Thursday, 31 May 2018

Flying Dolphin Erato returns, and Express Skiathos - Timetable changes ...

Flying Dolphin Erato ...

From the Central Port of Volos which has announced the return and new routes of the passenger hydrofoil - Flying Dolphin Erato, which will take effect from tomorrow, Friday 1 to 15 June.

The vessel will be sailing from Monday to Friday at 06.30 every morning from Alonissos Skopelos, Skiathos and Volos, where you will arrive at 9.10 in the morning.
Then departs again at 14.00 from the port of Volos to the Sporades islands.

Every Saturday Erato will not run, while on Sundays it departs at 14.00 from Alonissos to Volos and at 17.30 will be sailing back to Skiathos, Skopelos and Volos

Express Skiathos ...

From the Central Port Authority of Volos, the new schedule of the  Express Skiathos were announced, which will be valid from June 21, 2018.

According to the new schedule, the ferry will sail every Monday and Tuesday at 07.45 from the port of Volos to the islands will depart on Wednesday at 12 noon, Thursday, Friday at 07.45 and Saturday at 06.45.

Previous Blog: Sad News ...

Golden Star Ferries - Thessaloniki route ...

Everything indicates that Golden Star Ferries routes will start from June 15 .It is awaiting approval by the Council Coastal Communications.

Positive developments expected regarding the Thessaloniki ferry connection - Sporades with fast ferries of the Golden Star Feries.
The company has applied for emergency routing of fast ships (Superspeed and Supercat) to line Thessaloniki - Sporades from 15 June to 9 September.
As stated by the Deputy Mayor for Tourism and International Affairs Spyros Pegas in, the Marine and Island Policy minister, Panagiotis Kouroumblis reportedly has approved the company's request for the connection and even informed the mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Boutari of this development.
The only thing left to start the routes is the approval of the Coastal Communications Council, which all show that will give the green light.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Sad news ...

To hear of the fatal accident yesterday ...

Always a sad event, for all those involved. The emergency services and witnesses of the event at close hand. Condolences to the family of the person, who sadly passed away ...

A friend experienced an issue on the island recently, and said how difficult it was, for first responders to contact a next of kin

Something i picked up years ago, was a tip from the Police at a meeting, to amend your phone contact details.


Current wifes name: eg SWMBO

Change it to: SWMBO - (ICE)

Apparently first responders who access the phone, will recognise (ICE) as being 'In Case of Emergency' To this day we all do this - Just in case.

On a lighter note ...

Latest: "Shocking behaviour" witnessed on Southend beach today... A man and a woman were seen arguing in front of a large group of kids. She smacked him on the head and it "kicked off" between them.

The police turned up and the policeman had to use his baton on the man. But the man managed to grab the baton off the policeman and started hitting the policeman and the woman with it.

Then a crocodile turned up and stole all the sausages!

Enjoy your day wherever you are, and drive safely ...

Monday, 28 May 2018

General strike on Wednesday 30th May ...

This Wednesday a general, 24 hour, strike has been announced by many unions in Greece. They protest against austerity, unemployment and over-taxing.

Ferries will not operate, and will stay moored, On the mainland buses, metro, trolley and trains will not operate. Please check with you ferry office if you are planning to travel on this day. Government offices and banks will stay closed.
Journalists for radio, internet and television will also be on strike ...

Skiathos Airport:

Industrial action - Wednesday 30th May from 10am until 13:00pm. No flights will operate into or from Greek airports during this time. Contact your airline or travel agent for information on revised times.

Monday 28/05, 08:00.

"EEEKE (Air Traffic Controllers’ Association of Greece) announcements (En): The Air Traffic Controllers’ Association of Greece would like to inform the public and airlines alike that it has decided to invite its members to participate in the industrial action called on behalf of the Supreme Administration of Public Employees' Associations (ADEDY) on Wednesday May 30th 2018"

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Flying Cat 5 ...

Has returned to the islands ...

Monday to Thursday, serving the needs of the islands to/from Volos.

Friday to Sunday will serving the needs of the islands to/from Agios Konstantinos.

The service will operate until Sunday 30th September.

The mayors of the three islands are calling for an extra return of the Flying Cat on Sunday afternoon from the port of Volos to the Northern Sporades. In order to serve the charter flights arriving from Skiathos airport and abroad, who are destined for onward travel to Skopelos and Alonissos.  (Obviously they have not read the timetable) ...

Pentecost weekend:

On Monday it is Pentecost or what we would call the Whitsun holiday. Offices and banks will be closed.

It will be busier in restaurants and bars this weekend, because it is a three-day holiday for the Greek people. (On this occasion the same as the UK)

Many of them will be on the island, from the mainland enjoying the sights, as well as the coffee shops and bars ...

