Rhodes and Kastellorizo

View from the ruined castle at Kastellorizo toward the anchorage at Mandraki Bay and the shore of Turkey in the background
View from the ruined castle at Kastellorizo towards the anchorage at Mandraki Bay and the shore of Turkey in the background

We are anchored in Mandraki Bay on the small island of Kastellorizo (officially known as Megisti but also referred to as Meis in nearby Turkey), the easternmost island of Greece.  Kastellorizo is only one mile from Kaș, Turkey, where we will leave Sabbatical III for the winter.

We left alone from Symi for the island of Rhodes on October 19, leaving behind our friends on Sassoon who were soon to head north to Datca, Turkey.  Since the city of Rhodes did not promise secure anchoring places, we planned to head down the eastern shore of this very large (80 km. long) island for the small bay in front of the ancient town of Lindos.  We expected that the high island of Rhodes would block any wind but were pleasantly surprised by gusty winds of 15-25 knots that enabled us to sail along the entire coast.  Along the way we passed “Eclipse,” the second largest private yacht in the world and owned by the Russian oligarch Roman Abramowich, while shadowed by his security boats.

Lindos, founded by the Dorians in the 10th century BC, is a very pretty town of stone dwellings set on narrow, winding alleys leading up a steep hillside.  At the very top is the old “Acropolis” that most tourists reach on donkey.  The tourist season may be almost over in much of Greece, but not in Rhodes.  They come on ferries and buses every day to Lindos to sunbathe and swim, have lunch, buy souvenirs, and ride to the Acropolis on a donkey.  The ferries come at 10 am and are mostly gone by 5 pm.  The bay offered a great view but indifferent anchoring for Sabbatical III on a mostly rocky bottom and some hours of incredibly bad rolling.  The roll could be so bad that we made it a point to be off of the boat as much as we could. 

Twice we walked up to the coastal road and took the public bus to the city of Rhodes for the day, a one hour trip.  We spent our time exploring the old walled city and really enjoyed it.  We were particularly moved by our visit to “La Juderia” – the Jewish Quarter – where a Jewish community dating to ancient times lived and thrived.  The Romaniote Jews who arrived in the second century BC were joined by Ladino speaking Sephardic Jews escaping the Spanish Inquisition in the early 1500s.  The Sephardic Jews were welcomed by the Ottoman Sultan to Salonika, Izmir, and other places under Ottoman rule, as well as to Rhodes.  In 1930, the Jewish population of Rhodes reached 4000 but quickly fell as economic times worsened and particularly after the imposition of racial laws by the Italian government which ruled Rhodes and the other Dodacanese Islands starting in 1912 (after the Turkish-Italian War).  The leading destinations of the migrants were Rhodesia, Belgian Congo, and the USA.  In 1943, Rhodes was occupied by the Germans, and on July 23, 1944, 1673 members of the remaining  Jewish community were arrested and then deported to Auschwitz, along with the Jews of the island of Kos (Cos).  All but 150 were murdered.  Forty or so of those arrested held Turkish nationality and the day after the mass arrest, the Turkish Consul-General protested vociferously that his nationals, some of whom had only the remotest proof of Turkish nationality, must not be deported.  They were not deported and most survived the remainder of the war in Rhodes, and the Turkish Consul is honored at Yad Vashem  The oldest Torah scrolls of the community were hidden in a mosque by the Grand Mufti (whose grandfather-in-law was Jewish) and returned to the community at the end of the war.  The Kahal Shalom Synagogue, built in 1577 and one of six synagagues that once existed in La Juderia, is beautifully restored and still in use by the handful of Jews that remain.  It also houses a wonderful museum detailing the centuries of Jewish life in Rhodes.

Entrance to the Kahal Shalom Synagogue, La Juderia, Rhodes
Entrance to the Kahal Shalom Synagogue, La Juderia, Rhodes
Names of the Jews of Rhodes and Kos who perished in the Holocaust (Kahal Shalom Synagogue)
Names of the Jews of Rhodes and Kos who perished in the Holocaust (Kahal Shalom Synagogue)
Holocaust Memorial in public square, Rhodes
Holocaust Memorial in public square, Rhodes

