Travels with S/Y Thetis


Thetis only

2003: Leros to Samos & Back

This web page contains the logs of a 12-day single handed sailing trip with S/Y Thetis in the Greek Aegean from Leros (Xerocambos, Partheni, Lakki) to Samos (Klima, Vathi) and back, via Lipsi, Marathi, Fourni (Petrokopió, Kambí), Arki and Archangelos. 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 Leros- Samos-Leros
Leros-Samos-Leros

Thursday May 8, 2003 Day 1

Alexander Riginos Shomer
Alexander Riginos Shomer

The phone rang at 0330. Alice’s voice informed me that we have a grandson. Alexander Riginos Shomer was born just half an hour ago (8 PM EDT) and is now having his first meal from his mother. I spoke briefly with our daughter Cynthia who although exhausted sounded very happy. I then spoke with our son-in-law Scott who was very exited to be a father. After these news I too was too exited to go back to sleep. Instead I sent e-mails, with the GSM phone, to many friends and relatives. I then started preparing Thetis for departure. My plan was to go to Xerocambos on the south of Leros and spend the day there or even tomorrow. It is near enough to Lakki so that if I need to I can even walk back. What I may do now depends on Alice and Cynthia.

Xirocambos, Leros When the stores opened I bought some fresh bread. The GSM phone did not stop ringing with various relatives and friends congratulating me, as if I had given birth to the baby Alexander! By 0940 I was back on board and cast off the mooring. The wind was 10-18 knots from the N and we motored the 5.7 nM to Xerocambos towing the dinghy. The seas were very confused and the dinghy was wobbling left and right. I will need to make a towing sling to keep it from doing so. We arrived in Xerocambos [37° 06.4' N 26° 52.4' E] at 1045. I dropped the anchor over a patch of sand, at 4 m depth, and let out about 45 m of chain. There were no problems although it was very gusty.

I lowered the outboard and tested the dinghy. It is fine but a little less stable than the old Zodiac. By the way, I left the Zodiac back in the Lakki Marina as a gift to Pandelis, the travel-lift operator.

As I was preparing to have lunch I noticed that the refrigerator had stopped working. Panic! This could be a disaster because if I was to leave the boat in a few days and fly to the US, all the supplies in the refrigerator would spoil. I immediately started troubleshooting. Electricity was properly supplied to the DC/AC converter and it in turn produced proper voltage. I opened the compressor box. Inside there was another box at which several wires ended. I opened this box and to my great relief I found that in it there was a flat fuse. After I checked this fuse I found it burned. It was a 15 A fuse. I do not have too many flat fuses in Thetis but after a search of the spares I found a 10 A one. I replaced with it the burned one, and after crossing my fingers I applied power. No smoke and the refrigerator started working again. While this may do for today, I will have to get a proper 15 A fuse plus a spare.

I tried to call Durham but there was no answer so I tried Cynthia’s mobile phone. Scott answered it. He was at the hospital in Cynthia’s room. He put her on the line. She definitely sounded less exhausted than this morning. Both she and baby Alexander are doing fine. She was not sure if she wants me to visit right away because although she should be out of the hospital by tomorrow Scott’s parents will be visiting and maybe two sets of in-laws might be too much. At any rate, we will be deciding by tomorrow. As we were speaking, Alice walked into the room and I spoke with her also. She promised to send me an e-mail with what they want me to do. I will be on stand-by.

In the late afternoon I went ashore and took a long walk to the small chapel, on the E side of the bay, which is built into a cave. After visiting the chapel, I continued E to the end of the dirt road. There was a riot of wild flowers, very pretty. Back on board, I prepared the first cooked meal for this year: pasta with fresh tomato sauce. It was very good but the night was too cold to eat outside in the cockpit. The wind is somewhat down. During this day I received lots and lots of congratulatory e-mails and SMS.

