(by Simone Perotti)
In a few hours I’m boarding on Mediterranea again. I’m going back to where I’ve built a new world together with a bunch of adventurers. Every time I board on that boat I wonder whether I’ll be able to represent that world, to live it. There are places, centres of projects and ideas, centres of researches and dreams, that overcome oneself, and one has to deserve them rather than having them serve him or her.
Then I wonder: “Will those about to board be able to see? Which mood, which curiosity will accompany them?”. Have I, have we been able to illustrate what we are doing for years now? Who knows… If I met them on my way to the boat, I would ask them. I would do my best to deter them from boarding. I would like to tell them that sailing is foolish and anachronistic in an age of speed, sailing is a sacrifice in an age of comfort. Yet, I believe it would be in vain. A real route does not lead back to the place of boarding, nor to that of destination. Whoever decides to set sail may not know what to expect, may not understand where he or she is going, but feels something. And I believe this is enough.
Immersed in the changeable Mediterranean flowing under our hull, we have changed our scene already three times this year: from Sicily in Sciacca, Mazara and Trapani, existential prosthesis of a still possible humanity, to rugged and intense southern and western Sardinia, up to the wild and unchanging Corsica.
Last night in your bed and now that you are reading, Mediterranea was sailing in the dark and then in the light between Corsica and Nice, in open waters, on a long hopeful and brave transfer, loaded with emotions bursting from the dreams of its honourable and true crew.
Now it’s up to me the westward route, the French Riviera, Cannes, Porquerolles, Toulon, Marseille, then following an arched route to Sète, Costa Brava, Barcelona, the Balearic Islands… and onward to Gibraltar, Lagos and up to Lisbon in mid-September. The time to thank the captains and the crews that led Mediterranea there, with true and conscious gratitude,… the time for a short leap between pier and stern (a tiny step for a man, but a huge step for a sailor). And Mediterranea will set sail again, the 13thousandth mile to be sailed.
As usual, before boarding again, I wonder “Will I be up to the mark?”, not to perform a task, as tasks are being performed one way or the other, but to face the sea. Sailors sail with questions. Questions are their “apparent” wind, with no real certainty. And true crews do the same, when they escape distractions of the mainland, when they forget the rage that led them leaving. Sailors look at weather maps, follow developing forecasts for Mistral, the harsh wind blowing from Europe. Alone, silent sailors shrug. “We’ll see”, they cut short. Before leaving their terrestrial home, sailors search their bags, trying to figure out if anything is missing. But their bags are always empty. What they need for sailing has no shape, no volume, but takes up much room.
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