Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Greece 2023: Nafpaktos I

Nafpaktos (English Naupactos, Greek Ναύπακτος) is the sort of town that one runs into in Greece where, actually seeing it, one begins to understand why it was so famous for such a small town.

Nafpaktos sits on the Attica side of the Gulf of Corinth, just before the most narrow point between the Gulf of Corinth and the Ionian Sea.  Thus, whomever controlled Nafpaktos effectively controlled the Gulf of Corinth.

The Athenians settled the Messenian Helots that had escaped from Sparta here in 453 B.C., where they waged a bitter war against them during the period leading up to and including the Peloponnesian War.  It belonged in turn to the Macedonians, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Despotate of Epirus, the Latin Duchy of Athens, the Knights Hospitallers, and finally the Venetian Republic (1407-1499), when it was captured by the Ottoman Turks who held it until 1829 (except for a brief period of 1687-1689).  It is most famous for being the location of the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, where the naval power of the Ottoman Turks was broken by the Holy League (Lepanto being the Venetian name for Nafpaktos).

The city retains much of its protective walls.


The harbor of Nafpaktos:

A cool mosaic at the entrance to a church:

Dinner was anchovies in lemon and olive oil:

Looking across to the Peloponnese.  It is said that the sons of Hercules built their ships here and then invaded the Peloponnese (thus incidentally establishing the two royal houses of Sparta).

Looking up towards the fortress:

Monday, October 30, 2023


 I find myself disquieted.

I sit here looking out the front window as the cold front that apparently heralds our arrival of Winter makes itself known:  rain, wind, and dropping temperatures for which are temporary, but will definitely settle downward overall even further.  The washing machine runs in the background, washing two weeks worth of guinea pig blankets that need a good hot wash and two rinses.  The coffee - from the second pot this morning - is still warm.

All of this feels real - and yet, all of it feels like an illusion.  It is moments like this that make me remember what a thin veneer of stability makes our whole society and what I often take for granted as my lifestyle run.

Certainly reading the news will not help anyone's frame of mind - which is why by and large I have stopped doing it.  I drop in occasionally only to find that pretty much nothing has changed - in fact, things genuinely seem to be going from bad to worse.  

I go through a list - is it job security and employment I am worried about?  Of course always - at best what the industry I am in is unstable at best and start-ups are even more so.  We are going through the budgeting activities for next year and although I am planning as if I had a full year and lots of growth to plan for, at the back of my head I am painfully aware of the fact that if something significant does not change in the next four to six months, this will be a very different discussion indeed.  

We have scrubbed the budget - again - and will probably do so one more time .  No matter how much I think we have redirected funds, likely there is always something more.  And yet at the same time, there not all the saving in the world can make job instability not happen.  

(It looks like my hours are up slightly at Produce (A)Isle to 17 hours a week or so.  Given those hours on top of a regular job, not sure there is a lot else I can do there - even I need some down time.)

Add to this the message that seems to be coming through loudly from the sermons I have heard over the last two weeks from Thessalonians with the effective message being about persecution.  It is as if someone is trying to get a message through or something.

Sure, I have been here before. This is not the first time that the world has been unsteady or my job has been in long term doubt or persecution has come up in a sermon series.  But the question that keeps popping up in my head is that even if all of this is nothing more than another swell in the ocean of history, what do things look like after it?  Things never "go back" to the way they were before.  They are either changed or seem the same but find themselves more fragile.

I should not be disquieted about things I have seen before - and yet, I am.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

On Leaving The Ranch

Departure days from The Ranch are always tinged with sorrow.

I have a routine that I have stumbled into over the last two years in getting ready to leave.  Laundry is always done the day before.   Vacuuming and toilet cleaning/preparation are done either the night before or morning of, depending on departure times.  Dishes are in the cupboard except for what is needed for breakfast.  Last fire is banked on the day before departure, so only the ashes need be cleaned out into the bucket before I go to be dumped upon my return.

The mental part is harder, of course.  That said, there is not the sense of leaving my parents as there used to be. 

I saw my mother this visit as I do almost ever visit.  As always, she is kind although my sister and I are sure that she does not have a clue who we are.   She definitely looks much thinner now and I am struck over the visits by how different her haircuts are - this time her hair was longer, something I cannot ever remember seeing in my memory, only in pictures.  But she is no longer here in that sense; her memory gently pervades the place in the items that remain and the memories that I have.

