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The coast from Famagusta to Larnaca.
the sea about the centre of it; it is through this gap that the
sand and mud which now encumber and choke the harbour have
The original dimensions of the harbour were from 70 to 75 acres;
of this extent, seven acres have still a depth of about 12 feet of
water, the remainder has in places a depth of from three to seven feet,
but is also partly dry. The original depth is believed to have been
about 30 feet with a good bottom of sand and mud.
The roadstead lies mainly to the north of the harbour, and is
now about 130 acres in extent for vessels drawing from 18 to 20
feet of water.
To make the harbour fit for the reception of large vessels, it is
manifest that several considerable works must be undertaken. The
whole of the interior would have to be dredged out so as to give a
uniform depth of not less than about 24 feet, the breach in the
jetty would have to be repaired, and a connection made between
the islands. Building materials are said to exist in abundance on
the spot, so the latter operations would probably not be attended
with any very great expense.
To enlarge the area of the harbour, the line of rocks on the
east side could be prolonged by the construction of a jetty in less
than nine feet of water, and this would give an additional space of
about 77 acres, and if the jetty were again prolonged into 24 feet of
water, an area of from 250 to 300 acres would be sheltered. Other
attendant expenses would be the necessary repairs to the aqueduct
so as to bring fresh water to the harbour, and the clearing of the
approaches leading to it. It is stated that no rocks have been
discovered near the bottom of the harbour, and that nothing but
sand and mud would have to be removed.
With these alterations and improvements, it is not improbable
that Famagusta would in time become a port of the highest value,
and this more especially if the Euphrates Valley railway scheme is
carried out, for it would form a safe, convenient and well-situated
harbour, capable of affording shelter and protection to a large
number of vessels.
Famagusta has apparently greater natural advantages for the
formation of a good port, than any other place on the shores of
Cyprus, and the matter is really only a question of expense.
Vice-Consul White in a Report of 1863, says: “It cannot be
doubted that should Cyprus ever fall into the hands of any Eu-
ropean power, Famagusta would once more become a place of
great importance. Its great strength and sheltered harbour
would not fail to be turned to good account.” The occupation
of the island by England may possibly cause a speedy realization
of this prediction. - -
From Famagusta to Cape Greco, the south-eastern point of
Cyprus, is about 14 miles; this cape may be recognised by the
abrupt table cliff, 400 feet high, one mile to the westward of it,
which appears like an old fortress; the cape itself is low and taper-
ing, and when seen from the south-west has a marked brown and
barren appearance. There is deep water close off the point, and a
current sets round it to the westward at the rate of from a half to
three-quarters of a knot per hour. About four and five miles
northward of Cape Greco, nearly one mile from the shore, and
one mile apart, are two rocks with three fathoms over them,
Wessels running for the anchorage off Famagusta must be careful
not to bring Cape Greco to the eastward of south three-quarters
east until past these dangers.
The coast trends west from Cape Greco for 14 miles to Cape
Pila, the shore is rocky, but has one or two coves where a landing
from boats can be effected. Cape Pila is tolerably high and bold;
it is easily recognized by a ruined tower on it.
After Cape Pila the coast forms a large curve to the southward,
and encloses the Bay of Larnaca, on the west side of which is the
town of the same name. Here there is no harbour, but the
anchorage in the bay, though open to winds from south-west by
south to east, is safe even ão. the winter season (when south-
east gales prevail) for vessels with good anchors and cables, but
the short sea, and heavy swell that runs into the bay at these
times, renders the anchorage very uncomfortable, and, except in
cases of necessity, it is not to be recommended at that season.
That part of the town of Larnaca which extends along the beach is
called the Marina, the rest of the town is about three-quarters of a
mile inland. Vessels usually anchor off the northern part of the
Marina in from 12 to 18 fathoms, here the bottom is soft mud and
good holding; inside 10 fathoms the bottom is in some parts hard
and bad holding ground. With strong south-east winds, the sea
often breaks in five or six fathoms of water, and a heavy surf on
the beach renders landing in such a case both difficult and dan-
gerous. The Larnaca Bay anchorage is however very safe in the
spring and summer months, when north-west winds as a rule
prevail. The mouth of the Bay is 17 miles wide from Cape
Pila to Cape Kiti, and it enters the land about seven miles.
