05 - 08 JUNE 2020

The three-day open water swimming experience was a fulfilling opportunity to experience both the grandeur of the coastline while tourism remains at low-levels, explore natural features such as caves, reefs and aquatic life; as well as archaeological artifacts from as far back as King Xerxes’ campaigns (pottery from the ancient harbor) to the WWII-era (naval mine) almost seemingly untouched by the passage of time.
Most impactful of all were the rich discussions between participants to reflect on the impacts of today’s “fast-track civilization” on the seascape.


Despite the annual beach cleanups conducted by both public and private sectors on the island of Skiathos, participants still encountered countless pieces of plastic floating on the surface of the water or clinging to the reef. The beaches, though aesthetically remarkable, were tarnished by the presence of trash strewn about the beaches. Even on some of the most remote of the island’s beaches, the roar of a generator or the honking of traffic made the encounter with the natural environment a strained one. There was also noticeable deforestation of the island’s unique pine forests in lieu of touristic structural development. Perhaps most devastating of all was a dead dolphin that had washed ashore at Lalaria beach; a stark reminder of the irreparable damage caused by a dissolution of sustainability in today’s society.


Fortunately, the participants were exposed to brief yet precious moments of feeling at one with nature like when they stepped barefoot along the sandy, forest paths of the island on their way to begin their SeaTrekking adventure. Holding their breaths and gliding around the abundantly present boulders and caves on the island transported them to a world which has stood through many millennia of transformation.


KIMON PAPADIMITRIOU from Skopelos, Greece

  • PADI IDC Staff Instructor #250689
  • DDI Open Water Scuba Instructor #10 0200
  • Dr Rural & Surveying Engineering
  • organizes regularly openwater swim events in Greece
  • speaks english fluently
  • member of the association since 2019
Text by Kimon Papadimitriou and Kaitlyn Waters
photos by Kaitlyn Waters, Dimitris Giouzepas and Kimon Papadimitriou