Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

2011: Excursions from Samos

This web page contains the logs of four excursions with S/Y Thetis from the island of Samos (Samos Marina).

  1. The first was just a two day excursion to the small island of Samiopoula.
  2. The second was a three day excursion to the the lovely cove of Mikri Lakka in east Samos to enjoy the full moon.
  3. The third was again to Samiopoula together with our daughter Cynthia, her husband Scott Shomer, and our grandson Alexander.
  4. Finally, the fourth excursion was back to Mikri Lakka with our Kalami caretaker George Hadjipamayiotis.

The logs include some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited as well as several links to other related web sites.

East Samos
Excursions near Samos

June 13 to July 7, 2011

During this time we stayed in our house in Kalami. While there, we bottled the 2010 vintage wine and I had the old dinghy cover converted from a cover used when the dinghy is upside down on deck to a cover, with suitable velcro openings, to be used when the dinghy will rest on the new davits.

An awful old problem in Kalami has raised its ugly head. Here is a brief description:

Over 20 years ago the local municipality constructed a tunnel at the top of a ravine that runs along one side of our property. During the winter rains it runs with water. In the summer, however, it is dry—or at least it used to be dry before the municipality intervened. Next they made a small pool in the tunnel to collect the sewage from 2 nearby small hotels and a few houses (not ours). They then installed a small electric pump to pump the sewage from the pool to the main municipal waste pipe a few hundred meters up the hill.

After 1-2 years this pump stopped working and all the sewage overflowed into the dry stream and down to the sea. We complained to the town hall but to no avail. After that we put paid notices describing our plight in several local newspapers and I was even interviewed by the local radio station. After all this the pump was repaired.

This sad story has been repeated several time since. During one such episode we filed complaints about the polluted sea to the Health Service and the Coast Guard. The Health Service took water samples, analyzed them, and verified the pollution. They then sent their conclusions to the mayor and requested that the source of this pollution to be expeditiously removed.

In 2009 the problem was repeated again. Once more we approached the Town Hall without any satisfaction. Again, we filed complaints with Health Service and the Coast Guard. Again, the pollution was verified. We collected signatures from our neighbors on a letter addressed to the Mayor which we also published in the local newspapers. In the early September, after several months of polluted sea and bad smell, the Town Hall sent in a team to investigate the problem. They found that the pump had been connected backwards since May. All these months they had been ignoring all these complaints and refused to make an on-site inspection.

This year, the problem is worse then ever. Basically the cause is that neither the pool nor the pump are adequate now that so many more houses have been built. We hired a local lawyer to help with the issue. He made an appointment and we visited the newly-elected Mayor. There were many promises but words are easy and actions are hard.

The proper and permanent solution is to construct a larger pool and service it with two large pumps so that there is a backup in case one fails. However, this will take time. I proposed a temporary solution: to add a new plastic pipe and a second pump at our expense since the stink is unbearable. Only after our caretaker George Hadjipanayiotis spent a week of his time and marhalled the municipal workers and deputy Mayor was the problem fixed. The old pipes were totally clogged and the pump, once again broken down. The pipes did not need to be replaced but needed cleaning. The pump was replaced with a more powerful one. To their credit the municipality paid for all of this except for George’s time.

Plollution source

The source

Pollution, the stream

The stream

To come to more pleasant topics Alice and I took two nice excursions with Thetis.

Thursday July 7, 2011, Day 1

We boarded S/Y Thetis and after stopping at the marina fuel station we topped the main tank and re-filled the 2 jerry cans with 75 L diesel fuel (120 €) we then departed the marina at 1015 for the small island of Samiopoula. The wind was 5-12 knots NNE and we motor-sailed with full sails the 11.5 M. We arrived at the Psalida (Ψαλίδα) Cove [37° 37.9' N 26° 47.3' E] on the W side of the island at 1230. We anchored in 5 m depth over sand.

We had lunch but with the wind increasing to 15-22 knots from the WNW we were exposed and had a rather uncomfortable swell. We raised the anchor at 1415 and motored around the reefs to the S of the island to the Katsakas (Κατσακάς) Cove [37° 38' N 26° 47.7' E] at 1435. This cove was very calm and protected but its bottom is very steep. We dropped the anchor in 3.5 depth and let out 50 m of chain. Thetis settled at 16 m depth.

We had a very pleasant snorkeling and then we took the dinghy to the minuscule beach where we figured out how best to secure its newly modified cover and where to place the elastic cords and plastic hooks that I had bought for it.

In the evening we had an ouzo and a very nice dinner with food we had brought from Kalami. It was a most pleasant night.

