Five months of flat, glassy, waveless, imperturbable sea. The World Longboard Surfing Championships in Levanto came and went without a ripple on the water, leaving competitors listless and bored. The Mediterranean looked like a pond.
Now, as it always has been and always will be, it is reborn. And it’s feisty.
The official marine conditions are Beaufort wind force scale 6. The red warning flags are up, and all the boats that had been prematurely put in the water, expecting an early summer season, are now lying askance on the thin stretch of beach that the foam cannot reach.
The Mediterranean has become the mecca that it is for its calm seas and sunny days. But it can rebel, bursting into squalls that you must brace yourself against. These storms were the bane of early navigators, sometimes throwing them so far off course that instead of landing in Marseilles they found themselves on the sandy edges of the Sahara. Today they are seen more as nuisances, harbingers of a weekend without paying tourists.
But the sea is always there, and is always the same. She does what she wants. And we watch her, peeved perhaps at her impetuousness, but never without awe.