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Bering Life: Between Rhodes and Crete — the Symi island

In Homer’s Iliad catalog, three ships led King Nereus of Symi to siege Troy; one ship, Alexei Mikhailov, and the Bering crew were brought to the Symi island to continue with the Bering Life expedition. What is in the third episode? We enjoy the calm seas, which are customary in this part of the Mediterranean in December. Alexei takes a Bering Marine BM28 hydrofoil-supported catamaran to hunt octopuses and talks about commercial fishing, politics, and the economy of Europe with a local fisherman. 

We go to the source of wealth of ancient Symi — the sponge shop. Natural sponges grow around the island, and local dwellers dive deep to get 30, 50, and 70-year-old sponges, which are presented for sale in a dedicated family-owned shop. Another local celebrity and craftsman, master Takis, owns a leather fashion shop. He creates beautiful pictures on leather pieces, using his imagination and hot tools. The picture’s colors and prominence depend on the tool’s temperature and pressure the master applies. Once again, we discuss the difference between the nomads and people who stay on the islands they were born on. Master Takis knows many celebrities like Giorgio Armani, but for him, there is nothing better than waiting and creating art, drawing powers from the Mediterranean vibe of his homeland.

Of course, we must attend the spiritual in Bering Life. The island has about one church per every ten people, the Holy Monastery of the Taxiarch Michael Panormitis being the most famous. Visiting the uncrowded monastery, which monks still populate, we can hardly believe that over 15,000 people came here during one church holiday. After visiting the monastery, we return to Symi Bay, where, as Alexei tells us, the letters in a bottle come swimming from all the Mediterranean. Is it due to the undersea currents or some divine intervention — we cannot confidently tell. But we can tell that in the next episode, B92 Papillon will be sailing to Crete, and for now, Alexei cooks the octopuses and opens local wine, which is, as always, above all expectations.   

A long night march and four full days on Crete… The expectations are definitely high.