Travels with S/Y Thetis


Thetis only

2007: Samos to Siğacik, Chios, & Fourni

This web page contains the logs of an 11-day sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis, together with my wife Alice, in the Greek Aegean from the island of Samos to Turkey (Teos, Siğacik, Kirkdilim) and the island of Chios (Kato Fana, Salagonas) then, back to Samos via the island of Fourni (Petrokopió, Vitsiliá). The logs are illustrated with photographs and maps they also include some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited as well as several links to other related web sites.

Route to Chios, Fourni, & Samos
Route from Samos to Siğacik, Chios, & Fourni

Friday August 10, 2007, Day 1

The plan for this trip was to visit our friends Arzu and Turgut Ayker in Izmir, Turkey. The replacement part for the outboard had still not arrived in Samos and we must continue to improvise.

Alice and I departed from the Pythagorio Marina in Samos at 0915 and motored 9.9 nM to Mikri Lakka [37° 45.5' N 27° 01.5' E] where we arrived at 1115. We anchored without any trouble.

We spent the day here and in the evening, when the temperature was more endurable, we lowered the dinghy into the water. While cooking we ran out of gas and we replaced the Camping Gaz canister with the spare.

Saturday August 11, 2007, Day 2

We left Mikri Lakka at 0645. There was hardly any wind so we motored N and ran the water-maker heading for Teos. It was very calm and pleasant. For a while 4 large dolphins kept us company. We arrived in Teos [38° 10.3' N 26° 47.6' E] at 1145 after 29.1 nM. We anchored and swam. Our plan was to later proceed to Siğacik where Turgut was to meet us at 5:30.

We left Teos at 1645 and started motoring to Siğacik. While heading S in order to clear Teos Peninsula with its many reefs we approached a small fishing boat. The people in the boat kept gesticulating and pointing to their left. I assumed that they had nets and were indicating to us that we should pass them from their left. Fortunately as it was getting shallow we reduced our speed to 2 knots. But, there was aloud crash and S/Y Thetis came to an abrupt stop. It was a very ugly scratching sound. We had hit an underwater rock, not shown on the C-Map chart. It turned out that the fishermen were not warning us about nets but about the dangerous rock, which was strange since we were not originally heading that way. Fortunately we were able to back out with no apparent damage to the boat only to her skipper’s ego. I should had given the peninsula a much wider margin. After we got into deeper water I checked the bilge for any extra water, there was none, and checked the keel by snorkeling. It was just scratched. The only problem was the galley stove that had, with the impact, come off its pivoting mount. It took some time to fix this.

Somewhat shaken we arrived at Siğacik [38° 16.6' N 26° 47' E] at 1800. Turgut was already there waiting for us. He indicated to come side-to the concrete quay on the right side. We did so, and he helped us with the lines. As soon as Thetis was moored the harbor master arrived on a bike and asked if we had a valid transit log. We did not! It turns out that this was a big hassle because Siğacik is not a port of entry into Turkey. It took at least 2 hours for Turgut to convince the harbor master, officers of the coast guard, and the police to release us under the solemn promise that he will drive me tomorrow to Çeşme and that we will obtain the transit log.

Before departing Siğacik with Turgut’s car we moved Thetis to one of the floating docks in the hope of connecting to AC electrical power. But it was in vain. We had to empty the refrigerator and take all its contents with us to Turgut’s house. When we finally arrived to his house, at the outskirts of Izmir, we were met by Arzu and their daughter Dilek who was back from her university in Istanbul. After we changed, we were treated to a sumptuous dinner of grilled fish and many other delicacies.

Sunday August 12, 2007, Day 3

Breakfast at Turgut's
Breakfast at Turgut’s

After an elaborate Turkish breakfast Turgut and I left for Çeşme where we spent a most delightful day in hot offices either waiting for official to arrive or arguing with surly ones trying to convince them that Alice and I were not smugglers but have simply committed the cardinal sin of not arriving in a port of entry. It was after 6 PM and $100 that we were in possession of a duly stamped transit log with both entry and exit stamps for Turkish waters.

For dinner, the Aykers took us to a sea front Italian restaurant in Izmir.

Monday August 13, 2007, Day 4

While it was great fun to visit with the Aykers we had to leave because an old schoolmate of mine was scheduled to meet us in Chios tomorrow. After another magnificent breakfast Turgut drove us to Siğacik. On the way, we stopped to buy fresh bread, fruits, and vegetables. Turgut also presented us with a bag full of delicious fresh figs.

