Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

2013: Preparation

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

  1. New Items:
    1. Replaced the old outboard that had given me so much grief last year. The new one is a 4-cycle 4 HP DF4 Suzuki.
    2. I got a new Raymarine ST4000 autopilot tiller driver to have as a spare.
    3. Replaced the old narrow passarella plank with a wider folding one. This should please my wife Alice who had a hard time negotiating the old one.
    4. Wrote the boat name on the right and left of the bow.
    5. Replaced the yellow horse-show life preserver that had faded with a new one lettered ΘΕΤΙΣ - PIRAEUS.
    6. Replaced the old Diesel fuel siphon with a new.
  2. Improvements:
    1. Replace the straps that hold down the dinghy on the davit supports with longer ones that can hold it down more securely.
    2. Reenforced the bolts of the wooden davit supports.
  3. Repairs:
    1. Replaced the broken wind-generator blades.
    2. Replaced the fluorescence light fixture in the main cabin.
  4. Yearly Maintenance to:
    1. Engine.
    2. Genset.
    3. Dinghy.
    4. In addition, there was the yearly maintenance of the hull and keel eliminating all scratches, polishing of the hull and stainless, and anti-fouling painting.
The new passarella
The new passarella

Tuesday May 14, 2013

The new passarella deployed
The new passarella deployed

I arrived in Leros with the noon flight having flown to Athens from Washington, D.C. the day before. My rental car was waiting for me at the Leros airport.

Thetis looked great. Before the end of the day I verified that the yard had completed the work list that I had left. Not only had they done so but had improved on it. No more new work needed to be done. I spoke with my friend Mastro Michalis and he scheduled Thetis for launching on Thursday morning. Tomorrow will be dedicated to shopping and appeasing the insatiable Greek bureaucracy of the Limenarchio (Greek Coast Guard).

I walked for lunch to the Archontiko which is right across from the airport. The proprietor, Mr. Vasilis, and his wife are very fond of me. I think it is because we have the same first name.

There was lots of work to get the boat ready and I was tired and jet-lagged. In the evening, after a nice hot shower, I was too exhausted to go out for dinner and I just had a snack on board.

It was nice to have my first night on Thetis even if she was on the hard.

Wednesday May 15, 2013

In the morning I drove to Lakki. I first went to the Limenarchio (Greek Coast Guard). It took over 1½ hours for the young officer and a charge of €5.85 to issue 2 permits: permit to launch the boat and permit to depart from Leros. Bureaucracy in Greece is alive and well, in fact it is thriving. No wonder the country is bankrupt.

My friend Anastasis Raftopoulos called and asked if we could get together for lunch instead of dinner as we had arranged yesterday. I agreed to meet him and I went to the bank to withdraw some cash. Unfortunately their ATM was down and I had to get a number and wait in line inside. Then, on to the bakery, the green grocer, and the supermarket. With the car full of fruits and provisions I drove back to Partheni. On the way I stopped at a filling station and filled 4 jerrycans with Diesel fuel.

Back at the yard I just had time to unload and carry my shopping on the boat when the water truck came. I topped the tanks and frantically drove to Pandeli where I met Anastasis and his lovely wife Moo. We had a delightful lunch of fresh fish and we brought each other up to date with our news.

By the time I returned to the yard it was after 3:30. I stowed 2 of the jerrycans in the left sail-locker and left the other 2 on deck to be lashed down later. I then stowed the provisions in the various bins and refrigerator. By the time all were stowed it was past 5 PM.

I walked to the office, the yard had already closed for the day, and had good a chat with my friend Angelos, the owner. These are hard times for everyone in Greece and the yard is no exception.

Later although I was planning to have a snack, I got too lazy and walked instead to the Archontiko where I had a light dinner. I was in bed before 10 PM.