(photos from the first leg of our junk raft adventure)

Selections from traveling on the Adriatic toward Venice:

- Constant problems with the Coast Guard every step of the way. Apparently it's standard operating procedure here to halt any vessel you don't recognize, boldface lie to them about what papers/clearance they need, drag your feet making copies of all their paperwork, including passports (even though your buddies 10 km away just did the same thing the day before), and then finally (hours later) smile and say everything is fine, have a nice day.
- Being stopped by a closed drawbridge right after leaving Marano. The next day being grounded just past the bridge by high winds.
- Patience and negotiation skills are the key to anything in Italy, it seems.
- Exploring an abandoned farm with tons of air-born cotton-fluff.
- Paying a visit to Gulliverlandia.
- Doubling Franny on the handlebars with a giant stuffed caterpillar on the back, riding down pitch-black country roads with no brakes.
- Bone fish stew = equal parts bone to stew.
- Scary mutant ice cream man.
- Ben Wolf joining us, and Callie being so excited she ran and jumped on him - splitting her chin open on his face. . . requiring stitches.
- Little kids bringing us a six-pack of beer in Caorle.
- Sleeping on the roof of an abandoned school on the beach.
- A lot more abandoned buildings.
- Little old ladies fixing our sewing machine.
- Having a bike break down while on a grocery run. When they return to fix it, they find someone had gone through the groceries and stolen just some of them.
- Dark Dark Dark comes for a visit and performs for us on the rafts at night.
- Having a moment that is actually TOO utopian.
- Traveling on the sea in large swells = a few crew get seasick.
- The Coast Guard stopping us out on the sea and ordering us to stay there while they took out Italian-speaking crew member back to headquarters to explain everything. They take so long that the sea goes from calm to large swells, so much so that when we do say screw it and head in, we have a very hard time navigating in the waves. Thanks for looking out for boater's safety, Coast Guard.
- The Bora lands while we are in the small canal town of Torre di Fine ("The Final Tower"). It is dramatic and powerful, with sweeping clouds and rain clusters. I was out in a field hiking to an abandoned farm house, and was having trouble keeping my tripod and camera from getting blown over.
- More abandoned buildings.
- Children in Torre di Fine bringing us rum, making it the third time kids have brought us booze.
- Someone brought us a kite as a gift. While flying it next to the rafts it gets hit by a car, and then a bus. All while about twenty school kids are watching while singing to us with their teachers. The kite flyer promptly jumped into a tent to hide when the car stopped.
- The restaurant Luigi in Torre di Fine randomly bringing us a giant pan of "Frutta di Mar" (fruit of the sea) pasta, with mini-lobsters, calamari and mussels. All they asked was that we return the pan.
- A night of music by Harrison is followed by kidnapping a bartender to go on a late-night cruise on Old Hickory to an abandoned farm house, which ends with two crew members heading to the hospital.
- Cereal with no milk = not so bad if it's good cereal.
- Some minor issues develop when a language barrier results in mixing up antibiotic cream with psoriasis cream.
- Heading out into the sea at dawn one morning, only to be warned frantically by some fishermen to go back because a Bora was coming. Sure enough, before we could even retrace our short path the seas had doubled in size and the rafts were taking a lot of water across their decks. Maria was even towed in to help her get out of it faster.
- The next time we tried to head out, our rafts had collected a massive amount of flotsam underneath them. While dragging it all out, one of the gems we found under there was a dead hedgehog (which was promptly gutted and salted for future transformation into a nail pouch).
- The Cabinet of Curiosities had officially become the cabinet of dead things.


• Luminescent Orchestrii - Amaritsi

A band's place in myspace.

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