By 1230, with Turgut’s help, we had cast off. Unfortunately Alice did not feel very well so instead of pushing to go to Chios we stopped at the lovely cove of Kirkdilim [38° 08.6' N 26° 33.9' E] to which after motoring for 14.4 nM we arrived at 1540 and anchored in 6 m depth without any difficulty.

We took easy the rest of the day reading under the tent and frequent jumps into the clear water to cool off.

Tuesday August 14, 2007, Day 5

Satellite View of SW Chios
Satellite View of SW Chios

We departed for Chios at 0530. There was a 10-12 knots WNW breeze and we motor-sailed. We were about 20 nM near the island when my friend called. Some unexpected business had kept him in Athens and he had to cancel his flight reservations. These news removed the need to go to Chios harbor and so we changed course and proceeded to our favorite area of the island the SW coast.

At 1125 after travelling 35.5 nM we arrived in Kato Fana (Κάτω Φανά) [38° 12.3' N 25° 55.5' E], Chios (Χίος). Alice still was not feeling very well.

Wednesday August 15, 2007, Day 6

Today is one of the most important religious holidays in Greece dedicated to the ascension of Mary. We were very glad not to be in any large town.

Since Alice did not feel very active we just swam and took a small walk.

Thursday August 16, 2007, Day 7

At 1615 we moved the boat to nearby Salagonas (Σαλάγγωνας) [38° 13.2' N 25° 54.8' E]. The wind was a boisterous 20-27 knots NNW. Alice has not improved.

Friday August 17, 2007, Day 8

Satellite View of Fourni
Satellite View of Fourni
Town of Fourni (Korsei)
Town of Fourni (Korsei)

We left Chios at 0750 heading for Fourni. Alice not only had not improved but was feeling worse. She suspected that she was having a sinus infection. We broke out Thetis’ medical kit and she took a fairly strong pain killer and an antibiotic recommended for head infections. It is one pill/day for 7 days. We shall see how she does.

The wind, after we left, was 10-12 knots WNW and we motor-sailed with the headsail. I put up the large tent to keep Alice comfortable and I also ran the water-maker. Later with the wind strengthening and veering to 10-15 knots NE we were able to turn off the motor and sail.

We arrived at Petrokopio (Πετροκοπιό), Fourni (Φούρνοι) [37° 33.1' N 26° 29.3' E] at 1615 after 49.1 nM. We anchored in 5 m depth but it was very gusty.

Saturday August 18, 2007, Day 9

During the night we heard rattling noises from the anchor chain and felt jerks on the boat. I suspected that the chain had been fouled on a rock and it was too short. I let out some more and this took care of the worse jerks but not of the noise.

After waking up, Alice was still not well. I walked, taking advantage of the cool early hour, to the town, Korsei), 1 hr away, to get fresh bread and provisions. My plan was to take a taxi back. I found the taxi telephone (+30 22750 51223 or +30 6977 370 471) and after shopping called it. It was almost 9 AM. The lady who answered the phone told me that the driver was still asleep and will be available sometime after 10! I walked back.

After I got on board I snorkeled and verified that the chain was indeed wrapped 2 times around a rock. I unwrapped it.

At 1030 we raised the anchor and motored 4.4 nM to Vitsiliá (Βιτσιλιά) [37° 23.6' N 26° 30.5' E] on the E side of the island where we arrived at 1140. We anchored in 5 m depth. It was calmer here and less gusty. But, just in case, I took a shore line to a rock.

Alice took her dose of the antibiotic and we have hopes for an improvement.

Sunday August 19, 2007, Day 10

We departed for Samos (Σάμος) at 0710. The wind was 22-38 knots NNW. I raised the mainsail and took in a reef. I then opened about 30% of the headsail. We had a very nice sail until 0940 when the wind stoped down to 4-6 knots E. We motor-sailed with just mainsail but as we were approaching Pythagorio the wind increased again to 18-25 knots ESE.

We arrived in Klima (Κλήμα) [37° 42.4' N 27° 02.3' E] at 1240 after 28.7 nM. We anchored in 6 m depth. Alice is still not well, but maybe slightly better. We swam and took the rest of the day easy. It was hot!

In the evening I raised the dinghy on deck and covered it. I also, in anticipation of a long layover, I put the biocide solution in the water-maker.

Monday August 20, 2007, Day 11

We left Klima at 0810 and motored 3.9 nM to the Pythagorio Marina. By 0855 we were moored in our usual berth.