Thetis in Samiopoula, Katsakas cove
Thetis in Samiopoula, Katsakas cove

Friday July 8, 2011, Day 2

During the early hours the wind came from the ENE at 15-20 knots and Thetis had drifted uncomfortably close to the shallows and rocks. At 0900 we departed. Our plan was to go to Klima, E of the marina, spend the day there, and return to the marina in the cooler evening. This was not to be. I received a telephone call that I was to meet the lawyer this evening about the polluted stream. So, we headed back to the marina. After 12.6 M we arrived there [37° 41.5' N 26° 57.4' E] at 1100. It was very, very hot and most unpleasant.

Saturday July 9 to Thursday July 14, 2011

Thetis was at the marina. Since on July 15 there will be a full moon, Alice and I decided to take another excursion, this time to Mikri Lakka and watch the moonrise over Anatolia.

Friday July 15, 2011, Day 1

We wanted to leave in the cooler early morning but because we were to meet the Mayor with the lawyer at 11 about the polluted stream we could not depart until the evening.

We cast of the mooring at 1840 and motored the 10.4 M at Mikri Lakka [37° 45.5' N 27° 01.6' E] where we arrived at 2010 with just enough sun so that we could see the sandy spot where we dropped our anchor. We anchored in 4.5 m depth and let out 35 m of scope.

The expected moon rose just as we were ready for an ouzo. This moonrise was indeed magnificent. After watching it rise we ate the food we had brought from Kalami.

Moon Rise over Anatolia
Moon Rise over Anatolia Moon Rise over Anatolia

Saturday July 16, 2011, Day 2

We stayed in Mikri Lakka all day, taking it easy and swimming a lot. There were several Samian families camping on the beach to also watch the moon, I suppose.

In the evening we went with the dinghy to Mourtia (the cove just east of us) and placed our trash in a bin.

There was another fantastic moonrise while we were eating our dinner of pasta with tuna and capers.

Sunday July 17, 2011, Day 3

In the early morning I covered the outboard and the dinghy before raising them with the davits. I had considerable difficulty seeing if the dinghy had settled properly on its supports. Since there was no wind, we put up the tent and departed for the marina at 0835. We arrived there at 1010 after 9.4 M.

Wednesday August 24 to Monday September 19

Rohan with his mother
Baby Rohan with his mother

After her return from Tzia Thetis stayed in the Samos Marina. During this time all of the family, with the exception of our son-in-law Siva, arrived in Kalami. First Alice from Washington, D.C., and then our daughter Cynthia and grandson Alexander from Australia and our youger daughter Corinna with baby Rohan from Kenya. Later Scott, Cynthia’s husband, also came. It was very jolly.

Tuesday September 20, 2011

Cynthia, Scott, Alexander, Alice, and I took a day excursion with Thetis to Samiopoula. We departed at 1030 and arrived at 1200, motoring all the way because there was no wind.

In Samiopoula we anchored at the Psalida cove [37° 37.9' N 26° 47.3' E] and spent the day very pleasantly snorkeling, and swimming. We were entertained by a fairly large school of dolphins which came rather close to the anchored boat. Scott, who was in the water snorkeling at that time, was able to get very close to them and see them underwater.

I finished the 12th Ramage Ramage & the Renegades that I had not downloaded before on my Kindle.

After a nice picnic lunch we went ashore and walked to the western cove. There Alexander jumped into the clear water and refused to come out.

We departed at 1710 and motored to the marina without any difficulties. We arrived at 1845. All together we had covered 18.3 M. Tired but very pleased, we all drove back to Kalami.

Alexander, Thetis’ future skipper
The East cove of Samiopoula

The Psalida cove of Samiopoula

Alexander driving the dinghy

Alexander driving the dinghy

Tuesday September 27, 2011

Today we made another day excursion. This time we went to the southeast side of Samos. In addition to Alice and myself we had with us as a guest George Hadjipamayiotis (Γιώργος Xατζηπαναγιώτης), our Kalami caretaker. This was the first time that George came for even a short trip aboard Thetis.

Before departing from the marina we went side-to at the fuel dock and topped the tank with 38.5 L of Diesel fuel (58 €). We then, at 0940, departed heading E. As there was hardly any wind we motored to the lovely Zoodochos Pigi cove [37° 46.2' N, 27° 03.3' E] but the breeze was too variable to stay comfortably clear of the rocks in this tiny cove. So, we motored to Mikri Lakka [37° 45.459' N 27° 01.654' E] where we arrived at 1150. We anchored in 4.5 m depth with 30 m of chain. The anchor later dragged a little but it stabilized and Thetis settled in 11 m depth.

We had a nice picnic lunch under the tent. I finished reading, on my Kindle, Hector Mallot’s En Famille a moving story of an orphaned little girl in 19th century France. I started reading Jules Verne’s Godfrey Morgan: A Californian Mystery.

We departed from Mikri Lakka at 1610 and motored back to Samos Marina where we arrived at 1800 after a total of 16.2 M.

During both legs of the excursion the autopilot exhibited again its erratic behavior.

Alice and George
Alice and George