Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 89

Friday I settled in on a beach in Cap Rizzuto.  Some stairs wound up a steep bushy hill face that was behind the beach.  The people in the house at the top were friendly and all smiles, but that was the extent of there hospitality.

I charged my gear using an outlet towards the rear of their garden near the stairs.  I watched as a cloud front moved towards land sprinkling lightning into the sea.

A storm was coming.  I asked the owner of the house for permission to sleep under the shelter of the awning over his porch.  I explained that I could sleep in the rain since I had a bivi sack, but I prefered not to depend on it.

He agreed.  And after a Sabbath dinner by myself, I slept soundly.  

The rain never came.  And the next morning, the father of the owner of the house, who had been friendly the day before, told me to get.  I was allowed to be down at the beach, but not up near the house.

I didn’t know if this was because the family thought I had lied about the rain, or he just didn’t know that I had permission to be up on the patio, but he felt I had somehow betrayed him and I needed to be gone.

I paddled this morning into a headwind that steadily grew stronger.  I asked some fishermen on a boat if it would last all day, and they said it would get better in the afternoon.

The coast was a mix of cliffs and beaches.  The cliffs frequently proffered interesting rock gardens.  In some places stones broke the surface over a hundred feet out.

At the center of the bay there was a rocky outcropping.  At the top of that outcropping was square stone mansion with a drawbridge.  I suspect it was hundreds of years old.  On the point at the end of the bay there was a similarly old fortification and a lighthouse that looked out from over a squat cliff.

Under the cliff I sang a song.  When I finished I heard from above me more singing.  And not just one voice, a whole choir.  When I paddled farther away I saw a church up there.

After crossing a bay, I arrived in Crotone.  Crotone is the largest city I’ve been in since Regio Calabria. From the lighthouse I could already see the cluster of apartment buildings.

In the port I found a large Lega Navale with kids sailing tiny training sail boats into the port only moments after I made my own entrance.  The fellow who was in charge told me they had a hot shower and that I was welcome to use it.

The rule for my continued training used to be that I roll every time I go out.  Over time I have modified it.  I roll every time I go out if I know when my next hot shower will be.  Lately, I haven’t had that many opportunities.  But here in welcoming LNI, I could roll.

My paddle snapped.  The water was murky, but I saw the larger half float to the top while the blade and broken bit of shaft slowly began to sink.

I reached forward and released my homemade spare paddle from the bungees and deck lines that secured it.  I triumphantly finished the roll.  I completed a roll in which my paddle snapped, and felt like the stuff of legend.

I dumped myself out of the boat and tore my life jacket off.  Just as my blade disappeared into the murky depths of the port I dived down after it.

It was really cold down there.  I didn’t find it.  A true hero would have.

I swam back to my boat, flipped it upside down, entered it underwater, and rolled back up with my storm paddle, no longer a spare.

The showers here are really hot.  The people are very friendly.  I’ll sleep inside tonight with everything I could want in life, except for a spare paddle.

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Nautical miles paddled: 17

Total since naples: 373.5

Current location: 39.079587,17.13549



  1. hearty adventuring for sure! now find yourself a spare paddle!

  2. Have no fear, the adventure continues!

  3. (Translates, it gets worse before it gets better.)