The day had finally arrived. Fabio and I were tearing through the Apennine Mountains on our way to Piombino. There we would join the crew of the Camilla and the Aria and make sail for Elba. Fabio had heard rumours of a third ship. A ship full of beautiful women. I had seen no mention of this mysterious ship in the torrent of emails. But I took his word for it; the emails were all in Italian and written by a Psychotherapist. I could have missed the Titanic in those communications. We arrived just in time. Any later and the Camilla would have set sail without us. Fabio's eyes scanned the docks. There was no sign of the mysterious third ship. But as fortune would have it, we already had two lovely ladies on our crew. Glasses charged with Prosecco, our skipper manoeuvred us out of the harbour and toward Elba, the island famous for harbouring Napolean during his exile in 1814.
A spectacular sunset on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Kids playing on the pebble beach across from the port of Rio Marina reminded me of a book I read when I was at school. Set no too far away on the island of Corsica.
The port town of Rio Marina, a mining town for as far back as anybody can remember. Recently the ferrous mining activity ceased, the mines were closed, and the town has embraced tourism.
Now, instead of grabbing his pick every morning and heading into the hills to dig a big hole, this guy makes heavenly pistachio brioches.
Served by these lovely ladies at Dolcemente Diversi. Their Facebook page says they are always open. I can believe it, the night we arrived I drifted off to sleep to the sound of somebody doing Johnny Cash covers. The next morning, the marina toilets weren't open, but Dolcemente Diversi had coffee and brioche ready.
Showered and fed, let's go sailing!
Like everything else in Italy, dropping anchor takes time. A process involving a lot of manoeuvres, gesticulations, and shouting. All part of the experience.
The crew of the Aria invited us for lunch. A perilous crossing in a dinghy made for one. Unbelievable we all made it across without sinking. Even after a couple of bottles of wine.
Okay, you've had lunch now. Go back to your own boat and let me read in peace.
The first group across safely...
"You want to put how many people in here?"
Dinner time on the Tyrrhenian Sea is no trivial matter. Our fearless captain also turns out to be an amateur chef ... risotto on the sea.
Irena, chef's assistant.
The moment Fabio realises that his salami has been used in the risotto.
Our last day, and we're all feeling a little tanned.
Take us home Giancarlo!
Thanks, Internations sailing group! A wonderful weekend with two awesome crews.