Showing posts with label sailing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sailing. Show all posts

12 August 2015

Film Review: Alone Across the Pacific (1963) by Kon Ichikawa, *****

Synopsis

A powerful hymn to the human spirit, Alone Across the Pacific by renowned Japanese director Kon Ichikawa (An Actor's Revenge, The Burmese Harp, Tokyo Olympiad) tells the extraordinary real-life story of one man's obsessive quest to break free from the strictures of society. In 1962, Kenichi Horie (Yujiro Ishihara) embarks on a heroic attempt to sail single-handed across the Pacific Ocean.

Leaving Osaka in an ill-prepared vessel, the Mermaid, the young adventurer must overcome the most savage of seas, the psychological torment of cabin fever, and his mental and physical breaking point, if he is ever to reach the fabled destination of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Using Horie's best-selling logbook as his source, Ichikawa portrays the epic struggle of man against nature.

'Scope cinematography with Horie isolated in the oceanic expanse of the frame and a score by celebrated composer Toru Takemitsu, add to the drama of a film for which Ichikawa received a Golden Globe nomination, among other accolades.

SPECIAL FEATURES
New high definition digital transfer, anamorphically encoded, original 2.35:1 aspect ratio
New and improved optional English subtitles
Original Japanese trailer and two teasers newly subtitled
A lavish 24-page booklet featuring a colour reproduction of the original Japanese poster, archival publicity stills, and an essay by Brent Kliewer (professor at the College of Santa Fe)


Review

This is Traveling with a capital T. Traveling for the sake of traveling. The real story of Kenichi Horie's first of many sailing challenges he set for himself. In 1962 he was a young ambitious man in Japan, a country still recuperating from a devastating defeat in WW II. He felt for his country, and said that for a nation with a long maritime tradition it was a shame no one had yet sailed solo across the Pacific. He wanted to do it for Japan.

And yet he wanted to leave Japan, where he suffered because of the cultural and social restrictions that hampered his wandering spirit. He wanted to be free of Japan as much as of his own family, whom he loved but whose interference with his dreams he could no longer put up with. He was fascinated by America, the power that defeated the Japanese Empire and established such a pervasive presence on the islands. He wanted to sail under the Golden Gate bridge of San Francisco. And he did, after ninety-four days of excruciating adventure and hardship.

He did it in a Japanese way: carefully preparing everything, meticulously executing the plan he had drawn, even trying to apply for a passport (he did not manage to get one in time) because he wanted to follow the rules. It is ironic that when he completed his feat his father, instead of being proud, promised to the media that upon return the son would apologize to the nation for having contravened the rules. (It was not allowed at the time for small boats to leave Japan.)






Buy the book here


In the US buy it here

26 July 2011

Recensione: Sommergibili a Singapore, di Achille Rastelli, ****

Sinossi

Questo libro trae lo spunto da una serie di lettere inedite inviate alla famiglia da un sottufficiale macchinista, Pietro Appi, friulano di Cordenons, che entrò nella Regia Marina nel 1937 e alla fine del 1939 fu imbarcato sul sommergibile Bagnolini. Dopo aver partecipato a missioni di guerra in Mediterraneo e in Atlantico, nel 1943 passò sul Giuliani che, trasformato in battello subacqueo da trasporto, fu adibito con altre unità similari al trasferimento, per conto dei tedeschi, di materiale strategico tra basi navali giapponesi in Estremo Oriente e porti europei.

04 May 2011

11. - 4 MAY: Cruise on the Yangtse:

The highlight of an otherwise quiet day is the Shennong stream cruise. We leave our ship for a ride on a smaller ferry up the Shennong river, and after half an hour or so we are transferred to smaller wooden pirogues where skinny rowmen start working their oars up the stream. We float by serene and green areas, some fishermen, some villages, and an impressive contruction site for a bridge of the Chongqing-Shanghai highway. The whole thing is a bit touristy, a lot in fact, but pleasant nonetheless.


Our guide for the tour is a semi-professional singer dressed in traditional costume. She is trying to keep alive some traditional music from the area, and on our way back offers a little performance to her captive audience on the raw-boat: us. She also has CDs to sell of course, very entrepreneurial of her...


In the evening, after dinner, we reach the Three Gorges Dam. At this point the ship is lowered through five ship-locks, in a little over three hours, to the lower part of the river. Read more on tomorrow’s post...

22 April 2010

Book Review: Sailing Around the World, by Lizzi Eordegh and Carlo Auriemma, *****

Synopsis
In 1993, Elisabetta Eordegh and Carlo Auriemma set sail aboard the specially designed Barca Pulita (which translates, literally, as "clean boat") to circumnavigate the world in an attempt to chronicle the last unspoiled natural sites on earth via a journey that made as little impact as possible on the earth and sea. A 44-foot ketch, the boat was equipped with state-of-the-art equipment that made the most of "green" technology, from the clean conversion of energy to the use of special non-toxic varnish...

