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Words & Photography by Alexei Obolensky

Messinia Region, Greece 


Around 3pm 

Eight people on a boat designed for 5 was always going to be tough going. “We’re too heavy to get this on the plane” our captain says, lollipop in corner of mouth. “So we’re going to have to just wear it”. We make 6 knots, maybe 8 as chop sprays the bow, as towels are wrapped and wrapped with increasing ferocity over cameras and lenses and all that expensive stuff. 

Radio Pylos plays softly in the background. 

197 years ago, nearly to the day, the great Naval battle of Navarino raged on these very waters. An alliance of Greeks, French, British  and Russian fleets “But who were you fighting?” I ask our captain. “The Turks, obviously” he says – staring straight ahead “They lost 6000 men, we lost a 100”  a wry smile hits his face and his tone reflects just a hint of pride.  We sail past the monuments to the lost sailors of the respective nations.  Impossibly erected on the cliffs with steps leading into the bluest of Ionian afternoons – somewhat tattered Greek and nation flgas fluttering on the Messinian sou’westery.

On the mountain above the ruins of Nestor’s place tower above us. Named after the king Nestor, from Homer’s Liliad and the Odyessy, all his brothers were killed by Heracles and all that good stuff, – you literally couldn’t make this up. Legend has it he was one of the first people to make cocktails, and under the guise of “Checking on the goats’ used to hit his favourite cave and mix goat’s milk, wine and fruit. As we tuck into spicy margs, the inevitable, ever constant and rarely regretted whiskey sours in the evening, we can’t help but feel Nestor would be proud his legacy lives on. 

But to Radio Pylos. The idea that a man started a radio station to bring pure vibes to the good people of Pylos restores my faith in humanity. Especially as it’s a passion project. No commercials. Just music. Talking heads, into Bonobo, Pure shores to techno and back to The Pixies. If the Mediterranean was to be a musical vibe, this would be it. Especially as about 50 years ago, we’re told Pylos had a population of about 7, and now is in the low thousands. A beautiful town, nestled into the green Peloponnese mountainside, with quite frankly the best radio station going. 

 This is an advert for Greece. A movie waiting to be shot. And I personally, am fucking sold.

The boat pulls into the bay. The water is beyond clear. One of those classic “Is this even real” Mediterranean bay or cala/  plages/  platjes depending on which side of the med ypu happen to be dipping a toe in. Surfing annoys me because it takes me away from the Mediterranean more than I care to mention, career depending. 

“Alex” The Captain turns to me. “We need to talk” There’s an air of seriousness in his voice. ‘It’s the Russians” I have no idea where this is going. He removes his lollipop and stares at me, gauging if I’m ready for what’s no doubt going to be some pretty disruptive news to a dreamy afternoon as the girls practice their backflips on the rocks nearby. I brace for the vibe killer that’s about to escape his mouth. 

“They have serious intentions to cut the fibre optic cables running between the US and Europe via submarines and blame it on a terrorist attack or ‘accident’ Imagine. No internet. The Stock Market would crash. The Asian market would also collapse. No payments. No bank access. It would take them weeks to repair the cables and the satellite network would also be overloaded. No internet – Facebook, Instagram. All gone. Nothing” 

Silence falls. I look into the water, now an emerald green. Cigarettes are lit. Our filmer Sam turns to me 

“Let them fucking cut it”

Radio Pylos plays softly in the background.

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