Passing over the boot!

Scene 1.

Imperia Porto Maurizo Marina- Outdoors/Night

It was just like a scene from a movie. The night we left Imperia heading for the Greek Coast where we plan to spend our summer was a pitch black night with a lightning storm and rain pouring down like a flood from the sky. The captain planned to leave at 04.00 AM however when he learned that the day was a Thursday, he promptly got up saying we are leaving, after remembering that it is bad luck to sail on a Friday! The clock was on 23:30… We had to sail before our beloved Wally turned into a pumpkin before Friday at 00.00.

The rain piercing through our raincoats and the dark waves awaiting us added the last touches of the movie scene, however our drama was left half finished as there was no lover in tears waving us goodbye. So we turned it into a comedy.

NavigaTR1-1We were planning to pass over the Boot without sailing for 5 to 6 days. What I mean by saying ‘passing over the Boot’ is that as with experienced sailors each of who has crossed oceans at least ten times, a mere 5 days non-stop voyage will not mean overstepping the limits (passing over the boot is a Turkish idiom which means overstepping one’s limits), I mean we planned to pass over Lo Stovole (the Italian Boot) from tip to toe. If the plans did not change subject to the weather’s bad jokes, we would reach the Corinth Channel connecting Adriatic to Aegean Sea in a short time.

After taking into account the fact that our yacht will lean right then left god knows how many degrees and travel dancing, as a chef I had to cook in advance the food that can be prepared without moving and stash them away. Meaning generally baked food. Even though the team does not consist of Italians, nobody will say no to lasagna. Therefore, we went to the whole nine yards with the lasagna options like Lasagne al ragu, Lasagne verdure, Lasagne zucchini & carote e salsa di pomodoro, Lasagne Napoletana.

If you are on a boat that set sail constantly, the sailors does not have much time to eat during the voyage. Thus, other rescuing options are sandwiches. Furthermore light food like soups according to rough sea conditions. If they are professional sailors but you are an epauletted chef you have to produce delicious combinations not underrated as a mere “sandwich”, at least if you have a reputation to maintain.

NavigaTR1-2The most important component of a delicious sandwich is its bread. You have many options like Italian breads like Foccaccia or Ciabatta, breads outside hard inside plump or outside soft and with sesame. Make your own bread!!!

Now let’s come to the ingredients inside. One of our rescuers is chicken breast fillets. Furthermore I always keep available cheeses like mozzarella, emmantel or brie and Italian hams like mortadella, prosciutto cotto and crudo meaning cooked and uncooked hams. or chorizo, bacon etc..Of course as I stated in the previous issue, I already had jars and jars of pesto sauce. Cooked meatballs, chicken breast, pork and vegetable cakes are at the freezer, my cheese and ham selections are at the fridge what is left is to combine them like a puzzle at meal times. The best part is a hungry sailors beautiful facial expression after seeing a giant sandwich.

NavigaEN1What I got excited most about while they were eating their sandwiches is to pass near Stromboli, one of Italy’s active volcanoes. It is one of the islands of the Volcanic Eolie Archipelago located of the northern shores of Sicily. The island containing the volcano bears the same name as the island is the volcano and the volcano is the island. I was sorry when the captain said that we could pass near it at night but nevertheless I told him to wake me up. As I think about it know. Seeing the volcano at night was a more ‘unique’ feeling because during daytime it would just be a mountain hidden behind many colors, but the real exciting thing was mesmerizing in its dark magnificence crowned with a red tip at 2 AM while thinking about its last eruption in August 2008 and bowing respectfully again before the might of nature.

NavigiaTR1_4After passing the volcano, and the Calabria peninsula we saw that it would be impossible to pass Adriatic that day because of the weather. Therefore we took shelter in a town called Crotone. It is not a fitting destination if you are bringing your spouse to your honeymoon but Crotone is an ideal shelter if you are seeking it near those shores.

After stacking the Italian delicacies we can get from Crotone which was our last stop on Italian soil, we passed Adriatic accompanied by sensational dolphins and head towards Corinth Channel.

NavigaEN-2With the waves inherited from the previous day, it was one the most beautiful sailing experience in my life. Sometimes challenging, but sometimes with the wind that makes you feel the adrenalin of sailing through all your veins… some hours later the sea wrapped itself with the calm after storm as the wind slowed down to 3 knots from 30 knots. And our combatant mood challenging the sea turned into a meek flat balloon. The sea as calm as a millpond, the piercing sunshine and hours without seeing any land is like a bizarre dream that we just cannot wake up from.

In September, I will talk about the Greek coasts starting from the Corinth Channel connecting Adriatic to Aegean Sea, and the Greek delicacies that we are very familiar with. Arrivederci…