If you have been paying attention you probably have notice the island becoming noticably lighter.
No – not in the light/dark sense but as in light/heavy.

Looking around over the winter months, we’ve noticed many people who, at the end of the summer were pleasingly plump, have trimmed down considerably. In some cases the change seems miraculous.

The force behind these changes is Olga Maridaki, the young woman whose photo is above. A dietician by training, Olga has set up a consulting clinic here in Skopelos (near the elementary school playground – on the corner opposite the Triandafylos bakery).

Olga consults on diet and lifestyle, and suggests individual strategies to help people achieve their goal.
Solutions to any food related problems are within her reach. The rest is up to you.

Those interested can telephone 24240-23451 or just drop in during usual hours and make an appointment, or, if she is available, talk to her immediately.

Up to no good

Your Monday morning bug.
Most likely “not good for the garden”, this bright coral pink thing was last seen this A.M. enjoying the dampness by scurrying somewhere. Though we can’t remember exactly, we think that we read somewhere that it is indeed a pest or at least bothersome. So much for nature’s camouflage, it really stands out.

We will need to upload its photo to Google Image to see if we can find a match.

Update – no luck
Screen shot 2015-03-02 at 9.57.25 AM

On the first Sunday of Lent Orthodox Christians observe Triumph of Orthodoxy. The day signifies the importance of icons in the Orthodox religion and the defeat of iconoclasm. The iconoclasts were those Christians especially in the mid 700s to the early 800s who believed that images of the venerated (Christ, the Panagia, the Apostles) were in fact graven images prohibited under Mosaic law, and also misleading because the icons could not represent both the divine and the human nature of the Christ.

In the end, Byzantine iconoclasm was defeated at the Seventh Eucumenical Council at Nicea in 787.

On Skopelos the church Panagia Luvadiotisa is the place to be today because everybody who has an icon that they want to honor, they will bring it to this church and afterwards walk back to the town in a large procession.

[image from the British Museum]

Alone with a tiger


After a shipwreck a young man ends up in a lifeboat with a tiger. If you want to see how they get on come to Orfeas Cinema tonight at 18.30 hours.
The film is in English with Greek subtitles. Entrance 3 euros.
You are helping the children of the 2nd class of the high school if you are coming to see the film.

Wet Friday

According to the local Meteo weather site Skopelos town – where the instruments are located – received a hearty 59.8 mm of water from yesterday’s rain. That’s a little less than half of the total rain, again in Skopelos town, for the entire month (111.4 mm). Where we were the impression was of a saturated earth, so enough was enough.
All was accompanied by random seeming thunder and lightning.

The photo is of the view up to Palouki in the area above the Holy Cross (Stravrou) monastery.

The Sea Diamond


Many will remember the sinking of the cruise ship “Sea Diamond” in April 2007. She hit a reef while maneuvering to one of the permanent moorings beneath the caldera of Santorini and sank 13 hours later.
1,190 passengers were evacuated in three hours by a combination of the ships lifeboats and an armada of tourist traffic boats which were on hand. Two people died, lost belowdecks.

13 people were held culpable and tried including the ship’s captain, first officer, navigator, and representatives of the cruise line, on charges of recklessness and pollution of the sea. Prison sentences were given to the captain, firstmate and navigator and a fine levied on the management of the cruise company. Others were fined as well.

Over a series of trials the thirteen accused were whittled down to three.
The contention of the defendants is that the official navigational charts issued by the Hellenic Navy Hydrographic Service were incorrect and pollution, if any, was minimal.

The Supreme Court criminal division heard arguments and ruled that after yearly analysis of the waters near the sunken ship by the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, there was no pollution. They also agreed with the defense that the charts were in error and threw out the argument that “if the charts were wrong why hadn’t other ships crashed on the reef?”.

The trial of the three remaining defendents resumes today in Pireaus Court of Appeals.

Below are some illustrations taken from websites of shipwreck buffs and a photo of the wreck site by our own photographer. The illustrations are captioned to describe what they show.

Track of the Sea Diamond (purple line) according to the faulty chart.

Track of the Sea Diamond (purple line) according to the faulty chart.

Track of the ship according to the updated chart.

Track of the ship according to the updated chart.

According to the chart, the ship's navigator figured that the ship would clear the reef by 74 meters

According to the chart, the ship’s navigator figured that the ship would clear the reef by 74 meters

The reality

The reality

In actuality the captain and crew could be hailed as heroes for temporarily righting the vessel after its initial listing and seeing the ship evacuated. It appears that the captain and crew also attempted to save the ship by trying (and failing) a maneuver to sink it in shallower waters (similar to what the Costa Concordia attempted to achieve at Giglio several years later).

October 2014 showing the pollution ring above the sunken vessel

October 2014 showing the pollution ring above the sunken vessel

A personal account can be seen here and there is a youtube here

This is a hit on the internet. It was broadcasted on the state television of Germany.

V for Varofakis


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