The cave chapel in Xirocambos, Leros
The cave chapel in Xerocambos, Leros
Inside the chapel

Inside the chapel

Wild flowers

Wild flowers

Friday May 9, 2003 Day 2

I spoke on the phone with Alice at 0700. Cynthia and Alexander are doing well and are due to go home later today but they do not want me to go visit them right away as I have been planning. Instead they prefer that I wait for a couple of weeks and get to Durham on May 23. With this I modified my plans. Now I will take this couple of weeks and go with Thetis to Samos and visit Kalami for a few days, then get back to Leros and leave Thetis in the Agmar Marina in Lakki and go to the US for two weeks.

I went ashore and walked for about 50 minutes to Lakki. On the way, at a gas station, I found the 15 A flat fuses I needed for the refrigerator. At Lakki I first went to the Limenarchio (Coast Guard) and got the first apoplous (permission to sail from port) of the year. Destination: Samos. I also went to the tailor and we agreed that he will make me a new Greek flag as well as 5 Samos flags for €5 each. These I will use and also give away as gifts. I got some fresh bread, cold cuts, and from the butcher a nice pork roast. The day was getting hot, and I took a taxi back to Xerocambos.

It was hot on board. I put up the tent and snorkeled to check the anchor. The water was so icy cold that it took some effort to swim even as far as the anchor. The anchor was well dug-in. I made a temporary towing sling for the dinghy using the old Zodiac painter. After lunch I fell asleep, as I felt very tired.

Later in the afternoon the Limenarchio (Coast Guard) patrol boat entered the bay and made a bee line for Thetis. The officer began to ask for the boat’s papers but he was interrupted by his skipper who told him that I was known to him and there was no need to check my papers. The skipper was the officer with whom I had a long discussion few days ago concerning war in Iraq.

In the early evening I tested how the new dinghy behaves when it is rowed. I must say, that while she is more tender (less stable when stepped upon), she is a drastic improvement over the old Zodiac. I then started the motor to charge the batteries and to test the water-maker. It worked very well, producing the same 27 L/hr as it did last year. However, its plastic one-way input valve was broken. This has to be replaced.

After taking down the tent, a hot shower and an ouzo, I was ready to go ashore. We had prearranged with Mike and Nicola of S/Y Gordian Knot to meet at the new restaurant Aloni which was opened last year by the Lefteris. Lefteris’ wife, Evelyn, and Mikés’ (the baker) wife are sisters.They were both born and raised in NYC. Nicola and Mike were already at the restaurant along with Anna and Don of S/Y Blue Jacket. Don and Anna have sailed Blue Jacket from the east coast of the US to here after spending a year in Spain. Now they are planning to cruise the Turkish coast and most likely winter again in the Partheni shipyard. We were served a wonderful assortment of food and plenty of wine. All together we had a great time. Evelyn told us that local people believe that the mysterious golden pollen that seems to be everywhere this year is somehow related to the war in Iraq!

Crews of S/Y Blue Jacket & Gordian Knot
Anna and Don of S/Y Blue Jacket & Nicola and Mike of S/Y Gordian Knot

Saturday May 10, 2003 Day 3

I slept very well. It is nice to feel the boat underneath swinging on her anchor. But it was time to go. In addition to Thetis now there are three more sailboats in the bay.

I raised the anchor at 0745 and we were on our way. I wanted to stop at Partheni and get some things from the chandlery. There was hardly any wind, just 8-10 knots from the NE, so, we motored for 12 nM along the E side of Leros. This fairly long stretch of motoring afforded an opportunity to check the operation of new Balmar MaxCharge regulator. It performed according to its manual and it almost reached the “Float Mode.” We arrived at 0950 and I dropped the anchor next to the launching pool in 12 m depth.

I rowed ashore. First I inflated the two small fenders for the dinghy using the compressed air at the yard. Next at the Agmar Chandlery I bought a plastic return valve for the water-maker and 20 m of a a good 16-plait rope to make a proper towing sling/painter for the new dinghy. Everyone at the yard and office was congratulating me on my recent grandfatherhood.

