Travels with S/Y Thetis


Thetis only

2000: Glyfada to Samos

This web page contains the logs of a fourteen-day sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis in the Greek Aegean from Glyfada, near Athens, to the island of Samos via Fleves, the Cyclades (Kithnos, Serifos, Paros, Despotiko, Schinousa), and the Dodecanese (Lipsi, Patmos). The logs are illustrated with maps and photographs, and also include some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited as well as several links to other related web sites.

Route to Schinousa
Route to Schinousa

Thursday June 8, 2000 Day 1

Thetis is more or less ready other than being provisioned. My boat mate Dr. Can Ertem came from Istanbul, and I met him at the airport. Can is the nephew of my old friend Mehmet Ergene whom I have known for over 25 years and my wife Alice has known him for many more. Can is a jolly giant of a man, full of good humor, smart, and very capable. He, like myself, is an electrical engineer. He is a fairly experienced sailor, but although he grew up in Istanbul, he has never sailed in the Aegean. All his experience is in Florida and the Chesapeake Bay. As matter of fact, this is his first visit to Greece.

After Can’s arrival we spent the whole day running errands: buying provisions, banking, and paperwork. He is my titular charterer since I need, for tax purposes, to charter the boat for at least 30 days a year to a non-Greek citizen.

Finally all was set and we went to the Limenarchio (Coast Guard) to validate the charter and get the infamous apoplous: permission to depart the port. There we were informed:

  1. Thetis’ license will expire in 20 days, thanks to the new rules
  2. From now on I need 60 days of chartering and I, as the owner, am legally entitled to use my own boat only 15 days during the summer and 15 during the winter. Great!

Finally, finally at 1815 we cast off the lines that bind us to Athens. Bliss! Thetis motored out of the marina free at last. Too late however to go very far so we headed to the nearby island of Fleves (Φλέβες) [37° 46.2' N 023° 45.4' E] where we arrived after 6.45 nM at 1940. We anchored without any problem. I was positively elated that we are on our way and at an anchorage away from the ugly marina.

Time to look at the windlass problem. Yes, it was a loose connection at the solenoid. Can was a great help, and we repaired it in no time. We also located another loose contact at the Navtex plug which we also repaired.

I made a simple pasta with tuna for dinner which we ate at the cockpit table along with a red wine. Our first night out.

Can is the first guest of Thetis who managed to deploy the fitted sheets in the front cabin in his first attempt.

Friday June 9, 2000 Day 2

We slept well. By 0935 we were on our way to Kythnos. The wind at the beginning was a mere 2-3 knot SW but it soon changed to 15-17 N which allowed us to sail with partly unrolled headsail and the main in the 1st reef.

We arrived at Fikiada, Kythnos (Φικιάδα, Κύθνος) [37° 24.8' N 024° 22.9' E] at 1645 having covered most of the 38.45 nM by sail. Not bad for our first day! We anchored and dove to check the anchor. The water was cold, less than 20° (68° F).

Still no signal at the Navtex. We located a break at the antenna cable which we fixed. I cooked another pasta dish. This time the sauce was tomato, peppers, capers, and mushrooms. Delicious, if I may say so. Can is having a great time and so am I if I can but forget the bureaucratic clouds that hover over the professional license and all its implications.

Saturday June 10, 2000 Day 3

Relaxing after arrival in Livadhi
Relaxing after arrival in Livadhi

We slept late and did not get under way until 1000. Our destination was Livadhi, Serifos (Λιβάδι, Σέριφος) [37° 08.5' N 024° 31' E]. We sailed most of the way. At the beginning the wind was fairly brisk with violent gusts reaching 28-38 knots but soon it settled down to a more sedate 12-24 N, and then even lower to about 15 knots and we were forced to motor-sail. After 23.3 nM we arrived at Livadhi at 14:50. We moored stern-to without too much trouble.

