Monday, 30 September 2019

Mad Dog Sunday and repatriation flights ...

After the fun and games last night ...

The departure to Manchester was canceled (See yesterdays 'live' blog)

Passengers were shipped off to the Alkyon Panorama and Myrtia, for an overnighter, as the Skiathos Palace could not take them all. Good to see the 'Room rate action' being spread around affected businesses after the TC collapse ...

MAD DOG 83

Flew in yesterday and upset the local restaurant owner's with expensive wine glasses.
When it took off - Sorry 'Blasted off' over the harbour, the crystal glass in town, went ping, along with a few ornaments, and trinkets ending up on the floor in pieces.

Claims can be made via the CAA website from today ...

Video of MAD DOG climbing out, like a rocket towards Athens.



Quote of the day: 'Ok.... just listened to that take off sound through my home cinema sound system...
I strongly believe that this is the best take off sound (on a video) I have ever heard in my entire life so far'!

Todays flights ...

Its another Ryanair RYR85 to pick up the Mancunians from last night. Its due in at 10:30am from Palma de Mallorca - That will be another first for the airport as well ...

Date 29 September
Flight code RYR/FR956
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI) via Thessaloniki
Arrival airport Manchester (MAN)
Departure time (local) 10:45
Arrival time (local) 13:55

Update - EI-GXI diverted en route from Skiathos>Thessaloniki>Manchester due to medical emergency, currently at Frankfurt Hahn ... (15:30UK/17:30GR)

-----//----- -----//----- -----//-----

Another flight coming to pick up the Mancunians left here from Fridays flight
Date 30 September
Flight code ELB3112
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI) via Thessaloniki
Arrival airport Manchester (MAN)
Departure time (local) 15:50
Arrival time (local) 18:45
-----//----- -----//----- -----//-----

Date 30 September
Flight code RYR/FR527
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI) via Thessaloniki
Arrival airport London Stansted (STN)
Departure time (local) 19:00
Arrival time (local) 22:30

This flight was switched to Manchester, carrying a number of people who thought they were going to Gatwick ...

We believe 1000 TC customers are still to depart after today ...

We read some great posts on the forums, last night starting with 'I have it on good authority' about what's happening next. Top tip - Stay off the wine before flying a keyboard ...

Previous Blog: Super Saturday and the repatriation flights ...

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Super Saturday and the repatriation flights ...

Super Saturday, when the Ryanair fleet came to visit ...

The airport has had one Ryanair aircraft land, in its lifetime, then we get four in seven hours for Operation Matterhorn.


Clearly, the Ryanair crews were excited about their visit. I watched them taking photos of the aircraft. Then with the crew, photos with the groundcrew, quite an event.


The Ryanair is smaller than the TC's so not enough room for everybody. Its not just a problem for them, all the aircraft sent so far - except the two ex TC's on Friday cannot take everyone.

This being the 'new last week' of the season, the flights are full going back. So yesterday the East Midlands took the overspill, from the Gatwick and Newcastle flights.

Later the Manchester flight left some folks at the Skiathos Palace for another night. For some reason the thought of a night in the Palace, rather than Manchester was not appealing ...

The Manchester flight today, it's details are still to be posted, (Will update when details are confirmed) If you were not on the one yesterday, you probably will be put on the one today. I would take another night in the Palace, even a garden no view room, but that is me ...

The aircraft for the Gatwick trip, for sure will not be big enough, to return all the customers. Its an MD83 from the museum, a piece of aviation history. Its been here before so around 20 will stay from that one. The airlift is working, It's just the short runway stops them sending a bigger aircraft.

Repatriation flights - 29th September

New flight details - Gatwick
Date 29 September
Flight code ZT1181
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport London Gatwick (LGW)
Departure time (local) 18:40
Arrival time (local) 21:10

New flight details - Manchester
Date 29 September
Flight code FR527
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport Manchester (MAN)
Departure time (local) 19:00
Arrival time (local) 22:10

By tonight over 2000 passengers will have returned to the UK, on the minus side the island is missing 2000 paying customers enjoying their holidays. Many of whom have gone elsewhere.

