Essay: abandoned boats

Essay: abandoned boats

Greece is a country that traditionally had a huge relation with the sea. Just one look on a map will promptly explain why: almost the whole country (except the north part) is surrounded by the Mediterranean. The heart of the country's cultural substance has been the Aegean archipelago and the communities build around it. Ancient civilizations flourished watching the sun rise and set upon these waters and the whole history of the people living in this corner of the world, was continuously associated with the sea.

Along with the a long standing maritime tradition, which still stands today (Greece has the largest merchant ship fleet, not counting "convenience flag" ships), common people on the shores of the Aegean were fishermen, from time immemorial.  A couple of decades ago, there were literally thousands of small to medium size fishing boats dropping their nets in these waters. Unfortunately, due to EU standards and regulations, this vast fleet was gradually decimated. Today only a small percentage of that previous number is still floating.

These were small but proud and relentless little ships. They had to; they had to often endure the wrath of a very wild and unpredictable closed sea, full of deadly traps and haphazard weather conditions. Generation upon generation of fishermen proved their seamanship daily, not in some maritime challenge but against the unforgiving elements of nature, to which their ancestors had given names of gods and demons of the sea. It goes without saying that their boats were their pride and joy; this is why they tried to handle them with outmost care and paint and decorate them in vivid colors.

Today, many of these brave little boats still remaining, are rotting in several boatyards, all around Greece. This is a small gallery about  the relics of prior defiant little sea warriors. No color used, intentionally, and for obvious reasons.

(Gear used: Fuji X-E2, Fuji X-T1 plus 18-55mm f/2.8-4 and 35mm f/1.4 lenses)

 


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