We’ve been so fortunate to have Stefano Leuzzi, a retired Italian Naval Admiral (and ex-helicopter pilot), on board Britican with us. We met him in April earlier this year after he moored up next to us in Marzamemi, Sicily.
Since our ‘chance’ meeting, we’ve been good friends and I’m positive that our friendship will last our lives. He has become part of our family and we’re so grateful to have him around. Read more about how we met Stefano here: There are no walls in the sailing community.
Stefano flew to Crete to join us on our trek from the Aegean to the Adriatic Sea and then finally back to Sicily, Stefano’s home, where we’ll be wintering our boat.
As you can imagine, having such a knowledgeable person on board, and an extra pair of hands, is a very special treat.
Throughout the day, we’re given tips and taught invaluable lessons
A few days ago, we learned where the safest place to moor on an island is – in relation to the wind flow. Looking into the wind, you want to find a spot 90 degrees anti-clockwise. A bay in that area will have the least amount of wind. Previous to our lesson in wind flows, I always assumed that the calmest place was to anchor in direct opposition to the wind! For example, if the wind was blowing from the north to the south, I’d look for a bay on the south coast rather than the east. Now I know better.
And to figure out how much daylight there is left in the day, you simple need to extend your arm, make a fist with your thumb on top and count the amount of fists between the sun and the horizon. If 2 fists fit in, there are 2 hours left of the sun. How cool is that?
Another interesting tid-bit is the stream of air off the back of an airplane. If it’s long it means there is very bad weather coming.
When leaving Rethymnon, Stefano yells out, ‘Look at the smoke stream off the top of the tanker. It’s going straight up – that means we’re in a high pressure area and we’ll have good weather.’ I secretly thought, ‘gosh, I don’t look at any signs. I have no clue about what’s going on around me!’
Throughout the day we’ve been learning about setting our sails, tying knots and even a variety of snacks to enjoy!
As we sailed from Monemvasia to Elafonissos in Greece, Stefano brought up a loaf of fresh bread (uncut), extra virgin oil (good quality stuff), sea salt and fresh pepper. He sliced the bread into 4” sections, carved out the inside a bit, poured olive oil into the bread and then added sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
Everything tastes better on a boat for some reason and this simple snack tasted like heaven
When I made it to the bottom of my piece (I had the end), there was a pool of olive oil and the flavor of olives burst into my mouth. I felt as if I was eating nature itself.
Apparently, eating bread in this manner helps to ward of seasickness too!
After moo’ing like a cow with delight, Stefano then made dessert!
He cut some more bread and made us fig sandwiches. After peeling the figs, he laid them on the bread and explained, ‘This is what the Italian workers ate after WWII. Figs grow all around Italy and are easy to get.”
I would have never thought of putting figs on bread – something so simple, but the taste was great. In fact, it tasted like a jam sandwich – a very fresh jam sandwich!
While eating our simple foods I thought about how complicated we often make our food
We add loads of ingredients thinking that more is better. In some cases more is good but let us not forget that it’s often the very simple things in life that can give the greatest pleasures.
If you like simple, delicious recipes, check out Admiral Stefano’s video on making authentic Italian Bruschetta!