Swells lifted me gently and then lowered me back down again. Once in a while a large one came suddenly, unexpectedly, like a huge living thing playing games. Pedaling, pedaling made a repetitive squeaking sound. I put my hand in the water and felt the coolness. Thin rays of refracted sunlight fanned out from my little boat, filaments of light that extended like long strands of white hair down into the darkness.
At Ulysses Rock I put on my mask and snorkle and jumped off. I dove deep, surrounded by zillions of small fish the shape and size of sardines. Shimering bands of light played over the surface of fuzzy brown-green rocks. I swam along the bottom until it plunged into a deep blue abyss. I turned in the water, looked up at the undulating bright mirror of the surface, silver bubbles rising from my snorkel. I turned and looked downward. I was at an enormous altitude, flying slowly over mountaintops. Their slopes fell and disappeared into the violet darkness.
I passed Sorgeto bay, and headed for the huge rock of Sant Angelo. When I got to it 45 minutes later I paddled slowly and looked for the cave that Sylvia had once described. In it, she said, was a bubbling thermal spring. A man had fallen into it and was boiled to death. I saw no cave.
The gentle rocking of the boat put me quickly to sleep. I dreamed Vittoria was lying beside me on the small deck. She had finally come to me, after all. I felt peaceful, as I always felt when she was in my arms. We were on an adventure. Exploring the island of her birth. I was seeing Isola Verde through her eyes, and it became even more beautiful. I was happy.
She rose. I asked her where she was going. She smiled, but said nothing. Then she dove off the boat and swam away.