Porto delle Grazie
Adriatica sails favoured by the wind following the route that heads straight for Porto delle Grazie. The bay is rather deep and for this reason it is a good place for anchoring, but it is also a good shelter from the north-westerly and south-westerly winds. On land Patrizio meets Corrado Ricci, a journalist who is an expert on the local maritime situation and its characters. Corrado tells the story of the harbour, closely linked to the work of shipwrights, to period boats and the tradition of the divers, but above all introduces the doyen of the latter to the casual sailors.
Thus Patrizio meets Mario Garzia, 99 years of passion for the sea and a diver since he was 16. His life under the sea began when an uncle, asking him what work he wanted to do, dressed him in a diving-suit and put him to the test and Mario carried out “the mission” successfully: “I went down, chance, destiny, I saw this little heap of stuff and brought it up. When I came back up, he took off my helmet, gave me a nice pat on the head and said to me ‘You can do this job.’”
And love for the sea never ends for Mario, who just last year decided to put his old boat Nettuno in the water again. Nettuno is a splendid launch which still has the original light-blue touches. It is the boat with which the present doyen of divers went out to sea and then dived in to do his daily work.
Mario Garzia: “Eh, I earned my pay doing this job. Then when the war came I was useful too.”
Patrizio: “And were you a diver?”
Mario Garzia: “No, I was an Alpine soldier!”
Patrizio: “But that’s the limit!”
At Porto delle Grazie we also meet Pietro Ricci, a famous shipwright who shows us his house, a real museum! Here he has collected the tools of the old shipwrights and preserved all the objects that he himself used in the past. He shows us all the material for caulking and sealing, only letting us imagine how tiring these old handicraft jobs could be.
Over the years Signor Pietro has run different courses to teach young people his art and during our visit he shows us their work: a wind-rose carved without a chisel, dovetail work (which was done when there was no glue) and also a project done by his young nephew.
Dante Alighieri too, in the Divine Comedy, speaks of the work of the shipwright. In his work, however, the workers are put in hell, perhaps because work in the shipyard was indeed an infernal job ...