Shake Rattle and Roll - 24th May/25th May:

Five seismic vibrations occurred on the evening of 24th May until dawn on the 25th May in the Sporades, for eight and a half hours.

The first seismic vibration occurred 24th May at 9:10 pm, 30 km north of Alonissos, at a depth of 10km and was 2.3 of the Richter scale. A few minutes later, at 9:35 pm, there was a new seismic vibration, 22 km north-east of Skiathos, at a depth of 10km and was 1.9 magnitude of the Richter scale.

About one and a half hours later, at 11.15 in the evening, 32 km north-east of Skiathos at the same depth, there was a new earthquake, 2.7 Richter this time, and four minutes later, at 11.19 there was a 31 km earthquake. North of Alonissos and at the same depth, a 2.2 magnitude earthquake of the Richter scale.

Finally, 25th May at 05:43 in the morning, 34 km north of Alonissos and 10 km deep, a 2.2 magnitude earthquake of the Richter scale.

Previous Blog: GDPR Day ...

Friday, 25 May 2018

GDPR day ...

This EU GDPR directive ...

I’ve never had so many unwanted emails in my life, begging for a response. Whoever thought that up bright wheeze of an idea in Brussels, needs to be put up against a wall, and well you know the rest ...

It wont actually stop the spammers, who like the rest of the EU do not abide by any directive anyway.

However over the last few hours the email boxes are groaning as each and every IT dept tries to comply with the new rules ...

Wonder if Mr Google will replace SPAM with a new box today called GDPR. I remember the Romans had something similar called SPQR just in front of the centurion ...

So remember I dont have your data, you can subscribe if you wish, there is nothing you need to do, and no one is forcing you to do anything at all, if you dont want too ...

SPQR - This was an initialism of a phrase in Latin: Senātus Populusque Rōmānus ("The Roman Senate and People", or more freely as "The Senate and People of Rome"; Classical Latin: [sɛˈnaː.tʊs pɔpʊˈlʊs.kᶣɛ roːˈmaː.nʊs]), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, and used as an official emblem of the modern-day comune (municipality) of Rome. 

It appeared on Roman currency, at the end of documents made public by inscription in stone or metal, and in dedications of monuments and public works, and it was emblazoned on the vexilloids of the Roman legion,

Sounds rather like the modern day EU their directives and their tokens the Euro. We all know what happened to the roman empire don't we ...

Spammed ...

Its been a funny twenty four hours, or so. I have been deluged with messages, tagged, texted and cajouled, by a 90% female audience, as word reached me that someone, I have not seen for about 25/30 years or so wants to get in touch.

Its been like a Skiathos Lovers version of GDPR, as the phone went ding ding all day long, as I was handbagged by the masses. Its stopped now as ...

'A moderator turned off commenting for this post'

Of course there is a link to Skiathos, a search party, and probably a bloodhound, out on the trail right now. Will let you know what happens next, if in fact anything does at all ...

Καλό Ταξίδι! to Mr Tsipouro, en route to Jimmy's shortly, and to start the season in the way he knows best. With the big green bottle ...

Condolences to the family of the lady who passed away on Megali Amos this morning ...

Previous blog: I want to tell you a story ...

Thursday, 24 May 2018

I want to tell you a story ...

I was reminded of this today ...

"It is no secret here, my wife has been very ill ...

Hopefully things are now on the mend. Today we went out for a walk, in the summer sunshine, and we bumped into many friends on the way. Everyone seems to want to hear the story, offer encouragement and try to help with a few words ...

Today Dimitris, who is a kamaki on the harbour, called to the house, with some set honey, to be mixed in warmed milk with a cube of Greek chocolate, and a hint of chili powder. This is to help with making the veins strong and increase the appetite. All ingredients were left with us ...

On the Paralia, Spiros rushed out of his taverna, he was worried he had not seen her for a few days, and was concerned. He sat us down and returned with a polystyrene box, he insisted we take and use the contents. 
It was a new pot of Royal Jelly, and he gave precise instructions like a doctor in its use ...

As we neared home, Eleni came out from her taverna, and another discussion took place, and a few moments later we returned with some lovely fresh fish soup to help out ...

With all the problems that Greece has, its people still do their best for their neighbours" ...

23rd May 2012

This was the start of a terrible journey. The rest as they say, and many of you know is history, Thanks to many of you, we came out of the other side ...

PS: Thanks to benjoe for the message on TA, Much appreciated ...

Previous Blog: Deserted beaches, Electric poles and posh sunbeds ...

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Deserted beaches, Electric poles and posh sunbeds ...

