The Audacity of Hope had barely left the port in Parama, to the cheers of the passengers and well-wishers on shore, when the first speedboat interception occured.
Go back, they demanded. But no. We did not go back.
Soon there was a bigger, more powerful Coast Guard boat. The radio channels appeared not to be working and so communication between the Captains of the two vessels (ours and theirs) took place across a small expanse of sea. We listened, we stood at the bow of the boat and we listened...the Greek Captain said that the papers for our boat were not in order...but yes, they are in order. We have completed the inspections.
"No, please go back to Parama, I beg you." he finally said.
These comments followed a long exchange in which five or six passengers spoke by bull horn imploring the Greek Captain to let us go...Of course he was not one to disobey orders...Go back, go back.
Still, we did not go back. We did not go back. We were fearful of what might befall us if we went back to that port, we told him. There has been too much sabotage and attempted sabotage to our boat---and to the other boats in this Flotilla.
Athens is hot. The boat is hot. We feel the oppressive (and almost unbelieveably intrusive) power of the Israelis. No one anywhere in the world, who is paying attention to this action in Athens and its ports can fail to notice that this dirty business smells like Netanyahu, et cetera. In the middle of their own revolution, the good people of Greece have few doubts that this is the doing of those connected to the Israeli Military Force. The Israelis are meddling. And their meddling is working! How sad is that commentary! How desperate they must be. How fearful of our hopeful little boat they must be to meddle so vociferously in the affairs of the Greeks. Desperate and effective! Our boat is not going to sail from Greece without a major change that, as yet, we can neither discover not anticipate.
Before long, a Zodiac of Commandos joined the Coast Guard vessel (the one with the gentle,imploring Captain...) "Please go back, I beg you!" he said again.
Dressed Ninja-style with guns and other weapons strapped neatly to their persons, they boarded the Greek Coast Guard vessel and pointed their intimidating weapons at us...
To be continued...