shore. The sea was glassy flat with wide gentle swells. The air was crisp and invigorating. The sky, blue with a few white clouds floating on the horizon.
After some research I decided to replace my spray skirt with an akuilisaq. The idea is similar, but they are looser and have a more traditional design. Hopefully it will resolve the chafing and rotation problems. I asked a friend of mine to see if he could find a sponsorship opportunity on my behalf so I can get one cheap. We’ll see how it works out.
In the mean time, when the sea is flat, as it was yesterday, I paddle with my skirt free of my combing. When I was about a mile out from port a fun tail wind picked up allowing me the thrill of catching waves. In order to really get into it I put my skirt back on. Fiery Pain! The chafing was terrible. I finally pulled through the gates of the port as a weakened cripple.
I sat in my kayak and rested. Inside the enormous seawalls I saw a large open space of flat water with a few small anchored fishing boats. One of them had a cabin with just enough room for a person to stand in.
There was no dock so I pulled my boat up onto the beach next to a bunch more fishing boats. Most of the boats were about as long as mine and painted white. They were wooden, very wide and deep, had a couple of enormous oars and an outboard motor. They mostly didn’t have cabins and were piled high with nets and other equipment.
A fellow kindly let me borrow his phone to call Mario, the friend who had hosted me the night before. He had offered to pick me up and host me again.
In the mean time I needed a safe place to store my boat overnight. I asked the wool capped fisherman who had lent me his phone what he thought about the beach. He told me that an Italian would never steal, but there were a lot of Africans and Romanians about and that I could never be too careful.
Without getting into the politics of it, I decided to accept the last sentiment. I found a boat repair garage. with a fellow reading a newspaper at its gate. I tried to ask him if I could leave my boat there overnight, but was unable to make myself understood.
I came back with my friend the fisherman.
“How long will you leave it here?”
“Hopefully I’ll be on my way tomorrow, but that depends on the weather and how my chafing is feeling. If I don’t kayak tomorrow, then I’ll be here until Sunday. I don’t paddle on Saturdays. If Sunday is bad weather, then I’ll be here longer.”
He didn’t like that. How long would my boat be here? Why couldn’t I just give a straight answer?
Eventually he came to a decision, I could leave my boat there until Sunday for 50 euro.
“Thank you but no thank you.”
When my host showed up he talked to his friend who ran the dry boat yard at the top of the port. I could leave my kayak there under lock and key and it wouldn’t be a problem.
My host drove me to his family’s summer home in village at the foot of a steep mountain. The house has a beautiful wild garden with overgrown stone steps, deep overflowing clovers, enormous wild untended hedges and an orange tree heavy with delicious fruit.
My host had to go, but I should make myself at home and he would be back to pick me up the next morning at 8:00.
I did not have internet, and with my phone still broken I did not have any way to contact the world. I rested.
In the morning I waited to be picked up at 8:00. I still waited at 8:30, 9:30, 11:00, it was too much waiting. It occurred to me that if someone wanted to kidnap me, all they had to do was drop me off somewhere and leave me there. I didn’t think I had been kidnapped, but I did want to find a wifi connection and contact my host to see what was happening.
I wandered outside. I found the beach and a fellow who would lend me his phone. My host was sorry he was running late, but he would arrive around 13:30 and take me to his cousin’s bed and breakfast where I could stay for the sabbath, since the day had been lost anyways.
On our way to the bed and breakfast I asked if we could stop at a supermarket so that I could get food for the weekend. I don’t cook or go shopping on the Sabbath.
“Don’t worry.” He told me. “My cousin will be happy to feed you.”
The Sabbath was nice, except that his cousin didn’t feed me. The B&B didn’t really serve breakfast, or any other meal for that matter, but I can’t complain since I had clean sheets and a lukewarm shower. Above all, the price was right.
[gallery type="rectangular" ids="3191,3192,3193,3194,3195,3196"]
Nautical miles paddled: 14
Total since Naples: 332.5
Current location: 38.827297,16.635709