Summer 2010, when Eco cruising just started out. Almost every afternoon at Preveza port, we(W) had the following dialogue with passers-by (P) :
(P) - Hello there! What are you doing here? Where do you go with the boat?
(W) - Hello! We do environmental cruises in Amvrakikos gulf.
(P) - Ha (disappointment ...) in Amvrakikos? Really? why you do not go to Lefkada or Paxos where there are beautiful beaches? Here there's nothing to see... is there?
(W) - And yet! That 's why we are here! Cause we want to guide you to a rare and special ecosystem that is trully worth to see! And what you can see here, you can't find anywhere else! Dolphins, sea turtles, pelicans and beautiful beaches.
(P) - You are crazy ... Bye!
Summer 2018, Preveza port. We have already decided that the eco cruising cycle in Amvrakikos has closed, so the dialogue is now:
(P) - Hello guys! Do you really stop Eco cruising?
(W) - Oh! Yes ...
(P) - But why? You are doing well! The dolphins are coming every day to your bow, people are excited about your cruises, you have very good reviews .. Why do you close your business???
(W) - There are lots of why, but let's just say that the circle closed ...
(P) - You are crazy ...
We hope that we are not as crazy as some might think! All these years have been a huge experience for us and we have to remember many stories. But it's time to set sails for new adventures! It was a very difficult decision to leave back the dolphins of Amvrakikos...
However, we leave them (hopefully!) in good hands. What do we mean? The local fishermen of Amvrakikos.
A local fisherman has already started a fishing tourism program and began recreational cruises in the bay. Soon, as we learn, a second one will follow. We know both of them personally and had many discussions with them about the Amvrakikos ecosystem. We believe we contributed a little bit, to convince them that they should not see the dolphins as competitors - opponents. That the fact that dolphins more frequently eat the fish from their nets (with a consequence of destroying them) is not because there is an increase in their population - as most of their colleagues think - but because of a reduction in fish stock and a reduction in their living space due to lack of oxygen in the bay.
Now that they will meet dolphins while cruising, and not while gathering their nets, they will have the opportunity to observe them from a different perspective and get to know them better. We hope that they will realize quickly that it is worth protecting them and we are sure that they will try to convince and push fishermen, inhabitants and decision makers for the need to truly protect Amvrakikos gulf.
So, we wish them all the best and hope they will treat dolphins nice (Responsible Dolphin Watching) in order to enjoy them often on their bow!
For more info about cruises in Amvrakikos gulf , visit www.amvrakikoscruises.gr