A new letter from our cabin boy has arrived, sent from Stromboli, today we publish the first part, until the departure from Napoles. Next week we will publish the rest of the letter
Day 6 – Naples – July 15
This day ends and leaves me with the feeling of having experienced one of those days that last more than 24 hours, i´ll go to bed exhausted and feeling very awkward and jinxed.
I´ll tell try to summarize it: this morning Diego let me go visit Napoles instead of welcoming our new fellow sailors on the Acrobat and sailing to another different harbr (in exchange for a bonus of 10 night guards). I fell asleep on the train while I read a book about the dominion of the Corona de Aragon over the city of Napoles. I didn´t recognized the place and I had no money (falling asleep on public transport has these risks, luckily I carry documentation in a safer place).
Through sings I convinced a friendly Italian to drive me to di Stabia harbor, not knowing that there were two harbors in Stabia … and I´ve finally arrived to the Acrobat almost at noon having walked through an disturbing industrial area (¡at night!) … so many images form procedimental series came to my head…. with no more excuse than a failure in my cellphone to explain why I didn´t call to my captain.
Maybe I was influenced by the book I had read through the stages of my endless train trip, but I swaer that I spotted three mountain almogávares peeking from the cabin trying to hold the laughter. I also thought I heard someone saying “your teeneger´s shenanigans were much worst”, but I may have imagined also.
So here I am, having a cold dinner, having lost my bed, taking on the news that we are going to climb the Vesubius in a few hours, as I hear them snorring downstairs while I crouch on the Acrobat deck punished to double night watch turn.
Day 7 – Vesuvius
I woke up before dawn, and I met some full equipped mountaineers (three professional and one amateur) shaking me to wake and get ready my boots and warm clothes (¡¡¡in summer !!!).
To get to the Vesubius, we took the same train i took to visit Napoles to Torre del Greco´s station. There, in a bar, having som breakfast, I knew the three almogavers I overheard yesterday, who wer going to guide us to climb three volcanoes and who outranked me since apparentle Diego demoted me last night (as if there´s a lowest rank than cabin boy).
The new companions were Carlos Pauner, Fran Lorente and Raul Martinez, a team of experienced mountain climbers who had climbed the highests himalayan peeks with and without oxygen. ´m sure you alredy knew about it, since the 14th of july (yesterday for me) they explained on a press conference, broadcasted in Aragón TV, the plan to climb this three volcanoes in Italy and our Sailing Living Lab project.
Even under the light of the day I could not erased from my head the image of almogávares, the aragonese black ops, able to move fast through any terrain. But only the image, because then they accepted me as one, explained that the climbing would be very easy and convinced Diego to forget the mess I did yesterday.
It seems tha the hole volcanoe is a protected place and you cannot choose your route, so, we took a bus that dove os up to a mountain hut near the top climbed the last two hundred meters to the crater very comfortably through a neat track, packed with tourists. This stretch of the expedition had no vegetation on sight and went around the crater
Climbing in summer had two disadvantages: the heat and the number of tourists climbing. In any case to be my first time in a volcano all I found it very impressive. I found strange so see cities with millones of people living in the skirts of this large volcano.
It was, in a way, like taking the point of view of the pyroplastic cloud which (in a second eruption), covered with ashes the bodies that are still preserved in the Roman city of Pompeii.
Of course the three Himalayan Mounntain Men could have climbed the whole thing three times while Diego and I panted to do it once, but they choosed to use their plus to keep explaining things we saw through the ascension.
We decided to go down pretty quickly because we had left our Admiral alone on the Acrobat and we sstill had to move the boat to a new port: Castelmare di Stabia, less modern, but better placed, because this afternoon the captain where going to buy us a dinner for his birthday.
So here I am, back in the cockpit preparing to lie down and sleep before discovering if some of the new sailors snores.
Lots of kisses for everyone
Juan Sebastian Pym