36:36.99N 27:50.20E Gialos, Symi.
Saturday, 28th September, 2013.
After a drinks party last night on Ariel we were up and ready to move to Gialos harbour in Symi town today. We said goodbye to friends and left Monastery Bay as everyone calls it and motored sailed out and headed south west and up past the islands of Gialesino and Megalonisi and around Cape Kefala and headed up to the narrow passage between Symi and the island of Nimos. We saw the fabulous blue water with a depth of 4 metres maximum as we went motored through.
We found two dolphins to watch for a couple of minutes but they didn’t want to play as we watched the mountainous barren countryside as we motored past. Symi use to be successful due to the sponge diving and boat building industry which could launch over 500 ships a year. During the 17th century it was the third richest island in the Dodecanese. The Italians occupied the island from 1912 and with the arrival of artificial sponges and steam power Symi’s worth declined. The population had fallen from 23,000 to 6,000 by World War II and lots of houses built by the rich decades before crumbled.
As we motored into Gialos harbour after covering 14 miles the first thing we saw was the clock tower overlooking the harbour area near the beach of Nos with beautiful houses and elaborate churches around the mountainous harbour. It is definitely one of prettiest harbours we have been into.