After I had written my post yesterday and resolved myself to sleeping in a boat garage, I tried one last time to call Antonio Gallella, the president of the local Lega Navale.
Sure, he would be happy to host me. Ten minutes later, after walking through the downpour, I met him at the Lega Navale’s building. He brought me a bag of bread and cheese and pear juice. I got to to use their hot shower. And I took cushions off of the couch to sleep like a king.
“Tomorrow, stay. We celebrate the new year with Tuffo di Capodanno. Come join us.”
Slow as my pace is, I’m ready to slow it down even more until my replacement paddle arrives. I agreed to stay and join their celebration.
The celebration is a community event. Around 11:00 the next morning, members of the Lega Navale, their friends, family, and a marching band showed up.
With great music and pomp the lot of us marched around the corner to the beach.
An ambulance and a couple of paramedics waited there for us.
And those who were tough enough to take a lead role changed into bathing suits and ran into the sea. I just wore my shorts. We swam.
The sun poured its warmth on us and it was a wonderful day for a swim. Apparently the others weren’t as acclimated, because before I really got into the fun of it, people were already rushing back out.
A bonfire roared. Photographers practiced their art on family and the crowd, and everyone smiled. The band resumed and we marched back to the Lega Navale for wine and cake.
Gifts were presented to everyone who swam including a t shirt, a certificate of accomplishment, and a bottle of wine. As a guest I received my goodie bag first. The president of the Lega Navale presented it very officialy with a speech and lots of people took pictures as I accepted the bag.
Tomorrow I kayak. I’ll take the good cheer of Tuffo di Capodanno forward with me.