The Man on the River team welcomes two new members, making even more intriguing the journey and effective the themes that we like to promote.
Bruno Porto will be the co-protagonist of the project and the “green power” aboard Clodia: The Brazilian skipper has plenty of strength, experience and will, and he fluently speaks five languages. He’s the perfect team mate for Giacomo that is still recovering from the potentially deathly illness that forced him to stop his navigation last year. Bruno’s help dramatically increases the odds to get to Istanbul.
“Luckily – says Bruno – this year I could join Man on the River. Helping a good purpose is always satisfying, even more so, when you have the pleasure to share it with Giacomo and to learn through new experiences”.
Josephine Schaumburg is a cultural researcher and will assist Giacomo and Bruno in two ways. She will be organizing meetings with local press and environmentalists; and, she will document with photos and small films, the progress of their voyage on her blog (www.riversidestories.com, coming soon).
“My last eight years of travelling – says Fine – have all been beautiful and valuable. But I started to feel that something was missing: an utility that goes beyond my personal enrichment. I wanted to do something that also others could benefit from. Documenting, even in a humble way, our journey is a good opportunity to share the experience of exploring our world with friends and any other interested persons… Well, and even more important than that, I admire Giacomo and his dedication to environmental protection. It is a big honor for me to assist him in his mission.”
Fine will travel aboard a small electric boat following the same itinerary of Man on the River. If possible, she will try to get in contact with local people through the online-platfom CouchSurfing.
Wait. CouchSurfing!?, you might ask. Couchsurfers are a community of around 2.5 million members worldwide that offer hospitality in their own country and ask for it when they are travelling in others. Therefore, the word refers to the practice of moving (or “surfing”) from one sleeping place (most of the times a simple “couch” in the living room) to another. But offering a couch is not obligatory. Also just spending time with that foreign traveler and showing him or her around in the city is common practice. The philosophy behind all this, is, to create an alternative way of travelling where a true exchange between the traveler and the local person can take place.
Or citing the official mission: “ At CouchSurfing International, we envision a world where everyone can explore and create meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter. Building meaningful connections across cultures enables us to respond to diversity with curiosity, appreciation and respect. The appreciation of diversity spreads tolerance and creates a global community.”
So if YOU are a couchsurfer or not yet, but decide that you like the idea – feel free to contact Fine and offer your time – or even a sleeping place – to her. Be part of the project!
And now, the programme for the first month of travelling:
April 8th – Departure from Venice and arrival to Faversham, Kent
April 10th – Meeting with all people interested in listening to the Man on the River story. Creek Creative (1 Abbey Street, Faversham, Kent ME13 7BE, United Kingdom) has invited us to make our contribution to the preservation of the Standard Quay. It’s a wonderful and unique district that restores and saves many historical boats such as Times Barges that helped in building London and make it wealthy by transporting goods along the Thames.
April 11th-16th – Boat preparation for departure.
April 16th – Departure to London, sailing and rowing to the Albert Bridge and mooring next to Mouette, an old ferry that was once operating in the lake of Geneve.
April 18th – Joining Thames cleaning day from Thames 21.
April 18th -27th – Interviews and training along the Thames.
April 28th – Arrival of Bruno and Fine.
May 1st – Departure from Albert Bridge, the following day to the royal wedding between William and Kate, and navigation downstream along the Thames. We’ll stop to Erith, Southend on Sea, Whitstable, Margate, Ramsgate.
Within May 15th – Channel crossing from Ramsgate.