Poseidon tried to make a mess of us in Sími, a rocky, arid island with noble neoclassical houses close to the Turkish coast. We found shelter from the Meltemi, which was blowing at 25 knots, in the bay of Pédi. The high hills around the bay made for some strong katabatic gusts, but our anchor seemed to be in well and had held us safely already for two nights. About 15 other boats were anchored off the small hamlet of Pédi, among them a Canadian/American family.
We met Gary, Lisa, Hawna (14) and Quinn (11), an American family who is cruising the mediterranean in their beautiful sailing yacht “End Game”. They walked with us over the hill to Giálos, the main harbour of the island in the neighbouring bay. The view from the top down to the elegant houses painted in bright yellow, orange and blue, lining the rocky hills around this perfect natural harbour took our breath away. One didn’t expect this urban elegance in such a wild and fissured landscape.
Since antiquity Sími has been known for it’s fast ships; in the Ilias Homer mentions King Nereus who lead seven ships into the Trojan War. Shipbuilding and sponge diving were the main industries on the island until the beginning of the 20th century. Today sponges in all sizes, shapes and colour can still be found in the tourist shops by the quay. Diving for them is much easier and less dangerous now thanks to modern technology and equipment. Plenty of ships anchor in the attractive harbour, but today they are made for comfort and touring not for the sad business of war.
What happened the next day back in Pédi, when the gusts picked up in force, I best let Lisa from “End Game” explain (she posted the tale on FB). It was our Sharki that was dragging, all of a sudden getting blown very closely to the concrete quay. So Siegfried (Opa), Bill and I rushed back on board, pulled up the anchor and had some intense moments of getting our dinghy up on deck and anchoring anew without being blown onto any of the other boats. Once that was done we noticed the precarious situation “End Game” was in. Back in the water went the dinghy, outboard engine down and Bill rushing to help the Greek fishermen safe the boat. Siegfried and I watched with the binoculars, tearing our hair out!
After dinner later the same evening, when things had calmed down and the kids were back on board, Opa pointed out that we had failed to give an offering to Poseidon. No wonder he had gotten upset and tried to take our boat. So we quickly got out the Ouzo bottle, Sol pronounced a toast to Poseidon (and Aeolus) and poured two generous shots for the gods into the waves.