Back on Thetis, I installed the new return valve and then raised the anchor at 1110. The wind now was 10-13 knots NNW. We motored towing the dinghy and ran the water-maker, which worked well with its new valve and soon re-filled the water tanks. After 5.8 nM we reached Katsadia [37° 16.8' N 26° 46.2' E] on the S side of Lipsi at 1220. I anchored without any trouble on sand, 4.5 m depth.

There was only one other boat here and all was quiet save for a brisk breeze reaching 18 knots that kept the temperature too low for having lunch out in the cockpit. I did not even put up the tent and I ate my lunch inside the cabin after which I took a long nap.

When I got up and had a cup of coffee, I got a burst of energy. There were two things about the new inflatable dinghy with which I was not satisfied. The temporary towing sling was too short and was secured by knots. Now I wanted to make a much longer one, a Thetis boat length. This will allow adjusting the tow length for various wave conditions. Also I wanted to replace the knots with eye-splices. The second point of dissatisfaction was that this dinghy is much heavier than the old one. Since I cannot make it lighter, I must find a convenient way to lift and secure it on deck. So now I applied myself to these ends. First how to lift it. I used two halyards and the 3-pulley block and tackle, which is normally used to tension the extra forestay that holds the storm staysail; one halyard with the block and tackle for lifting and the second for turning the dinghy upside down. It was a slow process but not very hard since I also used the winches with the halyards, but it was tricky. A proper 3-point lifting sling will be of great help. I think that I have such a sling somewhere in our house in Kalami.

By the time I finished raising the dinghy it was past 8:30 PM, too late to do anything else or for that mater to cook the pork roast that I was planning to prepare for supper. Instead I made an omelet with the leftover tomato sauce from the other night. No further news came from Durham.

Sunday May 11, 2003 Day 4

The dinghy sling Now that the dinghy was on deck, I wanted to make the sling. I wanted the painter to be one Thetis boat length so that I can adjust the towing length for various wave conditions. I first made a regular eye-splice at one end of the rope and then after measuring the length of Thetis I cut it. To this end I inserted a section of a plastic hose to prevent abrasion and then attached it to the central lower towing ring of the dinghy with another eye-splice. I then measured and cut two 2-m lengths of the rope. These I attached to the upper left and right towing rings of the dinghy, again with eye-splices and anti-abrasion hose sections. Finally I long-spliced the free ends of these directly to the painter. It was a long, pains-taking job because each rope end had to be marked with tape, un-plaited, the ends of the plaits similarly taped then cut and sealed with a red-hot knife before the actual splicing. All of which was very slow work. During this work I even managed to drop the fiddle overboard. It took another very cold swim to retrieve it. Fortunately it was only in 7 m depth and it was visible resting over the sand. After finishing the rope work, I used yesterday’s procedure in inverse, to lower the dinghy back into the water.

By the time all this work was done it was almost 1300. I had a snack and a rest away from the sun and then got ready to depart. We departed Katsadia for Marathi at 1420. The wind was a strong head wind of 12-22 knots NNW that prevented any sailing, instead we motored for 8.3 nM. We arrived in Marathi [37° 22.05' N 26° 43.6' E] at 1605. It was fairly calm in the cove and I caught one of Pandelis’ moorings without any trouble. There was a lot of weed on the mooring line. Most likely it had not been used since last fall.

After a rest, a hot shower and an ouzo, I went ashore. There were no other boats nor any other customers. Pandelis and Katina were delighted to see me and assured me that despite appearances their restaurant was operating. Before settling down for supper I took a walk up the hill. It was gorgeous, full of flowers, predominantly yellow but also touches of blue, white, and green. Spring lasts only a few weeks here on these dry islands but this year there was heavy rainfall and as a result the blooms are spectacular.

Supper was simple: green salad with fresh goat cheese from Arki, homemade bread, and fresh, really fresh, kalamarakia (baby squid) fried in olive oil. It was delicious but the price was a steep €27. One has to pay, I suppose, for such quality and freshness at the end of a long supply line. It was nice to see again these personable and hard working people.

