captain’s log
It was an offer I could not refuse! I had met Luca and his family in the summer of 2004 in the BVI. We traveled together on a chartered 48-ft Horizon motor yacht for two weeks visiting many of the islands, beaches, dive sites and restaurants in the BVI. Luca and his family live in Torino, Italy where the winter olympics were recently held. When Luca purchased his very own motor yacht, a beautiful brand new 34-ft Jenneau Prestige, he asked me to come to Italy to help him commission it. I had been to England before, but not to Europe proper or to the Mediterranean, so I jumped at the chance! My new company; Genesis Yacht Services was in the process of being set up in the BVI with all the permits and paper work so the timing was right. After a rather long flight to Torino with connections in New York and Brussels, we went right to work. A couple of hours drive from Torino through countless tunnels and over numerous bridges in scattered fog in the southern Alps took us to the marina in the northern Mediterranean near San Remo where the boat was kept.
We spent a few days in cool weather going over all the systems and maintenance for the vessel and did some driving around the marina practicing maneuvering, docking and undocking.
Luca and his wife Azziza run a business in Torino and this was a busy time at work for them so we decided to change the schedule a bit and complete the commissioning over two 3-day weekends rather than a week. This gave me a few days to do some exploring. After an interesting day exploring downtown Torino, I decided to spend a few days touring the Riviera along the south of France and Italy. With a rented car, I drove along the coastline visiting exotic places like San Remo, Monte Carlo, Nice, Antibe and Cannes. I was most pleasantly surprised! Having heard of the Riviera, I did not realize it was so beautiful! Definitely worth a trip back in the future to do more exploring. The Riviera is very popular with yachting so there were many marinas full of yachts of all sizes from mini to mega.
On the last Sunday, myself, Luca and his family took the boat out on an excursion to Menton in the south of France. I had visited Menton by car a few days earlier and thought it to be most spectacular. We parked the boat in a marina, met up with some friends of Luca and had lunch in a French restaurant in the marina. The weather had become warm and spring like by now. What a great day!
While in Italy, I enjoyed genuine Italian pizza, pasta, wine and beer and learned a lot about olive oil, Italian food and the Italian culture. An evening visit and dinner in the historic port city of Genova was most interesting.
See the photo album “Italy 2006” in the Gallery.
I hope to get more of these worldly experiences with my new company in the future. To finalize the permits for working in the BVI, I had to supply some documentation that required a trip to Canada. While in Victoria, BC in Canada, I was able to experience the stop off of the Clipper 05-06 round the world sailing race. A report and photos of this event will be my in my next blog. After that will be reports and photos from the BVI. Stay tuned!
Italy & France
Monday, April 24, 2006