Encounters in Kastelorizo

The following text was written by Rozina Kastrinaki.

And suddenly the afternoon peace was interrupted by an annoying engine noise, and within seconds a large motor yacht invaded the harbor. She moored at the head of the quay and a crew of three Fillip-pinos disembarked with her skipper. No sign of her passengers! Only at the end of the day, when the heat was retreating and the sun was setting, did the passengers appear. They included her owner—a well-known Greek industrialist with his wife (frequently featured in the pag-es of the celebrity magazines)––plus another couple, a very prominent journalist and his wife.

Dressed appropriately for fashionable yachtsmen, they took a brief stroll around the harbor and then quickly returned to their yacht. Dusk had settled over the harbor and everything was bathed in a pink-purple hue. The fish tavernas––the few that are located in the small harbor–– had set up their tables on the waterfront and slowly were turning on their lights. It was truly a charming picture.

But the passengers of the motor yacht did not enjoy the picture, they perceived nothing. They simply "crawled" inside the yacht and shut her door. Within seconds the generators were running… it was hot, you see, and air-conditioning was indispensable!! The roar of the gen-erators was completely out of place and dissonant. In the meantime, the crewmen were coming and going with food and drinks. After din-ner the passengers played cards till dawn… and the generators kept running without stop, intruding on the absolute stillness of the summer night.

In the meantime, as the sun was setting, a plainly dressed middle-aged gentleman was sitting by the table of a taverna right in front of the motor yacht and enjoying his drink of ouzo together with some grilled octopus. Although he appeared to be Greek, he spoke to us in English. He inquired about the caïque, observing her condition and how well she was maintained. He then asked the young woman who was with us if she was an American and where she was studying. We talked about wooden traditional boats, American universities, about the beauty of Kastelorizo and the remarkable sense of peace and quiet one feels there. We understood that he was very familiar with the local people and that they too were familiar with him. He told us that he comes often to the island for relaxation.

We learned that the unknown gentleman was with a boat anchored off in a nearby cove. His boat was a simple traditional wooden Turkish goulet. When taking leave of us he gave his calling card. The name on the card was that of a very wealthy banker and industrialist, a name known to everyone in Turkey.

The spot where “Faneromeni” was moored in the harbor of Megisti. For a larger view click on the picture, for a more detailed view click on Google.