With our adrenaline still surging from the evening just passed, Sunday on the MDFV trip proved to be a lot more sedate. Pulling up the anchor, our first destination was to be Panormitis Monastery, an important sanctuary established on the south coast of Symi Island in honour of Archangel Michael Panormitis, the guardian of sailors in this area of the Aegean. Of course, there was the obligatory cave to explore on the way to the monastery, with a hidden beach providing a little respite from the morning sun.
The monastery itself dominated the skyline of the island. A retreat for weary sailors and the first stop for many before a long voyage, there were hundreds of gifts inside, all made from silver and gold. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take any shots of the interior but there was also a huge collection of the “message in a bottle” which had found their way to the island via a network of currents (and , of course, divine intervention).
After a well-earned ice cream at the local cafe (our first “land food” in Greece), we headed back to the boat. Our final stop for the day was Cueta Island. A stark contrast to the calm water of Panorimitis, we moored up on the edge of a collection of strong currents. We sat down for dinner, post-yoga and post-speedboat ride. In the distance, to our amazement, a pod of dolphins swam past to say hello. Unfortunately, my head was buried in another tasty dinner and so by the time my finger had hit the button the scene was replaced with a large oil tanker. The local fisherman moored beside us remained unfazed, more concerned with their nets. Not a bad life, eh?
This was to be the penultimate stop on our trip. Our next, and final, destination would be the Greek island of Rhodos. Back to civilisation, commerce and crowds. I couldn’t help but feel that everyone was a little nervous about reintegrating with society. That, or the fact that we had just two days left on this incredible trip. Stay tuned for the final post…