Lake Como is one of those places that if featured in a movie (and I am sure it has been), would be quickly written off by the viewing audience as blatantly fabricated and cliché in its perfect ambiance and scenery. But, I am here to tell you that, no, it really is perfect, in its ambiance and scenery and much else besides, and the only thing blatant about it is the feeling that overcomes you as you gaze out across the tranquil waters, wondering why you hadn’t made more of an effort to come there before.
We experienced just that feeling after taking a short train ride north from Milan, where we jumped out of the pullman car at the Varenna station, neatly nestled between two rail tunnels at the base of a steep mountain, lugged our packs the few blocks down into the village, met our airBnB host and checked in to our small rented apartment, and then opened the window shutter to gaze out upon perfection.
Varenna, on the eastern shore of Lago di Como
We chose to stay in Varenna for its laid back atmosphere and decidedly more reasonably priced accommodations, as opposed to its two sister towns across the water: the bustling Menaggio, and the famously glitzy Bellagio. We figured we could always do day trips to those tourist traps if we felt so inclined, but our number one priority for our four days on Lago di Como was relaxation, which we wasted no time in going to work on, our first night being spent slowly walking the implausible waterfront and watching the crepuscular reflections of the lake fade away with the sunset.
Every great party has an after-party, and the Christening of the Saint Robert was definitely a great party, thus, at about 6pm, after most of the beer and champagne had been drunk or spilled overboard, we battened down the hatches and herded the remaining crew up the docks to the on-site restaurant of the marina, the famous Bo Brooks crab house. To our great pleasure, the restaurant had graciously agreed to accommodate our rowdy crew with private use of the entire pavilion at their dockside tiki bar. You would think we would have all been a little haggard by this point in our marathon party weekend, but a second wind blew through and we ended up closing the place down!
The next morning was decidedly more abstemious at our farewell brunch, though someone did pop a bottle of champagne so we could enjoy a round of mimosas with the gooey, and it turns out best in Baltimore, cinnamon rolls my uncle brought from the Blue Moon Café. Sadly, before we knew it, people were leaving for the airport and home. A few stalwart sailors did stay aboard for one final cruise around the inner harbor, but eventually even they had to leave. We tied up the dock lines, sprayed down the deck, and with that, the Christening of the Saint Robert was officially over.
Thanks for taking the time to have a look at all of our photos, and for those of you that were able to make it out for the Christening, we couldn’t have done it without you, so Thanks again! And, please stay tuned for the many more adventures that will undoubtedly take place aboard the Saint Robert. Until then though, we will jump back to where we left off with the Aegean Expedition…
There is one last thing I would like to add to this Saint Robert section of the blog, which I should have added to the first post about the Christening: the initial invitation we sent out for the party- again purely for posterity.
After 31 long years of waiting, the day was finally here. The day that I could stand on the prow of my own ship, and proudly declare to the world that neither wind nor wave would stand in our way any longer! We had made it! We had acquired our boat, our floating home, our future on the water, our ticket to see the world! With a Berber sword in one hand, and the Admiral at my side, we paid homage to the maritime gods, poured champagne over the decks as the tradition dictates, and then, with a mighty swing, Kacey smashed a bottle over the bow, forever memorializing the ships name in the ledger of the deep. The good ship Saint Robert was formally christened on May 25th, 2014 at 2:09pm, and all our friends and family were there to witness our triumph and cheer us on to the nautical life we have always dreamed of. As cliché as this may sound, it was truly one of the happiest days of my life. Thanks to everyone for coming out and making it so amazing! We couldn’t ask for a better crew. Three cheers for the Saint Robert!