Geologic Activity Tour, Ep. 107

This blog episode welcomes our first guests of the 2019 summer Mediterranean sailing season on board Sea Rose. Longtime friends, Mary and Dave join us from Madison, Wisconsin. They actually ‘booked’ their date over a year in advance as they planned other travel to Europe.

Mary and Tom worked together in Oakland California almost 30 years ago at the shipping company, ‘American President Lines’. I was doing some IT consulting at APL at that time, and I met both Tom and then Mary through a corporate ski-team … yes, snow skiing, if I had a dollar for every skier I met who also sails or every sailor who skies in the off season, we’d be flying high!

Tom and Mary developed a fast friendship with once-a-week yoga evenings and plans for outings with mutual friends. They even bought a canoe together! Who knew their boating relationship would last so long? By the time I met Mary, Dave was already a well-established figure in her life – in fact, they were married!

Continue reading “Geologic Activity Tour, Ep. 107”

Oh, So Familiar! Ep. 106

If you have a weather window, you’d be wise to use it. That was our overarching motto as we took up our dock lines and headed out of the marina in Gaeta to begin our 2019 summer adventure. We had a moderate wind that would help us on our southbound route, and we jumped at the chance to get off the dock. We also had the advantage for the next few days to sail in familiar waters. Familiarity. It’s a catch 22 of sorts to return to where you have previously been. On the one hand, you know where to go, where to anchor, where to find groceries and what sights to see ashore. You can drop the hook with aplomb knowing you were here before and the holding is good. You don’t waste time wandering like a gypsy ashore with your bags of garbage trying to find a rubbish bin while trying to look cool and nonchalant around your high-fashion Italian peers. But then again, you’re not seeing anything new, which limits how much ‘adventure’ you’re truly having. However to start off the season, Karen and I needed the comfort of a little familiarity.

With an early start and favorable winds, we considered the many options that were a day’s sail from Gaeta. The Pontine Islands, with their huge multicolored cliffs, were tempting but would put us a little too far west. There was the small fishing hamlet at Ventotene which we had sailed by last summer but did not stop at, however the entrance seemed tricky and shallow. We opted for the longest option – 35 miles – to Ischia. We were quite familiar with Ischia from last summer, having visited all but the west side of the island, which is where there were rumored to be thermal baths. Soaking in warm water seemed like the perfect gift to ourselves for getting Sea Rose launched.

Continue reading “Oh, So Familiar! Ep. 106”