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Archive for February, 2015

Alone with a tiger

pi1

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.

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Wet Friday

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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.

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santorini-nauagio-sea-diamond-arxeio

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

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Nice pictures another day

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

V for Varofakis

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Greek bailout

This was send to us by Angela. I (Daphne) liked the message it gives on this rainy day with the news still full with talks about the list and how the Greek government will use these 4 months.

Here is a story of Greek optimism:

It is a slow day in a little Greek Village. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel. The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna. The publican slips the money along to a salesman drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him goods on credit. The salesman then rushes to the hotel and pays off his room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note. The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveler will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town. No one produced anything, no one earned anything. However, the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how the European bailout package works.

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If you see something resembling this plant, report it immediately to your local authorities

If you see something resembling this report immediately to your local authorities


Greek Reporter reports that there will be a “Protestival” in Athens on May 9 for the elimination of criminal charges for possession of cannabis in Greece. “About time” say many who use the substance for medicinal purposes, relaxation from the stresses of modern life, simple sensory alteration, or, in most cases, don’t use it at all.

Our tax money could be better spent chasing down tax evaders, bribe givers and takers, and other criminals. We have heard that even bored residents of Skopelos partake in the evil weed to animate long winter evenings, yet still fear the dreaded knock on the door.

Organizers of the Protestival say:

“Users are not criminals, but the implemented policies are criminal. The use and abuse of substances is not a matter of public policy, but a matter of public health. Pinning for the prohibition and repression of substances instead for prevention and treatment, shows support to corruption and organized crime. Drug prohibition has overstated the problem of substance abuse rather than solve it. We have not managed to reduce the demand, nor the supply of substances which are more abundant than ever.”

Just keep it out of the hands of children sez SkopelosNews.

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when-harry-met-sally1We can’t guarantee you’ll meet Billy Crystal – in fact, that’s more or less certainly a no-no – or that you’ll get what she was having in that famous scene from When Harry Met Sally, but the Orfeas Cinema group has agreed to allow island book lovers to hold another book exchange in aid of the Faros palliative care charity this Friday, February 27, from 11am-1pm. Bring some, take some, and if you’re in the mood leave a donation for Faros. Books, and readers, in any of the numerous languages spoken on Skopelos always welcome.

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