Odysseus' navigations Europe as culture French country houses bibliography, biography
(texte français: cliquez ici)   Ithaka, Port Saint Andrew


At the south-eastern end of Ithaka a deep cove located between two capes enables a ship to disembark men even under difficult conditions : like Telemachus we reach land.
Odysseus' nautical world
A cosmological interpretation
Sea routes and the epic text
The routes home
Rounding Cape Malea
6 Toward a New World
7 Mythological figures for stopovers
From the next World to this world
9 In Odysseus'wake. Arrival at Ithaka
10 Ithaka, Ormos Polis
Ithaka, the islet of Daskalio
12 Ithaka, Port Saint Andrew
13 At the Arethuse source
14 The periplus to Ithaka
15 Our friend Odysseus
The landing team leaves the catamaran in the dinghy and takes the way leading to Marathio, the probable site of Eumenes pigsties.
(Extract of the ship's log)
on September 9, 2000 :
"Having seen the twin harbours of Fiskardo we go south and enter the channel again. The wind is still fierce… but has now turned south-east. We have to make long tacks to progress. Our aim is to reach Port Saint-Andrew at the southern end of Ithaka, the first possible port of call for ships coming from the Aegean Sea and the Peloponnese before entering into the channel. They can put into port there and wait for a favourable wind : a perfect landing place therefore for Telemachus on his way back to Pylos. The Nautical Instructions indicate that one can anchor there :
"Ormos Agiou Andreou is the most southern bay of Nisos Ithaki ; it is open to the south between Akra Plakes to the east, a cape located 2M WSW of Akra Agiou Ioannis, and Akra Agiou Andreou to the SW. Its shore is steep and wooded. At the northern end one can anchor in depths from 8 to 15 m in a place just able to receive three or four small boats. The place sheltered from N and NW winds is exposed to gusts of land wind and is unsafe in south wind."
The wind is still from the south-east. One can follow its progression in the bay on the crests of the waves it whips up. Shall we be able to land ? I decide to navigate Tzarambo between the two capes hoping to find some calm at the end of the bay. It is a waste of time. Gusts of wind blowing from the surrounding heights make any attempt at anchoring dangerous. Shall we have to renounce ? I cannot resolve to do it, if I want to make convincing the identification of Thiaki with Odysseus' Ithaka I must connect all the sites evoked or named by Homer with their modern equivalents fixed on charts. And the journey of Telemachus in search of his father has such an important place in the logics of the Odysseus return, it takes up such a place in the epos, (four books !), that one cannot avoid following the young hero in his navigations and verifying if the indications given in the text agree with the precisions reported on the chart.Undoubtedly it is not possible to drop anchor. And even impossible to bring to and stand by in these turning winds. I decide to haul down the sails, start up the engine and stand by the best we can to prepare the dinghy and try to reach land. The catamaran will get closer to the shore as soon as possible to protect the dinghy and her crew who shall have only hundred meters to cover to reach the shore. Two trips will be necessary because we have materials to transport….And we steer the dinghy to the shore ! We avoid the rollers and send back Daniel and the dinghy for the second trip which will bring back Dominique, Irad, Patrick and the equipment. This time again our manoeuvre is a success. " We have proved it. Even under difficult circumstances, that is in southeast near gale wind a ship can disembark a man here and resume her route. So did Telemachus on his return from the Peloponnese, to follow the instructions of the wise Athena : "When getting closer to Ithaka come alongside the first cape" (Od., IV, 36). next

    Jean Cuisenier, Le Périple d'Ulysse, p. 67-68.
Texts and pictures are protected by copyright. Please send me a mail by clicking on the left icon for permission to reproduce any of them for any other purposes than private use.
NB: Please d on't be surprised if I don't answer you immediately, since I am frequently working in the field or on nautical expedition.