Cruising with Katabasis: let’s start from the dock!
It was 1991 when I took a crew on a cruise around Elba for the first time, and I will never forget it. Today, after so
much sea that has passed under my keel, I can clearly see what is happening on board, from start to finish, and there are always a few surprises!
The arrival is often a bit hectic and hot: a moment of confusion trying to find where to park the car, disembark the luggage, the choice of the cabin and last but not least the arrangement of the galley, that is to say the groceries that are often really very abundant (!)
I always find myself in the middle between welcoming the people who arrive and the check-in, or rather the moment when the charter manager explains the boat to me; it’s a rhyme that I know well but I always listen carefully because there are always issues relating to safety and the good use of the boat.
At the end, once the paperwork has been dealt with, it’s my turn to do the briefing: I stand in the middle of the cockpit and after introducing myself to each other, I start explaining everything, but really everything. You won’t believe it, but the thing that seems to fascinate me the most is the technique of using the toilet, which (I’ve learned the hard way) should never be taken for granted. Pump up, pump down, lever on the right, lever on the left….
The time runs while the desire to leave the dock behind increases and then, weather permitting, we spin the doubles, or the tops of the stern and viaaaa that we go!!!
Destination? Open sea!
Dreamy eyes looking out into the blue or fishermen sharpening the tips of their harpoons, while someone goes below deck to prepare an aperitif! It’s an animated quiet because everyone still has to find their own space on board… but it doesn’t take long to find a dimension, because you know: the sea helps.
During the cruises, I love teaching the basics of sailing, involving the participants to make it a complete experience. Taking part in a sailing cruise with Katabasis doesn’t mean being transported passively from one cove to another (which is great!).
We talk about knots, wind, currents, how to hoist and lower sails, how to moor in ports and a thousand other experiences that serve to awaken the sleeping sailor inside us, dormant after a few months of looking down!
What’s most important to me is to also create awareness of the fact that the sea is weak today and that we need to keep a light hand on it. It’s good to see that just suggesting good practices is enough to make people more aware. Collecting a little plastic, using a little shampoo and detergent (perhaps biodegradable), using the engine a little and having the patience to wait for the wind… for example. Anyone who has spent the winter watching Luna Rossa understands many things about the reality of sailing.
And then there’s freediving, spearfishing, snorkeling, underwater photos and videos… but I’ll talk about this in detail in another article, because you know… we have to be brief when writing ;-)
Good wind to all