Reflections on Modern Versus Ancient Civilizations, While Greg Fixes the Head

Reflections on Modern Versus Ancient Civilizations, While Greg Fixes the Head

posted in: Greece, Sailing, Technical | 0

So the Burnetts’ enjoyment of Crete was dampened a bit lately by toilet troubles.  (Mel could say here, “All of a sudden, they were having a really shi!!y time,” but she won’t because Greg doesn’t like puns, and she apparently has to be really nice to Greg for a while now.)  The owner’s head wouldn’t empty.  It turns out marine life likes to turn into limestone in the outlet hose if it sits for a while, and this can eventually block off flow.  Luckily, donned in a respirator and giant kitchen gloves, noble Greg was able to clear things up with several flushes of muriatic acid.  Well, at least we think that’s what it was.  The label on the container has disintegrated.  The end result is that our fancy boat is now back to working order, but all of our Glenfiddich 15 is gone, mysteriously disappearing after a long, hot shower.

Despite this difficulty, we managed to explore Minoan ruins in Malia, visit King Minos’s Palace of Knossos, and see many Minoan objects in the Archaeological Museum in Iraklion.  The frescoes and art are truly amazing given that they are 4000-6000 years old.  The Minotaur supposedly lived in the labyrinth in the basement of King Minos’s palace, but no such basement was ever found.  (That’s because the Minotaur is lost in our port forepeak.  I mean, you really do need to lay down a piece of string when you go in so you can find your way out…)  With the Minoans we once again see the same pattern that we saw with the Greeks and Romans: a people developing art and science gets conquered by ignorant warriors who don’t require working plumbing, all knowledge is destroyed, and hundreds to thousands of years of dark ages ensue.  Sad.  Of course, all of this depressing history was easier to handle once the master head was fixed, and we could indulge in the luxuries of modern civilization.  Like having no poop stuck on your boat.

We also had a nice drive on the Lassithi Plateau, exploring flat land for the first time in months.  We quite enjoyed the big highway they built across Crete.  It is technically two lanes, but the Greeks make it three lanes by politely moving over onto the shoulder so you can pass.  And they don’t get angry about it!  Amazing!  We stopped at a taverna on the plateau and Greg had some really good “mountain tea.”  We wanted to buy some, but the waiter said we couldn’t, as he calls it “mountain tea” because every weekend he hikes through the mountains and gathers the tea leaves himself.  Okay, cool, Greek dude.  Very cool.  Lately, we visited the Cretan Olive Oil farm and learned that we should be eating 42 L of low-acid olive oil a year if we wanted to live a long time, like the Cretans.  When we asked how that was possible, our enthusiastic guide told us, “It helps if you drink a lot of raki with it.”

Finally, we decided to give up on repairing our Parasailor (when we were negotiating our repair price, they told us it was two years-old, had seen “heavy use”, and had been chewed on by mice, none of which was true — very odd) and we are purchasing an asymmetrical spinnaker from Quantum instead.  We had a spinnaker design and fashion show last night.  Mel will post pics the first time we fly it so you can see who won!

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