My father is here more to me as a presence - not as much in the house (although his chair by the fire remains where it has always been and is as toasty as ever in the Winter) as on the property.  Walking about it, I can still hear him mumbling about getting the brush hog out to knock down the sprouted brush or out on his walks with a hoe, taking out volunteer star thistle that he worked so hard to eliminate.  But he, too, is a memory floating above and around this place.

The biggest thing I miss when I leave is the peace.

At least two days this week, I saw no-one physically for the greater part of the day.  Certainly I interacted with people via phone and InterWeb - that is my job, after all - but there was no physical presence.  There was also no noise such as impedes on my every day existence in "The Real World":  of note this week was a chainsaw team working a tree at my Aunt and Uncle's that ran almost all day, but that was it.  The turkeys wandered by on their endless quest for food, the deer continued their evening and morning dining.  Life here - Life in its fullest form, not just as a human-centric item - continues at pace all its own. 

Soon enough after the post on Saturday morning, I will re-enter the world.  I will make the drive to my sister's, get taken to the airport, packed in a flying tube, and shipped back to New Home.  At every touch point the modern world will ratchet up its presence - people, sound, activity - until by the time I arrive home I will be engulfed by the reality of 24 hour/365 day modern urban America, where there is something going on at every minute and progress seems measured only by the noise and activity we can generate.

An odd thing happened on Friday as I drove up to see my Aunt and Uncle.  As I went in the house, my Uncle said "Seeing you come up the driveway with the white hair and on the Gator, I almost thought you were your father."  I laughed of course - I can completely imagine what he was talking about as I had seen my father do that a thousand times driving up to the house - but it struck a chord in me that I could not shake.  There was a certain rightness - to the driving, to being mistaken for my father, for the drive back down to my parent's house, and even in pulling aside for a few moments and visiting with the neighbors that had come to feed the cattle.

This is what I lament most when I go:  this sense of always leaving somewhere that it feels like I belong.

Saturday, October 28, 2023


Sometime over the course Thursday night I passed, 1,000,000 views.

To be fair, apparently Blogger only officially started collecting numbers  in May of 2010, so it is possible - though unlikely - what we passed that number some time ago. That said, only the things that are recorded really happen. 

So, happy 1,000,000 to me.

It is sort of a silly milestone of course:  1,000,000 view is actually probably not the equivalent of 1,000,000 actual views, as the multiple offers to "make $95 an hour with this one easy trick" suggest - although even in that case, I suppose it is possible they got something out of the posting.  

But hopefully a substantial amount of those group were real people.  And 1,000,000 of anything is an accomplishment.

As always, I am grateful to those that stop by here on a regular or semi-regular basis to read and comment.  As I have maintained for years, writers want to be read, and I am humbled and grateful to all that spend part of their time - that most precious of commodities - here.  My humble thanks.

On to the next milestone!

Friday, October 27, 2023

Farewell, P The Rabbit

P the rabbit passed over The Rainbow Bridge yesterday

She was at the Vet's for combination of teeth issues and eating issues.  They put her under anesthesia - the only way you can file down a rabbit's teeth, and hers were growing into her tongue - and her heart stopped.  It is not an uncommon thing.

They tried resuscitation but to no avail.  I was able to talk to the doctor on the phone and stopped further measures.

The worst part, of course, is all of this happening when I am half a country away.

She was my angry little rabbit, a deaf girl who had almost no socialization skills.  I tried to pair her with Joy; she would have nothing to do with her and so spent her life by herself.

That said, she eventually came out of her shell.  She was always super excited when food was in the offing: she would stand up on her back legs and press against the cage bars, waiting for her turn to get whatever was being distributed.  And she would take attention, at least on her terms, sitting quietly next to me on the chair as I read or wrote (sometimes one of these posts), always nervously breathing.  She never seemed to relax.

