Alone Like a Rolling Stone


Early in the morning there's a knock on the boat. I had just made myself a coffee and started writing the logbook and checking the weather data. Gaby was still lying in the bunk and sleeping. Usually Gaby gets up half an hour later and then straightens up breakfast while I finish the logbook entries, after that we have a leisurely breakfast together and discuss what's up for the day. Today was different, so I went outside and met Max and Valerio who asked me how long it would take me to get the boat ready to lift out. I asked if half an hour was okay, both nodded. Meanwhile Gaby came crawling out of her bunk and looked at me still completely drowsy. "let's go," I said, "we'll be back out of the water."

When we came into the water last week, some things didn't go according to plan and the hull got some scratches. Since I didn't know exactly how deep these scratches were, I talked to Max and Valerio, who immediately offered to repair them. There was no discussion at all, we'll have a look at the whole thing and take the necessary measures, Max said. We are happy to have landed here, here you can still talk reasonably with the people, no excuses are being made, but rather we rolled up our sleeves and tackled the problem. Should anyone ever come to the area and need a mooring or need to do some work on the boat, we can highly recommend the small marina on the Tiber Canal in Fiumicino.

So we moved to the crane place and this time we came out of the water in the horizontal. The scratches had not penetrated the laminate except for the gelcoat. I would have been satisfied with a sealant, but they got a liter of coppercoat and wanted to do it right. That means at least five days on land, but then it is done professionally again. 

In the meantime, we are continuing our preparations for our onward journey. The winches are disassembled, cleaned, greased and reassembled. This takes quite some time, but we have plenty of it. Just like in the old days - admittedly it's been a little longer - we have had black fingernails and oily hands all day long, the paperrolls and WD40 consumption is now taking on gigantic proportions, but the winches are in dire need of it. In principle there is no material suitable for the sea, everything starts to corrode in the course of time, one material earlier, the other a bit later. That's why the saying "We repair ourselves around the world", once coined by some circumnavigator, is becoming more and more familiar to me and I understand what he meant by it.

On our free Sunday we wanted to visit the old Roman port Porti Imperiali di Claudio e Traiano once again. After a short walk we stood in front of the big gate which was locked. A sign pointed out that the area is open on the first and third Sunday, unfortunately it was the second Sunday which disappointed us a little. Not far away there is a monastery, which we visited instead. Since the weather was very nice, we continued walking along the Tiber. Three elderly ladies in walking pace slowly fed from behind and I wondered how one can talk and walk at the same time, all three of them. Not that talking and walking was anything special, but since everyone was chattering at the same time, one or the other was getting louder and louder because she obviously felt that the other two didn't understand her. It took about half an hour until the ladies had caught up with us, an interruption of the flow of speech could not be detected during this time, not even for a second and not by any of the ladies. I must say respect! After 10 minutes I would have been lying in the ditch with side stings. After the ladies had caught up with us, they turned around and went back the way they came. The loud conversation ebbed away with every meter until you could hear the birdsong again. Yes, a peaceful silence returned almost immediately. We continued walking towards Parco Leonardo, which we reached after about two and a half hours.

Meanwhile we know the Parco Leonardo by heart but here in Italy especially the Sunday in a shopping mall is always interesting. On Sundays everybody has time and so you can see the most colourful birds flying through the shopping mall. At present high plateau shoes are fashionable. The only problem is that some can walk in them, others can't and the ones that can't come out like a stork in a salad, look funny. We did our shopping, here for example there is a Refosco dal peduncolo rosso, which is affordable. The old roman grapevine has already impressed us in Friuli and we cannot get away from it that fast. I'm curious when the next grape variety will cross our path, which awakens lasting memories in us like the Refosco. Maybe in Spain, or in Madeira there are supposed to be excellent wines. Of course, it could be that a bottle of south-eastern Styrian Zweigelt is sent on its journey and accidentally swims past our boat, one should never give up hope. Till then we will continue to work hard and prepare for the next leg of the journey. Until the next time we wish you always fair winds and keep your ears stiff.