Posted on Oct 3, 2012
Tunisia a country going through a period of great confusion.
Until a few years ago one of the most stable of the Maghreb and now completely stalled.
A society in many ways very westernized, but now lies with the dilemma of coexisting with a renewed conservative and religious push.
A country with strong colors, such as the features of the various ethnic groups that inhabit it, as the shouting of the people on the street, like the colors of its souks.
Aving said that said, Tunisia remains a fascinating country, pleasant and hospitable, or at least this has been my experience in the past two weeks.
Enjoy our short video here ???
Posted on Sep 14, 2012
Last week of August Filippo, with his kids Federica and Giacomo, together with my old friend Tiziana joined me in Mikonos for a week sailing in the Southern Ciclades.
However the last week of August will be remebered also for a major change in the "stable" crew of Angelique II.
My Australian, surfer, totally mad, Crazy Horse Ray moved on board of Angelique II. On the other hand, Cristina moved on board of Osiris, the Catamaran of my other good Australian friend Maas.
Change is my constant companion and I look forward to another chapter in my adventure. Moreover, the arrival of Ray in my life was completely unexpected, but in the nearly two months of intense rellationship we bonded a lot. So welcome on board Ray.
Last week was dedicated to the discovery of the Southern Cyclades and precisely the Small Cyclades, those lesser known and popular. Jewels as Koufonisia, Amorgos, Patmos, Santorini and Ios. But I would say that the distinguis feature of last week was the atmosphere that has been created on board thanks to Federica and Giacomo.
It 's really amazing the ability children have to catalyze the attention around them. And when you're lucky enough to run into two personalities such as Giacomo and Federica it gets really fun.
Ray, the newly appointed "Entertainment Officer", was fully up to the task ensuring the younger members of the gang to experience everything from paddle boarding to merry-go rounds. Also, let us not forget the daily icecream eating competition. Dining was once again a highlight on Angelique II with Federica and Giacomo revealing refined connoisseurs of both food and beverage. Something surprising given the limited abilities of their father.
Fishing was attempted with great patience and creativity but alas their appetite were missing. We definitely have to work on stocking the right equipment so that the next time we fish for dinner we are not left staring at empty plates.
Filippo was a returning guest after having already spent the first week of August aboard. Apparently on his return to Milan he is already pining of Angelique II so we may be again graced with his company. In light of that should we be concerned with troubles at the office? For many years he avoided our sailing adventures preferring to spend his time in front of a computer screen or prefering the company of his terminal boats. Filippo, are you taking the piss? Time to make decisions pal you cant have your cake and eat it. Remember your waistline!
Finally but in no way the least Tiziana. An old friend. A good friend that I have not had the pleasure of seeing for way too long. I have admired and respected Tiziana from the first time we met during our business dealings. The great thing now is that I get to enjoy her company in a more social environment. Having had the opportunity to experience her in the way only living on board of a yacht can provide I can now say that Tiziana is even more of a special person.
The motto of this weeks' cruise "Friends that shower together, stay together"
This week ended the first summer cruise of The Lifetime Cruise.
It was a great summer marked by the love of the friends who accompanied me in this start of my journey around the world. In their words, in their eyes I read happiness. Joy, fun but also a healthy dose of envy. I clearly felt the joy and pleasure that my friends have to participate, even for short periods, to something that each of them has dreamed but for various reasons they not yet been able to achieve. To share this experience with my friends is for me source of great satisfaction and happinessis; it is one of the main objectives of The Lifetime Cruise.
Because, as Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild) said, "Happiness only real when shared"
Posted on Aug 29, 2012
The cruise ofthe two central weeks of August was the longest of the entire summer with over 300 miles sailed from Lesvos in the Eastern Sporades, through Skiathosand Skopellos in Northern Sporades till Mykonos in the Cyclades.
Cruise eagerly awaited because for the presence on board of my son Luca and his sweet girlfriend Maria Giulia.
With them I embarked olso Pierluigi, Betta, Rachel and Jim.
