“My name is Ray Morris. I am now in my 63rd year. I am English and together with my wife Jacqui (also English) we have lived here on Skaithos for almost 14 years.

Last summer, having decided to retire, I started swimming every day. I have always been a passionate swimmer and I am a qualified scuba dive master. Since I now had the time, I was swimming a couple of kilometers every day by the end of the summer. This continued during last winter when I swam most days, having invested in a decent open-water wet-suit.

Then, I had a crazy thought……call it a mid-life crisis (I tell myself that the sixties is the new forties!) or just the desire to do something different……why not try to swim the coastline of Skiathos, over a couple of days? I currently swim around 5 to 6 km each day, and since June 2018 to date, I would estimate I have completed over 1000 km of open-water swimming.

So…..what incentive could I have to encourage me to do this? Well, we have two very deserving animal charities on the island namely the Skiathos Dog Shelter and the Skiathos Cat Welfare Association. Having taken a rescue dog a few years ago from the shelter, and being the owner of eleven stray cats and more recently having taken a rescue three legged amputee dog, I know first hand the difficulties both of these charities have in their day to day operations. Jan for the dogs and Sharon for the cats.

My plan is to do this…..a Skiathos Around the Island Swim in September this year, starting on Monday 9th September. I would hope to complete this as a daily staged swim, within four or five days, swimming for a minimum of four hours a day, depending on the weather and, more importantly, the wind speed and direction.My average swim speed is around 2 km per hour, so I would hope to achieve my goal of completing the swim in five days (or thereabouts!). The coastline covers approximately 41 km, I plan to start and end at the little beach to the right of the Bourtzi entrance. I will have a safety rib boat alongside me for the entire swim, and the Skiathos Coastguard has confirmed to me that they will escort me along the new and old harbours for my finish.

Our new Mayor of Skiathos, Mr Thodoris Tzoumas is supporting my challenge, and he has kindly offered to be present at the start and finish of my swim.

My question is, can you help to sponsor me and raise some much needed cash for the charities? The proceeds would be split 50-50 between the two.

I am also looking for volunteers to walk along the beaches that I swim past, with collection boxes to ask for donations from the tourists on the beaches.

You can donate any amount you choose, and with the exception of some limited promotional expenses, every single Cent and every single Euro raised will go directly to the two charities. I am also looking for corporate or business sponsorship, so if you are able to help, please contact me on [email protected] or mobile (0030) 6948869278.

Any comments or suggestions are very welcome!”

Skiathos Around the Island Swim