It was the summer of 1961. I was at sea with a small group of students and some senior scientists on Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s graceful old ketch Atlantis. Somewhere in the Sargasso Sea, between stations, we were on deck talking and somehow the Golden Age of classical Greece came up. One of the older scientists broke in to say that the Golden Age was right then and there. And for oceanographers, it certainly was. We had lots of research funding, ships available, chances at plum jobs, and a level of research freedom that has become more and more difficult to find since those heady days.