We saved the best weather to last. The winds had shifted to the north and become very light, which resulted in flat glassy conditions for swimming. The plan for our last day was to swim east across Likos Bay, then along the coast, around and into Loutro, where we would lunch together for the last time. All together about 3.5 km or so.
Orange and pink groups jumped in at the western shore of the bay. Yellow group opted to start halfway cross the bay. We swam in open water a long way off the coast, with the eastern point on the other side of the bay as our initial target about 1.7 km away. Our guides did their best to shield us from the water taxis and ferries coming in and out of the bay. Although both groups claimed to have swam the straightest course, they were at least 200m apart at every stage of the crossing.
From there it was a a further 1.2 km to the entrance to Loutro Bay. We swam this leg close to shore and in doing so found the narrow entrance to a cave that opened out into a dark chamber with pigeons nesting inside. All three groups congregated at the entrance of Loutro Bay and swam together for the last 600m or so to the beach in front of the tavernas. High-fives all around and photos marked the end of a wonderful week of swimming this unique coast. A week that started in challenging conditions, but saved the best to last.
Once we were all changed, we met at the Blue House Taverna for another relaxing lunch. After lunch activities involved browsing the shops, ice creams and walking along the promenade of yet another picturesque bay.
A very weary bunch relaxed on the boat ride back to Sfakia. We arrived back about 3:30 pm - in time for your choice of a swim, massage or nap before the last supper.
Everyone let’s their hair down and relaxes for the dinner with the Big Blue guides on the last night of our swim week. We had drank and dined with Cate and Jenny through the week so they had become good friends and Noa we knew well from our last trip was like an old friend.
Steve C stood up and recited a poem he had written about the week’s swim based on the various connotations of the word “blue”. He had the whole group in stitches. I think he missed his vocation as poet extraordinaire.
Wayne spoke at length on three meritorious candidates for the Big Blue Award, but James was the most deserving. There was no doubt James cut a fine figure in blue, even catching the eye of one of the local ladies.
As a thank you, we gave Noa, Cate, Jenny and Skipper Vagellis gifts to remember us by, which they appreciated and accepted graciously. The Big Blue robe was passed on to Noa so he could carry on the tradition with following groups. In the spirit of the night, Noa donned the Big Blue to the applause of our table and the crowd in the restaurant.
Ouzo flowed profusely, with many shots downed in unison, as well as toasts to Glenda and the emu. The night slowly wound down, closing with goodbyes, hugs, kisses and well wishes. A few kicked on back at their rooms not wanting it to end. For the rest, thoughts turned to packing and a good nights sleep before early starts to begin return journeys or the start of new adventures.