From the Sea Cloud in Greece
Oct 11, 2012 - Sea Cloud
It is hard to believe that this is to be our last full day on the Sea Cloud and what better way to end a perfect week than a morning on the beach, an afternoon under full sail, followed by a champagne reception anchored beneath the cliffs at Cape Sounion, watching the pale marble colonnade that surrounds great the Temple of Poseidon, mellow in the setting sun. Truly, can travel be more sublime?
If one truly wanted to get “Far from the Maddening Crowd,” the northwest tip of the island of Kythnos (Termia) is just the ticket. Due to its proximity to the capital, the Athenians come to the southern part of this, the most northeastern of the Cycladic Islands, for its beaches. The double beach, or sand spit that joins Ayios Loukas to the main island, was deserted when we set up our beach camp for the morning. But, as the sun climbed over the barren, stony mountains that ringed the eastern half of the bay, the sailors on the numerous small “bare-boat” charter boats started to come to life, including the two old Labrador retrievers who were sleeping in a tent on the aft of a small Swedish catamaran.
A number of guests chose to stretch their legs and hike out along the barren track that wrapped up and around the multiple craggy headlands of the double bay. Save one shepherd and a flock of six goats, there was not another soul in sight. After a swim we returned to the Sea Cloud for yet another culinary feat – the famous Parmesan pasta wheel and grilled calamari.
Our wonderful Greek guides, Sophia and Stella, gave a presentation on “All Things Greek” while the crew hoisted every available square inch of canvas to take advantage of the faint breath of north wind. With the ship moving along at 2.5 knots on calm seas, we were invited to board zodiacs to take a photo run around the ship. What a magnificent sight – her sails gleaming white in the mid-afternoon sun and the golden eagle on her bow gently bowing its head towards the rippling, deep turquoise waters of the Aegean. Back aboard, our baker Mark was whipping up milkshakes to go along with a huge selection of tempting tea cakes.
As we gathered on the Lido deck to watch the sunset and share a glass of wine with our fellow guests for the last time, the following sentiments of Socrates seemed most appropriate:
“Wine moistens and tempers the spirits and lull the cares of the mind to rest. It revives our joys and is oil to the dying flame of life, if we drink temperately and take small draughts at a time; the wine distills into our lungs like sweet morning dew. It is them that wine commits no rape upon our reason – but pleasantly invites us to agreeable mirth.”