From  Kalymnos to Symi: (June-October 2022)
The island of Kos located south of Kalymnos is well visited by European tourists as it has a lot of  nice beaches. The airport is well connected to the major European cities. We stopped there for  two days but did not like the place at all, as the only attraction seems to be frying under the sun  or taking a cruise on one of the noisy pirate boats. However, the city does have some historical  sites, but not much is done to make them attractive to visitors. The harbor is protected by a big  fortress and not far from the harbor, is the tree where Aristotle, philosopher, taught his  science. For me, Kos is a place I will skip with no regrets as it does not offer much and other  islands around there are much more attractive. Sailors should be aware that on the east and west  sides of the islands strong winds often blow, so I advise you not to sail close to the island unless  you need to stop at Kos.  South of Kos is the island of Nysiros. This is a volcanic island that emerged from the sea during a  volcanic eruption in around 160,000 BC. Afterwards, 5 other explosions occurred and the  interesting fact is that each time the lava that came out of the volcano was different. There are  pumice stones in some areas and in other places dark basalt. I recommend visiting the volcano  early in the morning when the temperature is bearable. The place is dominated by the big crater  of Stephanos in which it is possible to walk. The landscape looks lunar with occasionally some little  vents indicating that deep below the hot lava is still bubbling. The smell of sulfur is noticeable but  it was tolerable while we were there. Before you leave the place make sure you visit the two other  craters that are   located to the right of the entrance office. Those 2 craters are much smaller than Stephanos as  they are only 30 to 50 meters wide. They are young as they date from the eruptions of 1871 and  1877. While you walk on the trail towards the craters you will encounter some hot  ventssurrounded by yellow sulfur crystals. Do not get too close to the vents because they are  very hot and can burn your skin.   After visiting the volcano, head to the village of Nikia. At the entrance of the village, there is an  interesting museum with lots of information about the volcanos. As the village is located on the  highest part of the island you have an exceptional view of the Stephanos crater. The museum  explains much about the volcano and that the Nysiros volcano is part of the volcanic formation  that included Santorini, Milos and  Methana, all located in the Aegean sea.After the visit we  returned to Terus that was moored in the little harbor of Palli. This port is really typical with its  white houses. During the evening it is quiet and the only activity is the tavernas serving hungry  boat crews.  On the south-west side of the island is the main harbor of Mandraki. Big ferries arrive there and  offload a lot of people from Kos to visit Nysiros for the day. Most of the people stroll into the  village of Mandraki and return in the evening to Kos. For them there are a lot of bars and   restaurants, souvenir shops, ice-cream shops and bike or car rental shops. In the evening, they return to Kos, so it is no longer crowded. Higher up the hill above Mandraki harbor you can see  the remains of an old fortress (Paleocastro) that dates to around 800 AD. Not much is known  about who built it, but some basalt blocks weigh at least 3.5 tons. Close to the entrance on the  outer wall, you can see some carvings on the wall asking merchants to leave a space of 1.5 meters  between the wall and the shops for soldiers to patrol.   After Nysiros, Terus continued her trip South towards the island of Tillos. This is a small island,  and the harbor can only accommodate 12 boats. At first glance, the island seems to indicate that  it has not much to offer but you discover slowly the opposite. Traces of human settlements on  the island have been dated to around 8,000 BC. It is considered one of the oldest in Greece.  There is also the Charkadio cave where fossil bones of dwarf elephants have been discovered.  The rest of the island consists of numerous beaches and at one end there is a well preserved  little monastery that today is no longer occupied by monks. While returning to the port we saw a  road sign for the village of Micro Chorio. In fact it is an old city that was destroyed by an  earthquake in 1940. Only ruins are left and some goats are now the only inhabitants. In the ruins  you will have no problem recognizing the olive oil mills. Today a bar is open at night close to the  entrance to the city because it is located far from the city so the noise will not disturb the  people on the island. The mayor of the island has a strict policy and does not want the place to  become a loud high decibel place. All the beaches of Tillos are very quiet and many people fall in  love with the place because of the quietness. I can only applaud this policy.   We left Tillos and moved Eastward to the northern part of the island of Symi located 20 miles  from the Turkish border. Most of the time we were in Turkish territorial waters, but this was not  an issue. As soon as you arrive in the main harbor of Symi you notice that the place is quite  different from the other Greek harbors. The houses have several floors  brightly colored  facades and the roofs are not flat. In the evening, the place is invaded by many Turkish super  yachts who follow the instructions of the harbor master regarding where they can dock. The  atmosphere reminds me of St Tropez in the summer. We did not want to be dwarfed by having  two superyachts alongside Terus, so we went further down to the bay of Pedi where it was much quieter. From Pedi you can easily  take a shuttle bus to the main harbor where you can buy food to resupply the boat. In Pedi there  is a little marina.  Strong winds were announced for the coming days, and we preferred to be well  anchored in the marina. However, it is possible to anchor in the bay, but the quality of the bottom  is not very good, so in case of strong winds, going to the marina is the safest option.South of  Symi there is a bay with a narrow entrance. The bay of Panormitis offers very good protection  irrespective of the wind direction. The entrance to the bay is protected by a machine gun that is  maintained in working order by applying a lot of grease. The major point of interest in this place is  the Holy monastery of the Archangel Michael. During the day, several ferries arrive from the  main port or Rhodes for visitors to visit the monastery which was built in the 18 century and is  essentially the only construction in the bay. Inside the church there are a lot of offerings  hanging from the ceiling as a way to ask God for protection or to thank God for healing someone.  Next to the church building there is a bakery, but otherwise, you have to go by bus to the main  harbor for provisioning. At around 3 pm, the ferries return to their base and Panormitis is quiet  again until 10 am the next day.  . 
Port of Kos Hippocrate tree Agora Stéphanos crater Pumice stones Basalt Palli harbour Sulfur Vents Other crater Mandraki Paleocastro Tillos harbor Monastery Micro Chorio Port Symi Port Pedi Panormitis Monastery

Our Wakes: 2022

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