A lot of people are in shock here, with what happened. People are panicking about next year's holidays, on the groups and forums, and TC only went under six days ago.

Owners have no idea, who they will be dealing with, let alone what aircraft will come.

It's early days, someone will step in, there will be planes and holidays. Just nothing will be sorted for a while yet ... 

Don't panic 😳 ...

Late News

Yes do panic,  if you are waiting for the Ryanair to Manchester - Grab your toothbrush, you are off to the Palace ...

Your aircraft has returned to base, Its gone tech ...

Previous Blog: Repatriation flights - 28th September ...

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Repatriation flights - 28th September ...


From day one, teams from the UK Embassy in Athens have been assisting Thomas Cook customers return home on repatriation flights for affected passengers from 13 airports across Greece.

Officials representing the Civil Aviation Authority, and staff from the British Embassy Athens and British Consular Network Greece have joined forces to offer their assistance on the ground.

HM Ambassador Kate Smith CMG along with team members in Skiathos ...



Repatriation flights - 28th September ...

Today its the turn of the delayed flights to Gatwick, Manchester and Newcastle, which were rescheduled from yesterday ...

As an added bonus they will all be operated by 'Ryanair' ...

RYR4 which will return to Newcastle ...
RYR6 which will return to Gatwick ...
The aircraft are smaller though, so apparently, 20 people from the Newcastle flight and 20 from the Gatwick flight, will go on the East Midlands flight ...

RYR10 which will return to EMA
RYR8 Which will return to Manchester
Don't forget to buy a lottery ticket on board, one lucky person will win a Million, others a flight to a destination of their choice, but will it include Skiathos ...

New flight details - Newcastle
Date 28 September
Flight code FR215
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport Newcastle (NCL)
Departure time (local) 12:20
Arrival time (local) 14:50

-----//----- -----//----- -----//-----

New flight details - Gatwick
Date 28 September
Flight code FR215
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport London Gatwick (LGW)
Departure time (local) 13:20
Arrival time (local) 16:15

-----//----- -----//----- -----//-----

New flight details - Manchester
Date 28 September
Flight code FR213
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport Manchester (MAN)
Departure time (local) 18:35
Arrival time (local) 21:40

Woof! - Update ...

The hound has settled in quite well, he is very much like his real owner.

White fur, coughs a bit, wanders around with me, eats at set times, and has the occasional touch of wind. I also have to make sure I don't tread on him as he is a lot shorter and slower than me ...

Likewise rather partial to a take away from Mr Koziakis ...

Friday, 27 September 2019

Repatriation flights - 27th September ...

Gatwick - Manchester - Newcastle
Now delayed until Saturday 28th September ...

Unless otherwise notified, passengers should get to Skiathos (JSI) airport by 17:00 on Friday 27 September where hotel accommodation will be provided.

Stansted - New flight details
Date 27 September
Flight code ZT1079
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport Stansted (STN)
Departure time (local) 13:20
Arrival time (local) 15:10
-----//-----
East Midlands - New flight details
Date 27 September
Flight code ZT1005
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport East Midlands (EMA)
Departure time (local) 19:50
Arrival time (local) 22:55

Woof ! ...

I am now on official dog sitting duty ...

The hound is settling in and behaving himself. Even allowed me to nip out, and attend our 'end of season team meeting' at Amfiliki last night.

We had a meze, and some fantastic fish, but they were devoured before, I could get a photo.Here is the Barbounia, which 'landed' at my end of the table ...


Afterwards, it was 'let's go to Totem' however, as I have 'new responsibilities' two of us went to Freggio, for ice cream, I bought my colleague, the 'chocolate with cherries' as she was almost hyperventilating just looking at the display.

She said afterwards 'I had made her dreams come true' hows that for a compliment! 'cough cough' 😳 ...

If only I had known, that ice cream was the way to go, years ago. Out on the town, two nights running, I can't keep up with it 🍸 ...

Late News

Latest score from the fly swat Skiathian 11 - Wasps 0 ...
At the same moment, boom goes the dynamite, in honour of this achievement 
(1st Wasp despatched since 27th August)

Later News - A recount ...