When we came to shore in Lindos, we always anchored our dinghy some distance off-shore. I would let Laura out of the dinghy in shallower water, and then would walk the dinghy out further to knee deep water and set an anchor.  Wading to shore one morning I felt something catch my ankle and lower leg – probably a derelict rope I thought.  I lifted by leg out of the water and discovered all eight legs of a good-sized octopus holding tightly to my lower leg.  That was a bit of a shock.  I kicked my leg to get him off, but he stayed put and I almost lost my balance in the effort.  I tried again and he let go and fell back into the water.  The owner of the Skala Taverna saw what had happened and asked me to catch the octopus.  He offered me a long pole that was like a hoe and encouraged me to look for him near where I was standing.  I looked down and there he was, his color camouflaged to blend in with the rocky sea bottom, but still visible in the crystal clear water.  So I grabbed him with the business end of the pole and lifted him out of the water.  He immediately hit me with a stream of water and fell back into the sea.  I tried again with the same result.  Not wanting to miss our bus to Rhodes and get any wetter, I handed the pole back to the restauranteur who was in the process of rolling up his pants and removing his shoes.  I doubt that the octopus was caught because I saw him jetting away along the bottom.

Octopus is beaten to soften it prior to cooking (Kastellorizo)
Octopus is beaten to soften it prior to cooking (Kastellorizo)

On October 23, we did an overnight passage to Kastellorizo.  This small island is so remote from the rest of Greece that it is about the same distance to Israel as it is to Athens.  The small town is very cute with brightly painted houses and a ruined castle.  The water is perfectly clear and large sea turtles prowl in the bay.  Kastellorizo once had 10,000 inhabitants but the first half of the 20th century was very unkind, and most of the homes in the town lay in ruins at the end of World War II and most of the inhabitants wound up in Australia.  There has been a resurgence in the past couple of decades as many “Kazzies,” as they are known in Australia, have returned to fix up their family properties on the island.  There are now more than 200 permanent residents, some small hotels, and a small daily ferry from Kaș, Turkey brings groups of tourists for the day.  On Monday, we will check out of Greece and head into the marina at Kaș, Turkey just a couple of miles away.

Kastellorizo town
Kastellorizo town
Sail boat makes it way from Mandraki Bay into the town basin at Kastellorizo
Sail boat makes its way from Mandraki Bay into the town basin at Kastellorizo
Restored house, Kastellorizo
Restored house, Kastellorizo
Restored houses, Kastellorizo
Restored houses, Kastellorizo
Quay at Kastellorizo
Quay at Kastellorizo
Kastellorizo
Kastellorizo

 

Laura at taverna, Kastellorizo
Laura at taverna, Kastellorizo

M.

 

 

Symi

View of Symi Harbor
View of Symi Harbor
Symi Harbor
Symi Harbor
Symi Harbor
Symi Harbor
Melinda (of "Sassoon") and Laura at Symi Harbor
Melinda (of “Sassoon”) and Laura at Symi Harbor
Melinda and Davd (Sassoon) and Mark and Laura overlokking Panormittis Bay
Melinda and Davd (Sassoon) and Mark and Laura overlooking Panormittis Bay

We have spent the last three nights anchored in Panormittis Bay on the southwest coast of Symi Island  It is a lovely spot and well protected from wind and seas from any direction.  We knew that there was a bit of a storm coming, so we decided this was the place to ride it out.  It blew through Wednesday night and Thursday bringing moderately strong winds from the south and the first heavy rain we had seen since April.  The skies began to clear yesterday evening the wind dropped to less than 10 knots but, just as we were finishing supper, it suddenly came up 35+ knots from the north without any warning.  Two boats dragged anchor instantly and three more within the next 10 minutes.  They all had trouble resetting their anchors, dragging repeatedly, and one just put to sea rather than risk grounding ashore.  What looked like a lazy evening turned into a two hour sh*t show.  Fortunately, Sabbatical III held firm, as did the two boats directly in front of her, and our friends on Sassoon.

On Wednesday, we took the local bus from in front of the monastery here to Symi town  It was a 45 minute ride on a spectacular road winding around the mountains overlooking the sea.  We had a good look at the harbor in Symi town and from what we saw, we would never go in there with our boat.  It was a mess of tangled anchors, frayed tempers, and roll.  I cannot imagine what it was like when the 35+ knots came through the next evening.  Apart from that, Symi town is the cutest Greek town that we have seen, and the island is the prettiest.  We had Constantino the taxi cab driver take us back to Panormittis with our bags full of groceries.

Tomorrow, we split away from Sassoon and head to Rhodes and then to our Turkish marina at Kas.  It has been great to travel with David and Melinda and since they will end their season at Kas as well, we will certainly get to see them again.

 

M.

