Odysseia, the name of this fishing boat on the Sykia beach, is Odyssey in Greek. Many Greek fishing boats are named for saints, particularly Agios Nicholaos, the patron saint of mariners, but not all. Many are named for wives and daughters, places, or they bear words I don’t recognize. The Odyssey is Homer’s tale of Odysseus’ 10-year journey from Troy back to his home in Ithaki — the island we call Ithaca. His trials during that voyage make Odysseus perhaps history’s most famous and most reluctant sailor. I don’t know if the master of the craft on our beach is alluding to Odysseus’ fame or reluctance but it’s nice to see a reference one of ancient Greece’s finest contributions to world literature.
Recently, archeologists have cast doubt on the island of Ithaki as Odysseus’ home. It is said that Homer’s description much more closely resembles the near-by island of Kefalonia. But ruins of the appropriate era have yet to be found on either island so, for now, the Odyssey tours and the Homer tours still conclude at Ithaki.