will continue with the activities of last saturday in Italy
during the VII Meeting Club Panerai.
Here our group is waiting for the arrival of the mini bus which
carried us to the Com.Sub.In.
We were able to visit the italian navy commandos at Le Grazie
in the gulf of La Spezia. Usually it's not possible to visit
the commandos as a civilian "tourist group" but with huge
efforts of Piero and the friendly connections to an officer
of these units, who is - fortunately - a member of Club Panerai
we were allowed once again after 2006 to enter the Varignano base,
home of the Com.Sub.In., underwater men and commandos of the
italian navy. This unit was founded 1954 with the aim of unifying
the various different military groups working underwater.
On the way from Viareggio to La Spezia we picked up Omeris at
his home, long waited for the moment when he was with us again.
Omeris was in pretty good shape for his age, 92 years and still
After we arrived at the commandos we were kindly welcomed by
Admiral Marzano, which we knew already from last year's visit.
He introduced himself and his commandos in italian and english
language and underlined the friendly connections between Club Panerai
and the Com.Sub.In. which were the source for making this visit possible.
Some gifts were exchanged between us and the Admiral and after his
address we were invited to see a short movie about the commando's
work in various ways - very interesting to see their training and
Infront of the main buildings there is also a memorial, similar
to the plate on the old farm house in Bocca di Serchio (see my
2nd part of the report).
We went also to the museum area, where it was time to proof,
that indeed the biff was back
again! I was glad that we
were able to spend that day with Omeris, seeing how much pleasure
he had to see us again. He asked me to forward his greetings and
thanks to all those who supported us to get him a new Radiomir
in 2005. He has surely not forgotten this - and so we do! The
smile of this Gamma man is priceless... Omeris was very happy.
After we left the museum area we went into another building
with diving equippment and decompression inventary. Our friend
Mirko, sporting a PAM210 "Omeris" and his colleague explaining
us some details...
After a load of informations we went into another building,
Omeris and Ralf just about to enter the cala scuola subacquei
Time for a photo with a navy unit, wearing the MMT500 in service.
I like the fact that this watch is not just a marketing idea, but
a real tool watch, actually used. We saw several MMT500 on wrist
there, even the admiral was sporting one when he welcomed us.
In another building we saw the atmospheric diving suite, impressive
technical equippment for the use down to 300 meters! Dunnerkeil...
I can't imagine going down that far in such a suit and ...changing a strap
in this dress would be quite difficult - but always a screwdriver at hand.
Backside view with propellers to move, reminds me on the nasa space dress!
Back outside we noticed the crest of the Com.Sub.In. painted on a ship,
Teseo Tesei's name, lot of tradition.
Brilliant view over to the main buildings of the base and the gulf of La Spezia:
We went back to the main buildings to enter the admiral's building,
where in the entrance area this little museum section is displayed:
The bust of Tesei, a wall full of famous mariners and an early SLC
in great condition:
A good place for the group shot. One of us was not there with us
on this photo, but he was surely there in his and our thoughts. We
had a really good time there but we did not forgot that our mate
Hammer wanted to join this year's meeting as well. Not this time,
mate, not yet...!
...carried you along all the time, mate! Stay strong, skipper!!!
After we left the commandos we had lunch at another building of the
Marina Militare in La Spezia, which got his name by a famous gold medal:
Omeris shared our table, ready for the antipasti and salute (hic)
...these hands can tell a story, you bet!
After the lunch we spend some time in the garden, before we
brought back Omeris to his home and we went back to Viareggio.
Here standing with scubadivers and palombari, it was time to
say "A presto, Omeris!"...
Thanks again to Mirko and Piero for realizing that day!
Stay tuned for part 4 with the dinner on the saturday evening
and the final activities on sunday morning. Thanks for looking!