Under the Black Flag

Aegean Idyll

August is the time for cruising.  Once upon a time, cruising the Med was fun, especially around the French Riviera.  Now the sea is full of garbage, the ports packed with horror megayachts owned by horrid Arabs and eastern oligarch gangsters, while most Italian, Spanish, and French resorts are overrun by sweaty tourists covered in grease with very ugly wives and children.  That leaves Greece, whose Ionian and Aegean islands are still unspoiled except for Mykonos, Spetses, and Corfu.

I’ve been cruising every summer for exactly 60 years, so picking out the best trip among so many is a Herculean task.  Nevertheless, I will try.  There were some memorable ones with Gianni Agnelli in the 60’s, and some good ones with Bill Buckley in the 70’s, a few with some unmentionables, and an unforgettable decadent one with Leopold Bismarck and Mark Getty.  But the funniest of all was 25 years ago, in Mykonos.

There were eight of us: Chuck Pfeifer, a double Silver Star winner with the Special Forces in Vietnam, and a stripper he picked up on his way to join my boat in Greece.  Michael Mailer, son of Norman, Harvard grad and Golden Gloves champion as well as a movie producer and director, with a Californian airhead beauty who had left an NFL quarterback making ten million per year, “because I found out he was cheating on me.”  (When she told us her story we were at a loss...

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