Agios Filon Church in Ruin Bay

By now we were concerned that we were running low on fuel. A peak through the inspection hatches on the diesel tanks appeared to suggest we had just a few drops left, so this forced us to sail all the way back to Girne in light winds, rather than sticking the motor on. Later we learned that we had over 100 litres of diesel left. Where it came from I’ve no idea cos I swear those tanks were empty.


mozFuel fears aside we weighed anchor from Stingray Cove, having spent a perfect few days there, and headed back down that north east pan-handle, gently sailing into the wind at just 3 knots. Speed was irrelevant, as it should be. We just hugged the coast, following the 20 metre contour, and watched the coastline change as we slowly made our way back to civilisation. Not necessairily modern civilisation, mind. We stopped off for an hour or so at “Ruin Bay”, so called because of the 4th century ruins, complete with a glorious mosaic and the remains of an early basilica.


“The solitary, battered twelfth century church of Agios Filon keeps stoical watch over the headland. There is not much of it left, but it has a haunting quality which drew us to explore it. When you get up close much older ruins come into view. These turn out to be remains of the original 4th century basilica, erected by Saint Philon. The mosaics are lovely; faded blues, reds and greys form a pleasing and quite modern swirling pattern, unfortunately left open to the elements. We have subsequently learnt that more ruins of the ancient Phoenician settlement of Karpasia, on which this site sits, lie further inland. Looking down from the headland traces of the ancient Roman harbour stand beneath the waves; a truly spectacular setting.”




After that we ended up in what we called Kingfisher Bay, having spotted two kingfishers play around Esper for an hour or so, much to Millie’s frustration. Another desolate and beautiful spot marred by the roll of the sea. After the sun has set the sea normally calms down, but on this night it got so rolly I erected the hammock and tried sleeping up on deck. I thought its movement would counter that of the boat’s. It didn’t. The ensuing scene could have been used for a remake of the film ‘The Exorcist’ as I swung through an 180 degree arc, like the hammock was made of elastic, jerking violently in every direction. Fortunately my head didn’t twist round and curse obscenities, and neither did I throw up purple sick, though I did feel like scratching ‘Help Me’ in my stomach. Like Linda Blair I didn’t get much sleep that night.

With hindsight I think perhaps Ruin Bay would have been no worse. For the record both are excellent holding, with sandy beds, but I think they should be marked ‘lunchtime stops only’.

If you like our content and would like to support us, we will give you ad-free access to our videos before they go live to the public, discounts in our shop, access to Jamie’s iconic full-res photographs, and supporter-only blog posts. Click our ugly mugs for more info!

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top