The waning supermoon lit the stage for an epic sunrise as we came in through a narrow channel to our anchorage at Ithaca, our first port of call in Greece. Made famous by Homer’s The Illiad and The Odyssey, and again by Greek poet Constantine Cavafy’s “Ithaka,” the sleepy town glowed golden in the morning light. The decks were full of palpable excitement as the Zodiacs were lowered here — the fourth country of our voyage, which began in Dubrovnik eight days ago.

The morning’s highlights included a visit to a local monastery — noteworthy for its beautiful depiction of the Virgin Mary as a child being held by her mother, and the classically beautiful iconography of the Greek Orthodox church. After a short uphill walk, we enjoyed a beautiful view of the port town and Sea Cloud in the morning light. Our coaches then took us north through the mountainous and rugged landscape. We passed through small and sleepy island villages before arriving at the town of Stavros, believed to be the location of Odysseus’ home.

As the heat of the day rose, the crystalline blue waters of the Ionian Sea called to many guests — and a much-appreciated swim call was made just before lunch. In the afternoon the crew hoisted sails once again, and roused many from siestas when a “Photo Safari” opportunity was offered to view our beloved Sea Cloud from Zodiacs.

We welcomed our Greek guides, Smaro and Laura, on board to join us for the remainder of our journey. They shared stories and myths of their fabulous homeland, and got us excited in an entirely new way for the mythic Olympia tomorrow!