Latest score from the fly swat Skiathian 12 - Wasps 0 ...

(1st Wasp despatched since around 10am, Left handed square cut, wafted outside the off stump)

Previous Blog: Meeting with our Ambassador in Greece ...

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Meeting with our Ambassador in Greece ...

Well that was interesting ...

Last night in the hall of the island council. We were in the presence of the UK ambassador to Greece Katherine Lucy Smith CMG ...


Introduced to us by the Mayor of Skiathos Thodoris Tzoumas ... 


It was a very well attended meeting, with around a quarter of the islands UK residents attending in person.  The Mayor welcomed the residents to the meeting and was quite clear how important the island UK community are to the island. This also addressed by the ambassador in her opening address to us, as UK residents in Greece.

We were advised that everything to be discussed was already in the public domain, however, quite clear its a lot more involved with negotiations, at the local level within the EU countries, than we are led to believe.

The embassy team here on Skiathos had been at the airport, dealing with the first day of the Thomas Cook repatriation flights. So were late arriving for the meeting. Must have been quite a day as that did not exactly go to plan.

Just as this was being explained, the much-delayed repatriation flight to London Gatwick passed by. The aviation museum piece, that was thundering out over the harbour, drowned out the detail from the top table.

There was clarification on UK government policy, in the event of a 'Brexit deal, or no deal' ...

There followed a question and answer session, open to the residents to address matters arising or any personal concerns.

Discussions on Animal charities, Biometric documentation, Driving licences. Employment, Public and Private Healthcare, Pensions, Pet and Human passports, Reciprocity for nationals, Residency permits, Visa requirements, and the 90 day stay in every six months for visitors.

A number of the issues are ongoing and require further clarification, and communication.

After the meeting, the Mayor Mr Tzoumas posted on his FB page the following ...

The Municipality of Skíathos would like to thank the UK Embassy in Athens for holding a meeting in order to update Skiathos UK residents on issues concerning Brexit. 
We would also like to inform all UK residents that we will be standing by throughout, to assist, answer questions and offer any help, if needed. UK in Greece

It will become clearer for sure, in the next five weeks ...

Previous Blog: Repatriation flights and Embassy meeting ...

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Repatriation flights and Embassy meeting ...

Cracking electrical thunderstorm last night and a downpour ...


Currently, it looks like this, wild skies this morning ...



Hopefully its passed, and we will not get another to affect todays rescue flights, as the first 600 Thomas Cook passengers return to the UK

All of the following details are confirmed and can be viewed here

Bristol
Scheduled 25-09-2019 - 12:45
Flight NO3051
Aircraft 73H
Check-in 03-07
Gate 1A
Operated by Meridiana/Neos Italian airline

London LGW
Scheduled 25-09-2019 - 14:55
Flight ZT1107
Aircraft M83
Check-in 01-04
Gate 1A
Operated by Danish Air Transport MD-83 OY-RUE

Manchester
Scheduled 25-09-2019 - 15:25
Flight ELB2112
Aircraft 319
Check-in 05-08v
Gate 2A
Operated by Ellinair a Greek airline and will return via Thessaloniki

These were the only details available, posted on the doors at the airport last night ...

               

There will be representatives from the embassy in Athens, based at the airport to assist with enquiries, from 9am to 5pm ...

Also on the doors to the airport, were the details of tonights, Brexit meeting for island residents.


Friend of the blog Basil writes that he has been advised by Athens, to bring his passport, to the meeting.

If he disappears in plastic handcuffs, and towards the airport, you will hear about it here ...

Previous Blog: Here we go again ...

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Here we go again ... (NEW FLIGHT DETAILS ADDED)

Yesterday was quite a day ...

This morning though, it looked like this ...


Yes its probably going to rain, the signs are there ...

Met friends to discuss dog sitting arrangements. Yes, am going to be looking after a hound for a week or so. It should be fun, as I have become rather attached to another one, here on the island - So divided loyalties next few weeks ...

The Thomas Cook fiasco continues, with the experts on Radio TV and mainly facebook.