Now she gets to run free, hopefully hearing (for the first time) the wonders of an eternity of green hills under rainbows and blue skies when the hay is always crisp and the fruits and vegetables always waiting around to be eaten.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Collapse CXXIII: Town

21 June 20XX+1

My Dear Lucilius:

Our march ends about a quarter mile from town, where the point guards and the Captain had pulled up short on the road in what was the last point of scrub brush and trees before the road we are on meets up with main road into town. From here to the outermost buildings it is largely flat grassland, the heads of grass slowly waving. We will wait here until dusk, when we start filtering in to a location to rest for the night.

Fortunately we had not more than 30 minutes of waiting following a drive and a long walk: not long enough to really rest but long enough to stiffen up. No matter how much I like to believe I am in good shape, it is never quite true.; age prevents the full recovery that we often wish for. As we sit, there is creaking and popping – I cannot decide if it is the brush and the trees or myself as I settle in.

Little noise emanated from the town: an occasional dog bark or rooster call. But no sounds of people. In a world without power and with unpleasantness about, dusk has become a time for being inside.

As we sit in the gathering gloom, the Captain came through and breaks us into parties of 8. These will be the groups that we move in. Even as he finishes breaking us out, the first group moves out onto the road. Every five minutes, another group leaves.

I am in the last group with the Captain and Blazer Man, Young Xerxes having departed earlier. With a hand gesture, the Captain heads out and we follow.

The road is still that of a smooth road we had walked on earlier, the newly paved feel of tax dollars hard at work once upon a time. We move at a quicker pace than before, a quick walk that takes us past the open and exposed flatland to the edge of buildings in town. This is the road I would always drive on when I came to town here; in fact where I came less than a year ago. The buildings are ones I recognize as we hurry by, small vacation rentals from a time when going away was a thing of pleasure, not a thing of survival or fear.

As we continue to move through and in, storefronts and businesses start to cluster as well as houses. For the most part empty glass reflects the sunlight as we go past; the windows here have largely not been broken (this is, or rather was, rural America: we tend to keep order). At a street corner we make a hard right turn and hurry on, now almost being driven by the sun continuing to fall in the sky.

We move down the street passing mostly houses now: some have flickering lights of candles or solar lights or headlamps, others sit in darkness. Where and how these people now live cannot be seen on our rushing tour. Either by suggestion or by fear, they choose not to see us as we glide by. Occasionally a blur of movement catches my eye, a curtain opened and then quickly dropped.

The Captain pulls us down to a halt as we make one last right turn – into the local high school, if the sign reads aright.

The gym. They have put us in the gym.

It makes a certain sense of course: a large facility, likely not used by many, with limited windows and probably even less foot traffic, buried in the center of town. A perfect place to put a force for a time.

I laugh silently. I have not slept in a gym since high school.

By the time we walk through the door, the bulk of the others have laid out whatever sleeping arrangements they brought: some has sleeping bags, some have blankets, some just have a tarp to lay on the ground and a pack or jacket for their head. Small strategic solar lights have been placed to avoid completely tripping over each other; I somehow almost manage to fall anyway. I find Young Xerxes away in a corner where he has made some room for me; Blazer Man follows, seemingly bereft of any other acquaintances. We make room for him as well.

Dinner is another version of lunch, although someone went to the troubles of making sure there was water from the river available in those old sports coolers that used to be at the side of every sporting event. Yes, it has to filtered – but at least that is one less thing we have to concern ourselves with.

The day has been too much for me; I will finish this line and lay down and sleep the sleep of the exhausted.

Your Obedient Servant, Seneca

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Greece 2023: To The Gulf Of Corinth

 After our lunch in Preveza, we started drove down the coast and started overland.  Another one of the "not a lot of commentary, just pictures" post.

Taken at a rest stop.  The clouds jus struck me as cool.

Why not, Greece, why not:

These pictures are taken from Nafpaktos, our next stop.  This picture is looking east.  To our left is the Peloponnese, to the right is the mainland of Greece.  They sit across each other from on the Gulf of Corinth.  There is a lot of history bound up here (more next week), but if you can imagine in The Peloponnesian War, this side was with Athens and just across the water was with the Spartans.  

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Greece 2023: Preveza

 Arriving back on the Greek mainland, we drove down the cost of the Ionian Sea where our next stop was the town of Preveza.

