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Meltemi  (mel-TEM-ee)

The steady northerly wind of high summer in Greece and the Aegean Sea. The sailing season during the Heroic Age was limited to some fifty days after the end of summer. During summer itself the Aegean bakes under the sun and any slight imbalance in barometric pressure causes the hot air to rise up suddenly, sucking down cold from the North. Suddenly out of a cloudless sky the north wind rages down with almost hurricane force. And even in the absence of these dreadful gales, the Meltemi can be relied upon to kick up a choppy and violent sea.
During the Heroic Age, seafaring was a perilous affair. Sailors made their way cautiously from headland to headland and drew up their vessels on the beach at night. (zoom)