A big thanks to Ian Knights for the following photos of our presentation of funds raised....
We are very proud to announce that our online fundraising campaign here on Go Get Funding reached its target of 2,000 euros. However, our offline campaign raised over 4,200 euros! In the end, we were able to present our two animal charities on Skiathos with just over 3,000 euros each. We are glad that we have helped both The Skiathos Cat Welfare Society and the Skiathos Dog Shelter face another winter with a few more euros.
Our campaign has now ended but we are already planning what we can do next year to raise funds to help the animals.
And, on behalf of the cats and dogs of Skiathos, thank you again to everyone who donated, everyone who gave their help and support before, during and after Ray's epic swim.
What a whirlwind week it was.
Starting on Monday 9th September and finally finishing on Tuesday, 17th September. And now our online campaign ends tomorrow, 30th September.
Ray encountered strong northerly winds which postponed the swim for three days, which was a good decision as safety had to come first.So, the actual swim around the island was over 6 days and more than 26 hours in the water swimming.
There are so many lovely, wonderful people we’d like to thank……in no particular order as follows:-
Sean McMonagle captain and first mate Marie McMonagle (and photographer) on the safety boat alongside Ray the entire time in all conditions.This would never have happened without your help and daily support.
Sharon and her great team and helpers at the Skiathos Cat Welfare Society, Nina, Julie Adams, Chloe, Jilly Buck, Anjie & Dave McChesney.
Bob George (from the Skiathos Dog Shelter) for his overwhelming support and help and shouty voice on the beaches.
Lynne & Davey Feeney, who gallantly joined in collections on their holiday.
Flo Tuck & her niece Carla Sparkes, Flo you were fab, as always.
Dianne Schultz for helping on the beach collections, the Dream Team wasn’t complete without you.
Mel Stanley, my good friend who happened to be on holiday and offered her support.
Stuart & Marianne for their shouty voices and support.
Marjie for being Marjie, thank you for being you.
Our new Mayor, Teos Tzoumas for his encouragement, support and donation.
Rosie & Kevin Woollass for rattling the bucket and helping to increase the total.
Val & Kevin Brown for their enthusiastic support (and Kevin’s megaphone voice on the beaches cheering Ray on, “Mad as a bucket of frogs, but it’s all for the cats and dogs” will go down in the Skiathos history annals….
Vasilis and all the staff at Spar supermarket for providing water and fruit for the entire duration and for the generous donation. And also for changing the coins into notes with their Las Vegas style coin counting machine,and Ray got to press all the buttons too!!
Nikos from the flower shop on Bouboulinas St.
Andreas & Blerta at Porta Rossa for their support & the Mythos for the boat crew.
Kathy & Jacqui at Mylos Taverna.
Kimon for the RIB safety boat, without whom we couldn't have done this challenge.
Marios for bringing the boat over from Skopelos.
Lt. Commander Nick Katsabas and his team, particularly George Manthos and George Chavelas and the crew on the escort RIB boats from the Skiathos Coastguard.
Rockos at Nostos Water Sports for helping with the engine problem.
Panos & Kevin at Skiathos Diving, you have been invaluable.
Ruben Fortuna, this season’s dive instructor at Skiathos Diving for the great photos.
If there is anyone we have forgotten, please let us know, it's been difficult to keep up.....
So, here are the total statistics from the six day Skiathos Around the Island Swim challenge:
Old harbour (Bourtzi) around the island and finishing back where he started.....
Total swim distance 44.43 km (original calculation was 41 km but swim watch recorded this)
Total time swimming: 26 hours, 46 minutes
Total arm strokes: 40,877
Total leg kicks: 163,528
Total calories burnt: 24,036
Body weight at the start: 86.7 kg and at the finish: 84.6 kg (loss of 2.1 kg).
For the final stage of the swim challenge, once again the weather and sea conditions were perfect.
From Pounta tip to Bourtzi beach = 2.8 km
Time taken: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Wind Direction: S/E 2 Beaufort
Total Arm Strokes:3,477
Total Leg Kicks: 13,908
Calories Burnt: 3,011
Ray had a very warm welcome from the crowd waiting for him by Bourtzi beach, including a champagne shower drenching! Our collection buckets were getting heavy, we collected around 600e but I will update with final totals in a day or two.
I will do another update on the total stats in a little while.
After three days of strong north winds, Ray was finally able to resume the swim challenge today, Monday 16th September.
Weather and sea conditions were perfect.
From Nikotsara to Pounta tip = 8.7 km
Time taken: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Wind Direction: N/E 2 Beaufort
Total Arm Strokes: 6,615
Total Leg Kicks: 26,460
Calories Burnt: 5,717
Ray felt like he could have completed the swim today, but it would have meant that I (Jacqui) wouldn't be there for the finish due to work commitments, and our helpers had all been arranged for tomorrow to walk along the harbour and Bourtzi beside Ray as he swims, rattling our collection buckets. So he called it day, with a relatively easy (!) two hour session left for the big finish.
This was an incredible day for Ray, he said the water and weather conditions were not perfect but far better than Wednesday so he just kept going to cover as many kilometers as he could.
Thursday 12th September
From Aselinos Bay to Nikotsara = 9 km
Time taken: 6 hours, 20 minutes
Wind Direction: N/E 3 Beaufort
Total Arm Strokes: 9,460
Total Leg Kicks: 37.840
Calories Burnt: 5,992
Day 5 - has been postponed due to the weather today and over the weekend.. So,the last leg of the swim challenge will take place on Monday, 16th September. I will update timings and give an estimate of the finish time by Sunday.
A bit of a bumpy day yesterday (Wednesday). Firstly, the motor on the boat was running slow which turned out to be a fuel problem. Secondly, although it was pretty calm when Ray hit the water at Ag. Eleni, the north wind picked up to 4 Beaufort and it became very choppy, Ray battled on but had two bouts of motion sickness. Thankfully, Sean & Marie Rosie McMonagle are with him the whole time on the boat, and are a constant support to him. Despite the problems, Ray STILL managed to swim 6.5km and made it to the start of the bay of Aselinos. This was a little way short of our plan which was to get to Ligaries, but even so, it was an incredible distance to reach in those conditions. The boat engine was repaired and is running well again. So, today, the plan is to get from Aselinos to Kastro (passing along Megalos and Mikros Aselinos, Ligaries, Kehria, Limenari then finally Kastro. We are not attempting beach collections as these beaches are a bit too difficult to reach. The wind direction today is northerly again, with a 4 Beaufort strength so we will wait to see what happens.......
Our second day started off from where Ray left off yesterday, at the end of Vromolimnos beach. Then, onto Kolios, Agia Paraskevi, Troulos, Maratha, Koukounaries, Banana, Small Banana and finishing at Eleni.
Ray had a great night's sleep and was ready to get back into the water as soon as possible....
Our collection buckets were rattling on these beaches and we managed to raise a further 850e. People have been so supportive, cheering and clapping him along the beaches as he swims them.
Here are the stats for Day 2
Tuesday 10th September
From Vromolimnos to Agia Eleni = 9.2 km
Time taken: 5 hours, 20 minutes
Wind Direction: NE 3 Beaufort
Total Arm Strokes: 7,270
Total Leg Kicks: 29,080
Calories Burnt: 2,725
We were overwhelmed by the kindness and support of friends and supporters who came to the launch of Ray's Around the Island Swim Challenge. This is Ray's wife Jacqui doing the updates as obviously right now Ray is swimming again!
Skiathos Island's new Mayor, Thodoris Tzoumas came along to the start and said a few words about what this challenge was all about and then Ray stepped into the water at Bourtzi beach. Accompanied along the old harbour by the Coastguard and our support RIB captained by Sean McMonagle and his wife Marie, Ray set off.
Our collection buckets at the ready, we headed off to the first beach of Siferi, followed by Megali Ammos, Vasilias, Achladies, Sklithri, Janeria, Kanapitsa and finally Vromolimnos.
The weather was good, there was strong-ish wind but it was behind Ray so he made excellent progress.
In total, we raised a whopping 820e on our first day collecting on the beaches. Just incredible.
Here are Ray's stats for Day 1:
Monday 9th September
From Bourtzi Beach to Vromolimnos = 8.23 km
Time taken: 4 hours, 36 minutes
Wind Direction: NE 3 Beaufort
Total Arm Strokes: 6,372
Total Leg Kicks: 25,488
Calories Burnt: 2,357
Day 2 here we come..... Kolios to Agia Eleni.