It is a far different journey from the first we made across this strait, forty years ago. Then, the boat was small and old and the few of us onboard were adventurers more than tourists. It was a wooden vessel of fifteen meters, with an old diesel engine that blew dark grey smoke into the rich blue of the Mediteranean sky.
      The boat had a big, heavy canvas sail that the one crew member raised, while the unshaven captain, in a greasy white hat and a shirt that was the color of the smoke puffing out of the exhaust, sat in the wheelhouse of the small boat, with a cigarette between the index and middle fingers of the hand that held the wheel, and a tiny cup of Greek coffee on the chart table beside him.
      He was relaxed when the sail went up and the wind spapped it open. He drew in a deep breath, sipped at his coffee, and called for the crewmember to take over the helm. The crewmember threw his cigarette overboard and shuffled up to the wheelhouse … his old shorts tattered at the hem, and his shirt, with a tear in its side. 
      I watched all this beside my young wife, holding hands with the romance of it all.
      The captain poked his head out of the wheelhouse, looked up at the sky where a few clouds were gathering, then at the horizon, and back at the sky again. He glanced at his watch, again at the horizon, and back up at the sky. I could hear him say something, soberly, to the crewmember, and then he walked up to the bow, shook the anchor to check that it was securely clamped down, and walked around the deck, pausing to greet the few passengers, and stopping for a few minutes to look down over the stern at something.
      Finally, the old captain returned to the wheelhouse, and a minute later the tattered crewmember emerged, heading for the mast at a much faster pace than he’d previously moved. As he dropped the sail, the wind was beginning to come at us in sharp gusts that knocked the canvas about as the crewmember struggled to contain it with big straps. When it was secure, he headed back up to the wheelhouse.
      Minutes later, the clouds filled in, still high up, but darkening, with deep black along the edges of the bank. The wind picked up, and the boat began to rock and wallow in the freshening sea. I could hear the engine pick up and realized that the captain must have turned up the throttle. The bow crashed through the rising waves and splats of seawater splashed up onto the windshield of the wheelhouse.

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