Saturday, November 21, 2009

Remiera a Venezia

Historical Rowing Vessels in Venice

Our friend Giacomo Stefano is tireless in his promotion of the historical vessels of Venice. In this video, you can sense the almost militant tenor of the preservation effort for human powered boats and the quiet tradition of the rowing culture in Italy.

I have a great bit of empathy for this effort and additionally, support the preservation of traditional human powered vessels the world over.

It's plain to see the degradation that wave action from the multitude of motor powered boats must have on the ancient buildings of the canals of Venice. The apparent disregard for the rowers by the motor boats would cause me to be militant too. A water taxi nearly runs over the starboard oar while passing a sandolo!

Water quality is another subject dear to Giacomo and rightly so. There is not a drop of water left on the rock we call home that is not polluted by the activities of humans. We could use much more militancy on that subject.

Giacomo Stefano is planning a journey from London to Istanbul, which he has dubbed North Sea to Black Sea; to embark next spring. His low impact "less is more" voyage is intended to highlight the need to address the human impact on the essence of life, water.

You might not be surprised to hear that Giacomo has had some difficulty finding support for this event. His original intention was to organize a volunteer effort to build a Ness Yawl, but it looks like he has decided to continue on without sponsors.

His father's Eun Na Mara is also being outfitted for the trip, as the required companion boat for crossing the English Channel.

Giacomo reports on new solar panels for Takatani an Eun Na Mara gaff yawl.

"The Solon company, famous solar leaders throughout the world, which provides solar panels to Giovanni Soldini, has just made to measure, the solar panels that cover the deck house of Takatani, the support boat for the next trip North Sea to Black Sea, which will be moved only by the wind and an electric motor from ASMO Marine Copenhagen, Denmark."

"The panels, tested by Giovanni Soldini in the seas around the world, are about 2 mm thick and will provide 200 watts max power, to recharge the batteries. This will allow us to sail or with the quiet engine, allow filming without vibration to the cameramen."

"I thank the enthusiasm and expertise of Dr. Nicola Baggio, an engineer manager at Solon Italy who helped us in this first big step for a clean trip from London to Istanbul in 2010."

"Do not leave the planet to the stupid! Is the motto of Solon."

Doryman has been invited to participate in this six month voyage of purpose and if sponsorship can be found, surely he will.

A list of links for Giacomo's efforts to help bring the plight of the world's rivers and seas to the attention of all of us:
Ness Yawl on the Po River
Canto Mediterraneo (there is a lot here, look diligently and keep your translator handy - posts are in English, Italian and Portugese.)
Canto Mediterraneo (on DoryMan)
Ness Yawl on the Po River (on DoryMan)


Anonymous said...

Thank you Michael for helping this poor city(now can be called a poor city despite her enormous financial richness).
If you can only see the face of the people selling this umbelievable treasure, if you could only see their ignorance, their selfish lives..
Centuries of history are going to be erased by a few years of this stupid society with no rules, no ethics, no knowledge different from money...You would be so sad, like you can be sad there to see something insulting nature.
So we resist, we try to talk, to share, to show.
Thank you Michael

doryman said...

My pleasure - your cause is also mine. But I like to think of people as uninformed, rather than stupid and I feel it is my responsibility to pass on the news that sometimes the newest good idea is really an old one.
Rowing, paddling and sailing can be effective transportation, just like bicycles, skateboards or rollerblades.
The internal combustion engine has been the bane of civilization for too long and the solutions are very simple and inexpensive.
As you say so well, it's an ethical decision.

Anonymous said...

Great Michael, thank you again for helping me, us.
This journey will be very important. In Italy the water is no more ours. The parliament voted a law which allows the private companies to buy and sell our water.
Will the next element to be sold the air?

All my superbest

doryman said...

Giacomo - we would like to hear more about this development.

Hasn't the world learned anything from the scandal and swindle by Bechtel in Guayaquil, Ecuador ( )? Guarantees and loans provided by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank ensured profitable investments for Bechtel resulting in contaminated water for Guayaquil's citizens. Corporate rule is not in the best interest of ordinary citizens, despite the propaganda. Governments have reserved the rights to our resources and can outsource them at will( ). The government agencies that are democratically empowered to do so need to hear from their citizens that enabling corporate profit is not acceptable.
Here is a google search for anyone wanting to follow up on the abusive corporate practices applied to water rights:

Thomas Armstrong said...

Michael, I'm not exactly clear what the mission is but with a little clarification to my addled brain, I would be willing to do a post for you to help get you there. Sounds like a worthy cause and I would like to support you. Let me know how to help and give me some material.

doryman said...

Thank you Thomas!
Giacomo has assigned himself the herculean task of alerting the world to the degradation of it's water "resources". Though it's self evident that the waters of the world are in great peril, apparently not all feel this way.
Giacomo made a 500 mile journey of discovery last year up the river Po in Italy and found that culture, environment, and community thrived along that waterway and has since celebrated the link between water and art and music.
This spring, possibly by April 1st, Giacomo intends to leave London, cross the Channel and sail/row up the Rhine. From there, he can connect to the Danube and eventually into the Black Sea, arriving in Istanbul after approximately six months. He calls this trip North Sea to Black Sea.
I will invite Giacomo to respond to your request and edit this post to include a list of links for his project(s).

Another reference in the post is about the privatization of water rights in Italy. Apparently their Parliament recently approved corporate ownership of water in the country, but I am short on details, since Giacomo is currently developing this story on his site (which is in the promised list).
One hurdle to understanding these issues from Giacomo's perspective is that a lot of his writing is in Italian. I have made attempts to translate some of his work on my own blog (links for that on the list at the end of the post, too.)
Hope this helps, and thank you again for your support.