I am writing this while staring out into the infinite darkness of the sea at night. It has been an incredibly quiet day, which is good, but frustrating on a personal level as you want to keep busy out here. The collective catch-22 dilemma. We have just had a report of a boat about to come into the town nearby, which will be only the third today on this usually busy north coast, and i am on watch on a nearby beach just incase they go off track. I am sitting in a car on my own, if they come before i make the call and before reinforcements arrive, and on such a windy night, anything could happen. I don’t want anything to happen. I also don’t expect anything to happen, i expect them to land, hopefully safely, in Eftalou around the corner. You learn to expect the unexpected around here though.
As i said it has been an incredibly quiet day. The sea has been rough which would make it mad to cross, however as there is a great deal of madness, desperation and naivety around here you must always assume boats will come whatever the weather. The rains and storms of my first few days didn’t put many off so why would a little wind. I wonder what affect the freezing winter waters and snow will have. Rumour has it that the current political situation in Turkey with their election is having an influence too. It is very important to appear to be doing something or successfully covering up something when the cameras are switched on. Throw into the mix the news I heard tonight that Alexis Tsipras the Greek Prime Minister is coming on thursday, and the fact the last time he was here no boats arrived for a few days prior to his, thus keeping numbers down and appearances up, you start to understand the bigger picture. The UNHCR are at it too, their personnel doing the productive busy dance when a delegate is in town and the disappearing act the moment they go. The curtain coming down on their performance. They held onto blankets for ten days recently because they wouldn’t let them be handed out until their logo had been printed on them. It is becoming increasingly clear what the priorities are out here.
No boat came in the end, although there was one rescue. With all that staring through headlights into the sea i had forgotten to switch the car on to charge the battery. Good job no refugees did come, just imagine;
“Welcome to Europe. Now give my car a push so i can rescue you”