01-Aug-2008 -- This was the first visit to 44°N 13°E. The confluence is located a little more than six miles off the coast of the region Marche in the Adriatic Sea. We started the hunt in Pesaro, a medium sized town at the Adriatic coast that is known for being the birthplace of Gioacchinio Rossini. Nowadays the annual Rossini Opera Festival is Pesaro’s main claim to fame. But visitors not only come to listen to Rossini operas – Pesaro is also a popular centre of tourism. There are a lot of hotels alongside the busy beach-promenade and many people are strolling about. In fact the city is very old. Founded from the Romans as Pisarum around 180 BC the city was completely destroyed and rebuilt several times. The oldest parts that are preserved - the Palazzo Ducale and the Rocca Constanza, both built in the late 15th century.
Pesaro’s fishing port represented the best chance for finding the boat we obviously needed to get to the CP. We asked some fishermen who were busy preparing their boats. They pointed us to Captain Phil and his boat right away. He makes his living by commercial fishing and organising angling tours for tourists from time to time. It turned out that he intended to head out to cast out his nets early in the afternoon anyway. He agreed to take us with him and make the detour from his fishing grounds to the confluence for a small fee. When we showed up at the appointed time we first met his crew which consisted of Alan, who helps out Phil rather because he likes the work than the small amount Phil can pay, and a bearded guy looking like Father Christmas (I forgot his name), who, as it turned out, spoke German reasonably well because of the years he spend as a worker in a glass factory. We had a little chat with Santa before Captain Phil arrived and prepared the vessel for leaving the harbour. We talked about the decline of the Italian fishing industry and he told about the years he spent roaming about Italy homeless, before he moved to a shack above the luxurious estate of recently deceased opera singer Luciano Pavarotti right next to the port.
Phils fishing grounds lay about 7 miles northwest of Pesaro. We needed around 2 hours to get there and drop his nets in several 500 meter strings. They follow the same routine every day: It starts with casting out their nets every afternoon and hauling them in the next day before dawn, usually around 3 am. Back in the harbour they sell the catch to local dealers and restaurants and after that start mending the nets for the next cycle. In comparison to San Benedetto del Tronto the fishing business in Pesaro seems much smaller and more orientated towards the local market.
After we got rid of the nets we changed course and went to the CP, which was about eight miles from the fishing grounds. They boat was navigated by gps so it was easy to target the CP. Reaching the CP Captain Phil was motivated to get as close as possible and we made it up to 25 meters distance from the CP. After taking the obligatory pictures we enjoyed ourselves and swam a little in the open sea. It was a very nice afternoon out there and we had a lot of fun with the crew. We returned to Pesaro’s port in the early evening and celebrated our successful visit with the crew, who insisted on dragging us to the fishermen’s watering hole near the docks.