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A boat trip up the Italian coast sounded like the adventure that we needed. We had met up with an American couple, Brett and Becky, who had suggested the idea. Although a little outside the budget, we decided that we would never be able to do it if we were on our own so might as well take the plunge.

We had landed ourselves in Cinque Terre, a touristy spot along the eastern coast of Italy. Five little towns - in no particular order - Monterossa, Vernaza, Manarola, Riomaggiore and Corniglia.

Brett was our captain to start with. he had been given a short lesson by our 'friendly' boat renter. He had kindly asked us to come back in 20 minutes when we first approached him. We thought it was because he was waiting for a boat to get back. As it turned out, he was simply not quite ready to get up from under his umbrella to move our boat out.

As we headed out, I could feel myself relaxing even more than I already was. It had been a great relief to get to this place after a busy 4 days in Rome. Now, here we were on the sea.

We came upon a little cave along the cliff rock and decided to dock. Brett pulled out our tiny anchor and threw it in to the bottom of the sea. I had a brief contemplation about how we might get it back out again if it got stuck but realized that that was it's purpose. To stick to the ground so that the boat didn't move.

Becky and I watched the boys like kids jump into the cool water and begin to swim towards the dark cave. We had decided that murky darkness was overshadowed by the urge to sit in the beaming sun. We could hear them chatting in the distance - we simply rolled our eyes and laughed at their childish excitement.

It wasn't long before they were back - 'It was like Goonies, really creepy' bellowed D., as he and Brett began swimming back to the boat. They told of the freaky crevace in the rock that made it appear there could be something like a snake or eel hiding behind. I realized my choice of the boat was a good one.

There was so much happiness in that 15 minutes. We felt on top of the world, like jet setters with our own little boat - stopping and starting whenever we wanted. This was going to be a great day. Well, sort of.

With the boys back on the boat, it was time to go. We hadn't gone to far from Monterossa and wanted to see all the cities before the end of the day. We were ready to pull our anchor in and head off.

Pull in the anchor. Not when it's stuck between two rocks. We all took turns trying to yank at the anchor. We drove the boat in circles, thinking the pull would dislodge it from the two rocks. We dove underneath the water and pickled our eyes by opening them under the sea to find it.

The day of adventure was turning out to be a little more than we expected.

(to be continued..)

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