Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

2013: Excursions from Samos

This web page contains the logs of three excursions with S/Y Thetis originating from the island of Samos:

  1. To Patmos and Fourni (Livadhi tou Geranou, Petrokopio, Mycale).
  2. To the Eastern part of Samos (Kerveli, Mikri Lakka).
  3. To Marathi and Samiopoula (Marathi, Psalida, Tsopela, Klima).

The logs include either some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited or links to these descriptions. Also included are links to other related web sites.

Routes near Samos
Routes near Samos

Friday June 28, 2013, Day 1

Alice and I arrived fairly early at the marina and by 0920 we were underway to Patmos. Our plan was to spend few cruising days taking advantage of the mild weather and return by either Sunday or Monday when the forecasts called for strong northern winds.

The wind outside the marina was 8-15 knots NNE and while keeping the tent on because Alice has developed a sun sensitivity, we opened the genoa and sailed nicely until 1030 when the wind veered to SW at 5-12 knots and we had to roll-in the sail and motor. But, by 1120 the wind veered again now from the WNW at 15-25 knots and we opened about 70% of the headsail and turned off the noisy motor. We had a lovely fast sail, doing sometimes, close to 8 knots. Later I had to reduce the headsail to 50% to ease on the weather helm but we did not lose any speed.

Along the way, while under sail, we encountered a school of small dolphins. They were very playful and frolicked for a while with Thetis’ wake before disappearing into the blue sea.

We arrived in Livadhi tou Geranou (Λιβάδι του Γερανού) [37° 20.7' N 26° 35.3' E], Patmos (Πάτμος) at 1410. We anchored in 6 m depth with 35 m of chain. It was very gusty and cool in the cockpit under the tent. I had to open the spray hood to shield us from the cold wind. I lunched the dinghy and snorkeled to the anchor. It was nicely buried under the sand.

There were 2 charter boats here, a British catamaran yawl, and an Italian motor sailer. We spent the afternoon resting and reading. I was reading Dorothy Dunnett’s Pawn in Frankincense, the fourth of her Lymond Chronicles.

Later in the afternoon we went ashore and walked up and down the beach. After we returned to Thetis we had an ouzo and then an early dinner with food we had brought from Kalami: yiouvarlakia (γιουβαρλάκια - meatballs with an egg & lemon sauce) together with rice. This we accompanied with a red Amethystos wine. We went to bed early and slept soundly.

Saturday June 29, 2013, Day 2

Early in the morning we went with the dinghy to Panayia you Geranou (Παναγία του Γερανού), the cove E of here. We walked up the hill to the little chapel and then to the next cove E where there is an abandoned shipyard.

After our return to Thetis we swam and read. Later we went ashore and had lunch at the local taverna. We ate some octopus, zucchini fritters, and a very tasty fish soup. The rest of the afternoon we rested reading under the tent.

In the evening after hot showers, we had an ouzo and I cooked some potatoes in the oven after coating them with olive oil, lemon juice, and thyme. When they were ready, 2 hours later, I pan fried 2 turkey cutlets after dusting them with flour. I then browned them in the pan with a diced onion, added balsamic vinegar and then cooked for a few minutes the cutlets in this sauce. In the mean time Alice had made a nice salad. We had a great meal under the stars.

The night was fairly calm.

Sunday June 30, 2013, Day 3

It was calm this morning with almost no wind despite the forecasts that called for force 5 from the NW. We decided to sail to Fourni. We removed the tent and raised the dinghy on the davits. We departed Patmos at 0810. The wind outside the cove was only 2-5 knots from the SW and we had no option but to motor.

We arrived in Petrokopio (Πετροκοπιό) [37° 33.6' N 26° 29.2' E], Fourni (Φούρνοι) at 1108 after 18.3 M. We dropped the anchor in 7 m depth with 45 m of scope, the boat settling at 11 m depth. The wind was still from the S but we, according to the forecasts, were expecting to eventually come from the NW.

Shortly after anchoring the wind started to gust up to 18 knots, now from the SW, then from the NE, the E, and back from the S, and SW. After lowering the dinghy with the davits, I snorkeled to the anchor. It was well set. It was somewhat cold under the tent due to the wind and some scattered clouds.

In the afternoon we swam and then went ashore with the dinghy and took a walk on the E side of the cove.

For dinner we had spaghetti with tuna, capers, and garlic sprinkled with plenty of freshly grated Parmezan cheese.

During the night the wind came from the S, contrary to all the forecasts that kept predicting NW winds. Thetis drifted towards the shore at 4 m depth. I was nervous, afraid of her drifting further to shallow water.

