Monday, July 18, 2011

The Aegean

I suspect it's a cliché to say it, but the colours of the Aegean waters are strikingly beautiful in their variety. It's remarkable that, if you were to dip a glass into the water at the shore and another in the middle of the vast sea, a substance of which two samples are identically transparent can vary in colour so dramatically from overlapping shades of peacock blue and turquoise at the beachside to the deep sea's lazuline cobalt at noon and purplish ultramarine at sunset.

Two hours after boarding the morning ferry to Santorini, Crete disappears.  In every direction now the water meets the sky.  To the west the firmament is a pale powder blue and to the east it’s almost white.  Crete lies over the southern edge of the sea, betrayed only by a faint beige burst on the horizon of smog and ambient heat twisting and coiling into the sky like a daylight nebula.

Out in the middle of these two great unbroken hemispheres of blue we pass a solitary sailboat.  Why does this amaze me?  I’m sitting aboard a vessel which is the descendant of these very such craft which populated the Greek islands for millennia.

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