A Trio of Sailors Bring the Santa Maria Back
Daniela Meloni, Anton Marco Musso, and Jean-Paul Bassaget share a love for a vessel and for sailing the sea.
We joined this unlikely trio for an afternoon sail at the marina in Cabras, on the Sinis Peninsula, Sardinia where they all spoke glowingly about the 42-foot long boat they love, the Santa Maria, and how they all got here.
It was a story of determination, and of finding the perfect person for the job. The vessel, built in Italy and designed by Sparkman & Stephens, the renowned boat architects who designed the famous Swan racing boats, was sitting unused for a few years.
Daniela, a 42-year-old sailing fanatic, knew those lines, having sailed on similar boats, and inquired about it. The owner said it was too much, it was such a racer that it would take more than a weekend sailor to master her. “It doesn’t have mechanized devices you find on pleasure boats,” Daniela explained. But the owner recognized that here was his boats perfect master, and he agreed to let her take over the slip payments and begin sailing the Santa Maria for charters.
Daniela has a few friends who are sailors, among them Jean-Paul Bassaget, who could easily stand in for the guy on the Dos Equis commercials known as “the most interesting man in the world.”
He casually mentioned that he’s been a sea captain for decades and spent ten years as captain of Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso! Now 76, Bassaget owns property in Argentina and has worked all over the world doing work servicing oil rigs and long-haul yacht transfers.
He knows sailing and the sea intimately and was happy to join Daniela sailing the Santa Maria in this bay. Her other sailing mate is young, 24, and handsome. He’s Anton Marco Musso, a long jumper who also surfs and windsails. A great combination of experience, beauty, and brains!
Our sail took us past Tharros, the hilltop archeological site that includes a Spanish built tower, among ruins that date back to the Romans and the Phoenicians.
Just past Tharros is a dramatic sheer rock cliff, with a lighthouse perched on top. This is what you see when you sail the coast of this unspoiled, and always dramatically beautiful island, Sardinia.
Daniela’s afternoon charters include a sail beside this beautiful land and a delicious lunch she prepares in the Santa Maria galley. Pasta with bottarga (grey mullet roe) and locally picked porcini mushrooms, paired with a starter of mussels grown not 100 feet from where we were sailing made a perfect repast. And the company, with stories of sailing, long jumping, and the Calypso, made for a memorable day indeed.
Contact Daniela to arrange a sail on the Santa Maria: +394812458
Limolo Activities ASD.