Monday May 12, 2003 Day 5

We departed at 0745 for Samos. My plan is to stay today in a nice cove on the south side of the island, to either Poseidonio or Klima, and, if the good weather holds, to go with Thetis to Vathi, the capital of Samos. Stay there a couple of days and see our property in Kalami and then depart by Tuesday and slowly head back to Lakki where I will leave the boat while visiting our daughter and new grandson in the U.S. Corinna has already made reservations for me to fly from Leros to Athens on the 20th and then to Washington, D.C. on the 21st.

The wind was 8-12 knots NNW. I raised the mainsail and opened the genoa. I managed a nice but slow sail for over 2 hrs, after which the wind calmed down to 4-7 knots NNE and I was forced to motor. While motoring I ran the water-maker for ½ hr and topped the tanks. It is a good practice to run the water-maker frequently for short periods rather then less frequently but for longer periods.

When we reached Pythagorio, Samos, I entered the “marina” to see what is going on. This marina has been in an incomplete state, without an access road, for about 12 years. It provides, however, an all around shelter and I have left Thetis there several times in the past. Two years ago a consortium headed by Vernicos Yachts signed a long term contract with the government to develop it and last year they started construction. Today there was plenty of activity. Bulldozers were digging trenches for water pipes and electricity conduits, the concrete skeletons of three new buildings and a fuel station have emerged, moorings have been laid, and two floating docks have appeared. It all looks very promising but far from finished. In the mean time, it is very dusty and not attractive.

We proceeded to Klima [37° 42.5' N 27° 02.7' E] where I anchored in 8 m depth. It was 1330 and we had come 29.6 nM. It was calm but windy 10-15 knots from the E. I had trouble deleting some old waypoints from the GSM. It froze. I had to cut off its power and re-start it. After the delete command it froze again. Finally I reset its memory and now it seems to be working properly. We shall see. I covered the main and put up the tent. I had a pleasant lunch under the tent but it was too cold to take a nap in the cockpit, so I retired inside the cabin.

Later I fixed the frayed ends of a several running lines, washed the deck and the cockpit with salt water. By the way, salt water is much more beneficial to teak than fresh water. I finally did get around to cooking the pork roast that I had purchased in Leros. I roasted it in the pot with fresh tomatoes and some concentrate.

The evening was lovely, not too cold once the wind died out. The moon illuminated the calm sea. I boiled some spaghetti to go along with the roast. There were plenty of leftovers.

Tuesday-Wednesday May 13-14, 2003 Day 6

Kalami from the sea
Our house in Kalami from the sea

We departed from Klima for Vathi at 0735. The weather was good and so was the Navtex forecast for the next two days: Force 4 (6-8 knots) NW. While Thetis was under the autopilot I packed an overnight bag and lots of laundry. I tested, after oiling it again, the old autopilot actuator but its operation was still intermittent. I will have to look further into this matter.

I already had called my daughter Corinna on the GSM phone about our arrival and as we were approaching the harbor, I hailed the Limenarchio (Coast Guard) on the VHF channel 12. They instructed me to moor side-to just behind the patrol boat. Corinna, who had seen Thetis from Kalami, was already at the quay to help with the lines. By 1020 and after 15 nM we were moored in Vathi [37° 45.4' N 26° 58.4' E].

Sketch of Vathi Harbor
Sketch of Vathi Harbor

Vathi or Samos the harbor of the provincial capital. It is in a large and beautiful bay but unfortunately the actual harbor is polluted and open to N and NW meltemi. There is a very secure small marina but it cannot accommodate a yacht larger than 9 m. The bottom is soft mud which does not provide very good holding.

The most protected area is at the E but if the wind changes to S, as it sometimes does in the summer, there is a strong and potentially dangerous fetch. One can moor alongside or stern-to on the quay near the mole. The trouble is that it is too close to the ferries and to avoid fouling the anchor chain with the ferries, the scope has to be uncomfortably short. It is best to use 2 anchors, the second one holding the boat against the S wind.

