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2017 Greek Island Swim - Blog 9

Our third day of swimming started as usual with breakfast an hour before boarding Mowgli at 9:00am.

It is great see the group really bonding on this trip. None more than Jim and Kirk. To see them rubbing suntan lotion on each other prior to each swim brings a tear to your eye and is indicative of how close some of us have become.

Today is Deb's birthday! Her arrival on the Mowgli this morning was greeted with a rousing rendition of happy birthday.

Our first swim of the day was an hours motoring away to the island of Arkoudi. We were scheduled to complete a 2km swim on the east side of island but a strong easterly breeze meant a change of plans. Instead we swam, along the west side of the island.

This is the first time BigBlueSwim had tried this particular route. It was very different from our previous swims. The water was slightly sloppy and the even though we were never more than 10m from shore the bottom would disappear into the deep blue depths. You would never swim in this type of location in Australia, because something would surely rise from the depths and make a meal of you. You know you are swimming in Greece, because we were continually being hit by Sardines jumping out of the water. So much so, Noa our guide had to empty them out of the RIB as he motored along beside his group.

Once we were all back on board, it was off to lunch at a harbour village called Sivolta. Sivolta is the antithesis of yesterday's lunch stop at Kalamos. I would call it the Claremont of the Greek seaside villages. A well protected bustling harbour full of yachts of every size and lot's of cafes and shops. It was at one of these shops that Erica found the perfect swim cap for the club (see the photo of Erica and Steve's mothers modelling the cap).

After lunch we headed a short distance to Mikros Gialos for a shoreline swim along the bay's western shoreline. Another terrific swim finishing at a delightful beach just around the corner from a major tourist town.

Back on Mowgli for the journey back to Geni, where we all stopped for a beer or wine to toast Deb and sing her happy birthday again. Chatting together we couldn't help admire and congratulate Linda and Ann on smashing their own PBs for distances swam. At this point Jenny became very jealous of the attention they were getting and she smashed her wine glass Greek style to get the attention back on herself.

Everyone headed back to their rooms for a shower and rest before meeting again at the poolside bar/restaurant for "Greek Night".

Greek Night .... wow! What a night!

Festivities kicked off with the first courses of a Greek banquet, which then just kept coming for the rest of the evening. In addition to our table of 20 (2 BigBlueSwim guides joined us) there were half a dozen other tables comprising a mix of locals and tourists. Things really got pumping with the arrival of the Greek dancers. We were treated to a series of traditional dances involving many athletic moves performed at hectic pace of the accompanying Greek music and audience clapping. The real fun started when the audience was called to the floor to join in the dancing and the Mannas were not backward in putting their best foot forward. A large circle of dancers transformed into some sort of Greek Conga dance that turned in on and under itself in ever decreasing circles until, as the music finished, the dancers were left in a tight knot in the centre of the dance floor.

Highlights of the night were: Deb's birthday dance; Deb's birthday cake and another rendition of Happy Birthday from the whole crowd; the other Deb being twirled around on a Greek dancers shoulders; Steve, Wayne and friends setting a new PB for ouzo consumption; and Anne Marie and Sue table dancing with the Greek dancers! Some of this vision is not suitable for viewing, but hopefully the pictures give you some idea of what a great night it was.

This will be a birthday Deb will certainly never forget! Thank God it is a late start in the morning because this is one night that will take some getting over!!

Greek Swim Team

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