It has been a busy and emotional past week here in Italy. Both aboard and ashore. Last Friday, while walking in Rome with his son Will, my uncle Pete fell and broke his hip. Being made of grit, Pete realized the severity of his situation only after getting up, getting in a cab, returning to the convent (where they were staying), then hailing another cab and going to the hospital. He had a full hip replacement surgery the next morning and is recovering. Plans are still in flux as to what he will do. My sister Laurie had already arrived on Heldeleine and went up and back to Rome on Saturday to be there with Will and Pete. Please send loving thoughts to Pete for a quick recovery!
On the Heldeleine front, I was picked up at the airport last Monday by Antonio. He drove me to his house for lunch and then on to Gaeta. It was a wonderful and generous thing to do. Thank you Antonio! Things proceeded fine for the rest of the week with the launch and the reassembling of the boat. Some repairs and tweakings were done and Heldeleine eventually moved from the marina to the dock in downtown Gaeta courtesy of the Italian Coast Guard. Thank you!
There was an Italian Appreciation Party aboard on Saturday night.
It it was a sad goodbye as we left Gaeta yesterday. We have made firm and lasting friendships and I can not thank Tony and Anastasia enough for adopting me into their family of incredible friends. Se ho parlato italiano, direi che siamo amici per sempre.
We are currently off Ventotene island. In a couple of hours we will leave for Sardinia and then Morocco. When I say we, I mean Laurie and me. With Pete recovering and Will where he should be by his side, we are now a double handed crew. We will alter our plans a bit by stopping in Sardinia and perhaps Spain. We will see. Laurie is a veteran of the Azores to Gibraltar leg and the best companion I could ask for. Next, from here, is Sardinia at 250 miles down the road. It should take us the better part of 2 days to get there, arriving on Wednesday. Track us and send us a text if you wish. Especially the late time ones to keep us awake. We are excited and ready to go. Let’s do this!