We experienced all possible weather conditions, from stormy rainy to sunny windless day.
As usual Angelique II was able to satisfy all the crew. From Pierluigi, experienced sailor, to Rachel (also known as "Wow, Mamma Mia") at her first experience on a sailboat cruise.
Two weeks have been intense and enjoyable. For me, especially from an emotional point of view.
I know Pierluigi and Betti from over 20 years, but I never had the chance to enjoy them "so intensively". They are a sweet and well-matched couple. They really filled me with attention and love and I really hope to have them on board in the, future a way to keep ties and affection with what I have left ashore.
I had not seen Luca since April 20. In these two weeks we have recovered this time. We play around each other and shared hugs, kisses and caresses which always generate imbarace around us, being Luca a kid of 22 years old!!
Yet was painful to separate with him and I really hope his studies will allow him to join me for the Atlantic crossing.
Finally Ray, one of two Australians who have joined our itinerary. He is not in the boat withus, but we have created a really great chemistry. We come from similar life experiences, even in the recent past. We have much in common. He is cultured, witty, extremely courteous and polite. We talk a lot and being a great athlete I also found a great partner for my daily workouts.
Posted on Aug 28, 2012
The week cruise in the Eastern Sporades was certainly one of the most fun weeks of this summer.
In Chios joined me Michele and Carla, my cousins Riccardo and Pina and my old friend Filippo.
However I was already sailing with Maas and Ray, two Australians I met in Marmaris few weeks before which are heading to Australia on a catamaran identical to mine, an Outremer 55.
This combination has added fun to the already high potential of my crew.
The stop in Chios was fantastic.
The Yachting Club of Chios has decided to appoint me honorary member of the Club, so the entire crew participated in this event and really enjoyed unparalleled hospitality.
From Chios we sailed to Lesvos where we landed on the south coast and sail around itscoast till Mythmna on the northern side of the island.
Every day we had a match race with our Australian mates, sailing with a lot of wind and enjoying it a lot.
Personalities on board helped to create a unique atmosphere, a mixture of characters difficult to put togheter even by the most daring author.
Posted on Aug 2, 2012
Leros is a small island, but in terms of sailing offers so much. The large bay of Lakki provides shelter from any wind and it is large enough to accommodate an entire naval fleet.
In fact, during the Italian occupation Leros was a major naval base of the Italian Navy. In Leros we have been joined by Gabriella and Fabrizio together with 4of their friends which we did not know: Giuseppe, Stella, Marilena Ed Antonella.
To put at ease our new friends we decided to prepare them a nice Sicilian dinner with some Greek transgression.
So the dinner table was colored by eggplant salad (roasted eggplant seasoned with garlic, olive oil, mint, lemon and yogurt), roasted peppers, tzatziki (yogurt, cucumber, topped with a mixture of garlic, green pepper, marjoram , dill), green peppers with balsamic vinegar and Greek salad, all washed down with a good greek "white".
The next day after a good night's sleep we set sails to Patmos, where we spent the day in a nice bay before moving to the harbor for the night.
The next morning the crew took advantage of the stop to visit the monastery and the cave of the Apocalypse.
We decided to stay in Patmos also the following day, moving in the beautiful bay of Yeoryos, almost desolate, turquoise water and a beautiful beach. In the evening we decided to dine at a nice restaurant on the beach.
The experience under the culinary point of view will not remain in the memory of us all but the cook, nicknamed Polyphemus, and laughter due to a mild intestinal discomfort of one of the crew member, will certainly be the subject of a thousand tales.
Back in the boat, stimulated by a starry sky that only isolated places like Yeoryos can offer, we gathered up in the bow where my newfound guitar accompanied us with songs mostly forgotten long into the night.
The next day we sailed to Arkoy, a tiny island virtually uninhabited. The wind had already mounted considerably, but we found shelter in a well protected bay. Also there we experienced turquoise water and practically only another boat to keep us company.