 

 

 

 

 

Levitha Island

Sailing past the cliff or Amorgos Island
Sailing past the cliffs of Amorgos Island

We left the lovely little anchorage in Andiparos (or Anti-Paros) a week ago (October 7th) and sailed over to Lévitha, an island inhabited by a single family but pretty conveniently located for us as we progress southeast on our way back to Turkey.  Unfortunately there was no internet or 3G service there so we were pretty much incommunicado there for a whole 5 days until we finally were told that if you climb up the hill to the family’s taverna, and then continue around the corner from the WC and go behind the goat shed and walk up the hill facing south, you can get pretty good 3G!  Who would have thought?

  Anyways we went to Lévitha to meet up there with our good Australian sailing friends Dave and Melinda from Sassoon who are also sailing back to Turkey.   At first glance the little harbor seemed bleak and barren, but as with all the Greek islands we have visited so far, we soon decided it was quite an enchanting place.  The nice place about Lévitha is that the enterprising family  has put in good sturdy moorings so that the small bay can safely accommodate many more boats than it could hold if everyone was anchoring.  They have put in 10 or 11 moorings and the day we arrived we were thankful that we had arrived early as by 6:00 p.m. every spot was taken and several boats had to drop anchor and tie a line to shore.  That was the only night that it was so crowded.  It must have been partly due to the fact that the previous week there were such strong winds and no-one was moving anywhere and then when the winds died down and everyone started moving at the same time.    

We managed to pass several days there in totally calm conditions which was lovely.  The water was crystal clear, but a bit too cold for me to swim (since I am still fighting a cold), but it was perfect for kayaking. Dave and Melinda managed to swim at least twice a day.   The taverna on the hill was excellent and it was a lot of fun to go up there in the evenings and sometimes meet up with sailors from other boats.  Most of them were charterers, or short term cruisers, and almost no-one spent more than one night there except Sassoon and ourselves.   It was a great anchorage and we would highly recommend it to other sailors. 

 L.

View from Levitha Island
View from Levitha Island

 

View of shepard's hut on Despotiko Island with Sabbatical III and Antiparos in the background
View of shepard’s hut on Despotiko Island with Antiparos in the background
Ruins of Temple of Apollo, Despotiko Island
Ruins of Temple of Apollo with Sabbatical III in the background, Despotiko Island
Laura at Despotiko Island
Laura at Despotiko Island

 

Drying octopus at Captain Pepino's Taverna, St. Giorgio, Antiparos Island
Drying octopus at Captain Pepino’s Taverna, St. Giorgio, Antiparos Island

 

 

 

Athens to Antiparos

View to the Acropolis from ouor hotel in Athens
View to the Acropolis from our hotel in Athens
Acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis
Antiparos town
Antiparos town
Antiparos town
Antiparos town
View from St. George, Antiparos towards Despotika Island where we are anchored
View from St. Georgio, Antiparos towards Despotika Island where we are anchored

We are back on the boat and at anchor in the small bay between the small island of Antiparos and the smaller and uninhabited island of Despotiko in the Cyclades groups of Greek islands in the Aegean.  We spent two days in Athens before returning to the boat in Kalamata and doing a 30 hour sail in rough conditions to Antiparos.  The wind was been blowing hard for the past week but should calm tomorrow.  On Tuesday we will leave for Amorgos Island.

M.

Church at St. Georgio, Antipasto
Church at St. Georgio, Antiparos
Church at St. Georgio, Antiparo
Church at St. Georgio, Antiparos
Antiparos town
Antiparos town
View of shepard's hut on Despotiko Island with Sabbatical III and Antiparos in the background
View of shepard’s hut on Despotiko Island with Antiparos in the background
Ruins of Temple of Apollo, Despotiko Island
Ruins of Temple of Apollo with Sabbatical III in the background, Despotiko Island
Laura at Despotiko Island
Laura at Despotiko Island

 

Drying octopus at Captain Pepino's Taverna, St. Giorgio, Antiparos Island
Drying octopus at Captain Pepino’s Taverna, St. Giorgio, Antiparos Island

 

 

 

 

 

Cruising with the Vera

Dining in Methoni with Michael and Britta of Vera
Dining in Methoni with Michael and Britta of Vera

 

We finally met up with Michael and Britta of “Vera” in Methoni a few days ago. We have not sailed with Vera since Vanuatu 2008. We stayed a couple days in Methoni, dining at our favorite restaurant and touring the castle, and then went to Porto Longo on uninhabited Sapientza Island, and then to Navarinou Bay near Pylos. Wasps drove us out of Sapientza Island after only one full day.

