A life devoted to the earth and its waters

Piero Pieroni was born in July 1937 in Libya, of Italian parentage. He studied geology at university, then played in the Italian professional basketball league before moving into the oil business, where he became an engineer specializing in the completion of oil and gas wells. His first post was back in Libya with the Nelson Bunker Hunt company. This stint lasted just six months before he, along with many others, was forced out of the country, now under Khadafy, with only 10 pounds sterling in his pocket; he had to borrow money just to fly from London back to company headquarters in Houston. He then worked for Baker Oil Tools in Texas, transferred back to Africa in Nigeria and Egypt, and finally, in the late 1970s, settled in Greece, where he managed their new office until his retirement. He settled in Kea with his wife, Marisa; their two children now live in Rome and London. While a marathon sea voyage might seem a 180-degree turn from a career dedicated to rock and soil, it also jives with an adventurous working life pursued in some desolate spots. His big dream formed early, fired by reading about the exploits of Joshua Slocum, the world’s first solo circumnavigator. Piero cleared his calendar and chartered a boat from an old university friend so strong that «in the South Pacific, when the big waves turn me around, when I come back up I want the mast to still be there.» The Quo Vadis was built in 1986 in Italy, then fitted out in Lavrion and tested on Aegean trips while he boned up exhaustively for his voyage-to-come. By mid-2002, he was ready, weighing anchor in Lavrion on July 5. He returned there on June 23, 2005. In between came a world – and a world of experiences.

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