It takes me back to past experiences, to me whenever companies merge the poor management, it seems end up with the top jobs. They adopt the business model that they know best and often bring the good name of the company down. Certainly seems to be the case to me, have been there, and witnessed at first hand, so ticked those boxes ...

Thoughts of course, are with all those who have lost their jobs and income, Here there were some very sad locals yesterday because they live on tourism. People will be laid off, some places will just shut, and staff will go back to the mainland earlier than planned. As for the Christmas bonus ...

The island is waking up to an expected €2m hit, with two hotels reporting a 600,000 loss and another a 400,000 loss. With around 3000 TC guests still on the island, and no incoming arrivals for the last week of the season from TC.

Those missing folks will not be redistributing their hard-earned cash on the island, in the bars, tavernas and shops.

They will not be taking boat trips, to explore the other islands or the mainland. They won't be on the bus or taking a taxi. They won't be hiring a car, or buying petrol, or picking up a bargain in the sales. They won't be leaving a tip for the hard-working maid ...

Some people i know went through this with XL/Kosmar ten years ago, then went with Monarch holidays, who packed up and ended up saved with a Thomas Cook deal.

The men in suits from the rival companies, will soon be here to pick over the carcass of the TC offer. You can't blame the locals looking at the bank balance and thinking. Perhaps we will go with a company, and a country nearer to home.

I am amazed so many did not see it coming, its been in the news for months, as they struggled on,  hoping for a bailout from China and Russia. Folks blaming the UK government for not propping them up. Ask yourself this, they had £1.6b of debt, they cannot service, just how far would £200m last - a couple of weeks? ...

Yes the UK government saved the banks, rather than bankrupt the financial services industry, but it still stuffed the UK economy overnight, but they did not save Carillion, or British Steel either. They could not run a railway so privatised everything they could. Even Gordon Brown flogged the gold reserves. Why would they nationalise a travel company - It's against EU rules ...

Last night Adria went bust, who are they? Well they operate the flights from Slovenia. Someone else on the island, is taking a hit this morning, whose going to be next? ...

I hear on the radio, the marxist John McDonnell is going to build 1m new homes in the UK over 10 years, when elected. That's 100,000 homes a year, 1923 homes each week. With a 4 day working week that equals a required run rate of 60 homes every hour. Thank goodness Diane Abbot is the shadow chancellors accountant ...

Skiathos Life are reporting that TC repatriation flights are scheduled for the 25th, 27th and 29th September, by the UK Civil Aviation Authority ...

Tomorrow night we have the British embassy here, to chat about Brexit. I do hope they are flying in, as the Ferries are all on strike today ...

Late News:

Repatriation Flight details

Original Flight
Date 25 September
Flight code MT1107
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport London Gatwick (LGW)
Departure time (local) 14:55
Arrival time (local) 16:30

New flight details
Date 25 September
Flight code ZT1107
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport London Gatwick (LGW)
Departure time (local) 14:55
Arrival time (local) 16:30


Previous Blog: Dont just book it ...

Monday, 23 September 2019

Dont just book it ...

Thomas Cook it ...

Only you cant do so any more. its gone ...

Its been a strange weekend at the airport, we had Armageddon with the weather on Friday, delayed flights and rescue flights on Saturday evening

Sunday was the potential final flights, from London Gatwick and Manchester.

I watched them come and go, it was a surreal experience, as the flights were both operated by two of the aircraft, that were previously owned by Monarch. The last British airline company to fail.

Two aircraft in the colours of a previous owner, bearing the logo with the golden heart ...

G-TCVA arriving from London Gatwick MT1106


G-TCVB departing for Corfu, and Manchester as MT1480


Then they were gone, and at 2am UK time so was the famous company ...

A friend in Lesvos sent me this ...

Last night many of us flew back on possibly the last ever Thomas Cook flight. At the end of the flight one of the cabin crew read the script... 

We hope you enjoyed your flight etc. When she got to the end she paused then read... 

'We hope to see you on another Thomas Cook flight very soon' then she and her colleagues sat and cried. It's easy to forget the impact the airline going bust will have on everyone working for them.

Later update...