A photo update from the other end of the rock ...

Deserted beaches

The hotels are full but where are the people?

Mandraki Elias hardly anyone there, sun beds and umbrellas out, but they are the old ones.  

Elsewhere its all so quiet ...

Agistros which is the beach where Nikos the owner of the beach bar who was at LB is supposed to have gone.  As you can see there is no one there ...

Electric poles being fitted ...

... and posh sunbeds

They are going to take some moving - at least the face west ...

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Thessaloniki ferry link to return? ...

Interest of Golden Star Ferries for the line-Sporades line

The company requested approval to launch its high-speed boats from 15 June to 9 September 2018

The Golden Star Ferries company submitted in writing (Friday 18th May) to the ministry of maritime and island policy for the emergency launch of its boat ships (Superspeed and supercat) on the Thessaloniki-Sporades line.

The company requested approval to launch the two above-mentioned speedboats for the period from 15 June to 9 September 2018.

In its letter, it also states that there was a "strong requirement of the mayor" of Thessaloniki for this connection.

Source: EURO2day

Undercover reporters:

Update no2 from the other end of the island ...

'Sunbeds are out on BB & LB, but no cushions all new and they cannot be wheeled about, they must have cost a fortune.

Taverna’s on BB & LB are more like 10 x 10 foot square sheds, unless they are going to add more. Nothing is open yet lots of new electricity poles being erected, huge cables being strung across, even today Sunday.'

Previous Blog:  Greek Kagianas (or strapatsada) ...

Greek Kagianas (or strapatsada) ...

Did you enjoy the Royal Wedding ...

We certainly did, makes you feel good. Only the Brits can put on a show like that. Junior was very excited by it, after all every girl wants to be a princess, and marry a prince.

SWMBO though is not a fan, 'even in the deepest darkest days of communism' ...

I was watching and then when Meghan spoke, I thought I was watching am out take scene from Love actually. She even had a gospel choir, and the pastor from the USA was brilliant. He could make people go to church again ...

Talking of cutting room out takes, soon be time for Mamma Mia 2 ...

Well its the morning after the night before, perhaps Harry needs to dip into this Greek family connections, for his breakfast this morning. Perhaps his grandad has a family recipe for Meghan to whip up for him this morning ...

A summer brunch might just be one of the best ways to spend your sunday too. Especially if you’ve had a late night on Saturday, Perhaps after a few glasses celebrating after the wedding.

Breakfast, or if you have had a lie in, brunch is always a good start to a warm Sunday morning, food and (Please it has to be a decent) coffee, blinking in the sunlight ...

One of my favourite recipes for eggs is Strapatsada. In Greece, this combination of flavours is often called Kagianas, and resembles scrambled eggs mixed with tomatoes.

Now there are decent sweet tomatoes in the shops, not those ones that look red, but are pink, and once you get them home look and taste awful. Take your toms away from the halogen lights and see what they look like. Better still buy them from a market outside in natural light ...

I first had this dish a few years ago, on a hot August Skiathos afternoon, cooked by my lovely friend Vassou. I remember watching her patiently waiting for the tomatoes to cook, then adding the eggs, and serving with hand cut chips. Then sprinkling feta cheese on top, You have to take your time cooking this and V likes to talk ...

After tasting for the first time the sweetness of tomatoes blended with the eggs and the salty cheese. My Greek world of food would never be the same again. My mind was blown, and remains so to this day. Anyway lets get back to the eggs :) ...

This dish, with its many variations has followed me and when summer comes it returns to my thoughts. In London, the cousin of the Greek kagianas (or strapatsada), is the well-known middle-eastern shakshouka eggs, which are  popular especially round South Kensington, Borough market and at Gatwick airport south terminal where they really spice it up.

For 2 people you will need:

3 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 large ripe tomatoes cut in cubes
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika (Optional if you want a Lebanese type dish)
1tsp oregano
4 eggs
6 sun dried tomatoes, very finely chopped

Over a medium heat gently fry the onion until translucent. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and (add the paprika if required) and half of the sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 5-10min, until the sauce thickens a bit.

Add the oregano. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Then you can either ...

Create four holes with the back of your spoon in the tomato sauce and crack the eggs. Around the eggs, sprinkle the rest of the sun dried tomatoes. Place the lid on the pan for a few minutes.


Scramble the eggs through the tomato sauce, stirring them slowly until cooked. The mix will seem rather orange, but will taste fantastic.

Once the eggs are cooked serve with crusty bread, hand cut fries cooked in Olive oil, sprinkled with oregano, and if you cannot make a frappe, then an iced black coffee ...

Previous blog: Undercover reporters ...

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Undercover reporters ...

