National Geographic : 1985 Sep
"They rowed ... in a spirit of rivalry, each trying to outlast the others at the oars." Such descriptionsof the saga,as recountedby the third-centuryB.C. scholarApollonius Rhodius, inspiredSeverin's crew as they pressed through the Black Sea (above). Oarsmen numbered from 13 to 22, as volunteersfrom Greece, Turkey, and the Soviet Union came aboard. After the daily five-to-six hours of rowing that propelled the 54-foot-longArgo at about three knots, Oxford-trainedrowing master Mark Richards (right,at left) and cook PeterMoran succumb to exhaustion as the sail takes over. Classicalaccounts tell of Hercules breaking an oar with his rowing strength. This Argo, patternedon Bronze Age Greek vessels, suffered broken steering oarsfrom turbulent seas. Ship's carpenterPeter Wheeler, second 412 incommand, mends the damage (left).