Before I arrived on the scene (Summer 1973) Drs. Hopkins, Dugdale, and Coachman (U of W) had been conducting a wide spectrum oceanorgraphic investigation of Greece's Saronic Gulf. The Saronic Gulf, Athens' little ocean, is bordered on the North and East by the Attiki Penninsula and to the West and Southwest by the ancient Peloponnesus. The long term study was funded by University of Washington, NATO, and WHO (World Health Organization).
At the time, Hoppy (Dr. Hopkins) was working out of Demokritas, the nuclear power center of Greece. Just after I arrived, the newly founded IOKAE (now called EKTHE) - National Institute of Oceanography, was moving to a new facility at Aghios Kosmas, a spit of land projecting into the Saronic Gulf near Athens airport.
The team Hopkins assembled included me (B.Sc. Physical Oceanography), a computer programmer named Jim Lofstrand, and a young couple from Seattle, Paul Joppa and Margie McCartney. Together we would spend the next two years setting up the Greek institute of oceanography, doing the initial interviewing of the initial scientific staff of the institute, training these scientist on the new oceanographic technology, and conducting field investigation.
We did most of our cruises on Greek navy minesweepers. Many was the time between our ocean sampling stations we would sleep right on deck under the stars. Hoppy would sometimes nudge us awake with his foot when we arrived on a sampling station and hand us a gallone bottle of ouzo to wash the sleep out of our throats.
We did physical, chemical, biological, and geological oceanographic sampling. We spent a lot of time touring the Greek fisherman villages along Elefsis looking under their houses for current meter moorings they had trawled up. We actually found some this way!
I remember one memorable sampling program, where we collected sea urchins and other animals on the seafloor by hand using SCUBA. The interesting part was we were working just off Atalandi Island on the exact site of the famous battle of Salamis, where the ancient Greeks and Persians fought almost 3000 years before. Dr. Hopkins, an ex-SEAL team diver, looked like a torpedo as he outswam me 100 feet to the bottom. We collected the animals to crush and study for the presence of heavy metals (found lots of it). While I was gathering my animals, I kept an eye peeled for any remnants of the epic battle. (Found nothing but lots of excitement).
I published a paper with Dr. Hopkins entitled Wind Wave Mixing in the Saronic Gulf which was presented at an oceanographic conference in Monaco in 1975.
Dr. Hopkins who now teaches at NCSU (North Carolina State University).
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