Monday July 1, 2013, Day 4

Around 2 AM I was waken up by the howling S wind. Thetis was still at 4 m depth, the anchor holding, but I was very uneasy. I raised the dinghy on the davits, just in case we had to make a quick exit and went back to my cabin. I hardly slept because I was concerned.

Finally dawn came with golden colors and after a coffee we raised the anchor at 0620 and departed for Samos. The wind outside the cove, unlike inside, was from the forecasted NW and not from the S which must had been a local phenomenon. It was however strong and gusty anywhere from 15 to 20 knots. We opened about 30% of the headsail and after rounding Cape Agridio, the southernmost point of the island, we sailed at about 6.5 knots although there were substantial waves and the ride was bumpy.

We continued sailing although the wind kept decreasing for a time and we opened more and more of the headsail. We even started the engine and ran it for 10 minutes. Then the wind increased again and we decreased the sail.

We arrived in Mycale (Μυκάλη) [37° 42.1' N 26° 58.8' E] after 31.8 M at 1150. There were ferocious gusts and it was not as pleasant as it is usually here. We prepared for the marina and packed our things.

At 1825 we pulled up the anchor and motored to the nearby Samos Marina where we arrived at 1835 after 33.3 total M from Fourni. We moored without any problems.

Tuesday July 2 to Wednesday July 10, 2013

Thetis stayed in the marina. We cleaned the boat, inside and outside in preparation for visiting cousins.

Thursday July 11, 2013

My cousin Connie Newcomb, her husband Jim, their lovely daughter Margaret, and their capable son Andrew arrived in Samos yesterday. Two years ago they had chartered a sailboat and they had sailed together with Thetis for several days. Now they were eager to sail again but this was a short visit and we could only do a day’s excursion.

They joined me and Alice at the marina and we cast off at 0958 heading east. The wind was 8-23 knots from the N and we opened the headsail. We sailed until 1100 when the wind backed to 8-16 NNW and we motored to Kerveli (Κέρβελη) [37° 43.8' N 27° 02.3' E] which we reached after 9.7 M at 1200. We anchored in 7 m depth with 45 m of chain.

We launched the dinghy and after a swim we took it ashore and then walked up the hill to the Κρυφή Φωλιά (Hidden Nest) where we had lunch.

At 1600 we departed from Kerveli and motored 2.2 M to Mikri Lakka (Μικρή Λακκα) [37° 45.5' N 27° 01.6' E] at 1645. The wind was 15-25 knots NNW. We anchored in 6 m with 40 m of chain.

After more swimming and a coffee we departed at 1850. The wind now was 15-30 knots from WNW and were able to sail for an hour. Then, when we were in the middle of the channel, it became too irregular and gusty and with some difficulty we rolled-in the headsail.

We arrived in the marina at 2030 after 8.75 M. It was fun but a somewhat tiring day.

Friday July 12 to Thursday July 18, 2013

Thetis was in the marina. During this time there were fierce notherly winds.

Friday July 19, 2013, Day 1

My wife Alice and I departed from Samos Marina with Thetis at 0905 headed for Marathi. Before our departure I put up the tent so that we would not be fried by the sun. The wind was 8-12 knots from the NNW. We opened about 30% of the headsail and motor-sailed because I wanted to run the refrigerator at its maximum and that needed plenty of electricity. During the passage the autopilot tiller driver fell apart and we quickly replaced it with the second unit. Its driver rod had come unscrewed and I was able to easily repair it.

At 1125 we turned off the motor and sailed in the 10-17 NW wind with 50% of the headsail. We were planning to stop for lunch and a swim in Tiganakia but it was too rough. We rounded the S side of Arki and headed towards Marathi (Μαράθι) [37° 22' N 26° 43.7' E]. The channel between the two islands was boiling. At 1315 we caught the last available of Panteli’s mooring without too much trouble.

Here is was fairly calm but windy and gusty. There were 2 French sailboats, 3 US flagged Turkish motor cruisers, 2 German sailboats, and now of course, a Greek one, Thetis. Later a large inflatable belonging to a large, again US flagged, motor cruiser anchored across in the Steno cove of Arki came at full speed with people coming for lunch. I waved to them gesturing to slow down but not only they ignored me but the man who seemed to be in charge, not a crewman, gave me the finger. How vulgar and rude can some people be? Here they were visiting a foreign country, flouting its laws and being obnoxious. Fortunately, most of our neighbors are not like that.

