Wake up today in Cambridge at Valentina’s house. Breakfast with brownies, peanut butter (for me!), a quick shower and we set off. First stop Harvard and its splendid campus. The girls are struck by the idea of an open space where you go in, crossed the University, go from one side to another of Cambridge, C squirrel, giant chessmen, ping-pong tables, people reading and drinking coffee or looking as natural as possible. And students from all over the world on bicycles and roller skates!
After we take the underground heading for Park Street and after a lovely walk on Boston, and we head downtown. Then we set off towards South Station, next to which is the Italian Consulate. Guglielma joins us and with her we meet all the staff of this piece of Italy in Boston and vice consul Emilia Luciani who not only manages to present all the activities of the Consulate but also to win the hearts of Miriana and Ilaria who get on perfectly with the likeable and forthright vice consul. We are their guests for lunch in a restaurant in the building with a breathtaking view. We keep exchanging our experiences and our girls explain how to see gusts on the water and go on telling their stories and their wishes. This is yet another thing they will certainly remember. The vice consul congratulates Miriana and Ilaria on their determination and together with the entire consulate urges them to carry on that way and never give up.
But now it’s time to leave the skyscraper and meet up with Giovanni and Marialuisa Saraceni who are waiting to take us to the Courageous for our next experience. But first we passed by the beaches south of Boston where thanks to a good windy day we see windsurfs and kite serves on the water. The girls asked me how many knots of wind were, worried about a kind of boat they had never seen. But I su them given that I will be on board with them (at last some serious sailing!). We arrive at the Courageous, I present our pennant to the club and after a short briefing we go out on the water in the Rhode 19s. This is their first time on an offshore boat. The wind is gusting to 25 kn and we decide to take a reef (what are reefs for if not to make the boat heel less). I’m increasingly convinced that it is important to give the kids as completed training as possible on the water, avoiding excessive specialisation. But fortunately their foundation is excellent. Miriana and Ilaria move calmly on board and listen carefully to all my instructions as they rig it. Then we are out on the water. Everything is fine, we have a lot of fun, I perhaps more than then, we managed to stay calm despite the heavy traffic in the channel and the tough conditions (and some close shaves by somebody, but never mind). Above all the girls understand how much I like having fun on the boat and not in the inflatable! We sailed five or six races, finishing well every time, a couple of podium finishes, but what matters were our faces as happy as three little kids.You can’t grow old at sea! It’s dark by the time we get back to land, we moor under sail, leave the boat shipshape, say goodbye to everyone, there were also some kids there from the MIT who remembered the two girls and wanted to share some ideas on strategy with them, but as usual we were running late: Nadia had already arrived to take us out to dinner with her family. This time we went to a Moroccan restaurant. We ate dishes cooked in a tajine with some hesitation on Ilaria’s part, but this experience also has to teach in the existence of something apart from pasta with sauce, there is still some way to go here but we have to start somewhere. It’s 10:30, Nadia very kindly drives us to Valentina’s house because the girls are by now very tired.
Back home, quick goodbyes and straight to bed. Tomorrow morning races at the Community Boating!