GEMS OF THE AEGEAN SEPTEMBER 2009
Wednesday 16th September 2009
We arrived at the island of Rhodes at 7. a.m. under wide blue skies, in ever-increasing heat. Most of us remember that its great landmark was one of the Seven Wonders of the World: the Colossus of Rhodes, which collapsed after an earthquake about 225 B.C. After breakfast, we were treated to the sight of our esteemed Ocean Liner Society Chairman standing on the quayside outside our several port side cabins – he was kindly taking photographs of several of us at our individual portholes, using our individual cameras, so he was rather festooned with them.
Then it was off to the Old City, enjoying the sight of the other cruise ships and local vessels as we walked around the harbour path.
In one view we could see CRISTAL, AQUAMARINE, GRAND MISTRAL and AIDA DIVA, and in the next we could see AIDA DIVA, EASYCRUISE LIFE, MARMARIS EXPRESS and AQUAMARINE.
We could also see our little gem (AEGEAN PEARL) berthed between a BLUE STAR vessel and GEMINI.
The route wended its way under the shade of trees and amongst brilliantly coloured flowers, and led us to the Tourist Information Bureau. Outside this and unexpectedly set into the path were seven attractive stone mosaic pictures, all of particular sports.
They were of weightlifting, running, handball, rowing, swimming, wrestling and basketball.
The coffee stop was in the harbour on board a floating restaurant ‘Kontiki’, with far-reaching views from the top deck.
A small Ice Lounge vessel turned nearby, allowing us to see that it was a glass-bottomed boat offering half hour cruises. She turned in front of Symi II.
A Salamis Lines vessel could be seen far away between Rhodes and the distant Turkish mountains, and a grey hulled naval vessel suddenly rushed past the harbour with a flurry of foam and testosterone.
A streamlined private yacht sailed out of the harbour accompanied by yearning noises from several watchers; we noticed ‘Aquaholic’ moored nearby, and a Love Boat - no, not the famous one, but No. 36. We approached AIDA DIVA and I was persuaded to purse my lips so that the obligatory photo could be taken of me appearing to kiss the red lips on her bow.
Back on board AGEAN PEARL, we all enjoyed lunch and then settled on our favourite aft deck to watch the harbour events. BLUE STAR 1 came in and soon left with her new passengers;
a small freighter GEPA at a nearby quay appeared to be loading bags of fertiliser; AQUAMARINE had us reeling back from her black smoke as she started engines and prepared to leave; Anek Line’s IERAPETRA L came in and soon left; meanwhile our tug appeared to be losing the battle to get us off the quay because of the strength of the prevailing wind, so other cruise ships left instead, whilst we had to wait.
With more space for manoeuvres we were finally underway and able to leave Rhodes harbour, and watch SYMI 2 sail past.
The light was still beautiful so we enjoyed the sea views until it was time to prepare our Elegant Attire for the Captain’s Cocktail Party in the Clipper Lounge before dinner.
We paid our respects to Captain Stathis Goumas with the usual handshakes and thanks and enjoyed another happy meal in the Restaurant before an evening on the aft deck. This time we were sailing 171 nautical miles to our next port: Heraklion, in Crete.
Ships seen: Marmaris Express, Blue Star 1, Ierapetra L, Gemini, Flying Dolphin 1 and 2, Aida Diva, Cristal, Aquamarine, Grand Mistral, easyCruise Life, Ice House, Simi 2, Love Boat No. 36, Gepa
To be concluded...