It is also possible to anchor off-shore, but still under the protection of the mole, which was being expanded in 1998. Again I will use 2 anchors.

Vathi is a port of entry into Greece. The Limenarchio usually objects to a boat staying here more than a few days. Electricity and water outlets have being installed but are still not always available (2003). Fuel is delivered, theoretically, by a small tanker, but it is very hard to arrange. The closest gas station is a few blocks N of the small marina.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I did some provision shopping, got my ticket for the US from a travel agency, washed a ton of laundry, visited some friends, and downloaded several pictures of baby Alexander that Cynthia had e-mailed to me.

Thursday May 15, 2003 Day 7

Before departing from Samos I went to the Limenarchio (Coast Guard) to pay the harbor dues and get an official apoplous (permission to sail from port). It took them over 20 minutes to calculate the €12 harbor dues. The ways of the Greek bureaucracy seem to be designed to discourage people from complying with the laws. While waiting for them I did manage to learn that there is indeed a harbor attendant, a Mr. Sideris, who although not exactly visible can be summoned by calling +30 6977 002 860. He supposedly will unlock the boxes and provide water and electricity.

Finally, I cast off from Vathi at 1010 with Corinna helping me with the lines. There was no wind, only the mildest 1-2 knot breeze from the NNW. Before leaving Kalami I connected with the Internet and looked up the forecast. Both the Greek Poseidon and the German Wetter sites predicted calm weather for the next few days. I motored along the N side of Samos towards Fourni. I ran the water-maker for 20 min to replenish the water I used to fill the sun-shower. I saw a school of dolphins near Avlakia but they did not approach Thetis. After I stowed away all the clean clothes, I put up the tent because the prospects of sailing looked bleak.

The Cove of Petrokopio After arriving in Fourni, I decided not to go to my usual anchorage in Kambí because I did not want to use one of the permanent moorings and feel obligated to eat in the taverna; I wanted eat aboard. Instead I proceed to Marmaro or Petrokopió, a lovely cove with the remains of an ancient quarry. We arrived there [37° 33.6' N 26° 29.2' E] at 1620 after motoring for 35.5 nM from Vathi. I anchored over a patch of sand in 8 m depth and let out about 40 m of chain. There was only one other sailboat in the cove. She was flying the US flag but there was no sign of her crew.

The water temperature was 22°C (72°F), a vast improvement over the 19°C (66°F) of a few days ago. I put on a mask and snorkeled over the anchor. It was well buried in the sand. For the first time this year it was pleasant to snorkel. I swam around. Not very far from Thetis was a rather shallow area with what appears to be the ruins of an ancient harbor. It is possible that with a change of wind Thetis may drift in this area. Next time here I must anchor further away. The whole anchorage was very peaceful.

Later, after I saw some activity aboard the US S/Y Serendipity, I rowed over and gave the couple onboard a copy of today’s Herald Tribune. They were very glad to receive it and invited me to climb aboard. They come from the state of Washington, from where they started, a slow voyage of circumnavigation via the Pacific and the Red Sea 13 years ago. They came to the Mediterranean last spring and last year they cruised in Israel and Turkey where they wintered in Kemer. They had a lot of questions about the places on their route ahead: Cyclades, Ionian, Sicily, Malta, etc. The conversation went very well until we started talking about the war in Iraq at which point we disagreed. They are in complete favor of the current US policy, a view that I cannot share. He is an orthopedic surgeon and other than his political views a pleasant enough person. Unfortunately I did not have time to get their names because as the sun was setting a strong 18 knot breeze came suddenly and I had to row back to Thetis against it since I foolishly had not mounted the outboard on the dinghy. It was hard rowing.