Preveza itself has an unclear founding; located close by was the city of Nicopolis, founded by Augustus Caesar to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., which occurred nearby.  The name Preveza appears in a Byzantine record in 1292 A.D., but was likely in existence before then. Essentially refounded by the Ottoman Turks in 1477 A.D., it passed briefly to the Venetian Republic from 1684 - 1699 A.D.  and then again in in 1717 A.D. - thus like Corfu, it bears the stamp of Venice.  It passed to the French in 1797 A.D., then back to the Ottomans in 1820 A.D., only to finally become part of Greece again in 1912 A.D.

One of the notable features to me was the Church of St. Charalampos - not only because it was a rather nice church, but it was the first church there were no restrictions taken pictures inside.

The Altar:

If you look at the paintings, you will see evidence of The Ionian School - Orthodox traditional saints and stories painted in the Italian style.

The streets and their views stretched down to the coast:

Of all the cities we visited, this was one of my favorites.  I still keep the temperature of it on my phone now, on the odd chance I might want to go back someday.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Continuing To Pack Up

 I finally broke down and bought packing supplies to finish up my parent's house.

If I am completely honest, the amount of packing left to do is not much:   All bedrooms are now cleared of everything we want (with the exception of a pair of twin beds, the bathrooms, the formal dining room and informal dining rooms, and living room are now complete.  What remains is the office, the hallway, one last sweep through the kitchen, and packing the things we have saved up in the Master Bedroom Closet.

And (gulp) the garage.

Honestly, it is really not that much remaining - and yet it has escalated in my mind to some kind of heroic task that needs to be completed when in truth 85% of it is already done.  Why, I wonder, is this?

Mostly it is down to having to make the "hard" choices.

I say hard choices.  The choices are hard to me, no-one else.  Family pictures and family albums have been packed up if for no other reason that I do not feel I have the time or ability to sort through them at this point.  The rest of the things that everyone else wanted have already been selected and put aside.

No, the issues that remain are completely of my own making.

I have gotten slightly better at it.  I am more able now than before to ask myself "Do I really need to save this?" and set it aside if the answer is not an immediate "yes".  Some of this simply due to a certain weariness at this point, of just wanting to finish with things and get them out of here.

As we have moved through, what remains sits out on tables and in cabinets and on shelves, isolated remnants remaining from the outgoing tide of nostalgia.  The things still bear memories to me, just not enough memories to have a need to save them.

In an ideal world, I would finish up the initial work by the end of this week and then we can contact someone for an estate sale.  If I can keep to task long enough to finish it - I say "keep to task" because sorting through the collections of a life by one's self can be a lonely activity and one I have to keep myself to the grindstone at to complete.

If I am honest with myself, we are now at the back end of this activity.  I need to focus on how it is going to feel when I can check this off my list of things that needs to be done - and to accept that whatever happens next cannot happen until this thing is done first.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Markers Of Success

 One of the nice things about blogging as long as I have is that one comes across many different blogs.  Some of them are single stops, others become treasured stops time and time again.  A handful are stops I make every morning if I see something has new has been published (fortunately for me, most of my favorite bloggers are prolific writers).

For the most part the bloggers I read the most (and to be fair, the people that comment on this blog as well) tend to live simple lives - not "simplistic lives", as some of all of you are the busiest people that I know.  It is just that there is very little of the modern culture of speed, acquisition, and spending.  It is how I want to live my life, even if I do so very brokenly at this point.

To say "modern society is built on an unachievable concept of success" is probably a trope at this point - but tropes exist for a reason.  Currently in my life, I am living proof that you really cannot have it all (one of the mildly popular myths of this age)- or at least you cannot have it all and keep any sort of sanity in the process.    I suppose it would be difficult to pin down what "success" means in the modern world, although power, wealth, the ability to live the "experiential life", and all the things are, I suspect, in the running.

I do not suppose that sort of life ever really appealed to me, but especially as I have grown older, there is almost nothing about it that is appealing.  Yet even though I intellectually know this, I still struggle with it.  

To be sure, just living in the modern world encourages this.  I find myself slipping into the trap at my new job of "I need to work a little more to be a get things done" - add on the daily commute and suddenly I am looking at work day extending to 10 hours or more.  All because I want to be "a success" at my job.

Oddly enough - or perhaps not oddly at all - the more I am removed from this environment, the less I find it that necessary.  When I removed from that world, that pounding cry of "more, more, faster, faster", things take a different shape.