Recensione: In barca a vela intorno al mondo, di C. Auriemma e L. Eordegh, *****

Sinossi
Le foto di questo volume documentano le avventure di Elizabetta Eordegh e Carlo Auriemma. Coraggiosamente, alla fine degli anni '80 gli autori decidono di tagliare con la routine e la vita regolare per perdersi in barca a vela negli spazi infiniti degli oceani, a contatto con persone, culture e tradizioni di cui prima ignoravano perfino l'esistenza.

28 August 2007

24° g - 28 AGO (1a volta, Agente Marco nel Pacifico, si vive solo due volte!): trasferimento a Tongatapu e partenza

Sveglia alle 4 di mattina, un rapido nescafè con scatola di biscotti integrali che hanno l’aria di stare sulla mensola del balcone di Taki da qualche anno (non si vede la data di scadenza, solo che vengono dalle Figi, ma sono buoni) e poi via al traghetto. È ancora buio pesto ma le luci del traghetto sono già tutte accese e la maggior parte dei passeggeri ha già preso posto. Anzi posti. Infatti qui vale la regola che il primo che arriva bene alloggia, si sdraia ed occupa tra l’indifferenza generale tutta una panca da 4 o 5 posti a sedere. Ecco perché Taki mi aveva detto di andare presto se volevo sedermi per la traversata...

25 August 2007

21° g - 25 AGO: trasferimento a 'Eua

Da oggi proseguo da solo, il gruppo è rientrato. Mattinata in giro per Nuku, poi a mezzogiorno mi imbarco sul traghetto per 'Eua. Traversata di oltre due ore abbastanze movimentata, mare mosso e traghetto strapieno di gente, piove, ma va tutto bene, o quasi. Il traghetto è stipato di persone, un’infinità di bagagli, cani, maiali. Le panche per sedersi sono piene, ma chi arriva tardi non si scoraggia, si sistemano delle stuoie per terra e si siedono o sdraiano là.

04 March 2007

Recensione: Novecento, di Alessandro Baricco, *****

Sinossi

Il libro racchiude la storia, raccontata dall'amico suonatore di tromba, sotto forma di monologo, di Danny Boodmann T. D. Lemon Novecento, pianista sul transatlantico Virginian. Abbandonato sulla nave da emigranti, viene allevato da uno dei componenti dell'orchestra. I suoi elementi naturali divengono il transatlantico, il mare e la musica. Non è mai sceso a terra e vive ed esiste solo sul Virginian dove presto diventa un pianista di successo. Anche se non ha mai visto che mare e porti, viaggia moltissimo, con la fantasia, carpendo le notizie dai passeggeri che incontra. A 32 anni decide di scendere a terra, ma all'ultimo momento ci ripensa e corre a rifugiarsi nuovamente nell'antro della nave.


Recensione

Breve libro concepito come pièce teatrale da recitare sotto forma di monologo. Io ho anche assistito ad una rappresentazione, e consiglio di farlo ma solo dopo aver letto il libro. Invece il film di Tornatore è cosa molto diversa: pur essendo un ottimo film, con azzeccatissima colonna sonora di Ennio Morricone, a mio avviso non può sostituire la lettura del libro.

02 September 2005

15° g - 2 Sett: Zanzibar, escursione alle isole vicino a Stone Town

Si parte verso le 10 con la barca di Viviana, una sarda che vive qui da anni con la figlioletta, per una interessante escursione. Prima approdiamo alla “lingua di sabbia”, un’isoletta che emerge la mattina con la bassa marea e poi viene sommersa nuovamente dall’alta marea verso le 4 di pomeriggio. In questo intervallo di tempo è una piacevolissima spiaggia dove sostare. Viviana è bravissima a preparare, con i suoi assistenti, un ottimo barbeque di pesce freschissimo, pensa alle bevande, prepara frutta e dolci, insomma offre un ottimo servizio per una idilliaca giornata di mare.

16 August 2005

Book Review: Longitude (2005), by Dava Sobel, *****

 (Testo italiano di seguito)

 Synopsis

Sobel has done the impossible and made horology sexy – no mean feat

New Scientist

Anyone alive in the 18th century would have known that ‘the longitude problem’ was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day – and had been for centuries.

Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution.


07 July 2004

Recensione: Addio Eden(2002), di Ambrogio Borsani, *****

Sinossi

Ambrogio Borsani è andato alle isole Marchesi per ricostruire la storia di grandi anime alla deriva nei Mari del Sud. Il viaggio è un racconto appassionante che sovrappone storie passate e vicende contemporanee. Eroi indigeni, grandi navigatori, conquistatori spietati, balenieri in fuga e avventurieri in cerca dell'impossibile, della felicità qui e ora. Tutti si muovono su scenari di sconvolgente bellezza, dove la natura parla ancora il linguaggio delle origini dell'uomo.


05 May 2003

Ode Triste del Mare, dagli atolli maldiviani.

La fin de lo vagare è già imminente
e quindi è d'uopo dir lo risultato
per quelli ch' hanno avuto e per chi ha dato
ed anche per chi fu per scelta assente.

Partendo c'è chi forse avea sperato
d'andar per mare verso il Paradiso;
tuffarsi giù nel blu con un sorriso
e risortirne fora un po' rinato.

