Travels with S/Y Thetis


Thetis only

2009: Excursions from Samos

This web page contains the logs of two excursions with S/Y Thetis from the island of Samos (Samos Marina). The first was just a day trip to a nearby anchorage Klima. The second was a 3 day excursion to the small island of Marathi. The logs include some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited as well as several links to other related web sites.

Route to Marathi
Excursions from Samos

Thursday September 10, 2009

My daughter Cynthia, together with her son Alexander, aged 6, have come for three weeks from Brisbane, Australia to visit us in Samos. Cynthia is teaching at the University of Queensland in Australia and doing research on evolutionary marine genetics. Today Alice, Cynthia, Alexander, and I took a day trip to near by Klima.

We left Samos Marina at 0950 and motored for about 40 minutes the 3.6 M to Klima [37° 42.4' N 27° 02.3' E]. It was great to see Alexanderʼs swimming progress since last summer.

We spent the day there, mostly swimming, and had a picnic lunch. We departed at 1700 and motor-sailed with the headsail back to the marina where we arrived at 1750.

Wednesday September 16, 2009, Day 1

Corinna & Siva
Corinna & Siva aboard S/Y Thetis

A few days ago my youngest daughter Corinna and her husband Siva also came to Samos for a visit. They are both environmental scientists doing their research in Kenya. Corinna in the interaction of plants with animals and land use while Siva is studying zebras and lions.

Today all of us: Siva, Corinna, Cynthia, Alexander, Alice, and I boarded Thetis for a three day excursion to our favorite island of Marathi.

We departed from the marina at 1050. The wind was 10-20 knots first from the NE and after a few miles from the NW. We motor-sailed with the full genoa. It was a nice and pleasant ride and we all enjoyed it sitting under the tent. After 23 nM we arrived in Marathi [37° 22' N 36° 43.6' E] at 1435 where we tied on one of the moorings.

We were too many people to all sleep comfortably in Thetis, so we rented from Pandelis two rooms for the younger set while Alice and I slept onboard.

In the evening we all had a fantastic dinner the centerpiece of which was a large fish specially reserved for us.

Cynthia & Alice
Cynthia & Alice
Alice & Alexander
Alice & Alexander

Thursday September 17,2009, Day 2

This was a lazy day mostly dedicated to Alexander. He had the run of the little beach and splashed in out of the water.

I had bought a fishing rod for him in Samos. He was very eager to try it out. I sent him to kyria Katina to ask for some bait. This he did successfully, despite some language difficulties, and he returned triumphantly with a small bucket full of tiny fish. I showed him how to put the bait on the hook and then we cast it to the sea from the small pier. Fish gathered and quickly ate the bait. But on his second attempt he did catch his first fish, albeit not much larger than the bait. He quickly caught a second. He was ecstatic.

Later Alexander and I took the dinghy and we tried trolling but this time no fish were caught.

Before sitting down for another great dinner at Pandelis we all took a long hike around the island. This tiny island is as close as one can get to a micro-paradise.

Fishing
Cynthia, Alexander, & his Grandfather Fishing

Friday September 18,2009, Day 3

We left Marathi at 0930 motor-sailing with a N wind of 15-25 knots. After clearing Arkiʼs southernmost point we were able to sail with the mainsail set in its second reef. At 1215 the wind veered NNE and we had to motor. We motored the rest of the way to Kanoni, Samos [37° 41.7' N 26° 58' E] where we arrived at 1350 after 24 nM.

Kanoni is about 1 mile E of Samos Marina. We stayed there and had lunch and a nice swim. At 1540 we raised the anchor and headed to the marina. By 1600 we were safely tied down in berth C11.

While Alice was washing our lunch dishes I noticed that the water coming out of the faucet was murky. This reminded me of the water tank electrolysis problem I had earlier this season. So, I emptied the water tanks and flushed them several times until the water out of the faucet was clear. While doing this, I also noticed a small amount of Diesel fuel in the bilge. I removed the floor boards and mopped the bilge dry.

September 19 - 26, 2009

I spent this week dealing with the fuel leakage problem. Before leaving the boat on Friday I had left the bilge cleared of any fuel, but 2 days later the fuel was back and much more of it than on Friday. Clearly there was a leak. After two more days of removing the leaked fuel and investigating I located its source. There were two copper tubes from the fuel tank to the engine: one for feeding fuel to the fuel pump and the other for returning any unused fuel back to the tank. The feeding line had a shutoff valve. I closed it and mopped the fuel, but a day later it was back. It turns out that the return copper tube had a pin-hole, and since there was no shutoff valve at the tank, gravity did its work. In addition, the return line is fed at a low point to the tank. This and the lack of a valve are, I believe, a design flaw.

After locating the cause of the problem, I hired Zlatko, the marina’s engine mechanic, and had him replace both copper tubes with rubber hoses rated for Diesel fuel. I also had him install a shutoff valve at the return line next to the tank.

While the problem was solved and dealt with, it was a very messy operation. All together 20 L of fuel were spilled. These had to be pumped and mopped into buckets and then disposed of properly. It was not pleasant work!

Tuesday October 6, 2009

Iliades Family
Reunion with the Iliades Family

We have had a great party in Samos with 11 cousins from the US. I had last seen my cousin Chris Iliades, the son of my favorite uncle Costas, in 2001 when we sailed together with his son Nicky. But I had not seen his wife Karen for many years while their two lovely daughters Christina and Corinne had not been in Greece since they were very young. Christina had married a year ago with Michael who is of Greek descent while the younger Corinne had just married Lawrence. It was Corinne and Lawrence who wanted to come to Samos for their honeymoon and who organized this great family gathering. My other cousin Connie, Chris’ sister, is married to Jim Newcomb and they have two children: Margaret and Andrew. Neither Jim, nor Margaret and Andrew had ever been to Greece.

In addition to the cousins both my brothers Nikos and Byron also came to Samos to meet them and join the party. We had one dinner party after another and several excursions over the last week. But today my wife Alice left the island and both brothers and cousins, with the exception of the newlyweds, will be leaving tomorrow. I too will be sailing Thetis tomorrow back to Leros for her date with the travel-lift on October 19. So I moved onboard today.

This afternoon the whole group of my relations visited me on Thetis for an ouzo. Her cockpit was never so crowded, but it was very jolly. After the aperitif we all drove to the village of Myli where we had dinner at the Alekos ke Maria taverna. Then, Corinne and Lawrence drove me back to the marina and then joined onboard for a glass of sweet Samos wine.