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!
Dear Dan and Laurie,
Hoping that your navigation is going well, and we’ll be missing Heldeleine and her crew in Gaeta, that’s for sure!!!
Fair winds, and clement seas to you on your voyage…
Love you both and am incredibly impressed that you have embarked on this voyage with such pluck and courage. Watching from afar and sending strength your way for safe passage and beautiful new experiences. ❤❤❤
I’m eager to see your voyage again! What happened to Pete is terrible. I hope he heals perfectly. I imagine part of the adventure is adjusting to the unforeseen obstacles along the way. Give Laurie a hug for me, be safe, and keep posting!.
Wow!! Look at all of those handsome Italian men! Incredible!!! Ok, Daniel—you and I are throwing a party when you get back here in September on a Saturday night. Saturday nights are FANTASTIC to plan a party! I can’t wait!!
My social husband! Yahoo!! I am looking at our retirement right there! Party, party, party!!!
On a sad note—Maddy and Helen are going to very much miss their Great Uncle Peter in Morocco and Portugal.
Their Uncle reads about 4 to 5 hours a day—we jokingly call him the “Book of Pete” because he is such a monster of knowledge. Uncle Peter—we love you dearly, and we hope you get better soon!
Sounds like E-vac from Rome to JFK—or stay in Rome and do physical therapy.
We will figure this out, Uncle Pete!! Your family is at your back 100%!!!
Looks and sounds fantastic! Remember, water stays on the outside! Safe sailing….
Uncle Pete, oh no! Roger and I are sending you our love. PLEASE take your time to recover and we will miss you in Morocco. I hope you prepped Dan with all your knowledge so we will have another Culpepper to be our history guide!!! Trivial Pursuit without Uncle Pete on my team, I will never win…. Love you!
Laurie and Dan, I wish I was there! See you shortly.
Dear fabulous duo,
I can’t believe we have such resourceful kids. OK, shit happens to Pete…but we can sail the Med for over a thousand miles with just the two of us! You guys have extreme BALLS. Be careful…All our love,
Dad and Mom
Love you all!!
We are so very sorry that you will be missing this wonderful adventure but you are in such good hands from what we understand. Please be really careful as you venture forth and perhaps staying in Rome for PT is not a bad idea. It’s not a sailing escapade but Rome is not exactly “chopped liver”!
We love you and pray that your recovery is uncomplicated
To our incredible Dan and Laurie! You are an amazing duo. For you to take on this trip with just the two of you is astounding! Our hearts are with
I hit the wrong button…..to continue Our hearts and thoughts are with you all the way. Please be extremely careful as you are very precious to us. We love and admire you so much.
Dan and Laurie,
I was certainly very sorry to hear about Peter and wish him a speedy and full recovery.
Although the thought of you two sailing this by yourselves may appear daunting, I have total confidence in your wisdom, courage and grit. Be careful, and enjoy the adventure!
Love you both,
Told you time’s flying faster than you imagine…you are on board again..;-)
Hope Uncle Pete will recover soon.
Have a great trip…