October 20th 2016 Navimeteo team were happy to attend the 4th Captain’s Day, Italian Yacht Masters event. Professionals passionate about the sea joined the IYM Association to share their experience and knowledge and “to help each other to learn, train and progress”. Gianfranco Meggiorin, the Founder and President of Navimeteo weather centre was honoured to deliver his speech on importance of safety at sea. He highlighted the advantage of being able to count on the professional advice of experienced weather forecasters in critical situations. Mr Meggiorin, as many other guests, described Captain’s Day as a “serious and impeccably organised event”.
Captain Gino Battaglia, The President of Italian Yacht Masters Association, explained that Captain’s Day was established to celebrate Association’s annual anniversaries. He sees this meeting as an opportunity to gather marine professionals and to discuss with them the new route the Association needs to take in order to grow and support maritime market sector and to create new work opportunities for professionals and young candidates. Captain Battaglia adds that “calling on professionals’ ideas during Captain’s Day is like calling Navimeteo weather forecasters when you get into a storm during a transatlantic crossing- it’s quick and safe”.
In a short interview after an elegant lunch at “Zeffirino” restaurant Captain Battaglia remembers the first day when he was called captain. “It was many years ago in Sanremo”, he says, “and I didn’t even turn my head when the moorer called me because I wasn’t used to it, but I definitely remember how proud I was when I first heard my son being called Captain”. “But you know what”, he continues, “even if reaching such a status is one of those rare life satisfactions, it’s important not to spout off about being a captain because it’s a hard work and a very big responsibility”. Being a President today he feels also responsible for passing down his passion and dedication to this profession to young people. He says that Italian Yacht Masters are ready “to help those who are honest and hardworking”. Then Captain switches on to talking about the importance of family support in this type of career and exactly at that moment his wife silently joins us at the table. He says that understanding and wisdom are very important in captain’s family and recalls that his wife followed him to the Caribbean with a small child because she knew that it was useless to keep a captain away from the sea. She has made a lot of sacrifices but has never reproached me for any of them”, he concludes while his wife silently nods.
Manuel Battaglia, President’s son, is also present at Captain’s Day. It is known that it is difficult to be “dad’s son” in any profession: comparisons and back talking are inevitable. “I decided to become a captain”, he starts shyly, “ because I grew up in that maritime atmosphere. I remember the first time when I was called Captain, that wasn’t long ago, I felt myself an… important person”, he smiles modestly. “Dad taught me some technical elements of this job, but when the weather is stormy and you are all alone on the bridge, no dad can help, right? It’s a very difficult job and there are so many responsibilities in it”, he echoes his father without knowing it. “I miss my family when I’m not at home but I miss the sea when I’m at home, it’s complicated”, he continues. Manuel is in his late twenties, speaks three languages and is eager to learn the forth one. He is well-educated and extremely open. “I have no fear – and I know this is my flaw”, he says. To my question about his motto, he echoes his father again “Honesty is the most important thing” funny enough he didn’t even hear me interviewing his dad.