The next destination was Lipsi, also a small island, but with a steep slope that accelerates the already 'impetuous Melthem.
Already during the day we troubled with the holding of the anchor, so in the afternoon so we decided to move to the small port of Lipsi.
Unfortunately, the port was already quite crowded and the wind continued to blow with gusts exceeded 30 knots. In an attempt to find mooring between the two boats our anchor remained entangled in the chain of another vessel, with the result of being unable to maneuver.
At this point I decided to dive in an attempt to hope the anchor (8 meters). I managed the task, but once freed the anchor the boat wind-driven retreated towards vessels at berth. I had left at the helm the poor Fabrizio who could not do much as a Turkish Gulet in the meantime, despite the obvious difficulties of our operation, moved in front of Fabrizio preventing maneuver to move away from the boats moored.
I do not really know how I did but re-emerged immediately realized that the situation turned for the worse and with a force that is found only in these situations I was able to reach in a few seconds the stern of my boat, climb, take the throttle levers, turn the Boat on itself and avoid the collision with the Turkish schooner and the other vessels at berth.
Escaped from the port we anchored outside the port where the rest of the crew landed to go out to dinner. Cristina and myself decided to stay in the boat. The wind was still blowing over 30 knots and by no mean we felt to leave alone our Angelique II.
Upon returning from dinner of the crew wind reinforced still making very precarious anchorage, so I decided to "give away" a night navigation to crew and return to Leros in a safe harbor. Started around midnight, we arrived in Leros around 3. All crew, except for the good Fabrizio that because of the fright he had retired into the cabin, keep company with the captain remaining on "watch" until the arrival in Leros.
After a good sleep we sailed to Archangelos, a bay north of Leros.
Arrived early morning we found a fisherman with a small fishing boat motoring around the bay. We immediately took our dinghy to join him founding out he was fishing. In perfect Oxfordian English the old man negotiated the sale of his catch and he suggested what should we do before the cooking. Go to the ground slam octopuses for 40 times out of a rock and then wipe again on a rock for at least 20 minutes. At night the octopuses have banned our table. The old fisherman gave us a dinner and an unforgettable experience.
Back to Leros for the last cruise night we discovered that Antonella had a tip for a restaurant that proved a real jewel of the Dodecanese.
At "Milos" we had a great meal, we spent a very modest figure, and we had a wonderful evening.
The next morning the crew landed landed quite early, a flight was waiting to take them back to Italy.
This second week of cruising gave me my ideal crew, the stereotype of the friends that I would always have with me on board.
The "General", silent, but able to pull out stories to bend into fits of laughter. I will miss his night watches (he slept all week in the cockpit). Gabriella, my yoga teacher (I have not yet recovered from the hangover pain). The laughter of Antonella, the willingness to always give a hand of Marilena, the sympathy and frankness of Stella.
I hope that they too have taken home and cherish a fool of my new life.
Posted on Jul 8, 2012
La prima settimana di crociera di questa Aegean Summer si e' appena conclusa. La prima novità e' che da ora in avanti non sarò più da solo. Cristina come previsto mi ha raggiunto a Rodi e da qui in avanti sarà protagonista con me di questa The Lifetime Cruise. A Rodi mi aspettavano anche Francesco e Renata, i primi compagni di viaggio della crociera inaugurale. Rispetto al programma iniziale abbiamo dovuto modificare il percorso settimanale. Renata a causa di un inatteso impegno lavorativo e' dovuta rientrare a Milano mercoledì da Rodi. Per questa ragione abbiamo deciso di dirigerci subito verso Simi con una sosta intermedia nella bellissima Serce Limani, una baia dall'ingresso strettissimo sulla costa turca. Dopo un bagno ristoratore ed una gustosa insalata greca, abbiamo fatto prua su Simi dove abbiamo dato fondo a Ormos Pedi, la rada a sud di un miglio dal porto principale che offre agli yacht che la preferiscono, meno confusione ed un mare favoloso.