Update from the other end of the island ...

"Went to BB today so much easier to get there, old dusty slope to Banana doesn’t exist anymore. New sun-beds out and umbrellas, nobody in new development still doing work, but not very much.  Was only about 20 people on BB.  

I went over the rocks to LB only about 40 people there and came back to BB via the new road which ends not too far from LB.  (Will send some photos later)

 Only been here 2 days and have been stung twice once by a wasp and once by a bee"

Message ends ...

Congratulations Chelsea FC pride of London ...

Previous Blog: 75 Years ago (cont) ...

Thursday, 17 May 2018

75 Years ago (cont) ...

17 May 1943

00.15 Astell's plane collided with high tension cables north of the Ruhr. There were no survivors.

00.36 The first plane returned to RAF Scampton. Munro was forced abort as his Lancaster was badly damaged when it was hit by flak.

Rice arrived a short while later. Flying low, his aircraft hit the surface of the sea. The Upkeep mine was ripped free, the back flooded with water, and the men were lucky to be alive.

Of the first wave of planes to take off, none reached their target.

00.28 Gibson ran the first attack on the Möhne. He approached the water so low his crew warned he was about to hit the trees. He turned on his spotlights so his navigator could tell him when he was flying at exactly 60ft and, flying at 230mph and the bomb was released. Flying the 30 tonne plane fast and low whilst illuminated to become the target for every gun in sight, Gibson admitted he was incredibly frightened as he kept the plane steady.

The mine bounced three times and sank. A great spout of water surged up and over the dam wall, and the men thought it had collapsed. But as it subsided they realised that it had sunk short.

The water settled and Hopgood was called in to attack.

Now the German gunners knew what to expect and he was hit. He dropped the bomb too late and it bounced over the dam, destroying the power house as it exploded at the foot of the dam wall.

Other pilots watched on as the plane “crashed into flames”. The men bailed out, but only the rear gunner and bomber aimer were successful, the other crew members perished.

00.38 Martin flew round and dropped his bomb as Gibson flew on his wing to distract the gunners. The bomb veered to the left and exploded near the bank of the reservoir twenty yards from the dam.

Young was called up and made the perfect approach and drop, shielded by Martin, and his bomb hit the centre of the dam, which appeared to stay intact.

00.39 Martin and Gibson both acted as decoys as Maltby made his approach. He saw the centre of the dam was already crumbling and dropped the mine. Sgt Vivian Nicholson, wrote in his log: “‘Bomb dropped. Wizard.’ They successfully struck again and the dam collapsed.

00.56 Gibson sent a signal to base using morse. The Möhne had been breached. He used the name of his beloved pet Labrador as a codeword.

One target down, the men headed to the Eder, but as the mist thickened even finding it was difficult. At the dam Lancasters, with a wing span of 102ft, dropped down from over 1000ft to the lake and flew a curving approach, hopping over a spit of land which rose to 50ft less than a mile from the target.

They lined up at the correct height and speed and dropped their mine then pulled up steeply to avoid the 300ft hill which rose precipitously immediately behind the dam.

They fell under heavy fire and signals became confused.

01.54 Gibson sent his signal: Dinghy. The second dam, Eder, had been breached. As Knight's mine hit the dam it crumbled and collapsed, sending 202 million tons of water cascading down the valley and beyond.

02.30 Ottley's plane was given the signal to attack the Lister dam, and the message was acknowledged by the aircraft.

02.32 Ottley was told to attack the Sorpe instead. No acknowledgement was received. He had strayed over the heavily defended town of Hamm and his aircraft was hit and caught fire, crashed, and the fuel tanks and then the mine exploded. Sergeant Tees, the rear gunner, was blown clear from the plane and survived, badly burned, to become the third PoW.

The crash was witnessed by other crews, including that of Gibson who was passing on his return journey and who hoped, in vain, that the exploding aircraft was a night fighter.

Burpee also strayed off course, and flew over a German airfield at Gilze-Rijen near Tilburg where the plane was hit by flak, caught fire and exploded, before crashing on the edge of the airfield, killing all on board.

Of the nineteen which left Scampton, eleven had completed their bombing runs. Two had returned early, five had been lost on the outward journey and one at the Mohne dam.

At this point the men had no idea what had happened to the other crews. Byers and Barlow were logged as ”missing without trace”.

The surviving aircraft, including one crew which could not find its target, still had to make their way home across hundreds of miles of hostile territory

Maudslay’s aircraft, possibly damaged by its own bomb when attacking the Eder, strayed too close to the oil refineries at Emmerich on its return journey and was shot down.

02.58 Young's Lancaster was the last to be lost on the mission. The men were shot down by enemy fire on the coast of Holland and crashed into the sea. There were no survivors.

