This is Mr Stelios Kamakaris, but everyone in Milos island (Cyclades, Greece) knows him by his nickname, “Bizas” or “Bizis”, I think. He has been a seaman, a fisherman all his life.
How did I meet him? I was surching for an open “Syrma” (plural=“Syrmata”, a special kind of tiny seaside buildings used as boat “parking” and summer residenses, seen mostly in Milos island,), I wanted to take some inside photos. I found him sitting in his “Syrma” in Mandrakia, talking with another gentleman.“Can I take a couple of photos from your Syrma?”, I asked him. “Of course”, he said, “but first, take a seat, I will bring you a cup of coffee, you look very tired”. I sat there, enjoyed my coffee, and the conversation with Mr. Stelios and the other gentleman. I had forgotten what I came for! Mr. Stelios is one of those great storytellers, he had countless stories about the one of his great loves, the sea. He is also an expert about boats and ships, he can fix everything with his own hands.
I was really enjoying their company and I stayed there for a couple of hours, I really loved hearing him talk, although I sensed some sadness in his words and in his eyes. I had also noticed something strange… He was painting his fishing boat black. I don’t remember having ever seen a black fishing boat.
At some point, he asked me “Do you want a beer now?”. “Yes, please”, I said and while he went to bring me the beer, I took the opportunity to ask the other gentleman, about the boat. “He lost his much beloved wife, a couple of weeks ago, that’s why he’s painting the boat black, in sign of grief”