July 21, 2009

As I recall, there was the Nina, the Pinto and the Santa Maria

Men hoping to sail round Italy in converted pink Maserati

(ANSA) - La Spezia, July 21 - Two men bidding to sail around Italy in a converted pink Maserati were fighting to persuade the coastguard to release their 'car-boat' on Tuesday after it was confiscated for not being seaworthy.

The coastguard intercepted Marco Amoretti and Marcolino De Candia off the coast of the Tuscan town of Forte dei Marmi on Monday after beach-goers alerted them to a car in the sea.

Worried the vehicle had ended up in the water by accident, a coastguard boat rushed to the scene to find Amoretti and De Candia in the waterproofed car, which has been equipped with an outboard motor and buoyant polyurethane to make it float.

The men explained they had set of from their hometown of Sarzana, near La Spezia, and were planning to circumnavigate the Italian coast to arrive in Venice.

But the coastguard was not amused when they found the Maserati-boat, which the men have named Miriam, did not have the necessary documents attesting to its seaworthiness nor any safety features.

"Considering the weather conditions, the fact that it was nearly dusk and the slow speed of the craft (two knots), the car-boat was escorted to to land, confiscated and fined," the coastguard said.

Amoretti and De Candia claim the car-boat is perfectly safe and hope they can continue their journey.

"This isn't the first time we've done it," they told the coastguard.

In 1999 the pair crossed the Atlantic in a boat fashioned from a Ford Taurus and a Volkswagen Passat, leaving from the Canary Islands and arriving on the island of Martinique 119 days later.

Nickie Goomba sez: "When I had a Taurus back in 1991, I had to wear a wetsuit to drive the thing on a rainy day. If the wind blew on a wet morning, the passenger side window would pop out of its seal. Sail the Atlantic in it?? I can't imagine driving to work in it.


Opus #6 said...

Ahhh. I can smell the scampi now. I am sure these men would enjoy a few dishes from my favorite of all cookbooks, Manifold Destiny.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! You are forgiven, Ope, because you are unaware of the severe pun penalties on this site.

Let this be a warning. You are facing double secret probation.

Opus #6 said...

Double secret probation?? Can I buy my way out of it if I supply the ACTUAL cookbook?

Anonymous said...

You can successfully weasel your way out by cookin' up a mess of that scampi.

Opie, I'm in Riverside for the week. The temperature today at 3:00 PM was 210. If I see one person expanding his carbon footprint, I'll wrestle him to the ground.


Opus #6 said...

Riverside?? Be careful in the supermarket. You are perilously close to LL's territory.

Anonymous said...

They should get off their backs. At least they are car-pooling.

Anonymous said...

Opie, I think I see him daily. I've nicknamed him "angry mumbling guy".

Anonymous said...

DC, it's not a pun, but dangerously close to being banished from Nickie's Cone of Protection.

George J said...

As a staunch defender of individual freedom, quickly fading in the rapidly growing shadow of the all powerful Nanny State, I say if these idiots want to risk their lives on the open ocean in a car converted into a boat, more power to them!

Wasn't it Lincoln who said that the government which protects its citizens from all adversity will end up governing a nation of fools?

These aren't the first folks to do this sort of thing, either. Don't believe me? Just google Ben Carlin (no relation to George!)

I think what this nation - this world - needs, is more people willing to attempt impossible (or nearly so) voyages on their own terms and fewer upwardly mobile corporate career types!

I'll vacate my soapbox - for now!

Anonymous said...

George, please don't abandon THAT soapbox. It's inspirational and just what we need to hear.

And thanks for the nod toward Mr. Carlin. Wow!

Anonymous said...

How do you say "Smokey and the Bandit" in Italian? "Buford T. Justice"? I swear, you are using clips from that classic to spawn another tale of deceit.

Opus #6 said...

Nickie, what appears to be mumbling is Roosevelt-style Speaking Softly. And pray you never see his angry side.

anon said...

Damn! I love the Italians.
Whats a girl gotta do to get on board with that?

Opus #6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Opie, he usually sends carrier pigeons or guys in pinstripes (most of his friends and family wear either black suits with white pinstripes, or white suits with thick black stripes).

The ones with the white suits aren't available for delivery duty.

Good luck.

Rhod said...

Right,and then there's that unfortunate swiss dot kilt with the poodle pattern...and the see-through sporran is very rude.

Anonymous said...

Opie, I'm OK with not seeing his angry side, but I look forward to experiencing his carefree, devil-may-care side. Perhaps after the 2010 elections.

Anonymous said...

Powdergirl, it's not too late to jump on board the Goomba Express.

Anonymous said...

DC, I believe that nothing garners respect more than a man in uniform.

Anonymous said...


1. It's not a kilt. It's a Burmese Chopping Cloth from Banana Republic.

2. It's not a poodle. It's a mongoose rampant (my family crest).

3. It's not just a sporran. It doubles as a truss.