By the time I got back on board Thetis and had removed the tent it was almost 9 PM. I warmed the leftover roast and made some rice pilaf to go along with it. During these preparations I unfortunately managed to spill a glass of red wine all over the rug and had to spent a considerable amount of time cleaning it before I could sit down to my meal.

Friday May 16, 2003 Day 8

The Ancient Quarry in Petrokopio, Fourni
The Ancient Quarry in Petrokopio, Fourni

I put the outboard on the dinghy and went ashore for 1½ hr hike. It was very pleasant with a nice view of Petrokopió and the adjacent coves. When I returned to the boat, I decided to spend the rest of the day in Kambi so that I could go tonight to the town and have one of the lobsters that Fourni is famous for. There was no sign of life from Serendipity so that I could say good-bye to them.

I raised the anchor at 1040. There was a gusty NNW wind of 14-18 knots. I motored the 1.6 nM towing the dinghy without removing the outboard. We arrived in Kambi [37° 34.2' N 26° 28.6' E] at 1100 and I caught one of the permanent moorings.

I put up the tent and relaxed. Later I replaced the sail tape on the tiller extension, which had gotten very frayed. I also made an eye-splice to permanently attach the double hook that I had brought from the US for the anchor snub line. Then I siphoned 2 jerry cans of Diesel fuel into the main tank.

In the early afternoon I went ashore and had lunch, a deliciously grilled fresh fish and a salad at the taverna which provides the moorings. The depth here is high and anchoring used to be problematic so I am grateful for the moorings and feel an obligation to patronize the establishment.

After lunch, I returned to Thetis and I had a long nap first under the tent and when it got too cold, inside the cabin. Spent the rest of the day reading. I finished the Greek novel Anazitisis and then started a biography of Miaoulis, the Greek admiral and hero of the 1821 war of independence.

After a hot shower, I went ashore and walked (30-40 minutes over a steep hill) to the town of Fourni where I dined on a sensational lobster for €42. After returning back to Thetis I was treated to the rising of the full moon. What an evening!

Saturday May 17, 2003 Day 9

After a slow start, I cast off the mooring at 0825. While still in the calm Kambi bay I raised the full mainsail and headed south towards the island of Arki. The wind was from the NNW at about 18 knots. As I was approaching Petrokopio S/Y Serendipity was coming out of the cove heading towards Kambi. They motored near Thetis and asked about the lobsters. After waving good-bye to them, I sailed on. A few miles later the wind died and I had to turn on the motor. This was repeated several times during the rest of the 17.9 nM: we alternated between motor-sailing for a couple of miles and then sailing again. Somewhere along the way I managed to run the water-maker long enough to re-fill the tanks.

At 1220 we arrived in Glipapas, Arki [37° 22.4' N 26° 44.4' E]. I anchored over the usual patch of sand, in 3 m depth, and I backed slowly to 10 m. There was zero wind. I washed down the deck and then I snorkeled and checked the anchor. It was nicely buried in the sand. I then covered the mainsail and put up the tent.

I spent the rest of the day reading and working at the computer to print the pictures of baby Alexander that Cynthia had e-mailed to me.

I had a nice dinner with leftover roast and spaghetti. It was a lovely evening with the moon, one day past full, rising late. It seems that I spent hours gazing at the silver moonlit seascape.

Sunday May 18, 2003 Day 10

In the early morning I went ashore and took an hour and a half walk to the S of the island. When I returned to Thetis I raised the anchor and motored, towing the outboard with the motor on it, all of the 0.8 nM across to Marathi. There were three other sailboats already there: a Dutch, a German, and a Belgian. I caught one of Pandelis’ moorings and put up the tent. It was windy.

In the afternoon I took completely apart the old autopilot actuator. It was rusty but I cleaned it with anticorrosion spray and oiled it. After I reassembled it, it appeared to be working properly. We will see when I test it tomorrow when we are underway and it has a load. I also washed the dinghy with soap.

