During this time the Athenians were not idle.
Simultaneously with the fortification of Decelea, at the very beginning of spring, they sent thirty ships round Peloponnese, under Charicles, son of Apollodorus, with instructions to call at Argos and demand a force of their heavy infantry for the fleet, agreeably to the alliance.
At the same time they despatched Demosthenes to Sicily,
as they had intended, with sixty Athenian and five Chian vessels, twelve hundred Athenian heavy infantry from the muster-roll, and as many of the islanders as could be raised in the different quarters, drawing upon the other subject allies for whatever they could supply that would be of use for the war.
Demosthenes was instructed first to sail round with Charicles and to operate with him upon the coasts of Laconia,
and accordingly sailed to Aegina and there waited for the remainder of his armament, and for Charicles to fetch the Argive troops.