Castle at Methoni
Castle at Methoni
Castle at Methoni
Castle at Methoni

 

Wildflowers, Methoni
Wildflowers, Methoni
At the top of the Palaiokastro, Navarinou
Michael and Britta at the top of the Palaiokastro, Navarinou
At the top of the Palaiokastro, Navarinou
At the top of the Palaiokastro, Navarinou
Voidhokolia Bay viewed from the top of the Palaiokastro, Navarinou
Voidhokolia Bay viewed from the top of the Palaiokastro, Navarinou

A 240 foot luxury yacht dropped anchor next to Vera and Sabbatical III yesterday morning. A 200 foot auxiliary vessel arrived and set up an inflatable water slide park and dropped off various other play things such as jet skis and tow rings, and then left. Security men in small craft patrolled the waters as a bunch of children and their parents had an all day party on the water slides and a bit of beach. When a guest zoomed off in a jet ski, a high-powered small boat with a security person aboard followed. Small boats with paparazzi armed with cameras and long lenses patrolled as close as they dare. Someone in an ultralight aircraft few overhead. No one was closer than Sabbatical III and Vera and we did not care enough to ask who’s party it was, although we thought the show was amusing and jokingly conjectured that it was Brad Pitt and family. Our hoped for invitation never came. The day before, a Greek Coast Guard vessel came by to check us out, confirming that we were from the US and asking us to keep our toilet valves closed (otherwise not required). I think that primary reason for their visit was to make sure that the neighbors of this high profile party were not paparazzi or unsavory in other respects.

The far northwest part of Navarinou Bay is quite lovely and a comfortable and secure anchorage. We have enjoyed our time here. This afternoon we will sail back to Methoni to provision and then head east to Porto Kayio.

M.

From the Aegean to the Ionian: Cyclades and Peloponnese

Stefanos Bay, Kythnos Island, Greece
Stefanos Bay, Kythnos Island, Greece

Since our last blog post we sailed from Psara Island in the Sporades group of islands on the east side of the Aegean to Kea Island and Kythnos Island in the Cyclades group of islands on the west side of the Aegean and then around to the west coast of the Pelopennese on the Ionian Sea.  To the west of us is Italy.

 

The sail from Psara to Kea was extremely fast — the best long sail we have had in a couple of years.  Another Amel left Psara just after we did at first light, and she steadily closed the gap between us as the day progressed.  I noticed that when the wind slackened a bit, the other Amel was faster, but when the wind picked up, we were faster.  The French couple sailing the other Amel put a lot more twist in their sails than I ever do, so I learned something in our head to head comparison.  Just as the other Amel was pulling abreast of us after hours of sailing, the wind picked up substantially and we pulled decidedly ahead.  Who says that cruisers never race?

A combination lighthouse and church at the entrance to Nicolas Bay, Kea Isla
A combination lighthouse and church at the entrance to Nicolas Bay, Kea Island

The longest passage of the past two weeks was the overnight trip from Kythnos Island to Elafonisos Island just southwest of the eastern-most Peloponnese peninsula. This involved rounding Cape Malea, referred to as Greece’s Cape Horn.  It was quite gusty around the cape, but not unacceptably so.  We are now in Methoni at the eastern end of the Peloponnese.

Stone wall, Stefanos Bay, Kynthos Island
Stone wall, Stefanos Bay, Kynthos Island
Taverna, Kythnos Island (we ate here every day)
Taverna, Kythnos Island (we ate here every day)
Flora, proprietor of the taverna
Flora, proprietor of the taverna
Stefanos Bay, Kythnos Island
Stefanos Bay, Kythnos Island
Village on the cliff, Porto Kayio, Peloponnese
Village on the cliff, Porto Kayio, Peloponnese
Lighthouse at Cape Grosso, south of Kayio (only Gibraltar is further south in Europe, and then only by 14 miles)
Lighthouse at Cape Grosso, south of Kayio (only Gibraltar is further south in Europe, and then only by 14 miles)

Laura’s notes for fellow cruisers follow.

 

M.

Notes on Greece from Sabbatical III for other sailor’s … places we stopped after checking in at Mytilene.