In the afternoon, I installed the one-way valve at the intake of the watermaker that Lewis Unger had given me. After the installation I primed the watermaker and it seems to be working well. The problem that the valve is addressing is that when the boat heals to starboard the intake is exposed and air enters into the watermaker and before it can work again it needs to be primed, which has been a pain.

Photo
Vasilis in Chora

Later we took a taxi to Chora (Χώρα) where we walked and ended in an attractive restaurant in the platia (square) where we had several drinks of ouzo along with wonderful mezedes: grilled octopus, fried tomatoes, grilled cheese etc.

When we returned to Livadhi, Can rented a room in a nearby hotel so that he can have a good shower but he slept onboard. In the early morning hours the N wind started blowing very violently. Several anchors dragged and a pair of cruisers collided as one was attempting to leave without untying all of her docking lines. A lot of confusion.

Sunday June 11, 2000 Day 4

Photo
The Castle of Parikia

We left Livadhi at 8:10 heading for Despotiko, a small island S of Antiparos. Because Can must be in Turkey by Tuesday we wanted to be near an island with an airport, such as Paros. The wind was strong from the NE, gusting to 55 knots. We set the main at the 2nd reef and sailed with a very reduced headsail. But seeing the deteriorating weather, we changed our plans and decided to head for Parikia, the main harbor of Paros. The seas were very large and we had a very fast sail interrupted at times with short periods of no wind. Then we had to motor-sail. The wind during the passage was anywhere from 42 knots down to 8! The sails were in need of almost continuous trimming. Can slept a good part of the passage.

When we were approaching Parikia(Παροικία) in Paros (Πάρος), I woke Can up because I wanted a good lookout for traffic and for the many dangerous reefs that circle the bay. We arrived in Parikia [37° 05.55' N 025° 09.1' E] at 1355 having sailed for 31 nM. We anchored off-shore rather than mooring at the quay. After assembling the dinghy I felt very tired and cold. The Navtex still refused to receive any signal. Can installed the new Jenssen radio but one of the speakers did not work.

We went ashore and Can made reservations on the Monday night Athens ferry (3 AM!) and a flight to Istanbul on Tuesday morning. All flights to Athens from Paros were already booked. In the evening we had a good dinner at the Zorbas restaurant along with live bouzouki playing old rembetika. We had fun.

Monday June 12, 2000 Day 5

Photo
The Small harbor of Naoussa

First thing in the morning, we looked for a symbolaiografos (a Greek version of an exalted notary public who charges very hefty fees) so that I can make a power of attorney document for Mr. Bibis in Piraeus so that he can proceed to apply on my behalf for the necessary new professional license for Thetis. After a couple of hours, we had procured the blasted document which we sent on to Mr. Bibis via a courier.

By the afternoon and after we had done the disagreeable work, we rented motor scooters and drove them to Naoussa (Νάουσσα) where we walked all over the town and harbor ending up having ouzo together with grilled octopus (Can is becoming addicted to this) and maridakia (tiny fried fish). We then drove back to Parikia via the ancient marble quarry. The ride was cold.

Photo

Relaxing with Ouzo & Octopus

Back on board Thetis, despite some early encouraging signs, we saw that the Navtex had not received a signal. It is amazing how far I have come to depend on this instrument. The wind was strong.

After showers etc. we went ashore and had a very nice and leisurely dinner at the Tamarisko restaurant. We then killed time strolling around the Castle and old town. Finally, Cam’s ferry arrived at 0115. The night was windy and cold. We said our good byes and Can boarded the ferry. I will miss him, he was an excellent sailing companion and lots of fun to be with.

While entering the dinghy to go back on Thetis, sleepy as I was, I managed to drop the scooter keys into the water. While I could see them, I was not able to fish them out. The problem will have to wait for the new day. On board, I slept fitfully while the N wind howled.

Tuesday June 13, 2000 Day 6

I tried to fish out the scooter keys using a magnet but unfortunately they were not magnetic. I went to where I rented it and they gave me a new one which I duplicated. Having decided to do something about the Navtex, I called the Autohelm dealer in Piraeus and then I shipped them the unit to have it checked. I also called Nokia but still no news on the Communicator repairs. I also bought a new pair of speakers to replace the defective ones.

