© Luxebeatmag.com

March 15, 2016

The Quarantine of Delos

“And I live here…fishing with my son, around the small Delos and the Great Delos.” ~Captain Panagiotis D. Faroupos

As soon as Panagiotis D. Faroupos, the captain, and his splendid ship, The Quarantine of Delos, come into my view, I know that the gods have smiled upon me. What I do not know is that I am about to embark on an adventure that few people ever dreamed of and that it will be one of the most enchanting experiences of my many odysseys in Greece.

 The Quarantine of Delos. What a beauty. What a seductress. Only two of her kind remain today. The other is “The Dolphin of Delos,” also owned by the Captain. Seafaring men who know their ships call The Quarantine one of the most perfect crafts ever made.   She is the long-time mistress of Captain Panagiotis and she serves him alone. Meticulously handmade by Greek craftsmen Kalavoskaro-style from wood, she is a sailing cruiser and her slender frame stretches over seventeen meters. Her look is one of pure elegance. When you see her ,you are captivated and when your hands caress the smoothness of her rich, nut-brown timber, it is difficult not to fall in love. You do not have to even board her or wait until she sets sail to know that few ships have more stability.

Originally an old ferryboat, The Quarantine has been converted into a cruise boat with totally modern elements and equipment, yet retains traces of ancient times. This is her distinctiveness and charm.This ship serves the tourists who come to the beautiful island of Mykonos, known as the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek islands. It attracts a sophisticated, international clientele of movie stars, rock stars, models, world-famous athletes, politicians and royalty. The rich and the powerful are known to vacation here, along with the savvy sun-seekers who save all year for two weeks to party, shop and sun on one of the most dazzling vacation spots in the Cyclades.

Tourists can board The Quarantine of Delos for the trip from Mykonos to the sacred island of Delos with its ancient monuments. They can go as individuals or with a group, (it holds 45) and cruise around the Cyclades. The ship can be chartered  for a private cruise that ends with a barbecue on a private island.

The Quarantine is approaching me and I see the Captain. It is difficult to picture anyone else at the helm except Captain Panagiotis. In his youth, he acquired the distinctive nickname “Dillanos,” (meaning “from Delos”) given to other men in his family. He carries this with pride; not many men can claim the place of their origin as “Delos.”

Delos is considered by the Greeks to be “a sacred island,” and for a long period in ancient times no one was allowed to be born or buried there. Pregnant women were taken to nearby Rhinia to give birth and warriors and others who died were buried on Rhinia.

I wait near the ancient ruins on the sacred island (called Great Delos or Big Delos) to board The Quarantine; we then set sail for Rhinia (Little Delos), a nearby island where again there are restrictions set by the Greek government. No one is allowed to live on Rhinia except the Captain. I will spend three enchanting nights alone here with a cat who will be my constant companion before I board The Quarantine again and set sail for my sea-side room on Mykonos. While on Rhinia, I will be enveloped with silence and solitude and the rosy-fingered dawn and black-robed night will reward me with shameless displays of their splendor.

Before I share with you the enchantment of my time on Rhinia, let me set the scene:

The heart of the Cyclades

In the heart of the Cycladic islands, there are three islands forming an ancient triangle.   They are cosmopolitan Mykonos, sacred Delos and mysterious Rhinia. These sisters have distinctive and contradictory personalities and show visitors three tantalizing faces of Greece. Visitors from all over the world come to Mykonos for its night life and pristine beaches; on Delos they walk among the ancient ruins that some consider sacred. Very few foreigners, however, have ever set foot on Rhinia and no one is allowed to live on the island, except Captain Panagiotis.



© Luxebeatmag.com

The ship is named after the period before the 1900s when ships entering the Cycladic islands had to remain in quarantine on Rhinia for forty days until they were judged free of disease. The sailors were examined by doctors and received health certificates before being allowed to sail to the commercial harbor of Syros.

While in quarantine, the sailors were looked after by Captain Panagiotis’s  grandfather, Panais Faroupo, a fisherman married to Catherine Fournista. The couple tended to sheep, goats and a few cows and made traditional cheeses, such as Kopanisti and Tyrovolia. They plowed the arid land and with great care and labor and cultivated black-eyed beans and barley, said by some to be one of the best types grown from ancient times up to the Venetian and Turkish occupation. As a result of their industriousness on this small piece of land, they nourished the sailors with excellent food that today would be as highly prized as it was then.

The house was passed on to the captain’s parents, Dimitris and Spiridoula Faroupos; until a few years ago, the Captain’s mother lived there year-round. It is now maintained by the Captain, his wife, Dionysia, son, Dimitris and daughters, Spyridoyla and Konstantina.

It remains the only home on Rhinia. It is spacious with a commodious bedroom and a stocked kitchen complete with wine racks. Food is grilled on a brazier (grill) on the large, outdoor, covered patio facing the deep vistas of the sea. The grill is supported with timbers brought from the sea, water is carried to the house from a well and a sturdy outhouse is nearby. There are a few, less sturdy structures on the island used for temporary shelter.



© Luxebeatmag.com

“I grew up in Delos with the boats, the rocks, the sun and the sea.  I live with the waves and I will die close t them.”

Captain Panagiotis was bor on Rhinia into a family of fishermen;  his father fished during the day and in the evenings served as a night watchman on ancient Delos. He grew up on Rhinia and went to school on Mykonos, completed the obligatory military service in the navy, and when he married, he followed his father’s footsteps as a fisherman and a night guardian on ancient Delos. Within a few years he purchased the two ships and began taking tourists on cruises, one of the most popular excursions for tourists.

The captain’s statement

“Born on Delos and coming from a family lineage that dates back to the time of sailing ships, I was brought up in the aura of the island’s immense cultural heritage. Of all the charters I run, it is the day trip to Delos, birthplace of the god Apollo, that I personally enjoy the most.

Whether we first stop at Delos to see the ancient site or sail directly to the nearby island of Rhinia, we eventually decide on an anchorage that could be at any number of beautiful isolated coves. To round off the day, just before sunset we arrive at my family’s original seaside stone cottage on Rhinia.   Here we dig into a cookout of charcoal grilled fish in true traditional Cycladic style.

When we finally sail for home at the end of the day my biggest reward is that I know this day’s adventures will guarantee everyone on board the cherished memory of a lifetime. Nothing can match the experience and joy of your own, private cruise.”

Source: Luxebeatmag.com/

Categories :