Amidst the flurry and the flutter of the plenary session I got one piece of excellent news that I can’t help but brag about (briefly). I passed my brevet and can therefore now navigate on inland and coastal waters on both motorized vessels and on yachts. All that hard graft of late-night studying was worth it! The process has not been disimilar to getting a drivers’ licence. There were practical and theoretical exams, and the theoretical part involved the memorisation of a lot of obscure detail that, actually, won’t be very useful on a day-to-day basis (I doubt whether we’ll meet many ocean-going vessels or fishing trawlers on the Lago di Como, for example), but that it’s important to know about nevertheless. As with learning to sail, the most enjoyable aspect of the process is to become aware of a whole area of human endeavour of ancient origin where man has learned to elaborate and impose rules on himself and on his environment. I shall never look at a buoy the same way again!