Moira’s Odyssey

“Odyssey” has become so trite it’s (seriously) not funny, cheap and borderline meaningless.  It’s a kind of Honda, a brand of golf clubs, thousands of mind-numbing memoirs called “My Odyssey.” And yet there it is, the absolute fons et origo of Western imaginative literature, still there to amaze and teach us.  So who is “Moira” and why talk about her “Odyssey”?

How she came about is discussed on this site, see “PC (as in Prostate Cancer)“.  This, her blog, starts as she is about to retire after six years (already!) of being used, sometimes, abused, hopefully giving pleasure to dozens of charterers. Like an old carriage-horse, in her youth she heard the squeals of happy children, the sighs of lovers, probably some quarrels and maybe even a drama or two.  No knackers’ yard for her, though: still stately if never svelte, but with worn patches and nicks here and there, her teak deck venerable (i.e., the occasional splinter in one’s heel), her keel nicked by a dastardly grounding.  Now she is ours, no longer a source of income but a cost centre: a real financial triumph, that, like most of the real estate deals I have been involved with.  But boats are not about investments, are they?  Who was the rotter who said owning one is like standing in the shower tearing up £50 notes?

So from now on, starting on September 11th, 2016, she will take us, only us and our dearest friends, for gentle rides around the Ionian.  Maybe even further afield, since she can now legally leave Greek waters; but really, who would want to be anywhere else?

And the connection with the Odyssey…?  Ithaka, his home; Polis Bay, with the Loizos Cave where there is proof he was worshipped in antiquity; Dolichion, Kefalonia…  Meganisi which is identified with the Island of the Sun God’s Cattle (eat your heart out, Sicily).  Scylla and Charybdis (give a wide berth to both), and on the coming cruise, the Nekromanteion, where Odysseus went looking for the blind seer Tiresias, who told him he had a long journey ahead as well as behind him) and found his mother (“Sorry I didn’t write, Mom”) and Achilles (“I’d rather be a nobody on Earth than a great champion in this shadowy place where the food tastes bland and there’s no fun to be had” [sounds like England in the winter of 1970])..  and then Palaiokastritsa, home of King Alkinous and his nubile daughter Nausikaa, she who brought home a naked Greek sailor (guess who) in a cart with the laundry, “Look what I found, Dad!”)…

All that’s to come!  You want Odyssey?


Moira anchored off a remote bay

And so, 3 weeks from today, destination Greece and a 2-week cruise with friends Dave and Sue, charting a course between Corfu and Albania and finally the… Faraway Islands out towards Italy.  Stay tuned!



Moira anchored off Antipaxos

Sigh. Just back from 4 weeks in the Ionian.  Moira sailed elegantly up and around Corfu; we had planned to visit the Faraway Islands (Othoni and 2 others NW of Corfu on the way to Italy) but the forecast was dire, so we scurried south.  Our radar reflector had disappeared so we did not want to sail at night, there was no wind anyway so we motored south for some hours.  Not before spending a night at Paleokastritsa, where King Antinous had his palace; in fact the whole narration of the Odyssey takes place there; the stranger of course turned out to be a nobleman with an astonishing tale to tell…

But there was enough wind towards the end of the last day to put up the Whisker Pole:

gentle wind at our back and a following sea... who asks for more?

gentle wind at our back and a following sea… who asks for more?













Then a week of bad forecasts, not so bad weather but lots of rain.  Then a week of glorious weather, light winds but good times with old friends:

this fishing boat seems to float on air... near Kioni, Ithaka

this fishing boat seems to float on air… near Kioni, Ithaka (the bay below where Odysseus’ palace bestrode three other bays, according to Homer: the only place on Ithaka to do so…)











Great walks along the coast in what looked like paradise to me…  and from there to Hell.  Or at least the River Acheron (kept an obole in my pocket in case Charon turned up:  it really looks like a sinister entrance to Hades:


Then we went up to the archaeological site itself, the Nekromanteion or Oracle,  That’s where Odysseus went looking for the blind seer Teiresias as described above…

Here is the pit under the Bronze Age structure (probably as old as the Trojan War):  those channels in the floor look like the ditch where Odysseus poured blood to attract the shades:


Will catch up with the rest of the journey (Moira’s, Odysseus’s and mine) soon…

April 5th 2017: Moira is being refitted, polished, given a new dinghy, running rigging, and brand new solar panels to make sure the beer never gets warm…  a facelift for an ageing lady with (hopefully) a lot of nautical miles left to sail…


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