July 13, 2013

Psara,  Eastern Sporades,  Greece (p. 430 Greek Water’s Pilot)

We anchored at N 38⁰ 32.33     E 025⁰ 34. 68

We liked this place very much.  There is a small well protected quay in front of the small town and three sailboats were tied up (side to) when we were there.  We stayed across the bay in an anchorage which provided good holding and good protection from the northerly winds that were blasting through at the time.  Only one other boat in the anchorage.  It was kind of a wet dinghy ride into town from there, but apart from the quay it seemed to be the best place to anchor.  The town has a few tavernas with good food and friendly proprietors.  One of the tavernas is around the corner from the main harbor (facing SW) and was worth eating at.  There is a beautiful old church being renovated at the top of one of the hills.  A seemingly newly constructed stone walkway from the town up to a scenic viewpoint (and a small chapel) is well worth the trip up.  Views are outstanding from there.  The walkway, up a steep cliff, is lit at night and is really magnificent to see from the anchorage.  A few mini-markets and a “supermarket” where we found plenty of fresh veggies and fruits and yogurts.   Decent prices too.  Clear water for swimming.  3G good.  

July 12, 2013

Limin Ay Nikolaou on Nisos Kea, the Northern Cyclades Islands, Greece ( p. 241 Greek Water’s Pilot)

We anchored at : N 37⁰ 40.128  E 024⁰ 19.219

Popular spot.  There is a very long and nice looking quay in the NE part of the bay.  There were lots of boats there, anchored stern to.  There are supposed to be several tavernas on shore, but we did not go in.  The book lists three different areas to anchor, but we found only one, Coal Bunker Bay to really be useable.  Ormos Livadhi had a big ferry parked in the middle of it and no anchored boats, and Vourkari (with the quay) had too many boats on mooring balls to be an option for us to anchor.     Very quiet place.  Water clean and clear.  Some bits of plastic and other garbage on the sea bottom detracted a bit from the beauty of the water. 3G, but we don’t remember how good it was. 

July 13 – July 16 2013

Ayios Stefanos,  Kithnos, the Northern Cyclades Islands, Greece  ( p. 246 Greek Water’s Pilot)

We anchored at N 37⁰ 23 723    E 024⁰ 27.517

Anchorage is very comfortable and we liked the place very much.  Excellent taverna up behind beach (on NW side of beach)  Flora, her daughter Stella, her mother, and other family members run the place.  They even brought us fruit and veggies from town… when we told them we were running low.  There seems to be a second taverna on the other side of the beach, but it was always empty so we did not try it.   Lovely water for swimming.  Twenty or so small vacation homes (some just like cabanas) on the beach, plus a couple of large beautiful homes up the hill.  Great places to hike or just walk.   Breathtaking views from the top of any hill.   All the tourists there were Greek.  Very quiet.   Delightful place. 

3G service is ok, not great.

July 16 – July 18

Nisos Elafόnisos, Peloponnese, Greece (p. 146 Greek Water’s Pilot)

We anchored at N 36⁰ 27. 846     E 022⁰ 58.791

Overnight sail here from Kithnos (about 18 hours with good winds)  Used Poseiden for weather forecasting and it was very accurate. Lots of shipping traffic… everyone well behaved and using their AIS.  Ferries, cruise ships, cargo ships, tankers… going to Pireus, Naples, Izmir and Istanbul.

We had planned our trip so as to maximize the possibility of light winds as we rounded the cape at Ák Maléas;   We had no problems in rounding the cape, but found that, despite the fairly gently conditions, the gusts coming off of the land between Ák Maléas and our anchorage at Elafonisos were extremely strong and unpredictable.  25-30 knots….

The anchorage at Nisos Elafonisos was good with a beautiful sandy bottom and clear inviting water… large sand bar and sand dunes.  Day tourists on beach.  Could be swelly if swell was from south.  It looked as if either of the two anchorages there (O Frangos or O Sarakiniko) would be fine, although almost all the boats were in Ormiskos Frangos the night we were there.  Quiet.  3G service ok, not great.