Photo
The Cave of Antiparos

Now that all the errands were out of the way, I drove the scooter to Punta, the landing of the ferry to Antiparos. Crossing over, I drove to the famous Antiparos cave which is open only till 1430. I also drove around Antiparos and looked at the Despotiko channel. It does look like a pleasant anchorage.

On the way back, the captain of the ferry boat told me that the weather service continues to issue gale warnings. Maybe the wind will be less tomorrow so that I can go to Despotiko.

Back on Thetis I called, using the borrowed cell phone, my daughter Corinna who is biking in England. I installed the new speakers and fixed the upholstery that was ripped by the electrician.

In the evening I stayed on board and cooked some pasta using the sauce left over from a few days ago. The refrigerator was working very well.

Wednesday June 14, 2000 Day 7

In the morning I drove the scooter to the S side of Paros and returned from the W thus making a nice loop around the island. I also visited the famous cathedral at Parikia, the Ekatontaspyliani. I called Autohelm and Nokia but no news other than that the Navtex has been received. I then went aboard and transferred Diesel fuel from a jerry can into the tank. Back ashore I drove the can to a gas station and re-filled it with 22 L of fuel. As the wind seemed somewhat less strong I decided to depart for Despotiko, so I returned the scooter after leaving the can in the dinghy. On the way back to the dinghy I saw an old farmer who was selling fresh capers. I bought some. His instructions were to put them in jars with vinegar.

Photo
The Despotiko Channel

I raised the anchor at 1300. The wind was 15-28 knots from the NNE. This made possible a delightful sail along the W coast of Paros, Antiparos, and around Despotiko (Δεσποτικό) [36° 57.8' N 025° 02.3' E]. The cove on the S side of Despotiko looked very attractive but I continued to the Despotiko channel where I arrived at 1620 after 17.8 nM. I anchored on sand at 5 m without any difficulty. Snorkeled to check the anchor, the water was very cold. The wind was gusting to 26 knots but it was not uncomfortable. The barometer had fallen to 1015 mB from the 1018 of yesterday. The watermaker was working flawlessly.

I spent a couple of hours cleaning with acetone the two horseshoe life preservers that were covered with dry varnish courtesy of Olympic Marine. They do such careful work!

I made a rice-pilaf with tuna for dinner which I ate listening to music enjoying the new AM radio and its speakers. I did wish for a weather report. Here there is no Hellas Radio (the Greek VHF service) signal either.

Thursday June 15, 2000 Day 8

It was windy all night. I was rather ambivalent as to whether to leave or not. The weather forecast, at least what I heard yesterday on the VHF and this morning on the AM radio, called for diminishing winds BUT another gale was due for the weekend. So, with some reluctance I got ready to leave this nice anchorage for Katapola, Amorgos, about 42 nM from here. I wanted to make progress E so that I would be in Samos before Alice’s (my wife) arrival next week.

By 0940 we were on our way. Outside the Despotiko channel the wind was only 15-25 knots NE which allowed sailing, the main still on the 2nd reef and the genoa reduced. As we were approaching the S tip of Naxos the wind increased reaching 42 knots and I had to reduce the headsail even more. It was a nice fast sail but the visibility was not very good and I turned on the radar. I called Autohelm on the borrowed GSM phone but the secretary did not have any news on my Navtex, I was told to call in the evening. By 1315, after reaching the southernmost tip of Naxos, the seas were very confused but the wind was down to 10 knots and I was forced to turn on the motor. At 1335 while nearing the island of Schinousa the wind was up to 45 knots gusting to 55! We sailed but it was not very pleasant because of the gusts, so I decided not to go to Amorgos after all but to head for Schinousa (Σχοινούσα).

Photo
The Cove in Schinousa

I headed for a cove [36° 51.3' N 25° 31.6' E] east of Mirsini. We arrived at 1420, 31.7 nM and anchored without any problems on sand. The anchor was very well set.

