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Sunday, July 03, 2016

Desperately seeking BoatyMcBoatFace

We've just got back from one of the Greek islands, Skiathos. It was the second year running we were there, unheard of for us, but the hotel and island really tick all the boxes  (and with my husband J, there are a lot of boxes to tick).

One of the things that enthralled me last year was the fact that our beach, being very close to Skiathos Town, gave a superb view of all the
ferries and flying cats / dolphins going by. And to make it even better, there are planes coming in to land.

So I booked the same hotel again and asked J for a pair of binoculars for Christmas. This year I sat very happily monitoring all the shipping. In 10 days, I became quite an expert on the timetable.

At 12.30,  "Old Honker" went by. This was a big Aqua Ferries ship which always honked as it approached the harbour.  I could imagine all the people in cars and lorries, waiting for it, abandoning their coffees and racing to their vehicles.

Old Honker
Old Honker was followed by Flying Cat 4, or "the Cosmote," as we referred to it (Cosmote being the sponsor: Greece's answer to Vodafone). What a looker.

One evening as we arrived in Skiathos Town on our water taxi, we saw the Cosmote glide elegantly into the port and we strolled over to have a closer look.

This one wasn't Flying Cat 4 but probably 5, which is older and doesn't have a side door. I was very amused to see the smartly dressed crew virtually dragging people and their cases on, as they only have 10 minutes' turnaround time.

FlyingCat 4
As you can imagine, I was itching to go on the Cat. Or even the flying dolphin, which fascinated me last year. But studying their online timetables, I saw we would have to stay overnight for a return trip. Their destinations include Skopelos, Ionosssis and Volos  (the second city in Greece).

Flying Dolphin 
Next year I might book a one-way trip on, say, the Cat, and come back same day on another vessel. J is rolling his eyes at the thought of this even as we speak. But even he became quite keen on ship spotting, particularly when we saw the biggest cargo ship we had ever seen. He does need his own binoculars though. He's long sighted and I'm short sighted, so we had to change the settings every time we used them.

Post dedicated to Sarah in France, whose enthusiasm for my humble blog has made it all worthwhile.

Further reading:  (really!).

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