July 18

Porto Kayio, Peloponnese, Greece

We anchored at N 36⁰ 25.786   E 022⁰ 29. 159

Lovely anchorage with lots more room than it looks like in the charts.  The C-map charts for the approach were slightly off (they were pointing us too far north) and the Navionics charting was better.  As you approach this finger of the Peloponnese you may be asking yourself why on earth you came here.  It has to be one of the driest, most barren and foreboding looking stretches of land we have seen.  And yet, once you enter the harbor, you will become enchanted.   It is lovely, and even a bit green.  An old abandoned monastery high on the hill overlooking the anchorage is amazing, and there are other old stone structures and a large yellowish colored church perched high up on the hills.  There are also three tavernas on shore.  Nice clear water and excellent swimming. A well supplied fruit and vegie truck drives through the town daily.  You will hear him on his megaphone.  If you miss him as he heads through the village the first time, just wait 10 minutes as he will proceed up a hill to the nearby village and then retrace his steps to Porto Kayio. (A second fruit truck came by a few hours later.)  Other than that there are no supplies to be had, although they will try to help you out in one of the tavernas if you need something.  We anchored in the south side and anchored easily, although weather was calm and it is hard to say if the holding would be good or not in strong winds. Quiet.  3G poor

July 20

Methoni, western most side of the Peloponnese

We anchored at N 36⁰ 48. 852     E 021⁰ 42.593

Lots of boats anchored here, but still plenty of room, and everyone is anchoring very well so far.  The anchorage is quite protected.  There is a breakwater and an old fort which both provide protection from the northwest, as well as providing a very scenic background. The touristy part of town is cute with lots of tavernas, and not much else (we have not even seen a cell phone store  in town).  There are a few  foreign tourists but nothing overwhelming.   It’s a quiet town, and continues to be quiet at night.   There is a Carrefour Express in town which has a decent selection of foods, and a couple of small local markets that have nice fruit and veggies along with your basic foods.  Also a butcher and 2 bakeries. There is a watermelon and honey dew melon truck that cruises back and forth selling delicious melons.  Water is clear and nice for swimming.  3G is excellent… so life is good! 

L.

 

Ayvalik, Lesbos and Psara

 

Laura celebrates her 60th in Psara
Laura celebrates her 60th in Psara

Ayvalik and Pergamon

Our last stop in Turkey before formally checking-out was Ayvalik.  Along with Dave and Melinda of “Sassoon” we rented a car for a tour of the ancient Greek city of Pergamon.  The city reached its height of greatness under the Romans, and had a library second only to Alexandria.  We also visited the Sanctuary of Asclepius founded by Galen the physician.

Mark becomes the 10 millionth person to strike this pose at Pergamon
Mark becomes the 10 millionth person to strike this pose at Pergamon
David and Melinda of "Sassoon"
David and Melinda of “Sassoon”
Peegamon
Pergamon
Pergamon
Pergamon
Pergamon
Pergamon (Coliseum)
Pergamon
Pergamon

 

Lesbos

We formally entered Greece at Mytilene the main city of the island of Lesbos.  Lesbos is the third largest Greek island and Mytilene is by far the largest city on Lesbos.  Half of all Lesbians live in Mytilene.  We rented a car for a day and toured the coast up to the beautiful town of Molyvos and then down the center of the island back to Mytilene.  Olive trees everywhere you look.

Checking into Greece at the Customs Dock, Mytlinene, Lesbos
Checking into Greece at the Customs Dock, Mytlilene, Lesbos
Hotel Lesbos
Hotel Lesbian
Gyros and a cold beer after the check-in
Gyros and a cold beer after the check-in
Molyvos, Lesbos Island
Molyvos, Lesbos Island

Psara

We sailed to the island of Psara after a stopover at Ormos Tarti on the southeast coast of Lesbos.  This is a beautiful but barren island with only 350 permanent residents.  It had been a prosperous island centered around shipping early in the 19th century, having the third largest Greek fleet. Its citizens joined the Greek War of Independence in 1821 and its ships were effective in harrying Turkish vessels.  In retaliation, the Ottoman Turkish navy stormed the island in June 1824 and began to massacre its citizens.  On July 4, 1824, the few hundred citizens of Psara that remained alive in a fortress threw down a flag reading “Liberty or Death” and when the Ottoman Turks entered the fortress, the Greek defenders purposely set off a huge explosion killing themselves and many Turks.  Greek survivors were either killed or sent off into slavery.  The “”Liberty or Death” flag flies on every boat in Psara harbor and those who died are listed on the four sides of a monument.

Monument to those who died in 1824
Monument to those who died in 1824
Some of the names on the monument
Some of the names on the monument
Psara, harbor
Psara, harbor

 

Psara
Psara
Psara
Psara
Church of St. Nicolas
Church of St. Nicolas, Psara

 

Ground cover on treeless Psara
Ground cover on treeless Psara
Goats
Goats
Sunset on Laura's birthday, Psara
Sunset on Laura’s birthday, Psara

 

M.