Solcando il mar, felici, il vento in viso
ci siamo infine in sedici trovati
(che se non c'erano andavano inventati)
a rimpinzarci a pesce, curry e riso!

Tra vodka, carte e stelle amalgamati,
qualcuno fu contento, alcun deluso,
e mai nessuno mise il brutto muso
e certi son financo innamorati!

E' l'ora del sipario, il club è chiuso,
è bello ritrovarsi con se stessi.
Nel mondo, ci son proprio tanti fessi,
... e forse ce l'ho anch' io il cervello fuso!!

01 April 2003

Book Review: The Life and Adventures of John Nicol, Mariner, by Timothy Flaney, *****

Description
The true story of a pioneering sailor who travelled the world at the end of the 18th century. In his many voyages, the Scottish-born John Nichol circumnavigated the globe, visiting every inhabited continent. He participated in many of the greatest events of exploration and adventure. He battled pirates, traded with Native Americans and fought for the British Navy in the American and French Revolutions; he also travelled on the first female convict ship to Australia, was entertained in Hawaii by the king's court, days after the murder of Captain James Cook, and witnessed the horrors of the slave system in Jamaica.

23 August 2002

16. - 23 AUG: From Nong Kiaw to Muang Khua by slow boat

At the crack of dawn a madly crowing rooster woke everyone up. He must have been worried that if we had overslept we would have missed the beautiful early morning colors. Thanks to the cock’s zeal we could finally enjoy, over breakfast, the verandah’s river view we had only been able to imagine the previous evening.

16 August 2002

9. - 16 AUG: Border crossing into Laos, dolphins, Dong Khong

The last leg of the Mekong ride in Cambodia is the most difficult and adventurous. There is no scheduled public service from Stung Treng to the border with Laos, just after Kaoh Nang island. In fact, until very recently this border post was not officially open at all except to Lao and Cambodian nationals, though stories abound that anyone willing to fork out the necessary tips would be let through.

15 August 2002

8. - 15 AUG: Sambok monastery, and from Kratie to Stung Treng

Early in the morning we try and visit the Sombok monastery, the main cultural interest in Kratie, but it is about 10 kilometers out of town and in this rainy season it may be risky to get there – the Mekong is near its high-level mark, and the white-board which is updated daily near the gas station does not indicate any improvement for the next day or two. No choice, it's now or never, off we go...

14 August 2002

7. - 14 AUG: From Phnom Penh to Sambok, near Kratie

Sailing upstream

Again we are up at the crack of dawn. At the capital’s boat jetty, a few peddlers offer drinks and snacks. One, improbably, has a single copy of the International Herald Tribune for sale, the first international newspaper from any country I see in Cambodia. It comes from their Bangkok printing press and is two days old, but I am hungry for international news and do not hesitate to grab it at once. The presence of the Western printed press in Cambodia vaguely reminds me of the good old Soviet times, when everything was censored but I could, occasionally, buy newspapers from imperialist countries at the newsstands of international hotels in Moscow. The Soviet regime could tolerate that: few of its citizens would ever have a chance to access and read the subversive stuff – they could not even easily walk into the lobby of these hotels – and at least some of the Westerners in the Hotels would believe and go home telling that censorship in the USSR was not that strict after all. Anyway, there was the language barrier that would work as a further filter.

12 August 2002

5. - 12 AUG: Vietnamese village and departure to Phnom Penh

Waking up at the crack of dawn was not so hard as I expected, even after several long days of uninterrupted walking in the jungle and amidst ruins in sweltering heat, aggressive humidity and repeated thunderstorms. Maybe my body clocks was still on West European time, so for me it was not early morning but only late evening on the day before... Our van took us out of town, toward the shores of the Tonle Sap Lake, a wide appendix of the Mekong which extends from Siem Reap, at the mouth of the city’s eponymous river, almost all the way to the capital. Here is the base of the ferry boat service to Phnom Penh. The night is just fading away, but the air is already warm. All around us, and everything on us, is already damp. By now I was getting used to being wet (be it because of rain or sweat) as the normal state of being; for the first time in my life I learnt not to even bother to wipe my face, arms or hands, I was just wet and clothes just stuck to my skin, all the time, full stop.

18 July 2002

Book Review: River's Tale, A year on the Mekong, by Edward A. Gargan, *****

Synopsis

From windswept plateaus to the South China Sea, the Mekong flows for three thousand miles, snaking its way through Southeast Asia. Long fascinated with this part of the world, former New York Times correspondent Edward Gargan embarked on an ambitious exploration of the Mekong and those living within its watershed. The River’s Tale is a rare and profound book that delivers more than a correspondent’s account of a place. It is a seminal examination of the Mekong and its people, a testament to the their struggles, their defeats and their victories.

02 May 2001

Book Review:The Floating Brothel: the Extraordinary True Story of An Eighteenth-Century Ship And Its Cargo of Female Convicts, by Sian Rees, *****

list of names of convicts shipped to Australia
Synopsis

In 1789, 237 women convicts left England for Botany Bay in Australia on board a ship called The Lady Julia, destined to provide sexual services and a breeding bank for the men already there. This is the story of the women aboard that ship.