After I made myself a salad and a coffee I tried to call Autohelm but there was no GSM signal. I launched the zodiac and went ashore. After climbing to high spot I was able to call. I spoke to the technician, Dinos. The Navtex now checks OK and he has a printout! I asked him to send it to me at Patmos. I called Nokia, still no news. I walked to the town, about 40 minutes, and bought some fruits and several bottles of vinegar for the capers which I had put on the refrigerator. I called Alice but I did not find her so I left her voice mail.

Back on Thetis I noticed that the barometer continued to fall, now down to 1008 mB. I managed to get a forecast from the VHF. It called for northerly winds of force 5-6, soon 3-4. Here it was 18 knots. I was not sure when to leave and where to go. I made a nice potato salad using some of the fresh capers, not so good because they were very bitter. Also I cleaned all the glass jars that I could find and filled them with capers and vinegar.

I went to bed early, but could not sleep. The wind had changed to 5-6 knots SE, not strong enough to drift Thetis towards the rocks, I was anchored for N wind, but I was not feeling comfortable enough to sleep. I turned on the VHF and got another weather report. Now they were calling for a strong gale (force 9) for tomorrow night. Here it was calm. Since I could not sleep worrying about an increase of the S wind, the coming gale, I made up my mind to leave and head E so that we could be closer to Patmos and Samos at a more secure anchorage during the gale.

Friday June 16, 2000 Day 9

By the time I raised the dinghy, lashed it on Thetis, and raised the anchor it was 0000. I had made up my mind to head for Katsadia, Lipsi which would be a safe and pleasant anchorage with a route which afforded many alternatives should the weather deteriorate: nearby Egiali in Amorgos, and several anchorages in Patmos, and Leros. Outside the Schinousa cove the wind was just 10 knots SE and we could only motor-sail with the main. Just in case, I kept the sail in the 2nd reef. About an hour after departure the wind changed to 17 knots NNE. I opened part of the headsail but the wind came too close to our direction for sailing and there were too many islands (Keros, Antikeros, etc.) to tack, so we continued motor-sailing. Later the wind diminished to 11 knots and I had to roll-in the genoa.

Route to Samos
Route to Samos

After leaving Amorgos a few miles behind, I received a strange hail on the VHF, in Greek: “Vessel east of Amorgos heading east.” I replied at which point the voice, without identifying asked “What type of vessel are you?” I did not identify either, but I just replied “A sailing vessel” the answer was “Have a good trip.” Very unprofessional because I suspected it was a navy boat since I could see, on the radar, a fairly large and fast moving target toward us. Later she indeed turned out to be a Greek Navy boat which passed Thetis very close, the officer at the bridge giving me a friendly wave. About half an hour later a Turkish Navy boat passed us, also very close, heading in the same direction as the Greek boat.

At 0225 the wind shifted again from the W (10-15 knots). But despite the favorable wind, the very large seas rolled Thetis violently and as a result the main was very often flapping without actually pushing us. So I had to lower it and motor.

At about 0500 the wind changed again to 9-12 NNW which at least allowed me to motor-sail once more with just the main. After a glorious sunrise the wind picked up and at last we were able to sail with both sails. This blissful state was not to last. The rest of the way it was sometimes sailing and some times motor-sailing.

We arrived at Katsadia, Lipsi (Κατσαδιά, Λειψοί) at 1130 after covering 64.6 nM. I anchored between the little island Lira (Λύρα) and Lipsi [37° 16.8' N 026° 46.2' E] over sand at 4.5 m. The anchor was holding very well, I wish I could say the same about my stomach. I suspect that the fresh capers I ate last night did not agree with me, as I could still taste them. I took a plunge but the water was too cold for a comfortable swim. The sun, however, was strong so I put up the tent. The day turned out to be fairly hot, 30° C while the barometer kept sliding down to 1005 mB.