03.00 McCarthy sent a signal to say that he had launched the attack on the Sorpe. The attack had been weakened by the loss of four planes from the mission, with two crews dead and two back on British soil. McCarthy arrived first, but had to approach nine times before he could drop his bomb as they had to clear a high hill and avoid a church steeple.

Brown joined him, and also managed to drop his bomb close to after flying at the dam six times.

The Sorpe was badly damaged, but never breached.

03.14 The first aircraft to have completed the mission, piloted by Maltby, landed back on British soil.

There was no signal given to the men to pull off the mission. Instead, each aircraft had to make its own decision. Gibson told his men: “This squadron will either make history or be completely wiped out.”

03.28 Gibson joins other members of his crew back at RAF Scampton.

06.15: The last surviving plane landed. The Dambusters raid was over.

Of the 133 men who left RAF Scampton 53 were killed and three captured. Eight of the original 19 Lancaster bombers were damaged or shot down.

The pencil ticks on the right mark the aircraft that returned. 8 did not. 53 crew were killed. 3 became PoWs. Lest We Forget.

Pictures of 7 of the 8 Lancaster Captains who did not return from the Dambusters raid. Sqn Ldr Young’s photo missing.

 Excerpt from the 617 Squadron logbook.

On the ground 1,294 people were killed, including 749 Ukrainian prisoners of war based in a camp just below the Eder dam.

Some 92 factories were damaged and 12 were destroyed. Several power plants were destroyed or shut down, 8 bridges were damaged and 25 were destroyed.

Gibson, who was later awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery, said: “Normally you don’t know when you’re going to die, you see. You always think that ‘it will not happen to me.’

“But, that raid on the dams was the one time in… when you… when we knew that we were going to die. Or not die as the case may be. You know, the hair which was hanging on our life was very thin. And then there’s just a feeling of… a funny empty feeling in the stomach, but not frightened.”

617 association historian Robert Owen said that the raid had gone down in history because of its sheer bravery.

"There is almost a Boy's Own element to it,” he said. “You have this slightly eccentric engineer who claims that he can make a four tonne bomb that can bounce over water, you have got the skill and bravery of the crew.

“It is like David and Goliath, this small number of aircraft against this massive impregnable target in the heart of Germany with all its defences, and they were successful.”

Previous Blog: 75 Years ago ...

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

75 Years ago ...

16 May, 1943

75 years ago tonight,  617 Squadron flew out of RAF Scampton on Operation Chastise. 133 men took off to attack the Ruhr dams. Only 77 of them returned.

The legend of "The Dambusters" was born. They were led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson; who was just 24 years old. So tonight, I salute their courage, their skill & their sacrifice ...

18.00 UK time:  “We are going to attack the great dams of Germany”, Wing Commander Guy Gibson revealed to his men in their final briefing. They had been training to fly at low height and deliver a bouncing bomb over water, but for most, this was the first they knew of their targets.

19.30 The crew were given their last meal – two eggs and bacon. Some of the canteen staff guessed that they were about to fly out, as it was the only time that they were given two eggs. Some of the men knew that this would be their last ever mission, and gave instructions for their affairs to be put in order.

21.28 The first of three waves of Lancasters took off from RAF Scampton. Cloaked in secrecy as ever, they flew out under complete radio silence. The 19 planes, carrying a total of 133 airmen, took different routes to trick the Germans into thinking the raid was bigger than it was.

Wing Commander Guy Gibson (in door of aircraft) and his crew board their Avro Lancaster bomber for the mission

Robert Barlow, Les Munro, Geoff Rice and Vernon Byers, piloted the first planes, heading for the Sorpe. Theirs was the longest route.

The Lancasters headed out across the North Sea toward the Dutch coast, but the winds were higher than expected and they began to stray off course.

22.01 Joe McCarthy, also bound for the Sorpe, took off late as his aircraft was broken and he had to change planes. He flew alongside Gibson, Micky Martin, John Hopgood, Henry Young, Dave Shannon, David Maltby, Henry Maudslay, Les Knight and Bill Astell.

The final wave, the Airborne reserve, captained by Warner Ottley, Lewis Burpee, Ken Brown, Bill Townsend and Cyril Anderson waited anxiously at the base until just after midnight before take off.

22.57 The first plane was lost. In the bad weather Byers strayed off course over the heavily defended island of Texel. The Lancaster was shot down by enemy fire. All of the men were killed.

The other crews carried on.

23.50 Barlow's plane hit the power lines in enemy territory after being hit with flak. There were no survivors.

The crews flew beneath power cables, along roads and below the level of the surrounding trees to avoid enemy defences, but as they were blown off course they hit obstacles.

