Several Places in Greece

For a long time I searched to find timber suitable for the masts, visiting several places in Greece, especially mountainous regions known for forestry, but without success.

Someone informed me that on the island of Syros, where there was considerable shipbuilding activity, I might find appropriate cypress trunks. I was further informed that in the famous shipyard of the Mavrikos Brothers there were several masts, already completed, left over from earlier projects. So I decided to go to Syros.

When mastro-Pachos heard about the trip to Syros he was excited and offered to accompany me.

So in December of 1987 we went to Syros. In addition to mastro-Pachos I was accompanied by his son, Yiorgos, and by Thanasis Dritsoulas.

I will never forget that trip. Mastro-Pachos had spent, years ago, considerable time in Syros while building a boat for a friend of his, Mr. Mparpetas, a wealthy industrialist from Syros. This boat was built in the Mavrikos Brothers' shipyard. The brothers (Yiorgos, Nireas, and Aris) are also friends of mastro-Pachos.

Other friends of mastro-Pachos in Syros were: George Orologas, who is considered one of the most skilled ship model makers in Greece; the brothers Tzanis and Michalis Vlamis, who have their own well-known shipyard; George Orologas’ nephew, Lefteris Mpoyiatzoglou (Lefteris manages his uncle's well-stocked chandlery where you can find almost everything you might need for a boat). 
 

In the Mavrikos Brothers’ shipyard. From the left: Nikos Riginos, Nireas Mavrikos, Pachos Papastefanou,Aris Mavrikos, and Thanasis Dritsoulas.

Ermoupolis, December 1987.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)

 

 

George Orologas with one of his models when we visited him at his house in Ermoupolis.

Ermoupolis, December 1987.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)

 

 

In the Vlamis’ shipyard. From the left: Yiorgos Papastefanou, Tzanis Vlamis,Pachos Papastefanou, Michalis Vlamis, and Thanasis Dritsoulas.

Ermoupolis, December 1987.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)

 

With such acquaintances, we had a marvelous time going from one taverna to taverna and listening to one story after another. The highlight was, of course, the historic taverna Lilis where mastro-Pachos was particularly honored because of his long-standing friendship with the proprietor. The renowned bouzouki musician, Markos Vamvakaris, used to sing in this taverna.

At the Mavrikos Brothers’ shipyard there were indeed finished masts, but they did not meet our specifications.
However, at the Mavrikos Brothers’ shipyard I did notice an abandoned old perama caïque, about 20 meters (66 ft.) long.

When they saw how interested I was in the caïque they told me the story of the boat. She belonged to captain Mponis (Μπόνης) from the island of Myconos who, during the years of the German occupation of Greece in World War II, loaded her with rocks and sank her to prevent the Germans from commandeering her. After Greece was liberated, he removed the rocks and the boat surfaced. In this way she was saved.

The name of the boat is Evagelistria. She is the well-known Evagelistria purchased (a few years after my Syros visit) by the ship-owner George Drakopoulos who restored her. During her restoration Drakopoulos actually visited me and “Faneromeni” to exchange information and ideas for his restoration project. Today the Evagelistria belongs to the Naval Aegean Museum in Myconos and is exhibited next to the Battleship G. Averoff in Paleo Faliro near Athens. 
 

The abandoned Evagelistria as we saw her at the Mavrikos Brothers’ shipyard.

Ermoupolis, December 1987.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)

 

Evagelistria with Syros registration number 696.

Ermoupolis, December 1987.

(Archive of Nikos E. Riginos)