Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 99


I didn’t have a forecast.  Yesterday morning I saw that today would have force four headwinds in the morning and possibly force five in the afternoon.  I don’t do force five headwinds and I’m not overly fond of force four, but before I could head back to Taranto and buy a new phone charger I needed to see the conditions around the point.

I hopped over the front gate of the beach club using the wall climbing trick I learned in the IDF.  Then I set out to find the beach around the point.

I followed the road to a military base.  I could see the water through the gate in between the lighthouse and another building, but not with enough detail to make a launch decision.  I followed the road around to another larger military base.  After that there were some walled houses between me and the sea and then a dead end.

I needed another approach.

I have experience with breaking into military bases.  But the last time I needed to do that I had all sorts of intelligence on guard stations and patrols.  Okay, it was my base and I was returning from a late night out.  But hopping over the fence without getting caught was real enough.

I went back to the beach club and walked along the jagged rock shore.  I arrived at a fence heading into the sea and climbed around it.  I walked in between the military base’s seaward fence and the water.  I kept a low profile and climbed from one rock to the next.  I passed another fence, and arrived at the point.

There were a number of fishing boats out there.  The breeze was not strong.  I looked at the surf.  It was not big.

It was late when I launched, but better late than never.  Around the point I paddled into waves and a headwind, but nothing scary.

There were a number of divers in the water.  Apparently I was paddling over a popular coral reef, though with the heavy clouds above, the water was dark and unrevealing.  I asked some of the people in diver support boats for a forecast.  Some were clueless.  One told me that in the morning the sea would be calm and the afternoon - maybe.

One fellow told me force five or six winds.  His shipmate corrected him; the winds would be 5 or 6 knots.

I passed the military base.  Building sized concrete embedded turrets big guns out to sea.

The waves gradually strengthened and the wind’s ferocity grew.  

I arrived at the cove I wanted to reach the day before.  In its relaxed waters, I hiked up my skirt and took a leak.

In ordinary conditions with my late start I could reach the next port, 12 miles away, around four o'clock.  In the current conditions, probably four thirty.  If they continued to worsen, who knew.

In the cove I found a natural harbor protected by a large rock wall.  Inside the water was flat.  I practiced a couple of rolls.  A hiker stopped to watch.

I landed and quickly changed out of my wet clothing.  There was a tennis court above me, but most of the hills around the cove were dressed with shrubs and trees.  An old bunker slept in the rocks on the opposite side, having long forgotten its mission to protect against an allied attack.

I followed some steps up to a road and found, with the hiker’s directions, an RV parking lot with trees and a sign that said camping.

For seven euro a night, down from nine, I have the entire campground to myself.  The showers are hot for almost 15 seconds and the mosquitos only mildly annoying.

The supermarket didn’t have bread, so I bought pasta, tuna, and cheese.  I made a cooking fire.  The fellow running the campground was little surprised and worried.  I don’t think anyone has made a fire here before.

“It’s okay, I’m a ranger.”  I told him almost honestly.  He visibly relaxed.

I’ll need to try that line out more often, or better yet, get a job so that it’s true.

Tomorrow the headwind and waves are expected to get worse.  But I don’t know if they’ll be seven euro worse.

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="3666,3604,3605,3606,3607,3608,3660,3663"]

Nautical miles paddled:  6

Total since Naples: 507

Current Location: 40.370228,17.309216


1 comment:

    They call me Ranger Dov. I'm not a real ranger but I am a real Dov.