For those currently in Skiathos and affected by the Thomas Cook collapse this is the website on which your repatriation flights will be published...


https://thomascook.caa.co.uk/customers/if-you-are-currently-abroad/guidance-by-destination/greece/skiathos-jsi/


Previous Blog: Airport Armageddon ...

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Airport Armageddon ...

Continues today ...

Update:

East Midlands passengers decamped to the Hotel Divani in Athens. They were advised they will be on a bus to Volos then ferry.

Gatwick East Midlands and Munich passengers were stuck here overnight.
East Midlands flight was at Athens, and returned to EMA
Gatwick flight was at Corfu, and returned to LGW


Munich was at Thessaloniki airport - possibly still there, it was meant to return to JSI 23:30 for another attempt. But highly unlikely after around 12 circuits of Skopelos at 8000 feet. 


Pilot was probably feeling dizzy, and could have gone back to Munich instead ...

Todays extra activities:

East Midlands arrival via Athens:

Currently in the Divani hotel awaiting an update on travel arrangements.

You only have the Flying Cat from Volos at 14:15
or Proteus from Mantoudi Evia at 14:30

Agios Nikolas sailed this morning, and is on its way - will probably pick them you up near AG Konstantinos, a couple of hours ride from Athens rather than a four hour ride to Volos ...

London Gatwick arrival via Corfu:

Flight departing Corfu at 12:45
Arriving from Corfu at 13:30 (MT1106 LGW passengers) A321 (G-TCVB)

### Probably then returning the stranded passengers to East Midlands ###

Flight Departing to Gatwick tonight at 18:40 (MT1181 LGW passengers) weather still grim avoid the beach head to town for a lazy lunch ...

London Stansted:

Your bags will head home in due course, but who knows when ...

Seems it was around 23:30 last night, probably when the runway lights were switched off, That the passengers found out about the extra night here on the rock. Hope they were bedded down somewhere nice, a logistical nightmare ...

Chances of a compo claim? try the lottery instead ...

Previos Blog: Boats and Planes ...

Friday, 20 September 2019

Boats and Planes ...

Strike ...

Another boat strike has been announced for next Tuesday the 24th of September.

The ferry company ANES (Proteus and Flying Dolphin Erato) will not sail. Blue Star ferries (Flying cat and Blue Star Naxos) have not made an official announcement but will probably not sail either.

It seems there is a plan to have one boat sail from Alonissos to Skopelos and to Skiathos and back to accommodate those who have flights from Skiathos airport that day.

If you plan to travel on this day please go to your ticket office or ask your representative of the holiday company you intend to travel with ...

Thomas Cook - Will it Won't it ...

Shares down 20% today and looking to find £200m over the weekend to stay airborne.

Skiathos Airport - Delays and Diversions ...

Due to the earlier foul weather, The TUI flight from Luton aborted its landing, and took the passengers on an excursion, of nine laps of Skopelos, and then diverted to Thessaloniki.  Where it was joined by the Thomas Cook from Stansted. The Newcastle TC flight which like all of the TC's is allergic to wet runways diverted to Kavala.

So the TUI from Birmingham landed, and has given the runway a good blast with the RB211's taking off again. Now the TUI Manchester is on its way in to land, then we should start to see the Thomas Cooks, now the rain has passed and the skies have lifted ...

You have to ask yourself, Is this the last time we see the Thomas Cook aircraft fleet in Skiathos ...

Previous Blog: Ray Morris - Round the island swim ...

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Ray Morris - Round the island swim ...

He did it ...

Ray finished the swim at 12:10pm. Current funds raised €5.2k at the last count.

I followed him around the new port, with his wife Jacqui, and her team of supporters with the charity buckets.

Passing the port police, just after the ANES Proteus had departed, the boys in blue were a bit jumpy. Shouting to the coastguard escort 'Yorgo do we know about this' ...

Of course they did ...


Rounding the Bourtzi to a cheer from the crowd of friends and supporters ...


Arriving back on the pebbles to be met by Jacqui ...


With rousing cheers from supporters and canine friends ...



All you need after such an achievement, after a swim is a celebratory drink, only the champagne went in his eyes so had to go back in the water, to rinse it off ...


All OK and thanking everyone for their support ...