What if we consciously measured things by a different standard?  Maybe not the standards above - number of books (this works for me, of course), number of hours of sleep, number of things we did for ourselves, time we spent with family members?  What if that became the "standard of success"?

It never will on a large level, of course - those ideas have nothing to offer a system that values spending and power (mostly over others).  But they can offer us something on a personal level, a stick for ourselves to measure our own personal successes.

Besides - if number of books is a measure, then I am probably one of the most successful people I know.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Tales From Produce (A)Isle: Days Of Music Past

 Readers may recall that approximately two months ago on Produce (A)Isle, we received an update (arguably an upgrade) in our music selection:  we moved from "Modern Pop Music" to Music of the 1980's ( e.g., music of my youth).

The change was welcome then and remains welcome.  It is nice to fill my mind with songs I can sing along to (at least in my head) as I bustle about the fruits and vegetables.  Generally speaking they are all upbeat songs as well, which does give a skip to my step upon occasion.

One of the fine things about any sort of nostalgia such as this is the remembering of things that had become crowded out of my mind.  Songs I have not thought of in 35 years pop back into my mind suddenly as if it were yesterday - and oddly enough, with almost all of the lyrics intact.  

A sub-genre that I had forgotten about but has made a strong reappearance into the lineup are what I will call the Romantic Rock Ballad.  I do not think that is an actual category, but the songs are similar enough in sound and sense and feeling that they serve to form their own genre:  wistful songs about unrequired love and plans to make said love requited filled with power chords, drums, and soaring melodies as we reach the apex.  REO Speedwagon, Survivor, Icehouse, Journey, Styx - they all find their place in the lexicon of my mind from so many years ago.

As I listen to this songs, they stir in me feelings of 40 + years ago, feelings I had somehow thought were dead:  that silly, hopeless romantic fellow that really believe in the lyrics of the songs.  It is nice to revisit those feelings - but it makes me sad as well.  Where, I wonder as those songs pass by, did that fellow go?

Oh, I know part of where he went.  The link above tells the tale, but the short version is that it got almost brutally ripped out of him, his heart hurled to the floor and broken. What was left...is largely what remains today.  Which has its own advantages certainly, but is also in some ways much less than that individual was.

He had hope.  He had a clear sight on nobility and romance and right, and seemed to really believe that the best could occur.  Almost belying my current state, he was far more of an optimist than I was.  He was also - if the reminiscing tells me anything - a sometimes more happier fellow.

It has taken me this long to realize I miss him.

Can he come back?  Hard to say really; 40 years is a long time to be away and even if he were back, would he be able to deal with the world and the situations that I find myself in with the same sort of aplomb and gung ho spirit that he had back then?  I do not really know.

I only know this:  when I hear those songs, something stirs in my heart, something I have not felt in more years than I care to admit.  Something beyond the ordinary that I live, something almost on a higher plane of existing, of being more alive than I feel 98% of the time anymore.  Something that makes me hungry for an existence above what I feel that life has become, a day to day grind in mediocrity and ambitions emptied of all but their practical aspects.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Of Autumn And A Roof Update

 Autumn seems to have arrived with all the subtlety of a freight train.

Our days have noticeably cooled off - and more importantly, the humidity has dropped to levels manageable for human existence.  Some mornings earlier this week were - if you can believe it - actually  cold.  I may or may not have actually have actually used layers for the first time since February of this year.

The shocking thing to me is that this year's transition from Summer to Autumn seems abrupt.  No easing in to anything, no slow slide into another season.  It almost as quickly as the Christmas candies will be appearing in two weeks when we pass Halloween.

This sudden transition has left me in a bit of disarray.

I had not really thought or planned towards my Fall garden, and now I am scrambling to get something in the ground.  I say scrambling; likely we have at least another month of reasonable weather and part of the speed is self inflicted in that I will be at The Ranch next week (where there, it is already wood stove season).  And added to that is the fact that what is currently taking up the bulk of my garden - sweet potato vines - have not yet started to wither, so I am working around them. Still, I managed to clean up the garden this week and get garlic in.  It is something, anyway.

The other big issue is the roof, of course.

