We’re in Ramsgate again, a year later. A great emotion!
Here, last year, I could have passed away: I had the pleasure to meet again Pat Corby, who literally saved my life by driving me all the way to the Heathrow, to catch the first flight to Venice. In the meantime his coffee shop, specialised in serving delicious homemade cakes, has won a prize.
Yesterday we towed Clodia to Ramsgate thanks to Alastair, that being a true sailor, went out of his way to help us.
I initially planned to sail downstream the Stour river from Canterbury to Sandwich, however the recent experience and an unfavourable weather forecast (a North-Easterly wind over 35 knot against us) suggested me to come back where the project was interrupted in 2010.
Last night, at ramsgate harbour, the boat was wobbling a bit, but we enjoyed a good sleep: Moreover the angelic food by Alex and her magic kept us in good shape.
Clodia is happy: Sails hauled down, very high waves (often going well over the barrier of the dock, 8 metres high), we still could sail at about 3 knots!
As usual, last week was full of surprises and interesting, sometimes bizarre, people.
Margy and Noel hosted Fine and Bruno (and me too, for a while) in their wonderful and very warm house. They used to own an Art Gallery in London, so they still kept all their curiosity and an extraordinary capacity to get together people, talent and creativity.
We also met the guys from the Abbey Physic Community Garden, an association that takes care of a beautiful vegetable garden where everyone can create and cultivate, even by using Permaculture (a technique respectful of the nature, banning fertilizers and pesticides).
One evening we have been invited for dinner at Margy and Noel’s place, where we had the pleasure to meet Henry Dagg, former BBC sound engineer, composer and creator of very unusual musical instruments, such as the Shapsicord. Henry’s abilities will soon be discovered by the thousands attending the upcoming Bijork concert in Manchester.
A good way to understand Henry’s talent is visiting his own house, where you can play the entrance gate. Sheer musical genius applied to simple things. I was honoured to listen to the sound of Shapsicord and other instruments: An experience that I’ll soon share with you by mounting my next video. Bear patience, my time is very little and the journey intense.
In the last few days I’ve also been so lucky to meet Alastair and Elisabetta, two friends that live in a gorgeous 16th Century house in Boughton, a few miles away from Faversham: As I previouly said, they helped us in towing Clodia to Ramsgate, which was a fantastic gift.
Reluctantly, I had to choose to take off from Ramsgate after a celebrative start in Faversham on Sunday May the 1st, from the Standard Quay.
A nasty wind over 30 knots from NE could have stopped us for a week or more, and we can’t afford to waste too much time: We need to cross the Channel as soon as possible and we’ve got to catch the right window.
Before leaving Faversham, we received a marvelous gift from Lena: A food heater that has revealed of great help. Last night the temperature nearly reached 0°C and the wind eventually calmed down.
The English Channel yesterday was still scary, especially over the Goodwin Sands in front of Ramsgate where I thought to see strange, huge cliffs. I said to myself: “Don’t worry, French coast is much flatter”, however I soon realized that they weren’t cliffs but ground swells, rather terrifying.
In the evening we’ve been invited aboard by Silvia, Argentinian living in Australia, and by Glyna, Australian of Welsh origins. We share a common sea life, and we spent a very good time together.
Bruno can’t wait to set sails and I understand him, I wish to leave too. Today the wind is about 10-15 knot and the weather is good, but we’re waiting for Paolo, the producer of our documentary and director (along with Nicola Pittarello) that wants to film our departure. Last year he was of great help and this year, despite the lack of funds allocated for good projects, he decided to keep following our journey because he believes in us.
Thanks Paolo, once again. This time, it may be the right time to cross the Channel.
Thanks to Alex, Lena, Bob, Alaister, Elisabetta, Frog, Moray, Simon, Tony Boughton and Alan from the Iron Wharf Boatyard, that hosted us generously. Also, all the people from the Abbey Physic Community Garden. If you are around Kent, don’t’ miss Faversham, it’s full of angels.
A big hug to every body.