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The reefs of “Ferfouris”

The marine region of Cyprus, like the whole of the Mediterranean, is scattered with ancient shipwrecks. In the area known as “Dimma” in Chloraka, in 500 meters from the shore, there are reefs of Ferfouris, over which many ships crushed in the past as proven by numerous remnants of broken amphorae and other objects found on the seabed around the reefs.

Strong winds blowing usually in the sea around Chloraka, along with the open sea, always caused heavy storms that drifted the onto the reefs, and thus many of them sank.The seabed around the reefs is studded with ancient shipwreck remains, as the sea of Chloraka has been a seaway for ships from ancient times until today.Written reports for these shipwrecks were not found, and the only testimony of the truth for those shipwrecks is brought by the keen divers swimming in these waters, who say that yet the bottom is strewn with remains of cargos from wrecked ships.

Official reports exist only for two ships, one of which sank and filled the shore with drowned people, while the other got wedged in reefs and still remains lonely there as a vast nest of wild pigeons.

From verbal testimonials of the old residents and from freestyle folksongs recorded by Abbot Machaira Grigorios in 1945 in Cyprus Chronicles, we learn that during the decade of 1810 a passenger ship, named as a ‘Golden ship ” because it was full of wealthy passengers traveling to the Holy Lands, sank in Ferfouris reefs, and all of them drowned. It is a poetic “tsiattisto”- folk lament, referring to the difficult hours that the passengers passed and the tragic end they found, and high members of Cypriot society such as the family of dragoman Hadjigeorgakis were among them. The incident developed local legends about strange occurrences and finding treasures washed up by the sea of Chloraka at times. Beliefs and legends developed about strange deaths that the local people occasionally found in the calm waters and paradoxes for large beasts that swam in the sea.

One winter night of March 1998, a Greek freighter with Honduras Flag “Dimitrios II” carrying timber from Chalkida to Limassol and Beirut, after fierce storm got aground on the reefs of Ferfouris.

While it was en route to the port of Limassol, due to heavy winds blowing at the time, the ship was caught up by the waves and got stranded on the reefs five hundred meters from the coast of Chloraka.

It remains since then aground standing attractively amidst the blue sea as a reference point for the community of Chloraka. From airplanes and ships, from the outskirts of mainland hills, and through multitude of WEB-sites this ship is seen as a reference point for Chloraka. It is considered to be a gem of graphic beauty, and refers to community sights as a painting in the sea that inspired many writers, poets and painters.

(from the Ebook Κ. Ταπακούδη “Άπαντα της Χλώρακας“)