The teams of supporters and representatives of the Dogs home and Cat charities ...


Further details to follow ...

Previous Blog: Katsonis Memorial day ...

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Katsonis Memorial day ...

The memorial service was very well attended this morning ...

Good to see the famous Stig, and John Myer at the service. Today being Battle of Britain day, and what would have been my Mothers birthday ...




Cdr. Vasileios Laskos ...




I was invited onto Kalypso, which was going out to the Katsonis wreck location, where we planned to lay a wreath. On the way, we passed close to the visiting submarine ...


However despite best intentions, we were defeated by the weather. It was far too windy, and a fast tide running between the islands, so, we had to turn back.

Anything Beaufort 4 is not a 'North of the island - Or round the island day' hence the only boats out today, were the Skopelos Alonissos boats. It was a Beaufort 5/6, by the time we had got there ...


The wreath was laid by Mayor Thodoris Tzoumas and the navy commander, George Bemplis off the North East coast, which was as near as we could get ...


Even now, 76 years on, we will remember them ...


Late News:

Took TownboyUK to the airport, off back to LGW tonight via Preveza, where they topped up the fuel tanks. Manchester was off to Corfu as usual.

Great kids party at the Amaretto tonight, watched in amazement, as four Brits wandered in, pinched some chairs from the party folk, then sat and glared, at 40 kids and their parents, who were having one great 2nd birthday party. The usual cake fest and birthday songs.
Xronia Polla little lady hope, you enjoyed your birthday fun ...

Previous Blog: Katsonis 76th Anniversary ...

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Katsonis 76th Anniversary ...

The Municipality of Skiathos commemorates the 76th anniversary of the sinking of the Submarine "Katsonis", and invites you to the events it organizes in collaboration with the Submarine Administration.



The program includes the inauguration of the exhibition "The Boats We Wound" organized by the Skiathos Museum of Maritime and Cultural Tradition, as well as a special screening on the rescue of Submarine wrecks, and their journey from Skiathos to Pelion. for a special tour for the Municipality of Skiathos, lasting 30 minutes, by the team "Team Faos".

"Team Faos" has undertaken the production of the documentary "Y1 In the Silence of the Seabed" which will be aired by ERT in 2020. 

The events will culminate with the laying of wreaths at the Katsonis Submarine Monument, On Sunday 15th September at 10:30am which will then be followed by the departure of the Kalypso boat to honour the wreck, a tradition that is being revived after many years.

Thodoris Tzoumas Mayor of Skiathos ...

Later update:

Submarine has arrived outside the Port of Skiathos 76 Years after the loss of the "Katsonis" ...




Previous Blog: Round the Island Swim - Update ...

Friday, 13 September 2019

Round the Island Swim - Update ...

Ray's wife Jacqui has posted this update ...

Sadly, due to the weather conditions (nothing to do with the fact that’s it will be Friday the 13th!) we have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the last stage of Ray’s swim until at least Monday. The forecast for today and over the weekend is showing wind speeds of 5 & 6 Beaufort (up to 45km per hour) from the north, with gusts up to 70 km. 

Whilst Ray is a strong swimmer, we have to be sensible and not take unnecessary risks. I will update the information as soon as I know more. Thanks to everyone who wants to be there at the finish, we will give him a great welcome! 

From Aselinos Bay to Nikotsara = 9 km

Time taken: 6 hours, 20 minutes
Wind Direction: N/E 3 Beaufort
Total Arm Strokes: 9,460
Total Leg Kicks: 37.840
Calories Burnt: 5,992

This was an incredible day for Ray, he said the water and weather conditions were not perfect but far better than Wednesday so he just kept going to cover as many kilometers as he could.

Day 5 - has been postponed due to the weather today and over the weekend.. So,the last leg of the swim challenge will take place on Monday, 16th September. I will update timings and give an estimate of the finish time by Sunday.

Apologies: Blog post delayed due to last nights thunderstorm, and associated electrical outrages ...

Previous Blog: The Blue Star Naxos ferry ...

Thursday, 12 September 2019

The Blue Star Naxos ferry ...

Has arrived in the Sporades ...

It's our inter-island and mainland transport for the next few weeks ...


