National Geographic : 1969 Feb
KODACHROME BYJOSEPHJ. SCHERSC Where ancient sailors fought the sea, ex members cut quiet waters in a dinghy. On 1 zon, the broken and abandoned watchtower Sgarrata overlooks the bay it guarded agains Barbary pirates of the 1500's. matted eelgrass toward the suction tube. Fighting the powerful kick of the air lift, Joan had dug down between the stone coffins. Wedged beside her, I reached under a block of marble and felt what seemed like just another lump of hard-packed eelgrass. It came away inmyhand,andIsawthatitwasabitof rotten pine, with a wooden nail and a tenon. The wreck had yielded up its first piece of Roman wood! To excavate this wreck properly, we need ed more money, a bigger crew, and most of all a boat large enough to stay moored over the site when the south wind blew.* Two years passed, and then, in the harbor of Poros in Greece, we found Archangel, the type of boat Greek sailors call a perama. She 296 was 23 years old but her hull re sembled those of vessels that sailed 23 centuries ago (page 287). The old boat seemed sound nothing wrong with her mulberry frames and cypress planking that could not be fixed by cleaning and painting. Capt. Manolis Kalis kamis, her owner, had tears in his eyes when we shook hands. "She is a good boat. I raised my children with her; she will feed yours too...." Archangel was ours. An arche ologist friend, William Phelps, who had inspected the boat with me, agreed to come to Italy as as sociate director. In the spring of 1967, we sailed Archangel to Pi raeus, and the rest of the crew be gan to assemble. Sanford (Sam) Low, our "ex ecutive officer," had just served his tour as a naval reserve lieuten ant on a tanker off Viet Nam. Terry Vose from Boston signed on to look after Archangel's primitive engine and our four cantankerous compressors. Sam's cousin, Kim Hart, came along as sailor, pho tographer, and diver. A retired Greek sea captain, friend of Archangel's former own HEL N.G.S . er, joined us as bosun and man pedition of-all-work. His name was Mano the hori- lis, too. He had grown tired, he of Torre told us, of sitting around the house t raiding with the women all day. Captain Manolis and Joan made friends, not a simple thing in the Mediterranean world where it is considered bad form for women to scrub out bilges with lye. It was Joan's proudest day when the Greek skipper trusted her with the blowtorch while he worked along with the scraper, and together they cleaned 20 years of paint from deck and scuppers. In the middle of June 1967, we sailed Arch angel from Greece to Taranto. When we ar rived, we found to our astonishment that most of our diving machinery was in working order and ready to go. Joan, who had been sent ahead in May to prepare for our arrival, mod estly explained, "I told the men my husband *Support for the expedition included funds from the Littauer and Old Dominion Foundations, the United States Liaison Committee for Oceanographic Research, the University of Pennsylvania Museum, and from several individuals.