In the evening I took a shower and after having a very pleasant ouzo in the cockpit I went ashore and took along walk. The sunset was beautiful. I had dinner at Pandelis: salad with goat cheese, and katsikaki youvetsi (roasted young goat with orzo). Delicious! While eating I met Pandelis’ cousin from the village of Spatharei in Samos. He is a cabinetmaker and had come to make repairs. He had many interesting stories. His son is an electrician and does boat work, he could be useful.

Marathi
The Cove of Marathi

Monday May 19, 2003 Day 11

I started preparation to depart from Marathi and go to Archangelos so that I will be near Lakki where I must leave Thetis before departing on Wednesday for Athens and the US. Departed at 0755. It was windy, about 15 knots from the NW with gusts. I raised the main and opened 50% of the headsail. The “repaired” autopilot actuator worked for a few minutes and then stopped. Back to the regular one. During the passage the wind varied from down to 4 and up to 30 knots! Nevertheless it was a nice downwind sail with several jibes so that the wind was not exactly astern. After 14.5 nM we arrived in Archangelos [37° 11.9' N 26° 46.3' E] at 1130. Again there were 3 other sailboats in the anchorage: a German, a French, and a Belgian. I anchored in 4 m depth and let out about 25 m of chain.

I covered the sail but it was too windy for the tent. The wind kept coming with violent gusts from all directions and when it came from the south, Thetis was blown uncomfortably close to the Belgian boat, the S/Y Lovenia. I pulled up the anchor and re-anchored in 5 m depth further away.

Having started the motor, I now proceeded to run the water-maker. After the tanks were full, I flushed it with the biocide solution that prevents the growth of algae while it is not used.

Later I took the dinghy and went ashore for a walk. On my way back I stopped by Lovenia to ask about their AirMarine wind generator, which is similar to mine. The singlehander aboard Lovenia, Carlos Stoker, an Italian chemical engineer who lives in Belgium, invited me aboard for an ouzo. He explained that although he is very pleased with the high current output of his wind generator, he is definitely not pleased with its noise. But his unit, which is newer than mine, does work well and does not have the intermittent problems of my unit. Carlos winters his boat in the Agmar Shipyard in Partheni and now that he is retired spends considerable amount of time cruising single-handed.

During the night there were very strong gusts but the anchor held.

Tuesday May 20, 2003 Day 12

This is my last day with Thetis because tomorrow I will fly to Athens and then to Washington, D.C. I got up early and began the process of lifting the dinghy on the deck. I used the main halyard with the inner stay block and tackle together with the 3-point sling that I brought with me from Kalami. The actual lifting operation with the sling was very easy but again placing the dinghy to the foredeck and turning it upside down was tricky, and if anything, even more awkward. With the dinghy on the foredeck access to the chain locker and the fore cleats was blocked. I used one of the jib halyards to raise the bow of the dinghy and thus allow me to open the chain locker and operate the windlass, but it was too crowded. I must try a different position next time, maybe right in front of the cabin hatch.

By the time I was done with the dinghy and raised the anchor it was 1105. The wind was 8-20 knots NW but with the foredeck blocked there was no way that I could use the jib. I raised the main and motor-sailed the 9.1 nM to Lakki. We arrived in the Agmar Marina [37° 07.8' N 26° 50.9' E] at 1250. We were met by Zac (Zacharias), the new attendant, who helped me with the mooring line and the stern lines. We moored without any trouble.

After deploying the passarella, I put up the tent. It was quite hot. After a snack in the cockpit I took a nap under the tent. Later I started preparing the boat for her two-week layover: I lashed the dinghy, covered the sail and the winches, connected the charger to the shore AC power, etc. I then started packing my clothes.

While doing so, a charter boat came next to Thetis. She was flying the South African flag indicating that her passengers were South Africans. I spoke with them. Indeed they were South African, although her skipper and one crewmember were of Greek descent and even spoke some Greek. They were all very friendly and consumed large quantities of beer. After supper, they invited me over to drink some South African wine that they had brought with them. The wine was plentiful and of excellent quality. I did not finish my packing.