Gibson’s wave made their way across the North Sea and into the Netherlands.

His formation - or 'vic' - crossed the coast at the ominously named island of Overflakee, but flying fast and low they took the Germans by surprise, crossing the heavily defended island unscathed.

The second formation, ten minutes behind, climbed higher to use their radio aids and discovered the unforecast wind, but the German radars picked them up and they opened fire.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Nice and warm ...

Sounds good to me ...

Temperature anomaly across Europe over the next 5 days (GFS): most of Europe will get about average temperatures for this time, under the influence of the large cutoff low in the CNTRL Mediterranean.

Scandinavia and W Russia will be scorching HOT! Up to 10°C above average, If you are there might be worth waiting a week (Not you Stig) ...

It's SWMBO birthday today, and its one she was not meant to see. So I am cooking her something special, and opening that bottle of bubbles, that has been hidden away, for far too many years.

Previous Blog: The wreck of the Katsonis ...

Saturday, 12 May 2018

The wreck of the Katsonis ...

Exact location finally confirmed ...

From the Hydrological Service of the Hellenic Republic, it is announced that the exact location of the historical shipwreck of the Katsonis submarine was confirmed by optical means at a distance of 6 nm. northwest of the village of Skiathos and at a depth of 253 meters.

The shipwreck was identified by the hydrological-oceanographic vessel NAYTILOS of YY on January 29, 2018 using multibeam sonar and sidescan sonar.

Its identification was made by the same ship from 4 to 6/5/2018 using submarine robotic cameras (ROVs) from the diving crew of K. THOKATRIDI.

The recognition company also participated in the FAOS tv filming company with appropriate equipment.

Source Info ...

Y-1 “Katsonis” was one of only six submarines available to the Greeks in 1940.
Despite being an aged submarine by World War II, it was used extensively in war patrols and commando operations in the Adriatic and the Aegean Sea, before being sunk by a German subchaser in 1943.

Operational History

1925 – Laid down
1927 – Launched
8 June 1928 – Commissioned. First captain is Cdr Κ. Arvanitis.
3 – 10 Nov. 1940 – First war patrol (under Cdr Spanidis). Adriatic, 216 hours (84 subm./132 surf.).
22 Dec. 1940 – 4 Jan. 1941 – Second war patrol (under Cdr The Argus, 6 January 1941 (Australian newspaper)Athanasios Spanidis). Adriatic, 312 hours (132 subm./180 surf.).
31 Dec. 1940 – Sinks the 531-ton Italian freighter Quinto (531 GRT) off Antivari
14 – 21 Feb. 1941 – Third war patrol (under Cdr Spanidis). Adriatic, 168 hours (60 subm./108 surf.).
24 Mar. – 1 Apr. 1941 – Fourth war patrol (under Cdr Spanidis). Adriatic, 216 hours (84 subm./132 surf.).
From Port Said to Port Sudan Apr. 1941 – After the German invasion, Katsonis escapes to the Middle East, operating with the British Pennant number N 16.
2 July 1942 – Damaged while exiting a dry dock at Port Said.
28 Mar. – 10 Apr. 1943 – Fifth war patrol (under Cdr Laskos). Aegean/Crete, 408 hours (170 subm./238 surf.).
After patrolling the North Aegean and later disembarking commandos in the Lakonia, Katsonis encounters three sail boats, which, contrary to orders, Laskos spares because they were carrying food to Piraeus during the famine.
The same day they encounter another sail boat, one of the crew of which offers information regarding the movements of an enemy patrol boat off Gytheio.
They take him on board and give him the nickname “Lafiro” (plunder).
2 Apr. 1943 – Katsonis approaches the port of Gytheio and sinks an Italian minelayer with torpedoes.
According to a British article, it was carrying depth charges and torpedoes, and 20 Italian officers and soldiers were killed on it.
5 Apr. 1943 – Sinks the Spanish/German 1,500-ton merchant steamship San Issidro (322 GRT) off Kythnos.
21 May – 4 June 1943 – Sixth war patrol (under Cdr Laskos). Aegean, 456 hours (186 subm./270 surf.).
Vasileios Laskos 29 May 1943 – Sinks the German freighter Rigel (552 GRT) near Skiathos.
2 June 1943 – Fires two torpedoes at the Italian cargo ship Versilia (591 GRT) off Karlovassi, but misses.
5 – 14 Sep. 1943 – Seventh war patrol (under Cdr Laskos). North Aegean, 212 hours (107 subm./105 surf.).
The mission is to patrol North Aegean and land commandos. The boat quickly shows its age, with main problem the failure of one engine.
Nevertheless, Laskos continues the war patrol.
8 Sep. 1943 – Katsonis receives the message for the Italian armistice.
11 Sep. 1943 – Lands the Greek commandos without incident.
12 Sep. 1943 – Intercepts two sail boats and Laskos finds out that a captured French ship, Simfra, is carrying German soldiers on leave.
13 – 14 Sep. 1943 – Charges its batteries and submerges to patrol the area between Pilio and Skiathos, looking for Simfra. Laskos spots a sail boat and decides to surface to try to get more information about Simfra.
While he is still talking probably to the boat’s skipper, what looks like Simfra is spotted in the horizon.
Katsonis soon receives optical identification signals from the ship, but it isn’t Simfra. It is the German subchaser UJ-2101.
Katsonis crash dives, but soon receives depth charges and is forced to resurface.
Laskos orders the crew to return fire with the cannon, and after the gunners are killed, he himself takes their place, but is soon killed too, and Katsonis sinks.