I was very tired and kept felling asleep. I slept on and off all afternoon. Although I had no appetite, I forced myself to eat some bread and drink some water and a fruit juice after which I fell asleep again. I felt very weak. In the evening, after a coffee I called Nokia and was told that the Communicator will not be ready until Tuesday. I also spoke with Rozina, my brother Nikos’ friend, upon whom I have come to depend as a contact for weather, news, and the many errands and services I impose on her. Rozina always graciously fulfills my requests and I am very grateful. Rozina had received a lengthy e-mail from my daughter Corinna who is bicycling Europe startingt from Oxford.

In preparation for the forecasted gale, I took down the tent, deployed the dinghy, and set the second anchor. In the mean-time, here and now was very calm but I wanted to be able to sleep well without any worries about dragging. Following these activities, I took a hot shower which improved my condition so I went ashore to the little taverna. The people were very nice and served me a cooked chicken and made me some rice which I ate with great relish along with some salad. In the taverna there was a large German crew of a charter boat. The taverna owner asked me to inform them that the Limenarchio (Coast guard) has issued an advisory that a strong force 9 gale is due either tonight or tomorrow. Amazingly enough, they had no knowledge of any forecast nor did they seem overly concerned.

After getting back on board I felt much better now that I had some food in my stomach. The wind had increased somewhat from dead calm, but it was a very gentle breeze. The full moon cast lovely reflections on the still glassy water. I adjusted the two anchors so that the load will be evenly distributed between them. I spoke to a German couple, Monica and Dietrich, who had just arrived with their very well kept catamaran Fromo and anchored right next to Thetis. They too had heard about the expected gale. I went to bed and slept like a log.

Saturday June 17, 2000 Day 10

The gale did not materialize, after all, and the barometer rose to 1007 mB from yesterday’s low of 1005. I put up the tent and settled for a nice lazy day. I busied myself with various small tasks like fixing the letters on the zodiac, cleaning the various chrome surfaces, securing the base of the new radio, etc.

In the afternoon, the wind did come with gusts up to 30 knots. Outside the cove, the sea looks very angry. The forecast called for force 9! I took a nap under the tent until the wild flapping woke me up. I had to remove the tent.

In the evening I went ashore and walked to the town, about 45 minutes away, where I had dinner. Later I received a call from Nikos, he has just returned from Spain. Also, got a call from Corinna. She is in Bath, England and has a new cell phone.

Sunday June 18, 2000 Day 11

Photo
The “Protected” Cove of Katsadia

The wind howled all night with many violent gusts. The wind tossed the dinghy so much that the box with its anchor had disappeared. I had to raise the dinghy and lash it on the deck because the wind was flipping it over. According to the extended forecast, which I got by calling Rozina, the force 9 gale will last on Samos Sea until Wednesday. Here, the wind rose during the morning until by afternoon it had reached a sustained 33 knots with gusts around 50 while the barometer rose to 1013 mB.

I spent my time reading and listening to the radio. I finally finished the book that I had started back in D.C., The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett. It is very well written and captivating if only somewhat depressing. I wrote cards and installed the two battery operated fans that I had brought form the US. I got these because last year, in the Black Sea, there were some stifling hot nights. Of course, now they are definitely not needed. I had to improvise a scheme to charge the borrowed GSM phone. Its charger needs 220 V while my AC converter is 110 V. But since its charger outputs 12 V DC into the phone stand, I clamped it down and by inserting pins in its cable I was able to feed 12 V directly to the stand.

As we had arranged last night, we spoke every two hours, on the VHF, with the German catamaran Fromo. They too were confined in their cabin and listened to music. There was nothing that one could do but wait out the gale.

Made a nice dinner and ate in the cabin as it was too cold to be out in the cockpit. The sea outside the cove was roaring but here it was fairly calm but nevertheless Thetis was being tossed about by the wind.

Monday June 19, 2000 Day 12

The wind continued at full strength all night but in the morning it seemed to me that it was somewhat less violent than yesterday. The barometer rose to 1015 mB.

