Katapola, Amorgos

Sep 12, 2018 - Sea Cloud

We awoke after a peaceful night at anchor in the Bay of Katapola, on the western side of the Island of Amorgos. After breakfast, the ship’s Zodiacs took us speedily ashore, in two staggered disembarkations, to facilitaite our visit to the cliffside monastery and to accommodate the “non-climbers” and swimmers in the group. 

Aboard island buses, we ascended to the top of the island’s mountainous ridge and had a beautiful view of Sea Cloud at anchor off the port town. Then, in crossing over to the island’s eastern side, we marveled at the vastness of the mountains, enormous rock faces, and the great blue Aegean below.

Arriving at the drop-off, all guests were amazed at the sight of Hozoviotissa, a monastery dating from around the 11th century AD, gleaming white above us on the side of a towering cliff. The majority of the group made the slow climb up the stone trail with some 300 steps—and the destination proved worth the trek. We explored the narrow stairways, small rooms, cells, rock-hewn chapel, and rooftop which is about eight floors high though only a few arm-spans wide. After a taste of the local spirit, rokomelo, the group hiked back down to the buses.

A short transfer brought us up to Hora, positioned there for protection from marauding pirates. Dropped off at the higher end, we made our way down the narrow pathway of this most authentic of Cycladic old towns, enjoying the tiny squares, gleaming white houses, bright colors, cafés, and winding alleys. Afterward, our buses returned us to the port town where guests could further explore and where many took a swim from shore before tendering back to the ship.

Once outside the bay, Sea Cloud crew set a few sails in the increasing wind from the north. Photography instructor Jose Calvo presented Photography 101 as the sea began to roughen in the infamous Meltemi wind. Due to the stiff breeze, itinerary plans were prudently changed, and Sea Cloud sailed on eastward, out of the wind and toward the island of Patmos.

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About the Author

John Frick

Expedition Leader

Although he didn’t set out for a life of travel, John has combined his passions for education and exploring the world and turned them into a successful career leading trips around the globe. 

About the Photographer

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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