Winding Down

Another sunrise over Pedi as I walk to work.  This is one of those times when I wish my little Olympus compact camera was better able to cope with subtle lighting conditions but maybe one day...

The pomegranates are ripening in the garden opposite the Symi Dream shop on the Kali Strata.
Greeks have regarded them as a symbol of prosperity since ancient times and they are still a popular decoration for the New Year.
It is a warm and humid day on the small island of Symi in the Dodecanese.  Nights are damp with heavy dewfall and mornings are misty with low cloud that burns off as the day warms up.  Every afternoon we see thunderclouds pile up on the horizon and lightning flickering over Turkey.  The moon rises orange through the ragged clouds and lingers on, a small white disk still visible when I walk down to work in the morning.  The temperature range at the moment is about 25 degrees centigrade at midday and about 15 degrees centigrade at night.

The island is a lot quieter now, with few visitors left apart from a few Danes and Germans for whom whatever the weather we may have in October, it will invariably be warmer than they would have at home.  Walking, meditation and painting groups traditionally favour Symi in October but in recent years with the recession affecting most of Europe, groups have become smaller and less frequent.  Some of the tourist businesses are already winding down and many people employed in tourism finished work for the season on 30 September.  In these frugal times staff are employed late and signed off early so it is going to be a very long winter for many people.

A small fishing boat coming into port.

L'Austral swinging out of her berth by the clock tower. There were probably a few anxious moments for those swimming off the Nireus Hotel around the corner!

A local diver sorts out a fouled anchor for a visiting yacht. The old Symi car ferry in the background is now used for excursions only as she is too old to be allowed to carry vehicles. The crew sit on the open side ramps and fish while the day trippers buy sponges and eat ice creams.

Crew touch up the water line of the Proteus.

The Nikolaos day trip boat from Rhodes weaving her way between the bows of the Symi and the Proteus.
There is still plenty of maritime activity visible from my office balcony and two yachts are unravelling their fouled anchors as I write this.  The vast armadas of Turkish gulets that ply these waters in July and August have diminished but there are more flotilla boats and live-aboards hanging about, waiting for their winter berths.  We are hearing reports that the cost of over wintering a boat in a Turkish marina has gone up considerably with the result that more people are reverting to winter berths in Rhodes and Kos.   Good news for Greek chandlers, mechanics, upholsterers and all the allied small businesses that a yachting community supports.  It is a pity that the attempted marina in Pedi was never completed as even a half dozen yachts spending the winter in Symi would be a boost to the island’s depleted coffers, one way or another.

At time of writing the Dodecanese Seaways schedule for October still only goes up to 14 October.  We have, however, been assured that the rest of the month will be revealed shortly.  At least we know what the Proteus is doing until the end of October so there is always ANES to fall back on, for this month any way.  First time visitors trying to plan holidays for next year find it absolutely baffling that it is impossible to find ferry schedules a year ahead.  Those of us who have lived here for years know that even in the good times the summer schedules did not come out until about April and that there really is nothing that we can do about it, no matter how frustrating and annoying it can be.  We have a whole winter of unknown ferry schedules ahead of us before we start worrying about next summer!

For news about Strategic Air and Olympic Holidays please see Andy’s Travel Blog.

Have a good weekend.

Jan –   – (Friday, October 05, 2012)  

This year you can add Brits to the list of those in search of warmer weather!

Adriana, if you're making your October trip to the UK we hope for the good weather you've brought with you in the last few years. We shall be walking across Sussex and Kent for a week in mid-October and settled conditions then would be greatly appreciated.

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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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