Thursday, July 06, 2006

June 29, 2006

Ship's Log
June 29th 2006
Departure Location: Lilla Nassa, Sweden
Departure Time: 8:00 hours
Distance Travelled: 11.57 nautical miles
Arrival Location: Sandhamn, Sweden
Arrival Time: 12:15 hours
Weather: Sunny and light winds

Personal Comments:

We began this morning with a pancake breakfast that lacked Mom’s special touch. Having had Jonas cook Swedish pancakes for us we hoped to be able to offer a comparable cultural exchange, but the thick flat pastries we produced were a far cry from the Sunday morning breakfasts that we hoped to recreate. Next time we will learn to track down a recipe, or maybe some Aunt Jemima if we get desperate.

After calm sailing all morning we arrived at Sandhamn in the early afternoon. Sandhamn is a small summer vacation island, which happened to be hosting the Royal Swedish Sailing Society’s Gotland Run (a multi-day regatta). Due to the race the port was teaming with activity. Upon arriving, John was immediately dispatched to retrieve mustard, a condiment that the team has become particularly dependant upon (average mustard consumption has reached one entire bottle per day). We spent the first part of our afternoon fending off other boats, which were being packed in next to us like sardines. In the afternoon we shopped for supplies, explored the town, and had a late afternoon drink in an outside café. At days close we found ourselves over served and under slept.

Research Comments:

This morning’s leisurely sail gave us the perfect opportunity to come together as a group and have a final review of our thoughts regarding the voyage and Vinci’s theory. To open our casual symposium we each went around in turn and named the high points of the trip. Each person had a unique perspective on the experience, but all agreed that the fields of Troy, the beauty of the environment, and the ample opportunities for individual reflection have made this trip truly memorable.

Each person was asked to summarize their understanding of the Iliad’s underlying themes in one sentence. The question proved it’s merit in that it brought to our attention an interesting dichotomy that was consistent with both the Iliad and our own experience of retracing the Achaean voyage to Troy; namely the necessary balance between the action of individuals and the group to which they belong. What we realized in the midst of our discussion about the Iliad’s thematic focus is that Homer’s work explores this exact balance (the group/society vs. the individual).
On the boat we have seen this split play out on a daily basis. Everyday there is a time when each person needs to be alone and act without being confined by the desires of the group. But it is also true that each day brings moments of camaraderie where we are reliant on one another for support, entertainment, and guidance.

That The Iliad can still be so applicable to humanity is what gives it the capacity to endure and makes it worthy of continual study.


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