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The Zeno Project
I make haste to send the latest communication from Laura Zola who, as you
gather from her letter is now visiting the French Templar ports:
- Roses on the west coast of Portugal
- Dear Niven,
- Thank you for your kind words, your letter are always a great
pleasure for me and a real encouragement for the project.
- Stella is feeling better and with her, myself. She had all her
analysis and test last Thursday. The diagnoses the veterinary give me,
was very depressing. He believed that Stella have a liver cancer or, at
the best a very nasty cirrhosis. Difficult for her to go over the crisis
and start again to eat by her self. Despite of the doctor forecast,
Stella start again eating and after more then 10 days starvation, the
bigger problem is to make her stopping eating, she has an insatiable
appetite, but she look quit happy and more lively. I really hope that the
veterinary made a mistake; in France we will have some new blood test and
see what the result will give.
- I did try to send you a message before leaving Gibraltar, but the
Cyber-office was close for holiday and has not been possible to make the
connection with my computer. Every one of your letters is so positive and
such a good morale support that I regret not to be able to be in contact
- We are sailing now since the night of the
30th of April with favourable
southeasterly wind and we are making good progress: 400 miles from
Gibraltar in just 80 hours. 7 Roses and all her crew are happy to find
again the big Ocean and the clear horizon. Finally with the wind in our
favour, the morale is high and the enthusiasm for this interesting
voyage, always well alive.
- We are considering making a short call in Nazarè (80 miles north of
Lisbon), here is the area of Tomar, one of the bigger Templar centre in
Portugal. On this part of the coast it was the harbour of Serra d’El Rei
that it is believed to be the harbour where the Templar ships, escaping
from the Mediterranean France, found a refuge. In our day the coastline
have been transformed by eight centuries of sea work and many of the old
shelter do not exist any more, but the records are well kept in the old
chart. The stop in Nazarè will only be few hours, probably
too short to have any relevant information, but may be, long enough to
breath the atmosphere of another part of history connected to our Voyage.
I hope from there to be able to send you this message with my deep thanks
for your presence and moral support.
- Kindest regards
7 Roses, 35 miles south of Cape Finisterre, 07/05/2000
- Dear Niven,
- Nazarè, a very interesting small village, but it was not there any
facility for sending e-mail message, I hope to be luckier at the next
- The weather is keeping in our side and a part from lot of rain, the
sailing condition are perfect. The big worrying cape a head of us and
than the Biscay, where, Neptune permitting we should enter tomorrow
morning. We will probably stop at La Coruna for fuel and food and than La
Rochelle, other 380 miles toward north-est. Calling in La Rochelle,
will make our route toward the U.K., 280 miles longer, but this town
represent a very important link on the general picture of the Templar
history and fleet. There we have a meeting at the museum and interesting
contact organised by the French followers from Corsica and the south of
France. From the same follower every so often we received some
information, (new for us) on the subject of Templar, Zeno and Venetian
traces. The last interesting one, concern a fleet of 8 ships built by the
Venetian for the Knight Templar at the start of the persecution in 1307.
A part of the fleet was delivered around this time, but a second delivery
happens many years later, when the ships were sailed by Venetian crew
some where in the Northern Europe. Could there be a connection with
Nicolò Zeno Voyage to Orkney so many years later? The same
reference, mention that a request for the building of a fleet, was made
to the Genoese (by the knight Templar), at the start of XIV
Th centuries, but the Genoese refused to cooperate.
- We should find a copy of those documents in La Rochelle, where my
friend said she would send it.
- I feel embarrassed to mention the small finding we are coming across
in our voyage, your knowledge on the subject is so much greater that what
is for us a discovery, is for you a well familiar ground, but I think you
are one of the best persons to understand our enthusiasm.
- From the Italian side, the interest is still awake, not only with the
article I write, but as well with the following of other national paper
(il Giornale and Il Tempo) that regularly contact me to write an update
on the voyage. For what concern the contact in Orkney and Kath
Gourlay, I never received any news from her. I phone her from Italy and I
write to her two letters, but I never received any answer. She is a very
nice girl and I am looking for to see her in Orkney.
- D’Elayne and Richard are often in contact, always with the heighten
fervour that it is as well a bolster of my morale
- The time of my night watch is coming on and the wind is calling me
- Thank you again,