In the middle of the summer, sailing in islands’ archipelagos is so much more interesting than visiting cultural cities, as interesting as they could be ! in the marinas : 41°C pollluted air, 50€ per night and wasted seawater VS at the anchor : 33°C, free night and turquoise waters with stars in bonus : what would you choose ? I just forgot that fresh beers are unavailable under the stars. Well there is a good side to every situation ! But don’t be surprised we made a lot more photos of the second part of this step !
Once arrived on the Italian coast in Riva di Traiano, we set sail on the next day to Fiumicino. The nautical guide speaks of a litlle and cheap marina, with showers and water, for a very interesting price : no doubt we head there ! The thermal breeze allows us to sail the whole afternoon, letting the engine rest a little bit. The paradox are the ugly industries we see on the coast : the thermal wind is here because the coast is hotter than the sea, so they contribute to our well-being while wasting the landscape. Weird ! But less than Fiumicino’s surprise ! The marina is dirty and ugly : old TVs are floating with other garbages around the boat, and the night costs 45€. The showers are dirty, and don’t include a lock. The marina manager will start yelling at the ducks while saluting his sailors friends at 5 in the morning ! The really bad idea was to dock just in front of his office. We are clearly not satisfied with the services and so I try to negociate the night’s price. He threatens to ask for 60€ and call the cops if I’m not happy. Resigned, I still need to insist to get my passport back after he made a photocopy of it. Whatever, it’s 7 AM, and we head to Ostia, a marina we expect to be expensive, but with all the services included. The staff will be nice and helpull, smiling while giving us advices on how to reach Roma and where to start our visit ! We hurry up to be able to meet with the Roma Makers fablab team !
This fablab is actually a big community of makers, and the place we will visit is just its headquarters : they have other places in Roma and in nearby cities. The visit will begin by tasting a delicious homemade italian ice-cream. One sure thing : the Roma makers team knows how to enjoy their living ! Among all their projects (they have 150 members in the non-profit organization), they will first tell us about their own brewed beer, an open-source beverage ! Too bad they were finished when we visited, but thanksfully the recipe is online !
We also discover their 3D printer : the fa()3D (falla3D) : the big sister of our Mondrian. The designs are very similar, but theirs have a little advantage : the X-axis carriage is sustented by magnetic rails, hence considerably reducing friction. A lot of advantages thanks to this innovation, and on Karukera, we think about the noise reduction that would let us sleep a little more ! A few pieces are almost malfunctionnating on our 3D printer, and they will very kindly give us spare parts in case they broke.
The fablab has two types of members : the very active ones who have access to the lab 24/7, and the other bigger part of the community who have access from 5pm to 11pm. Having arrived at 4 :30 pm, we can see the difference when the clocks turns to 5 ! The atmosphere is excellent between the different groups working on different projects but sharing laughs all together ! We will make a few group pictures, everyone trying to add his own funny input !
They decided to take the picture file and print it… with a laser cutter ! A wooden plaque is sculpted by the machine. The picture is now in Karukera, and will remind us this nice instant !
But other members are arriving while the picture is getting laser cutted ! We need to take an other picture ! The mechanics neighbour was just finishing work at this moment, and will have to be very patient for everyone to be ready to immortalize this quite chaotic instant !
How inspiring it is to see this nice makers enthusiastics and happy, doing whatever they want but very professionally ! We do share the same values, and that’s conforting !
Two days later, they will come and visit Karukera. Quite a lot of makers for our beloved but small Karukera ! We exchange a lot of ideas about our projects, especially with some of them who are both skippers and makers ! We will finish the beers of the bar nearby before 9pm, with the help of Alix, the fifth crewmember of Karukera until early september, who directly meet us for drinks ! We clearly feel the « middle of the summer » atmosphere that has settled on board !
Obviusly we will enjoy the proximity of the ancient archeological site of Ostia to visit the impressive ruins of the old Roman harbour.
But wind is blowing : now is the time to head south ! Conditions are delicates for unseaworthy stomachs ! The swell is short and crossed, and it’s quite not confortable ! But the speed is there ! 6 knots average is pleasing on our old boat !
Arriving to the Pontines Isalnds on Palmarola just before the sun sets is quite a show ! The archipelagos is composed of old volcanos, and altough we don’t really manage to see the « old volcano » part of the landscape, its beauty dazzled us !
We rediscover the pleasures of moorings ! It’s so nice to be able to jump in the sea while waking up, to admire fishes circling the boat, and making little kayak tours to explore the surrounding caves and pikes ! No one lives on this Island, and that’s no surprise ! Climbing would be necessary to go living on the top of the impressive cliffs ! Not easy if you forgot to buy peper…
We enjoy a bit of peace and serenity : nautical guides advise not to anchor around the Island, so we are almost alones. By the way, this is not the first time that they totally mistake on a place : here the ocean bed is good for the anchor, that will hold despite the important gusts falling from the cliffs ! We already see the next Island, Ponza, reputed the be the most beautiful of the Pontines.
And Ponza, the nautical guides speak about it ! Hence the night in the harbour costs 100€ ! We will find a nice spot to drop the anchor instead. Sailing between the Islands is awesome ! Palmarola protects us from the swell, which allows us to make a planktoon sampling, and will let Alix participate to the manoeuvers.
The Island is beautiful, and the litlle harbour charming ! But we have to anchor very close to the shore to let room for the hydrofoils manoeuvers ( a « flying » very fast ferry). The coast guards check that we don’t anchor in the forbidden zone, but altough we are far enough, they will ask every boats to leave on the following morning ! We will finish the breakfast in the nearby cove, and after a litlle bit of snorkeling, we will head to Ventetone, the most southeastern of the Pontines Islands. Naples is getting closer !