The writer recalled how his father tried to read the story of Odysseus to him and his brothers.
Just as Odysseus, he was fighting against the unfair odds the world threw at him and doing his best to emerge with honour and family in tact. At that point of time however,the writer thought that Odysseus' weakness was his great ego and therefore he dismissed everything as hyperbole.His own trip to Italy brought him face to face with what the Mediterranean really is and not the picturesque calmness portrayed in travel books or as seen from above.
He realised what his father was trying to do in sharing the story of Odysseus.His father was trying to prepare him and his brother for the trials and hardships they would face one day. In his first-hand experience with the Mediterranean seen at close quarters, Odysseus had been redeemed and he understood what Odysseus and his own father had gone through in search for respite from their daily battle with life.