We decided to make our relationship with Vangelia more official. I went to her mother (Vangelia lost her father when she was very young) and asked for her hand. We got married in 1997 and have been happy ever since!
Vangelia was the reason why I got interested in the boats. Before I never owned a boat. I always loved water (I played water polo in the local team), but boats were not in my family. Vangelia already had one boat, together with her brother. She inherited it from her father, who in 1950’s used it to take lemons, olives, olive oil, figs and deliver them to Northern Greece – Thessaloniki, Kavala. Also, on her mother side, she comes from the fisherman’s family. Vangelia knew a lot about boats and how to take good care of them. So we used her boat a lot during this time. We would go fishing in it and on Sundays we would take a picnic basket and go to one of the beaches of Poros to spend the day there. It became a big part of our lives.
One day in 2013 we decided to also renovate Vangelia’s grandfather’s boat. It was a complete wreck that nobody took care of. When Vangelia’s mother suddenly got very sick and shortly after passed away, the grief she was going through gave her an extra force and motivation to restore the grandfather’s boat. She gave the boat a symbolic name “anassa”, which means “breath”. Up until today whenever she goes out in the boat she is able to breath deeply and it makes her feel free. It took us more than 6 months to restore the boat. We even managed to find the original guy from Hydra who built it in the 60’s and we followed the exact same, traditional guidelines we found on the internet to make sure it is restored to it’s original state. Now during the traditional, wooden boat shows like the one on Poros last year, “anassa” is considered one of the most beautiful ones in its category.
So my life going forward revolved around the shop, Vangelia and the boat outings. I was really happy to come back to the calm, simple life of Poros island. The lifestyle that we have here is incredible! You manage to combine work with pleasure, like swimming, riding a bike, in the evenings you can go out have ouzo with your friends and go back to work next morning without any problem. I love the sea! When I look at it, I forget about all the stress and problems. I close the shop at 3pm for 2 hours, half an hour is for swimming, another half an hour for eating and 1 hour for sleeping. This is my summer routine. It’s perfect!