The Island of Atlas
Richard Hamilton was many things and one thing that he was happy the Second World War was over. An Irish naval officer during the first war, an explorer, a conservationist, a filmmaker, an innovator, a scientist, a photographer, an author, a researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life that called the water “home”, all of these were Captain Hamilton, but he was also a teacher. Five adolescents of different nationalities did he have on his ship the Thetis. From Canada was George Gilmore, from England was Angela Young, from China was Ying Lin, from Ethiopia was Mara Arad and from Australia was Beatrice Tait and these five did Captain Hamilton teach about the marvels of the ocean and they came players in what has since been termed “Richard Hamilton’s Accounts of the Deep” alongside Richard’s wife Ellen and their sons John and Robert and their families. This is one such Account of the Deep.
The Thetis was currently in the Sea of Crete, at Crete itself specifically. The purpose of this visit was to photograph Crete’s sea life.
The Thetis had been launched in 1917 as a castle-class minesweeper and had served Captain Hamilton well for the past twenty-eight years. It was one hundred and thirty-four feet long and could reach a speed of ten point five knots. Standing on the deck of the Thetis, Captain Hamilton smiled at the sight of Crete with his wife, sons and adolescent devisees by his side.
“I was in my late twenties when K. T. Frost linked the disappearance of the Minoan Empire with that of the destruction of the Island of Atlas.” Said Richard, a lean man of sixty with blues eyes and red hair. He was wearing a blue shirt and pants and black boots, his typical attire when he wasn’t including the red flat cap. He stood at a height of six feet and three inches and was the tallest person on the Thetis.
“What is the Island of Atlas?” George asked, his voice was rich and smooth but his accent was so ambiguous that people guessed him to be British, New Yorker or German before they ever guessed he was Canadian. He was as lean and hungry in appearance as Shakespeare’s Cassius, ruddy skinned, red haired and had heterochromia with his left eye being blue and his right eye green. His attire included a short-sleeved red shirt and black pants and shoes. He was sixteen, the son of a man who had served on the Thetis during World War I.
“Atlantis, my boy!” answered Richard, turning to look down at the boy that was close to his own height but not tall enough to look him in the eye. “The same Atlantis from Plato’s allegory! Frost proposed that Minoan Crete was Atlantis and others have followed suit since then.”
“What do you think, Captain Hamilton?” asked Angela. She was the same age as George, just as Beatrice was. She was light-skinned, had reddish-brown eyes and red hair that was long and straight. She had a slender build and typically wore a blue dress and shoes with her hair in a ponytail. Her father had likewise served on the Thetis during World War I.
“Angela, people identify Atlantis with a great many places, some of them not even necessarily in the Atlantic.” Answered Richard, giving the girl a warm smile, as he did to many people. “Why, even the Americas were once identified with Atlantis.”
Was it possible that Minoan Crete was Atlantis? Could it be so? George thought it possible and wished to find out as he leaned on the ship’s railing with a familiar look in his eye that caused Mara to groan.