Around noon, I braced myself and snorkeled in the cold (20° C) water and found the missing box with the dinghy’s anchor that was blown away the night before. It was fortunately lying in a patch of sand in about 9 m so, I managed to retrieve it. However the dive, tired me out, me who used to routinely spear fish at 20 m depths. Am I out of shape or just too old?

As we had arranged from our VHF contacts, in the afternoon I launched the zodiac and visited S/Y Fromo. Had a pleasant ouzo with Dietrich and Monica. Monica is an expert sailor with over 25 years experience. Dietrich, like me, is a retired electrical engineer. They spend their summers now mostly in their 37 ft. boat, which being a catamaran is very roomy and comfortable. She spent last winter in Porto Heli but now, because Dietrich has to be back in Germany, they are heading to the new shipyard in Partheni, Leros to have her hauled out. Seeing the immaculate condition that they keep Fromo, I am very interested to hear their impressions of the yard. Dietrich promised to send me a report via e-mail.

By the evening the wind was down to about 25 kn. We Monica, Dietrich, and I went ashore and had dinner together.

Tuesday June 20, 2000 Day 13

Overnight the wind increased to 35 knots, but in the morning it seemed to subside. I waited until 10 when I made up my mind to leave for Patmos and get the Navtex unit which surely by now was waiting for me. It was heavy work lifting the 2nd anchor which was well buried while working against the wind. After the anchor, came the zodiac’s turn, it was hard labor indeed raising it against the fierce wind. While doing these departure preparations Dietrich came and gave me his card and said good-bye. He is a nice and gentle man!

By 1105, after over an hour of hard work, we were finally on our way to Patmos. The wind was a “mild” 25 knots NNW, with gusts. I was too tired to raise the sail, so we motored. At least the batteries were being charged after these days of using the refrigerator. By the way, these batteries are short of amazing in how well they hold their voltage. The waves were of an impressive size.

Thetis arrived in Skala, Patmos (Σκάλα, Πάτμος) [37° 19.5' N 026° 33' E] at 1335 after 12.1 nM. Inside the harbor, while the sea was calm, the wind was still a good 30 knots. I headed for the fuel dock, Skala has one of the precious few fuel docks in the Greek Aegean. It was not easy to dock singlehandling against this wind. Fortunately an attendant did come and caught a line for me. In the height of stupidity, the Limenarchio (Coast Guard) has forbidden the station to pump fuel directly from their installed hose because it may pollute but allows them to drive their a mini-van from which they can pump. The Greek bureaucratic mind is unfathomable! But, as the attendant explained, the Limenarchis (Harbor Master) is due for replacement and once the new man comes they will, of course, resume direct pumping. I topped the tank with 45 L of Diesel fuel.

I left Thetis at the fuel dock and walked to town trying to locate the office of the ACS courier—Autohelm had already told me that they have sent the Navtex via ACS. It turned out that there is no ACS office in Patmos; instead ACS has an agent in a travel bureau which was already closed at 1400. But by asking around, I located the man in a nearby grocery store. He kindly opened his office and looked for the package but it was not there. He explained that due to the gales in the last few days most ferryboats have not been coming to Patmos and that my package would most likely arrive in the night with the expected ferry due at 10 PM, and, no, he could not forward the package to Samos. There was no helping it, I had to stay in Patmos and check again with the agent tomorrow morning.

Photo
Grikos Bay
Photo
My Poor Neighbors

I decided to move Thetis to Grikos (Γροίκος) [37° 18' N 026° 33.8' E], a large cove S of Skala, and overnight there. I cast off from the fuel dock at 1440 and motored the 3.3 nM to Grikos. Unfortunately, by now the wind was topping 35 knots which made it extremely difficult to anchor because before the anchor had a chance to cut through the weed and dig-in, the boat was blown away. As good luck would have it a very nice man from a German sailboat anchored at Grikos, came with his inflatable to help me. He indicated that I could use a mooring that was not being used and he held the mooring line for me. I took it but I was nor strong enough to hold it long enough and cleat it as Thetis was blown away. My finger was caught in the life line and was badly cut and I had to let go of the line. The cut was deep and I was bleeding all over the deck. I grabbed some paper towel to control the bleeding and gave to the helpful German a line which he tied to the mooring while I made another go at it. This time there was enough slack to allow me to control the line and cleat it. Blood was all over the deck but Thetis was secure thanks to the friendly fellow sailor whose name I do not even know nor the name of his boat. Anyway, if you are reading this I thank you with all my heart.

