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Gialos (old port)

The pilot boats of Gialos

An interesting text of writer Tasos Ch. Karavias from the book "Santorini", of Michael Danezis/1971 and editor Emm. A. Lignos, gives us a vivid picture of how Gialos used to be.

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"All the boats docked in the unique protective port of St. Nikolas, down at the Gialos of Fira. Crowded, because the boats were many and the port was small, moored in bunches, protected from hitting one another from the small waves had mattresses on the sides. The only two boats not to deign to make port were the pilot boats "pilotines", people of Gialos calling them "passaria", word synonymous with speed because of being very fast.
On our island it is impossible for a stranger captain to dock anywhere all by himself. The presence of a pilot was more than necessary. There where two pilot boats, thus two competing teams, one of Michalakis Thiakos and the other of late Nicholakis Kitsos, who drowned and made his brother Andreas, "the one eye" as it was his nickname, take his place.
These two pilot boats rarely sailed on a calm sea. And the view from Fira was so great that everyone left their jobs to come on the balcony of the café or to lean on the "bounti" (low wall), to watch the fight of ten strong men, crew between the two "pasaria" and witness which one will be the first to get hold of the rope of the ship and get on board to pilot it.
This situation was rare in calm sea. Usually the pilot boats went out on rough sea. Imagine Santorini with North wind, the sea from Ano Meria to the Akrotiri full of "sheeps" from the white waves of the rough sea, with great winds coming down the mountains, and long pilot boats looking from afar like long pieces of wood swinging up and down in the rough sea..."

Γιαλός οικισμός - Πιλοτίνες
Γιαλός οικισμός - Πιλοτίνες

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