Author(s): Charmian Clift and George Johnston
In the eastern Mediterranean stands the rocky Greek island of Kalymnos, ten miles long by five wide. For some three thousand years its ships have put out to sea. In recent generations the men of Kalymnos have been sponge divers, then somewhere a chemist learned to make a synthetic sponge, perhaps not so good as a natural sponge but cheaper. The continuity of three thousand years is broken, a way of life is ending.
The Sponge Divers is the story of people facing this great break in the life of the island, some blindly, some weakly, some with power and determination. It is primarily about two of the strong ones, Manoli, captain of a sponging fleet and a fine diver, and Mina, the woman Minoli loves. Together, they are the expression of what is timeless in the Greek isles, the eternal struggle with the sea, the hard work, the drinking and the zest for life.
For some 3000 years, the ships on the Greek island of Kalymnos have put out to sea. A way of life is ending. This is the story of people facing this break in the life of the island.