Excerpt from my book, “A European Odyssey; How a boxer’s daughter found grace”.
We’d already cruised to Sicily so we opted to sail straight through to Crotone, a port city in Calabria. We were back on the land where coffee tastes like a milkshake and pasta is al dente.
We arrived at the heel of Italy, at Porto Vecchio and parked next to the reddest boat I’d ever seen. Red sails, red interior, exterior, wheel, everything, owned by an older French couple. We chatted with our new, eccentric neighbors and I watched a vespa fly by on the dock. There must have been half of a family on that tiny moto and not one of them wearing a helmet. My body relaxed into the ryth of southern Italy surrounded by style and laughter.
We docked at Santa Maria de Leuca in the province of Lecce. That night we went out for dinner and met a dynamic father and daughter duo from Genoa. Soon our table was full of sailors and solidarity. We happily gravitated towards one another, comparing notes, which was immensely useful as we were cruising in opposite directions. The father had just sailed along the Dalmatian Coast which happened to be our next destination. After eating fresh fish and drinking local white wine we drank Mirto on the 50 foot Beneteau into the late night. Black lights were strung along the dock giving a gorgeous touch of the locale. Life became better by the day.
Francis’ IT project had a start date and we had a schedule to maintain. We had one glorious month to cruise the Dalmatian Coast and learn a little abouty Croatia. First we had to reach the eastern tip of Italy so we cruised up to the Adriatic until it connected with the Ionian Sea; where Italy sits directly across from Albania. Then we stayed in Otranto, a memorable port, and spent a week refueling, addressing issues, and preparing the documentation required for leaving the EU.
Otranto was atmospheric with its famous “Castello Aragonese”. This castle inspired the first gothic novel in English literature called, “Otranto’s Castle. At sunset the city center burst open with the most colorful street artists I’d ever seen. We anchored out for a couple of days, which was cheaper and more fun. At night we were serenaded by the coolest blend of techno opera music I’d ever heard.
If you’d like to read about the Odyssey and learn more about the book, here’s a link and some reviews on Amazon
Two Reviews on Amazon
London: “I was moved by this – and found it an enthralling read. A family secret is revealed early in the tale, and the dislocation it prompts is matched by a journey half way across the world. Bailey’s writing is light as air, keeping the right pace. The places are the main characters, and I could feel the sun and hear the sounds, and importantly, taste the foods and wine. The resolution is complex – more of a transformation than closure – and I felt every step of the journey.”
Buy This Book: “This book will take you on a magical mystery tour that is the fascinating life of Bailey Alexander. You’ll laugh, perhaps shed a tear, and get lost in her adventures but always feel the author’s emotions through her skillfully crafted prose.”