31 men of the crew, including the captain, as well as “Lafiro” went down with Katsonis:


15 were captured, while Lt. Tsoukalas and petty officers Tsingros swam for 9 hours to reach Skiathos and Antoniou to reach Pilio.
They later returned to the Middle East.


Y-1 Katsonis submarine
Displacement: Surfaced 576 tons, Submerged 775 tons

Length: 62.4 m
Beam: 5.3 m
Draft: 3.35 m
Propulsion: 2 × 2-cycle Schneider-Carels diesel 1,300hp, 2 × electric 1,000hp
Complement: 39-45
Max. Dive: 73 m
Speed: (Surf.) 14 knots, (Subm.) 9.5 knots
Range: (Surf.) 3,500 nm @ 10 knots, (Subm.) 100 nm @ 5 knots
Armament: 6x 533mm torpedo tubes (2 internal bow, 2 external bow, 2 external stern; 7 torpedoes),1x 100mm cannon, 2x machine guns

Previous Blog: Currency exchange ...

Friday, 11 May 2018

Currency exchange ...

I got a great rate ...

Did you really?

At best you can save €20 on a £1000 over the counter. These are capped at £2500 over the counter for money laundering purposes. Lets be honest who wants a close encounter with a sniffer dog at the airport, if your pockets are full of cash, when you could be exploring duty free at 4am ...

However the debates on the forums about the rates you can get, and what card to use are very entertaining ...

For Info: Someone got 1.05 at an ATM in PapaD yesterday, they would have got 1.11 over the counter at the National bank nearby.

The only people who loose are those (us) who have to change money, those who do not have the Euro as their own currency. Thats why the currency boards have got smaller in your local bank, but they still have to make their money somehow ...

Your hard earned cash ...
The currency exchange goes like this ...

You have money ()
They have the currency you want ()
They will sell it to you at a rate they want to ()
You want to purchase it ()

Its a sales transaction ...

They bought the money at a far better rate than they want to sell it to you ()(They win)
You want to purchase it a far worse rate than they bought it (X) (You loose)
They charge you 2 - 2.5% for the purpose of making someone them a profit (X) (You loose)
If you are on a 0% commision deal you think you win ()
However the rate is poorer than it could be (X) (You loose)

What you got back ...
So by the time you have paid the accommodation tax and had a beer, and a cocktail for SWMBO there is not much left.

Down the back of the sofa ...
The moral of the story, is that you loose money, but in some cases the couple of cents left over might come in handy one day, if you find them down the back of the sofa ...

Weather update: If you are flying today Storms have passed through overnight ...

Power cuts: Will continue between 8am & 2pm today and over the weekend.

Previous Blog: The Skiathos Palace Cup ...

Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Skiathos Palace cup ...

For the third consecutive year, the Skiathos Palace Cup is organized in the enchanting bay of Koukounaries in Skiathos, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean, during the weekend of May 11-13.

The organiser, Nautical Club of Skiathos for this year's match, collaborates with Thanasis Piniaris, Olympic triumphant sailing trio and offshore sailing coach of the Navy Volos Group - "Argonauts", who will be in charge of the competition part of the event. Together they will write another new page in the history of the sea. Besides, Skiathos is an island with a brilliant naval tradition, and the Skiathians were always sailors and lovers of the sea. The fight will take place under the auspices of the Municipality of Skiathos and with the support of the Cultural Association "Skiathos".

Skiathos Palace Cup has been established over the years as one of the most interesting Match Race sailing events, since in the three days of the event many parallel events are held for the participants and the audience but also due to the constant improvement over time experience gained by the people who will be near her.

