Castle Island and English Harbour
15 July 2019
There is a group of small islands close to the coast near the head of the large gulf of Korfezi, which we are currently exploring. One of these, Castle Island, was once the site of the ancient town of Kedreai. There is not a lot remaining except for an amphitheatre that would have seated about 2500 in a lovely setting.
Legend has it that Antony and Cleopatra took up residence here and that Cleopatra had sand shipped in from North Africa to create a beach for Antony (see image above). This beach is now THE local tourist attraction. While anchored in the adjacent bay for the afternoon there was a constant stream of tour boats coming and going (see Gallery). We estimated more than 1,000 people a day are going there. They would end up standing shoulder to shoulder at the beach. As we discovered the next morning when we went ashore to have a look before the crowds arrived, the actual beach is fenced off so you cannot access the only bit of sand in this part of the world. Scientific analysis suggests the sand does not come from north Africa but is the same type of sand found in Crete. Also, any sand put there all those years ago would have long ago washed away – wonder how often it is replaced? Don’t let a few facts get in the way of a good tourism earner…….
Close encounter with a VIP
Our plan for the day was to head just down the coast to a little place called English Harbour – once a special boat squadron home for the English navy during WW2. On arrival there was not really enough space for us so we went into an adjoining lovely looking little cove. After 3 attempts at getting the anchor to hold we gave up (must be a very hard bottom there) and went searching elsewhere.
At the end of the bay there is a massive villa surrounded by a large security fence, with watch towers – if it wasn’t for the villa you would think it was a jail. As we are deciding where to anchor, a police boat came up to us and said that all boats have to clear the whole bay by 3:00PM. Apparently there is a politician (possibly the Turkish President) owns a villa at the head of the bay and does not like anyone within the area when visiting…..
As we did not have a plan B and by then the westerly wind was quite fresh making travel any further west not ideal, we went back into the bay where we started the day and anchored about 200 metres from where we started. Not one of our better days travelling!
A tour inside SCII
As requested by Naomi we have
filmed a short video of the inside space of SCII. We will upload when we have stronger internet coverage. We are happy to respond to your requests and questions.