Saturday 19 July 2008

Jason's Argo rows again

A replica of Jason's Argo has set forth from his home port, Volos in northern Greece, on a new argosy. Unfortunately, they are rowing in completely the opposite direction from Jason, who headed east to the Cholcis in the Black Sea to steal the golden fleece.
The Turkish government refused to guarantee safe passage through the Hellespont and the new Argonauts have had to head for Venice instead. It is not clear whether the Turks were concerned with safety (the Hellespont is only 600m across at its narrowest point and is regularly used by supertankers as well as an armada of ferries) or just hate the Greeks.
Anyway, one of the unexpected pluses of the change of plan is that the Argo passed through the amazing Corinth Canal with its vertical walls punched through the limestone. What would Jason have made of it? It is much more spectacular than anything he came across on his original voyage, whatever the legends.

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