Travels with S/Y Thetis


Thetis only

2012: Preparation

There were several changes/improvements on the boat this year. These were:

  1. New Items:
    1. A 25 kg Rocna anchor to replace the old CQR.
    2. New wind instruments Raymarine ST60+ to replace the old ones that had failed last year.
    3. A new autopilot Raymarine X5 controller to replace the one that was working intermittently last year.
  2. Improvements:
    1. Installed locked pins on the davit support arms and tie down straps.
    2. Widened the swimming ladder.
    3. Fabricated a new bow boarding ladder.
    4. A new wider and lighter weight passarella (backordered).
    5. A new rope ladder for the dinghy to allow easy boarding from the sea, a safety precaution (backordered).
  3. Repairs:
    1. Replaced the anchor rollers that had broken last year.
    2. Replaced the mast tri-color navigation light that only showed the green.
    3. Replaced the cabin light over the galley that stopped working.
    4. Raised the boat waterline trim to allow for more anti-fouling paint.
    5. Replaced the refrigerator door seals.
    6. Replaced the hatch seals that had started leaking.
    7. Replaced the two rear plexiglass windows that had shown cracks.
    8. Installed rubber cushions under the floorboards to reduce vibration noise.
    9. Replaced one corroded sea-cock.
  4. Yearly Maintenance to:
    1. Engine.
    2. Outboard maintenance.
    3. Genset.
    4. Dinghy.

Wednesday April 18, 2012

I arrived in Leros. My flight from Athens was delayed for 2 hours because of bad weather here in Leros. Indeed within ½ hour after of my arrival there was a deluge and the wind reached 40 knots.

Thetis on land
Thetis on land

Thetis looks great. Her broken anchor roller has been replaced and now has her new Rocna anchor. All the improvements on the dinghy davits and platform have been completed. The new bow-boarding ladder was in the cockpit. Also her new wind instruments Raymarine ST60+ had been installed.

I had brought with me a new autopilot Raymarine X5 controller which consists of two pieces: the computer and the button/display unit. These have to be installed. I had also brought replacements for almost all consumable items and new C-Map cartridges.

I met Manolis Kouvaritakis with the lovely Fargus S/Y Dafni whom I had met with his friend Dr. George Haritakis with S/Y Rita ΙΙΙ in Marathi 2 years ago. They are both avid readers of this Web site.

I also met my friend Anastasis Raftopoulos of the M/S Vassiliki. He is negotiating with Angelos for becoming his partner in Agmar Marine. That would be very good, because Anastasis has wide international financial experience.

I rented a car and in the evening I drove to Pandeli where I linked with Anastasis and his charming wife Moo. We a had nice dinner of tasty fish and Symian shrimps at the Zorba restaurant. It was wonderful to reconnect with these cruising friends.

It rained on and off all day. The night, despite the electric heater, was very cold; 12°C (53.6°F). I had to wear long underwear, pants, and warm pullover, in addition to the two blankets.

Thursday April 19, 2012

The new Rocna anchor
The new Rocna anchor

The galley stove did not light for me to make my morning coffee, it was out of gas. I had to replace the canister before making the vital coffee. Today was much warmer and there was good sunshine.

While working inside the cabin I heard a voice calling me. To my great surprise it was Australian Angela from the S/Y whom I had met with her husband John last year in Salagonas, Chios and then again in Samos. At that time she had come, along with a boat guest, to Kalami and help me and George to harvest the grapes. They are here in Leros and are anchored in nearby Blafouti. We will get together.

I took out from the sail locker the mainsail sheet, downhaul, and other lines and re-attached them to the boom. I also called for a fuel delivery and filled the 4 spare jerry cans with 88 l (€146).

At the end of the day, after a nice hot shower, I went to dinner with Manolis, George, and his wife Rita (after whom George’s boat is named). We ate at the Patimenos restaurant in Pandeli. They are planning to join a Greek-Turkish-Italian regatta at the end of May from Leros to Dydim. Unfortunately I would then be back in the US for a few days and I cannot join them. We all had a jolly good time.

The evening, while warmer then yesterday, was still rather windy.

Friday April 20, 2012

The wind is expected tomorrow to stop blowing and stay southerly and be very weak for the next few days. I need to go to Samos as soon as possible and see what has happened to the repairs of our few hundred year old house in Kalami. Thetis is to be launched tomorrow.

Panayiotis, the electrician, came and we discussed the autopilot controller installation. Also, I discovered last night the mast tri-color navigation light that only shows the green and not the red and white and that the light over the galley is flickering. In addition the stove ignition is not working and the stern white navigation light has not been relocated yet although it was in the work list. This light has to be relocated because when the dinghy is on its davits it is not visible.

I received a frantic e-mail from Angela. It turns out that their propane tank ran out and the spare that was supposed to be full had leaked and it was empty too. I drove to Blafouti and picked her up along with the two empty propane tanks. We drove to Lakki and after she replaced them I let her do some shopping while I went to the dreaded Limenarchio (Greek Coast Guard). Mirka my sister-in-law and my insurance broker had forgotten to mail me in January the 2012 contract and I had completely forgotten all about it. She was out of town but had made arrangements with her office to fax me its first page but as of this morning it had not been received. This caused a problem with the Limenarchio but after a while it did come and they issued the launching and departure permit. Greece may have severe financial problems but I am happy to report that its bloated out of proportion bureaucracy is still thriving. After I got the stupid permits, Angela and I did some provision shopping and drove back to Blafouti and Partheni.

Panayiotis came in the late afternoon and finished all outstanding electrical tasks except the tri-color that he will attend to tomorrow morning. He installed the new autopilot controller in a very clever way that allows me to connect, if needed, my older spare unit, despite the fact that it has completely different plugs and connectors.

The day was warm and very pleasant. I completed a number of tasks in preparation for tomorrow’s launch.

In the evening Manolis and I walked to the near-by Archontiko restaurant but it was shut. So, we walked back to the yard got the car and drove to Lakki and went to the new Alfred & Guisa restaurant. She was not there because she has broken her arm. We were served by a very pleasant if eccentric lady, Flora, and we ate well.