For love of a boat – in Crete

Aghia Galini, Crete 2005

I had intended posting a single image each week with no text. However, there was a comment to my initial post that took me by surprise and has made me reconsider.

Usually when I wander round a harbour looking at boats, especially in the Mediterranean, I am far too late to see the boats going fishing – they would all have been out earlier in the morning.

Therefore, of the many images I have collected over the years, only a few show boats as they should be seen – with crew – working. This image of a gentleman from Aghia Galini, rolling his sleeves up as he sets off, has long been a favourite. There is a promise of more to come – and a fine boat to accomplish it. Look at the wake.

So much for the romance. It was AA’s comment that concentrated my mind. He has kindly given me permission to quote the following:

“The preservation of some of these boats is an issue that is not met positively in Greece as well (which is where i am coming from originally)

Only for the last year or so there has been a society formed for the preservation of these boats but things are moving very slowly.

The boat you are showing is “lucky”. It has not been swept away because of a political decision to scrap it, like this one:

The government (prompted by some EU financial analysis) is trying to decrease “Professional Fishing” by giving money to fishermen to give away their older wooden boats. So, what do you do with a wooden boat once you have “bought” it in this way? Well, you scrap it in the most hideous way.

Some people have found ways to convert the bigger old fishing boats to recreation vessels for small tours and things like these but the majority of these boats end up chip wood.

The way i see it, these boats are products of a tradition that goes way back. Looking at them is like looking at a compact form of knowledge and experience…The boat is like a library but it has the fate of the Library of Alexandria.”

The last paragraph says it all. Watch the video carefully.

Now my simple pleasure has gained an extra dimension – and I add ‘Maritime History’ to the category list for this series of posts. There’s more to come.

One thought on “For love of a boat – in Crete

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