This is a very personal account of approximately five months, May to September 2001. During this time I went on two sailing trips with my boat, Thetis.
- The first trip originated in Leros, an island in the eastern Aegean, where Thetis spent the long winter months. From Leros I traveled singlehanded to the Aegean islands of Donousa, Sifnos, and Kythera. In Kythera I was joined by my high school friend Manos Castrinakis and we sailed to Malta in the middle of the Mediterranean. We were joined there by my wife, Alice, and spent several days sightseeing. From the island of Malta, Alice and I sailed to the second Maltese island of Gozo. From Gozo we sailed to Monastir, Tunisia, after a small stop in the Italian island of Lampedusa.
After a few weeks of exploration in Tunisia, Alice left and I was joined for the return trip by my young nephew Nick Iliades. We sailed to the Italian island of Pantelleria and from there to Pylos at the SW tip of the Peloponnesos. There we were joined by Dr. Christopher Iliades, my cousin and Nick’s father. The three of us sailed from Pylos to the island of Milos in the Cyclades.
Nick and Chris Iliades disembarked from Thetis in Milos while I continued, singlehanding, to Amorgos where my ex-colleague Dr. Murray Dressler and his son Avi joined me. We sailed together to Samos.
There follows a period of a several weeks of staying ashore in our family house in Samos.
- The second trip originated from Samos. I sailed singlehanded for a week in the company of a sailboat charted by friends in the Dodecanese islands of Arki, Marathi, Patmos, Lipsi, and Agathonisi.
I then singlehanded to the islands of Chios and Psara where Thetis joined with S/Y New Life belonging to Turgut Ayker, a friend from Turkey. The two boats sailed together to the islands of the Northern Sporades: Sarakino, Skyros, and Skopelos.
In Skiathos my friend Dimitris Gekas joined me and we sailed in Thetis as far as Kea. I then singlehanded to the island of Kithnos where Thetis linked with my brother’s traditional boat the Faneromeni. Both boats sailed together to the small islands of Poros and Hydra where we parted company. From Hydra, I sailed to the islands of Syros, Rhinia, Fourni, and Samos.
After a few days in Samos, I singlehandled Thetis to the islands of Agathonisi, Arki, Lipsi, and finally to Leros where she was hauled out of the water and where she spent the winter.