The shore varies considerably in different parts: from Cape
Pila westward for nine miles, it is rocky with a few outlying
rocks close off it; then for six miles from a ruined fort called
Yeni Kale to Larnaca, it is a sandy beach backed by a slight eleva-
tion on which are several villages; from Larnaca southward for
seven miles to Cape Kiti is a stony and shingly beach, at the back
of which is an extensive plain, with a series of large salt lagoons
lying parallel and close to the shore.
From a mast on a white house situated 165 yards northward of
the Lazaretto is exhibited, at an elevation of 46 feet, a fixed red
light, visible four miles in clear weather.
Cape Kiti, the southern extremity of Larnaca Bay, is low
and flat, but is easily distinguished by a square tower 73 feet above
the sea, built on a slight elevation one mile to the northward
In 1864 a fixed white light was established 90 yards from the
extremity of Cape Kiti on a mast on a white house; it is elevated
92 feet, and is visible eight miles in clear weather.
All the coast hereabouts is skirted by shoal water, and vessels
coming from the southward should not approach Cape Kiti within
one and a quarter miles, there being only five fathoms at that dis-
(774) E 2
tance. From Cape Kiti the coast trends south-west for 28 miles
to Amathus (now in ruins), it has a slight convexity to the south-
ward, the apex of which, Carrubiere Point, is close to the mouth of
the Vasili river; along this shore there are outlying rocks. At
about eight miles inland, is situated the high ground of Monte S.
Croce or Oros Stavro (2,300 feet), and further to the west is Monte
Makhera (4,730 feet).
After Amathus, the coast curves round to the southward for six
miles to Limasol, and the shore is a low and sandy beach enclos-
ing Akroteri Bay, on the west side of which is the town of Limasol.
This shore appears to be suitable for the disembarkation of troops
of all arms, as it was selected for this purpose by Richard Coeur de
Lion in 1191, and again by the Turks when they invaded Cyprus
in 1570. There is no harbour at Limasol, but there is an anchorage
off the town in from seven to twelve fathoms with good holding
ground. This roadstead is, according to the “Mediterranean Pilot”
considered preferable to that off Larnaca; it is quite sheltered from
the prevailing westerly winds, but is directly open to the east and
From Limasol, the low sandy beach continues for six miles due
south to Cape Gata, which is the eastern extremity of Akroteri
Peninsula, a projection extending about five miles from the general
run of the coast. Cape Gata is the most southern point of Cyprus.
The peninsula is six miles wide, and attains a height of 188 feet
close to the sea midway between Cape Gata and its western extre-
mity, Cape Zephgari.
On Cape Gata, at a height of 190 feet, is a fixed white light,
varied by a flash every two minutes, visible in clear weather 15
Off Akroteri Peninsula there is foul ground for a mile out, and
a wide berth should be given. West of Cape Zephgari the coast
recedes about six miles, and then, curving round westward to
Cape Bianco, forms Episcopi Bay, the shore of which is, between
Cape Zeph9ari and Episcopi village, a low sandy beach, and, beyond
the village, a series of small sandy bays backed by high cliffs. This
bay is fully exposed to the prevalent westerly winds, and the swell
which is continually rolling in, renders the anchorage both unsafe
and uncomfortable. From Cape Bianco to Paphos Point (Cape
Baffo), a distance of about 20 miles, the coast trends nearly north-
west; for the first five miles the shore is high and rugged, with
rocks and sunken ledges extending out about a quarter of a mile, this
is succeeded by a low, sandy, and stony beach, and theinland country
is here somewhat marshy and unhealthy. The Moulia Rocks, two
and a half miles south-east three-quarters south of Baffo (the
ancient Nea Paphos), extend one and a-half mile off shore, leaving
a channel of 12 feet inside them. There is a summer anchorage to
the south-east of this reef.
