|Bon Voyage NISOS LIMNOS, VORTIGERN, MILOS EXPRESS...|
|Bon Voyage NISOS LIMNOS, VORTIGERN, MILOS EXPRESS...
Thank you for letting us stay on board as your guests and helping us earn a living.
Let the moments of joy and bitterness we spent together, stay in our memories for as long as we live. We shall always remember you, proudly sailing through the waves of the Aegean and lending a helping hand to people in peril. You lived an ordinary life in the sea among waves and shores, in dreamy sunsets and magic sunrises, in beautiful summer nights of Milos, Santorini and Limnos. The waves watered your body,the spray played with your masts and funnel. Your bow paved the way through the waves of the Aegean, during harsh winter nights of northerly wind all the way from Lavrion to Samothraki island. The sound of your horn for many years filled the thousands of passengers who walked on your decks with joy, sadness, hope and comfort. You were always eagerly expected from the inhabitants of all the norhern Aegean islands in cold winter nights, among the last nights of your life. Now you are going away, and with you, you take a part of our lives.
Farewell our dear friend.... In seas of blue, in islands, in sand and rain, in dreams your vision will become a memory.
Men like the now deceased Giorgos Sigalas(Master) and Panagiotis Passakos(Chief Steward) became your banners. They lived, contributed, worked and made a salt-flavoured living with you, like every professional and hard working seaman. Nikos Loudaros (one of my mentors), Stelios Vitsaras and Giorgos Bafaloukos have captained you during your years of presence in the Agean Sea. Every one of us remembers the rough accent of Stelios Vitsaras on the vhf calling any given port: "Port authority of..... this is Milos Express".
We first met in the straights between Kythnos and Kea during the natural disasters of the 4th October 1989. Southeasterly wind of 9 bft scale, rapidly and unexpectedly changing to northwesterly wind of 10-11 bft scale (according to the Greek Weather Service), an unusually harsh weather phenomenon of 972MB. The sky and sea had taken the colour of lead. Myself a young master of the Aigaion (translator's note: Aigaion of Agapitos, the former Artevelde), Gerasimos Giakoumidis captain on the Apollo Express and the late Giorgos Sigalas on your bridge. That day the Aigaion and Apollo Express were sailing to Piraeus keeping the weather on our bows while YOU -as Milos Express- were sailing to Kythnos having the weather on your side. (translator's note: he means to say that while the other captains were improvising in order to avoid the harsh conditions, the Milos Express was such a good seaboat that her captain needed not to). The three "beasts" of the Aegean were pitching heavily between the watery mountains of that day: that was how you were during your entire life, brave! And this is how you shall remain remembered in our hearts.
You fought bravely against all the bad weathers and hardships that life threw at you. All of us who have been with you, took comfort and example from your bravery and pride.
Goodbye our beloved friend,
Your last Master bids you farewell on behalf of all those who lived and worked on your decks
Master, F/B Nisos Limnos.
|After the Nisos Limnos was sold for scrap, her last master, Isidoros Mamidis, wrote a letter to the Greek shipping press, bidding the ship farewell and expressing genuine sadness at her passing.
The translation of this letter reproduced below has very generously been provided by Nikos Thrylos, as has the picture of the ship above, seen at Lavrion on 6 December 2004. By this stage she had been renamed Limon which was her name for the delivery voyage to the scrappers.
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