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Greetings From A Grouper 



Greetings From A Grouper 

The dusky grouper we encountered during our dive on Saturday seemed to be quite fascinated by me! I was practically nose to nose with this character for quite a while. 

We did two dives from the boat off the coast of Kos with Arian Diving Centre in Kardamena. I can thoroughly recommend joining them for a day if you’re over here! 

Diving is one of the best things I have ever learnt to do!! I feel so free in the water. There’s so much beauty in the landscape, plants and wildlife. I will definitely write a longer blog about our experiences when we get back to the UK but I only have my phone with me to process images and post blogs at the moment! 

I’m posting this for both the Fotospeed challenge and Wex Mondays this week, along with a gallery of a few other groupers! Enjoy 😀

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Blue Monday: Ornate Wrasse

Ornate Wrasse

Blue Monday: Ornate Wrasse

Still studying hard for our dive training which starts on Friday! So excited 🙂 In the meantime here’s a gallery of ornate wrasse photographed earlier this year in the seas around the coast of Kos.

Blue Monday is hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor in honour of Smiling Sally
Smiling Sally

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Blue Monday: Deeper Into The Blue

Damselfish

Blue Monday: Deeper Into The Blue

These pretty little blue-finned fish are found in the seas of the Eastern Atlantic and The Mediterranean. It’s called a Damselfish (Chromis chromis) and we found these small ones in the seas off Kos this year. They are mostly juveniles, going by their colouring. They swim in shoals at depths between two and forty metres. I was incredibly lucky that this shoal came closer to the surface, while feeding on the rocks, where we were snorkeling!

We snorkel every year and I have been desperately trying to improve my few skills in underwater photography on each trip. The time has now come to attempt to delve a bit deeper into the blue seas of the Mediterranean! In order to do so, Simon and I are starting our PADI Open Water Dive (Scuba) training. At the moment we’re working on our coursework (knowledge development) with the dive video and manual. Lots to take in and memorise before our classroom theory, confined water and open water dives, starting in a couple of weeks time! I may not be particularly responsive online until we finish our course and, hopefully, get out certificates on December 5th. Keep your fingers (or fins!) crossed for us! I’ll try to keep posting (more fish perhaps?) but I apologise if you don’t hear anything more from me.

Blue Monday is hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor in honour of Smiling Sally
Smiling Sally

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Blue Monday: Holiday Blues

Moonrise Over Kastri Island

Moonrise over Kastri Island

Blue Monday: Holiday Blues

We’re off to our beloved Kos again! I shall be taking a bit of a break for the next couple of weeks. Don’t worry though, the cameras are coming with me off course and I will have plenty to share on my return! For now I will leave you with an image taken last year of the moon rising over Kastri Island. Simon and I got married just in front of the little chapel you can see on the left of the island. Can’t wait to be back!

Blue Monday is hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor
Smiling Sally

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place – Kastri Island

Kastri Island

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place – Kastri Island

In front of that little chapel, Agios Nikolaos, on Kastri Island is where Simon and I got married this year 😀 The happiest day of my life in a truly happy place for us both! Kastri lies in Kamari Bay near Kefalos on Kos. We stay here every year on our holidays and just fell in love with this beautiful spot the very first time that we set eyes upon it. My photograph was taken from the ruins of Agios Stefanos, one of the earliest known examples of a Christian Church and the setting for many of our wedding photographs. Posting this today makes me smile at so many happy memories, but also makes me wish we were there right now so we could get out into that beautiful blue water and follow the sealife around the rocks!

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Blue Monday: Supporting Greece

Kefalos, Kos Island

Blue Monday: Supporting Greece

The blue seas and skies of The Mediterranean. This is a view from near the castle in the old town of Kefalos across Kamari, where Simon and I stay, to Kastri Island, where we got married, all the way to the Mount Dikeos at the other end of Kos Island. It’s a small island made up of small communities. People look out for one another, they’re hardworking, welcoming, self-sufficient, ordinary folk of Greece. Much of the country is made up of islands very similar to Kos, with small communities who have, over the years, become very reliant on the tourist trade. It has saddened me to see the very countries who have turned these island into holiday destinations, enjoying the Greek hospitality year after year, turn on them in their hour of need.

While we were in Kos the media back in the UK had started to label this beautiful island a “Hellhole”. Why? Because refugees, fleeing for their lives, have arrived in Kos en route to Athens to claim asylum in Europe. What the press reported was a far cry from the truth and sparked a panic in the UK with people cancelling holidays and weddings for fear of “criminal gangs” roaming the streets. This has hit the Greek economy hard at a time when it desperately needs us to support them by continuing to holiday there.

Call me cynical, but I do wonder at the sources of some of the media-horror stories that have led to a downturn in tourism when the Greek people are being hit by austerity measures, enforced by the Eurozone, the IMF and the ECB. By reducing the very source of income that we have made Greece so reliant upon, the country becomes even less able to sustain an economy. With the influx of refugees from Syria the country is being pushed even further into debt. Why are we not helping? Who will benefit the most if Greece defaults, the banks collapse, the country leaves the Euro? Certainly not the ordinary citizens of Greece! It’s no secret that there are countries and corporations sitting in the wings waiting to buy up Greek assets. Ports, airports, the shipping industry. These are very lucrative prospects to some who would just love to buy them at the lowest price possible. Is this the true face of democracy and European “coöperation”? It almost seems like a corporate hostile take-over!

These are just my thoughts and concerns for a country and people who I have come to love and feel at home with over the years. I’m supporting my friends on Kos and saying OXI to further austerity measures that punish the innocent and the poor, whilst doing nothing to resolve the debts and core issues faced by the country. I’d like to hear your thoughts on the current crisis, but please keep it relevant and free from abuse.

Smiling Sally

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Travel Theme: Inviting

St Paul's Bay, Rhodes

Travel Theme: Inviting

The warm Mediterranean Sea is one of the most inviting things I know! I remember childhood holidays in Malta, swimming, exploring rock-pools and the delightful boat trips through the Blue Lagoon. The Greek Islands remind me of those holidays and I can never wait to get into the sea! This year we went to Rhodes after spending time in Kos. Simon had spent his childhood holidays here and these photos are of Saint Paul’s Bay next to the historic town of Lindos.

Panorama of St Pauls Bay

You can just see the Acropolis and Temple of Athena in the background. When Simon was there as a child there was no beach area on the far side and the main beach was much less built up without a proper pathway or the car park! It’s still very picturesque and thoroughly inviting. We also took a boat from nearby Pefkos around to the old town of Lindos and I made this video with my phone. Hope you like it!

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Strange Fish!

Strange Fish!

It was our last full day here in beautiful Kos. The weather really warmed up so we hit the beaches for a spot of snorkeling and sun-worshiping.

I saw loads of great fish today, wrasse, sea bass, flat fish and more besides!

The most unusual of all though was this rare sighting of the wonderful Yellow-trunked Simon Fish. It’s a totally unique species only ever found in warm waters like the Mediterranean!

A truly magnificent specimen don’t you think?