The form of the match, the Match Race, which is essentially a duel of two boats in a pre-determined sea level, promises another year of strong sports thrills in the wonderful marine and natural environment of the bay of Koukounaries in Skiathos, which will give unique images to viewers and contestants!

The idea of ​​the race was initiated by the team of Plefsi magazine, which for the last 25 years has supported all actions that promote the nautical sport and yachting as a tourist product important for the economy of Greece. The magazine will again be the exclusive sponsor of the sport and the sportsman of the race, who always believed that Skiathos - which is a top tourist destination - can also become a destination for sailing.

Skiathos Palace Hotel, continues to be the great sponsor of the cup activities. The hotel will also host committees, judges, contestants and journalists this year.

For this year's CSR, the fight will support Safe Water Sports's action to inform about the regulations of sea sports and games and avoid accidents.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Earth rumbles and power grumbles ...

Did you feel it? ...

Three seismic vibrations were recorded yesterday near Skiathos.

At 02:07 there was an earthquake of 2.4 R 34 km north of Skiathos and two minutes later an earthquake of 2.6 R 35 km north of the island. Followed at 04:45 earthquake 2.0 R, 36 km north of Skiathos.

No you all slept through them  ...

Power cuts

More short sharp amendments to the island power supplies at 08:30am and 14:30pm made for changing the clocks again a new routine.

Wednesday 9th May

Power supplies are again to be cut for thirty minutes at at 08:30am and 14:30pm.

This always happens at the start of the season, next up will be the water going off ...

Previous Blog: Saturated Sunday ...

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Saturated Sunday ...

Today it was the first Sunday flights from the UK for Thomas Cook ...

Both aircraft were full of expectant holidaymakers heading for the rock, and many renewing friendships as multiple returning visitors, along with the newbies ...

Only when they arrived at the island, it was raining, and as a result were delayed waiting to land, whilst the airport runway was inspected. Greece like the rest of Europe has been battered by thunderstorms, and heavy rain over the last few days. See the previous blog entry

Safety is the number one priority and TC do not want to keep their assets and their two full aircraft, up there no longer than they have to.

But there comes a time when they have to divert somewhere else, and that is what happened ...

Gatwick arrival MT1180 descended to FL150 then diverted to Thessaloniki, where the passengers disembarked. The aircraft was booked to go on to Dalaman,where it was picking up passengers to return them to the UK.

Manchester arrival MT1480 descended to FL70 over Skopelos, then diverted to Athens. Whilst en route to Athens the aircraft was struck by lightning. After a considerable delay the passengers were taken off the aircraft. The aircraft returned to Manchester (Arriving at 1am)

Both aircraft could not approach or land, due to the wet runway at Skiathos, and the local weather conditions at the time.

I understand both sets of passengers are to be transported via coach to Volos, where they will continue their journey to the island by ferry. There is a ferry at 8am from Volos (Express Skiathos)

The Athens passengers spent the night in a hotel, and will come up by coach, then over on the Proteus tomorrow evening. ETA 22:15 Monday.

The new reps are going to have a baptism of fire, meeting their customers when they arrive. What a start to the season ...

 Previous Blog: Stormy Saturday ...

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Stormy Saturday ...

Batten down the hatches ...

Greece is thunderstorm alley tonight

Cue the 'Rather be in a storm here than back home' on the hottest May Day holiday weekend in the UK for 40 years ...

But if you are on the rock ...


Previous Blog: Its flyaway friday ...

Friday, 4 May 2018

Its flyaway friday ...

Summer starts to swing, and the cash tills start to ring ...

Flights today arriving from Amsterdam, and Munich along with Seven from the UK. So the reps get to start work today. Then learn very quickly that most of the customers, know a lot more about the island than they do.

There goes the sales targets in the bin for some ...

Καλό ταξίδι to those heading for, and those departing from the rock today ...

Summer, makes you hungry, fancy a snack?

Olives, Sub dried tomatoes, feta and fig and walnut bread ...
Must be worth €5 - What do you think ?

Now what time is the last bus ...

Previous Blog: The Mancunians are coming ...

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The Mancunians are coming ...

... on MT1194 this morning.

Peace and quiet is at an end, the flat caps are on their way ...

The first flight from Manchester departed at 06:11am is due to arrive at 09:15am or 11:15am local time, around 30 minutes earlier than scheduled ...

Photo - Alan Fowler

The fire engines are at the ready to give them a welcome wash ...

Photo - Alan Fowler
Normal service is about to be resumed ...

Todays top questions are ...

Is there a hairdryer at? 
Is there a shower curtain?
Is there a kettle at?
Answers on a post card to ...
When does the bus start running late in the evenings? (Oh dear ...)

Previous Blog: Summer is loading: Kalo Mina - Máios ...