I heard back from the construction company.  Turns out things are somewhat as I had anticipated: they were more than happy to be my new best roofing friend with the prospect of an insurance billing paying for everything; with the much reduced amount of our payout, actual economics came into play.  They can only make money if we financed some portion of the roof with a 75% down payment.  I do not inherently mind the statement that they need to make money; I am firm believer we all should.  What I do mind is the illusion of enthusiasm right up to the point of finding out that I was much less of a viable prospect. The even more bothersome thing is that - not totally through their fault) - I have lost about two weeks waiting for all of this to get sorted out.

Another roofing person comes today to confirm the inspection.  I have been quite up front that the payment from insurance has been made and this will be an all cash transaction.  We will see what they come  back with.  I have a base price now for roof replacement, so that is what I will be planning for.  It is doable for us, but not an expense we needed at this time.

Sigh.  The simple joys of any season seem too often pushed out by the realities of life anymore.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

The Collapse CXXIII: Roads

 21 June 20XX +1

My Dear Lucilius:

The service road was about what I recalled it to be from years ago when, in a burst of outdoor enthusiasm, I took my family up over this way to see the fish hatchery on the other end of the road. The main road – the road we were to march on later today – was closed and the map claimed we should be able to make our way over. And maps would have no reason to lie, would they?

It was not as disastrous as it could have been, but neither was it without impact, as the suspension on the minivan stated to me after the fact in the repair shop. It was apparently concerning enough to my passengers that years later, a family member commented that they had been a little concerned that we were going to make it at all. And the road then had not been exposed to the years’ long impact of decreased budgets for such things as it likely was now.

The ascent was smooth enough; the road lead to a small lake and this was pretty well traveled even up to the last year of normality. It was only when we got the crest that the true impact was revealed.

The cuts and rocks and ruts in the road bounced us up and down and into each other and our things even at the low speed of our descent. The bed of the truck rocked back and forth, brakes continuing to engage as our driver continually swerved to miss the worst of it. The speed was low for which I was grateful; doing this at “driving speed” would have been as dangerous as it would have been nausea inducing.

By the time we reached the bottom of the hill and pulled onto blacktop which was clearly of relatively new furbishing (the “Your Tax Dollars at Work” sign was still just up the road a bit), I suspect we were all grateful for the end of our trek. Surely, whatever we had ahead of us could not be as jarring at that.

It also made me think that perhaps I had not missed driving or riding all that much.

As we pulled our packs out of truck beds and pummeled them into some kind of order, the Colonel pulled us in. 10 miles to town, he said; the locals had found a place for us to overnight and we would execute the next stage of the plan from there. And although we were in “friendly” territory we should carry ourselves as if we were not – although there was no evidence any of The Locusts had crossed the river, no-one could be 100% sure.

With packs on and so instructed, we set off.

A little over a year of limited to no motorized transport does tend to toughen a person up a bit for a long walk; the fact that the road was largely flat was helpful as well. The trees flickered the leaves gaily in the light wind and the river beside the road burbled along as we walked, semi-strung out in a line. The Colonel was somewhere about, the Captain long gone with the lead elements and point scouts.

It would have been a good day for walk even a year ago and, if one ignored the weapons on and about everyone, one could envision this being the sort of hike I had done once upon a time, surrounded by nature and nature’s voices, the low occasional conversation punctuating the sounds of people walking and the muffled sounds of packs shifting. If I closed my eyes, I could almost hear those times.


Your Obedient Servant, Seneca

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Greece 2023: A Vineyard And Leaving Corfu

After visiting the Old City of Corfu, we took a trip to a local winery (as a note, Corfu produces three kinds of alcohol:  red wine, white wine, and Kumquat liquor, the only such place it is done so in Greece).  Our destination in the countryside was the Theotoky Winery.

Besides winning a number of awards (see the link above), they are an organic winery.

Current vintage, just lined up against the wall.  I mean, I like red wine and all but...

I will say we had several Greek wines during our trip and they were all quite good (Except Retsina.  That was awful.).


and Sunrise.

We took our coach to the dock to catch the ferry back to the mainland.  Albania is something like 4 hours by ferry, Italy about 12. One begins to appreciate how important the sea was to the Ancient and Medieval world (as opposed to travel by land).

Fish by the dock.  The Ionian Sea was so clear and so different from the seas I am used to.

Last view of Corfu: