1999 – Risky erosion in the arsanas of Néa Skiti

We had to wait for the boat that would take us to Dafni. We were early so we had time to look around. If you look up from the harbour you see impressive vertical formations. Just above the cliffs you see little houses, where people live. Not suitable for monks with fear of heights.A closer look. Safety measures have been taken, there are some fences. But the erosion is intense in this part of Athos. It is not the marble of the Holy Mountain, this is sandstone. The erosion combined with the probability of earthquakes makes a poisonous cocktail. Check the frequency of earthquakes in Greece here. There are so many small earthquakes in this part of the Mediterranean.The same building taken from the other side. It is as scary from this perspective.Some of the houses look like the dwellings of the hermits in Karoulia. It is as steep and remote as well. This morning everything was peaceful and quiet. Only the continuous noise of the sea and a finch was heard. Some research learned that this is a chaffinch (thanks to Herman).The advantage of sitting and waiting and wondering around is that more life can be seen. With each wave this crab disappeared under the foam of the waves.And there she was at last: the Agia Anna approaching silently and lowering her tailgate as an invitation to us waiting on the pier. She gracefully accepted us as Jona in the whale.

Bas Kamps

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