LOST HORIZON: swimming to s.Fruttuoso the Shangri-La of the Mediterranean sea
S Fruttuoso is a small bay near Genoa that can only be reached by sea or through inaccessible paths where a community of monks lived isolated from the rest of the world. A kind of Shangri-La from James Hilton's novel and Franck Capra's 1937 film.
Today s.Fruttuoso is invaded every day by hordes of tourists who arrive by boats and ferries. Paradise is a lost horizon.
Finally S. Fruttuoso on August 25th. Departure from Milan at 6.10, I arrived in Camogli at 9.40 am. Focaccia and cappuccino and then by feet up to punta Chiappa. I leave swimming at 11.15 with my wetsuit jacket, snorkel mask and Zen on my feet. I find a small long sea but little wind.
After half an hour I get a cramp in my calf and I'm tempted to go back. I have no training.
But when does it ever happen that I can go to s. Fruttuoso?
With massages and stretches, on the contrary, I can calm the muscle and I go on changing often from free to frog style to confuse the rebel muscle. In front of cala dell'Oro in 5-6 meters of water, I see two huge sea basses, 50 and 70 cm turning side by side. Never seen such large sea bass. Never. Immediately after a grouper of about ten kilos. Wonderful Ligurian sea.
Cala dell'Oro is an integral marine reserve.
The temptation to go in to see the seabed is strong but I don't want to risk it because a lookout of the Police was in front of Punta chiappa just before.
I go through staying offshore and the feeling of swimming in the open sea makes me uncomfortable but the boats all travel very far and I'm sure.
I arrive at the turret in front of the bay of s. Fruttuoso, swim grazing the coast, make a slalom between the dozens of boats moored, finally land up to the first beach after 2 hours and 30 'at 13.45 and 3 km of swimming.
An athlete would take maybe an hour but I don't do a competition and I like to observe the seabed and the fishes.
I rest 15 minutes and leave at 2 pm.
In the return I focus more on evaluating how and how much Zen pushes.
The main advantage is that you can alternate free style and breaststroke.
In breaststroke I notice a significant push advantage over the bare foot. I try to imitate the new breaststroke style with long strokes and sliding strokes. if I had normal water shoes it would be impossible because it's all a problem of hydrodynamic position.
Even in free style I find the right way to take advantage of the thrust by keeping the ankle mobile and flexible.
The shoes help me to feel the thrust of the foot better and to assume the right position.
I arrive after two hours and 3 km in the open sea with some waves raised by the early afternoon breeze.
I go up from the rocks, rest and walk back to eat an excellent pizza at the S. Rocco bakery before taking the train. Going up I notice a guy who was carrying a pair of very long fins. Absurd. he doesn't know what freedom means to swim the style you want and then get out of the water on the rocks without any problems. Feeling as one with the sea and nature.