giuliano bossi, the captain's diary

 
Giuliano Bossi is one of our most experienced captains. He was born in 1945 in Manarola, a charming village in the Cinque Terre along Italy's Ligurian coast. He grew up in a colourful house overlooking the sea. His family were peasants who made wine and contributed to building the retaining walls that led their village to be twinned with the Great Wall of China.
Bossi said, "After World War II there was great poverty here and little work. Some of the villagers decided to go to sea; on their return to Manarola, I would listen to their stories enchanted, and I began to daydream. I fell in love with the sea thanks to a spelling book in primary school: I was struck by the image of a Siamese water carrier, and realised that in life it is better to see once, than to listen a hundred times".
Giuliano Bossi's fate was marked by that exotic drawing. He attended a Salesian middle school, followed by the Nautical Institute in La Spezia. “Here, my love for the sea was born, along with my respect for seafaring traditions and pride in doing my job well”. 
 
"Once I finished school, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: I wanted to work on a ship. I began to sail with the glorious "Leonardo da Vinci"; then, I moved on to transatlantic routes carrying migrants and cargo ships. I stayed on board for a consecutive period of 32 months while the ship wandered from port to port. The sea had become my life. I joined MSC Cruises when the fleet expansion programme began. In 2008, I worked on the outfitting of MSC Fantasia along with Rafaela Aponte. I answered all her proposals with "Yes, we do"; and at the end of the project she said goodbye to me using the same motto, to which I replied "Yes, we did!".
 
The bottles of Messina 
 
"It was way back in 1965. On one of my first voyages, I was a cadet on board an oil tanker plying a route between France and Egypt. It's hard to imagine in today's hyper-connected world, but communicating with our families was very difficult. Telephone calls were practically impossible and cost a fortune, so we took advantage of our stopover in Augusta (Sicily, Italy) to send letters home. Unfortunately, due to a technical problem, we were forced to cut the stopover out of our route. I was sad and disheartened. However, my captain told me not to worry; he told me to write a letter all the same and have a bottle ready. At first, I didn't really understand what he had in mind. I realised when we entered the Strait of Messina. The other officers had put their letters into bottles, along with a banknote. We threw all the bottles into the sea, where the fishermen of Messina, who had arrived down below in their rowing boats, were ready to collect them. When they reached the shore, they posted the letters, which always got home with no problems. For months, that's how I stayed in touch with my family, and I'm still grateful to those ingenious and kind fishermen who invented such an unusual yet efficient postal service, even if at times, to tell the truth, the letters arrived a bit damp".