At Baffo there was a small harbour formed by two moles, which
have now broken away in several places, exposing the port and
rendering it very unsafe ; it is, moreover, nearly choked with sand,
and there are only four to eight feet of water at the entrance, and
10 to 12 feet in a small space inside, so that it can only be used by
vessels of very small burden and light draught. The place is notoriously unsafe during south and south-east gales. From Baffo the coast trends nearly north for 27 miles to Cape Arnauti (Acamas), the north-west extremity of the island. Throughout this distance the shore presents a forbidding aspect, as there are reefs and ledges of rock projecting out along the greater part of it, and on these a heavy sea is generally breaking; the coast itself consists of a succession of small sandy bays and cliffy bights; the shoal ground extends generally from one-third to three-quarters of a mile from the land. Cape Arnauti is a low and sharp headland, of which the western side is nearly perpendicular, but the eastern part is thickly wooded, and slopes gradually down to the beach of Khrysokho Bay in which there is summer anchorage and good holding ground. The “Mediterranean Pilot” states that this bay is much used by local coasting vessels which come for corn and firewood. At the head of the bay near Poli (Khysokho) village is a small jetty, and the shore is here a low and sandy beach nine miles in length. The width of the Bay from Cape Arnauti to Pomo Point, its eastern extremity, is about 16% miles, and it enters the land about six miles. The end of Pomo Point is low and sandy, but in other parts the shore is rugged and skirted by rocks; off the point there is shoal water for one mile in a north-westerly direction. The coast now trends east, but after 16 miles of rocky shore it curves to the northward for 20 miles to Cape Kormakiti, and encloses Morpho Bay, on the eastern side of which there is a low pebbly and sandy beach ; off this is deep water and a good bottom; still this anchorage is generally considered unsafe, being entirely exposed to westerly winds, which drive in a heavy sea, and often render a landing from boats quite impossible. Morpho Bay is 21 miles across from Cape Kormakiti to Cape Kokkino, and enters the land about 10 miles. About 23 miles east of Cape Kormakiti is the town of Cerinea, or Kyrenia, which has a small port, into which it was reported in 1855 that vessels of 120 tons could enter. It is considered that if provided with a mole, Cerina would become a favourite port for vessels bound from the Archipelago. The roadstead is large, but the holding ground is not very good, and northerly winds raise a heavy sea; this anchorage is now only used by small vessels trading between Cyprus and the opposite coast of Caramania, as the port is not protected from the north. The 75 miles of the north coast from Cerinea to Cape St. Andrea require but brief notice. The shore is almost straight, is without ports or shelter, and is very scantily inhabited. The Karpas mountains border the sea and slope steeply down to it. Off Cape St. Andrea are several small rocks and islets surrounded by deep water. From Cape St. Andrea the coast trends south-west for about 37 miles to Cape Elaea, before mentioned as the northern point of Famagusta Bay; the shore throughout this distance is nearly straight, and has no shelter. From the foregoing description of the coast of Cyprus it appears that there are three open roadsteads, viz.: Famagusta, Larnaca, and
Limasol, the first of which is undoubtedly capable of being converted, with a certain outlay, into a safe and commodious harbour, but equal facilities do not appear to exist at the other two places, though perhaps something may be done to provide shelter. There are also insecure harbours now existing at Baffo and Cerinea, which in a very small way are used for trading purposes by light coasting vessels; but, to render them safe, the existing moles must be repaired, and at Cerinea a new one constructed; a certain amount of dredging work would also have to be undertaken to enable them to admit the ordinary class of trading vessel. In all the roadsteads of the southern shore ships have good holding ground, and, with proper care, may ride out any storm without danger. The only disadvantage of these anchorages is the shallowness of the water in-shore, which causes a dangerous surf to break in stormy weather. The native coasting craft often have not sufficient cable to anchor outside the surf, and consequently numbers are driven ashore every year, but Consul Lang says that during the nine years of his residence in Cyprus, no casualty ever occurred to a European vessel at anchor, nor can he remember that any such vessel was ever obliged to go out to sea for safety. On the whole it appears that ironclads or any sea-worthy vessels with good anchors and cables may lie off Larnaca, Famagusta, and Limasol during the worst of the winter months, viz. January and February, but it may frequently happen that ships in the roadsteads are unable to hold any communication with the shore for several days. On the north coast the sea room is more restricted, and it does not appear that the ports on this side can ever be turned to much use, though small coasting vessels may perhaps find shelter at Cerinea and Morpho in certain winds.