At Sea, from Sicily to Greece

May 29, 2019 - Sea Cloud


Sea Cloud sailed all night long. The wind was perfect to keep us under sail even when the crew rested. It was a peaceful night with gentle, rocking movement and the constant symphony of the Ionian Sea against the body of the ship. Stars shone and all the guests slept in peace, maybe dreaming about all the beauty seen already. Temples, theaters, cathedrals, aristocratic palaces, and beautiful landscapes.

Now that we are sailing to the origin of what we saw in Sicily, it’s time to learn something more about olive oil. More than an ingredient used in the kitchen, it’s a medicine. And it’s thanks to the Greeks who spread the technique of cultivation all over the region that olive trees are today the heroes of the Mediterranean landscape. We heard a lecture titled: “Olive Oil, the flame of Greek Gods.” It was used as lamp oil for centuries, to light up the temples in Greece and colonized territories. Only much later was it used as an ingredient for cooking.

After lunch, historian Robyn Woodward gave a presentation on “Mycenaeans, The Age of Heroes” so we could learn something else about the Greek civilization before we landed in Pylos, on the west side of Peloponnese.

It was a classic day at sea until Expedition Leader Tom asked if anyone wanted to help close the sails.

We’d been watching the crew maintain the sails for days; now it was out turn to help.

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About the Author

Massimo Bassano

National Geographic Photographer

Massimo Bassano has worked as a freelance photojournalist since 1990. His work appears in National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic online edition, as well as many publications throughout Europe. Massimo's photographic subjects know no bounds—his recent assignments have covered social issues, international travel, fitness and health, fashion, and portraiture. In 2004, he was awarded a Ph.D. in journalism from the Italian Association of Journalism.

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