Appena arrivati Francesco e' andato a caccia di un televisore per non perdersi la finale degli europei di calcio. Abbiamo così trovato ospitalità in una terrazza di un albergo in spiaggia, il quale pero' aveva la cucina già chiusa. Ma niente paura, mentre io, Cristina e Francesco assistevamo alla disfatta Italiana, Renata si faceva preparare un "take away" da un ristorantino sulla spiaggia a base di calamari fritti, insalata greca, souvlaky e ziazichi, che con molta non calanche abbiamo consumato al tavolo dell'albergo che ci ospitava.
L'indomani dopo una veloce visita al centro di Simi, ci siamo spostati a Panormitis, a mio modo di vedere una delle più suggestive rade dell'Egeo. L'accesso alla grande baia lo si riconosce solo a poche decine di metri. Confuso tra le frastagliate coste a strapiombo, una volta raggiunto, offre all'equipaggio la vista di questa immensa rada totalmente protetta da tutti i venti e impreziosita dal monastero di Panormitis.
Il mattino seguente ci avviavamo nuovamente su Rodi per accompagnare Renata. Questa prematura partenza ha lasciato me e Cristina con l'amaro in bocca. Renata si e' rivelata una compagna di viaggio fantastica, senza contare i suoi trascorsi velistici, anche come equipaggio su barche da charter. Cuoca raffinata, generosa e sempre pronta a dare una mano dove serve. Speriamo davvero che torni a trovarci prestissimo. Lasciata Renata siamo immediatamente salpati per Marmaris in Turchia. Una navigazione notturna, illuminata da una luna pienissima che ci ha portato alla nostra destinazione a notte inoltrata.
Il giorno seguente lo abbiamo dedicato ad un po' di manutenzione straordinaria mentre Francesco, trovata ospitalità in un bar sulla spiaggia, spremeva il wifi con milioni di emails. Lasciata Marmaris ci siamo diretti nuovamente a sud, in avvicinamento verso Kos, nostra meta finale. Per la notte abbiamo scelto un ancoraggio a me noto per le sue fortificazioni romane. Francesco lo ha definito il più bello della settimana. Bozukale e' una rada grandissima dall'acqua cristallina. La costa e' brulla con tipica vegetazione da macchia mediterranea. Le fortificazioni di epoca romana ancora visibili le danno un fascino tutto particolare.
Il giorno successivo, l'ultimo della crociera e' stato tutto dedicato alla vela. Abbiamo coperto oltre 60 miglia per arrivare a Kos, tutte di bolina, bordeggiando contro un Meltemi che raggiungeva forza 6. Proprio per questa ragione, decidevamo di optare per Ormos Kamari anziché il porto principale di Kos. Potevamo così "poggiare" e affrontare le ultime miglia dedicandoci alla cucina. Francesco preparava infatti una gustosissima carbonara per celebrare la fine di questa prima crociera con The Lifetime Cruise. Ormos Kamari e' una deliziosissima spiaggia sulla costa meridionale di Kos, per altro a pochissimi chilometri dall'aeroporto.
Al mattino portavamo a terra con il Dinghy Francesco che trovava subito accoglienza in un centro di surf gestito da un simpatico svizzero Ticinese. E' arrivato il momento dei saluti. Io e Cristina crediamo che nei prossimi anni vivremo molte di queste situazioni. Ma non e' una sensazione spiacevole. La prossima settimana avremo altri amici con noi e Francesco e Renata stanno pensando di raggiungerci già prima della fine dell'estate.
Questa e' stata la crociera inaugurale della mia Crociera della Vita, The Lifetime Cruise.
Posted on Jul 1, 2012
I finally reached Rhods. It was the strongest experience in my life. 3200 miles at sea of which 2000 alone. I experienced all type of feelings and the memories of these days will stay with me for the rest of my life. Unfotunately my computer on board had a problem withe the video board and I' mnot able wright now to fully report a detailed story supported by video and photos. But I promise to do it as soon as my Mac will be repaired.
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