On the motor cruiser near us was an attractive family: father, mother, and two adorable daughters. The father did some very demanding wind-surfing, criss-crossing the windy and angry channel. Later in the evening, at dinner, we met them. He is German and the mother is Turkish. They keep their boat in Bodrum and come here rather frequently. How nice to see somebody from a motor cruiser wind-surfing rather then the usual jet-skiing?

We swam, read, took showers, and had an ouzo. I have been re-reading the 3rd of Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond chronicles The Disorderly Knights. We then went ashore to Panteli’s for dinner. I had called earlier and asked Panteli’s daughter, Toola, to keep a good fish for us. Now her mother, Katina, proudly presented us with a large, and grilled to perfection tsipoura (τσιπούρα - Gilthead seabream - Sparus auratus). It was fantastic. We had not had such a fish since we were here last year. Before the fish we were served Katina’s special salad, fava purée, and fried octopus balls (χταποδοκεφτέδες - chtapodokeftedes). For dessert we had cream-caramelé. No one can ask for more.

We slept well although the boat was a little bouncy on the swell.

Saturday July 20, 2013, Day 2

Despite the forecasts that were predicting almost no wind here in Marathi it was windy and there were whitecaps in the Arki-Marathi channel. We debated whether to spend the day in in Tiganakia and the night in Arki and then head back to Samos tomorrow morning although the forecasts were calling for strong headwinds for tomorrow and even stronger for Monday. Eventually we decide to head back today and go straight to Samiopoula.

We departed from Marathi at 0810. The wind, once we rounded Arki, was 12-18 knots NNW straight on our nose with a course of 002 and the only option other then many slow tacks was to motor. Afraid of the strong gusty wind we had not put up the tent but now, to at least get some shade we rigged the bimini. It was a slow bumpy ride. The waves although not very large were very short and irregular.

During this passage I noticed that the engine tachometer was indicating much higher RPM although I believed that, based on the engine sound, it was actually running at a normal speed.

After 2 hours or so of slow motoring, at 1030, the wind backed to NW and we were able to open 25% of the headsail and our speed and ride improved. We arrived in the Psalida (Ψαλίδα) cove of Samiopoula (Σαμιοπούλα) [37° 38.1' N 26° 47.4' E] at 1150 after 18 M. We anchored in 6 m depth and let out 45 m of chain scope. Thetis settled in 12-14 m depth, the depth depending on the wind direction which here it seldom exceeded 10 knots.

After I put up the tent we spend the afternoon pleasantly swimming and reading. We then decided to relocate to nearby Tsopela cove in Samos thinking that the wind will be weaker and less likely to change direction.

At 1755 we raised the anchor and motored slowly, towing the dinghy and its outboard. We arrived in Tsopela (Τσόπελα) [37° 38.3' N 26° 50' E] at 1830 after 1.9 M. We anchored in 5 m depth and let out 25 m of chain. I snorkeled and checked the anchor; it was well set. It was very calm here.

Later we had our obligatory ouzo and warmed in the oven the stuffed tomatoes and capers that we had brought from Kalami. But when we sat down to eat I clumsily lost my grip on the pyrex dish with our food and it fell shattering inside the cockpit. To add insult to injury while cleaning the mess and throwing buckets of water to wash away any remaining glass fragments we upset the opened wine bottle on the table and the cockpit was now smeared with red wine. Fortunately Alice found some more food and made us a nice omelet. So at least we did not go to bed hungry.

The night was not very comfortable. Although it was calm inside and outside of our cove there was considerable swell and the boat was continuously rocking.

Sunday July 21, 2013, Day 3

We woke up early after a less then comfortable night. We decided to head back toward the marina, stop somewhere near and then get into the marina by early evening. We raised the dinghy on its davits and departed from Tsopela at 0800. The wind was 2-20 knots from the NE, once again a contrary wind. We motored.

After 12 M, at 1020 we arrived in Klima (Κλήμα), Samos [37° 42.5' N 27° 02.4' E]. We anchored in 6 m depth and let out 35 m of chain. Here it was nice and calm.

We spend a pleasant morning and afternoon under the tent. In the early evening we started getting ready for the marina. I covered the dinghy and then raised it. Then, we hanged the fenders and raised the anchor.

At 1740 we were underway. The wind was now 15-25 WNW, once again unfavorable, and once again we motored the 3.9 M. I hailed the marina and they were expecting us. We arrived at 1830. With the help of the attendant, Michalis, we moored without any trouble save a missing cleat from our bow mooring line. However, while getting ready to leave the boat the kitchen sink’s faucet broke. I had to turn off the pressure pump and shut off the water supply to stop the fresh water from flowing. I was upset not sure if a replacement could be found in Samos.

Broken Faucet