I was very tired, this had been a difficult day. While trying to catch my breath, I looked around. There was a large motor cruiser with two type-A Inmarsat antennas and a helicopter on her deck! Talked with Nikos about the boat papers. This is a very depressing subject especially when I am tired and my finger hurts. Alice called me. She has landed safely in Athens. I received a SMS from Corinna. She is OK, these two pieces of good news did help. I was too tired to cook, I just made some rice and went to bed.

Wednesday June 21, 2000 Day 14

In the morning I prepared to leave Grikos and go back to Scala to check on the Navtex. I first loosened the anchor chain and secured it with a hook. Then, using the windlass, pulled the boat to the mooring. I made a rolling hitch knot on the mooring line and untied the extra line after which I untied the rolling hitch also thus freeing Thetis from the mooring. All this had to be done because the wind was still fairly strong, 10-25 knots despite the forecast calling for light winds.

We left Grikos at 0755 and motored for 3.1 nM to Skala arriving at 0830. I anchored offshore and launched the zodiac. I went ashore and to the ACS agent’s office. The package had not arrived last night after all. I had to call Autohelm in Piraeus to get the invoice number. Then we called the ACS office in Leros. The package was sitting there! They promised to ship it to Samos. Not having much more to do here I took the dinghy back to Thetis.

While raising the zodiac I heard some sound from ashore. There was a Limenerchio (Coast Guard) officer waiving and blowing a whistle. I thought that he wanted Thetis to move away because of possible interference with the departing of cargo ship from the cargo dock. I say, I thought, because I did not think that Thetis interfered nor was I sure the officer was waving to me. At any rate, I played it safe and following the best of Greek traditions I ignored him. I just continued raising the dinghy and making my preparations for departure.

We left Skala, Patmos at 1022. Outside the harbor the wind was 20-30 knots NNW. I raised the main, still in the 2nd reef, and motor-sailed out of the bay. As soon as I set a course of 036 for Pythagorio, I was able to open the genoa about 40% and sail. Later the wind diminished somewhat and the waves were largish, of short wavelengths and braking, causing some spray; but it was not too uncomfortable. At 1440 we were abreast of Samiopoula island and the wind, as it often happens here, shifted to 8-10 knots NNE and once again we had to motor-sail.

We motor-sailed all the way to Pythagorio Marina [37° 41.2' N 26° 57.3' E] which, while not functioning as a marina, is nevertheless maybe the most secure harbor in the island of Samos (Σάμος). We arrived at 1645, 31 nM. An elderly gentleman was fishing, and after I asked him he helped me with the docking lines. This was good because the wind was blowing Thetis away from the quay. I docked side-to using 5 fenders, 3 docking lines and 2 spring lines.

After I tidied up the boat, covered the sails, the winches, filled the watermaker with biocide solution, prepared my bags, etc. I called for a taxi. Surprise, surprise! Taxis do not come to the marina because the access road is bad. I had to carry all my bags up the very steep hill before a taxi would pick me up. Exhausting work! At any rate I had arrived in Samos.

Thus ends the first leg of this summer’s adventure.

I had traveled from Glyfada a total of 284 nM, or 49.89 travel hours.

June 22 to July 3

During this time Thetis stayed smug in the Pythagorio Marina while Alice and I were busy opening our house in Kalami.

The Navtex took an extra week to arrive, because, instead of being sent from Leros to Samos as promised, it was sent to Athens and then to Samos, via ferryboat! When it did finally arrive ACS had the temerity to bill me 3.000 GRD for their service. Fast courier indeed. At any rate, when I installed it in Thetis the Navtex did work.