Very nice it is too ...

Gordon the Gecko 🦎 ...

We have spent the summer together, however, two days running, I have found him in the sink. Only this time he has had a bath. Thankfully not a hot one ...


So today I have taken him outside for a happier life, rather than spending it here with me. Strangely he did not seem too keen, on being on the outside world ...

Ray Morris - Round the island swim ...




Ray's wife Jacqui posted this update a few minutes ago ...

Due to the strong winds, the support team suffered with sea sickness, and problems with the support boat. Stopping short of the planned end point of Ligaries.

Around the Island Swim - Day 3 Update.....
Wednesday 11th September

From Agia Eleni to the start of Aselinos Bay = 6.5 km
Time taken: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Wind Direction: N 4 Beaufort
Total Arm Strokes: 7,675
Total Leg Kicks: 30,752
Calories Burnt: 4,234

Day 4 here we come..... Aselinos to Kastro.

Once again we have a strong north wind today so let's see what happens. I will update later....

14:20pm Update - Ray has made it to Kastro today!!

Duty-Free?

Subject to approval by the UK supreme court next week, and ongoing negotiations (or not) ...

This appeared on my twitter feed ...


Can't help but think they posted this a bit early, but it should put an end to the endless enquiries, about 'can I buy cigarettes at the airport' ...

'People travelling back from the EU will still be able to bring back unlimited amounts for their own use, if they pay duty in Europe'

It's a very interesting statement, you can read about it in full here  if the heart desires ...

Previous Blog: Live from Skiathos ...

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Live from Skiathos ...

Just for Dennis and Vera ...

The Skiathos webcam is back ...







All credit to Panagiotis Diolettas, from the Skiathos Diving Centre, for putting up with my many 'when are you going to get it fixed' conversations in his time as tourism minister, for the island. 

Congratulations, to friend of the blog, DennisN who has staged an ongoing campaign via my mailbox, and even offering to crowdfund its replacement ...

Panos is not the kind of guy, you want to poke in the ribs too often, but we have met up many times and he always knew what was coming ...

So Panos stopped me a few weeks ago, said its working, I said 'really - what about the digital line'? send me the link - He didn't, probably no WiFi under the sea, exploring the sealife, and that was that, then i found it ...

Thank you Panos, from all of us ...

Meanwhile ...

Ray Morris

On the sea, rather than under it Ray set out on his charity swim round the island, for the Cats and Dogs yesterday. Watched by Mayor Thodoris Tzoumas and a band of supporting tourists as he swam the first leg to Vromoliminos from the Old Harbour.


I saw Ray depart, and he did a swim by at Achladies beach, there is a video on FB. There were quite a few tourists watching and supporting him ...

Around the Island Swim - Day 1 Update.....
Monday 9th September
From Bourtzi Beach to Vromolimnos = 8.23 km

Time taken: 4 hours, 36 minutes
Wind Direction: NE 3 Beaufort
Total Arm Strokes: 6,372
Total Leg Kicks: 25,488
Calories Burnt: 2,357

Day 2 here we come..... Kolios to Agia Eleni. (Jacqui Morris)

On the subject of helping animals, I just rescued 'Gordon the Gheko' from the sink. Seems to be growing well, about 4cm now, poor thing was half frightened to death. Just caught him moving, very quickly out of the corner of my eye, as i was about to empty a bowl.

Rescued in a glass, and he took a flying leap, and went away unharmed, tail intact ...

Put in a 15 hour shift yesterday, after a weekend of car trouble, and poor WiFi connectivity and chasing people to do their job. Yesterday was a challenging one, to say the least. Not one I will forget in a hurry ...

Kalimera from the rock ...

Later update: Wednesday 10am - Ray Morris

Ray's wife Jacqui has posted this update.

What another great day yesterday (Tuesday) with our beach collections. We collected on Kolios, Agia Paraskevi, Troulos, Maratha, Koukounaries and Eleni. We raised around 850e. And our final total for beach collections on Monday finished at 820e. I have just updated our Crowdfund Page to show the total amount.........online and offline is....... 3,783 euros. Wow, we are overwhelmed.

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