The waiting game

We are adrift outside the port of Gioia Tauro in Southern Italy. The ship arrived at 1 pm, and we were looking forward to the scheduled docking at 3:00 pm. Once we arrived near Gioia Tauro, we were informed that the pilot was rescheduled to arrive at 6 pm. We are now being told that we are on 1 hour standby – that is, the port will tell the ship 1 hour before the pilot is due to arrive.

Both of us are feeling excited and anxious. We have been avoiding thinking about all the uncertainties associated with our landing in South Italy and our onward voyage. The freighter and her friendly crew seem like a safe warm cocoon, and we are loath to leave it. Now that we are sitting just off the coast, we can no longer deny our feelings. We are both a little bit scared about what our future adventure will be like. The longer we sit here waiting the more “what-ifs” go through our heads, so we are seeking out tasks to keep our minds occupied while we wait. Tomorrow will come soon enough, and the next phase of our journey will really begin.

We can see the docks from here, and it is clear that all the gantries are in use. They will need to finish with one of the ships that is currently in port and it will need to leave before we can be brought into harbor. Given the time of day, we are hoping that our arrival will be delayed until 8 or 9 pm, such that we can get a full night of sleep on the ship before departing in the morning. We are told that they have about 10 – 12 hours of unloading and loading to do in Gioia Tauro.

Earlier today, the ship made a detour to go closer to the volcanic island of Stromboli, so that we could get a good view. It is a small island that climbs to 1000m just north of Sicily. We had an opportunity to take many nice pictures, and it delayed our arrival in Gioia Tauro for about an hour (which meant one less hour of sitting here adrift). Although it is an active volcano, there are at least two small villages on it. Seems crazy to us!

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