Travels with S/Y Thetis


Thetis only

2015: Preparation

This year because of family related commitments I was not even sure if we will be able to come to the boat. So, in March I extended Thetis’ contract for another year. But in August I was finally able to come albeit without my wife Alice.

  1. New Items:
    1. A new autopilot tiller driver was acquired because the old one could not be repaired. The cable of this driver had to be extended in order reach the tiller, as the original was too short.
    2. A new canvas cover for the dinghy was fabricated.
    3. Replaced of all the engine exhaust hoses.
    4. Replaced the bathroom and kitchen sink drain hoses.
  2. Repairs:
    1. Replaced the membrane for the water-maker and the whole unit was serviced.
    2. Both fresh water tanks were flushed and chemically cleaned because the water came out rusty.
    3. The floor in-front of the companionway that was failing was repaired
    4. Replaced all air venting hoses from the engine compartment.
  3. Yearly Maintenance:
    1. The sails and tent, were washed.
    2. Engine.
    3. Outboard.
    4. Genset.
    5. Dinghy.
    6. Inspected the rigging.
    7. Checked the autopilots.
    8. In addition, there was the yearly maintenance of the hull and keel eliminating all scratches, polishing of the hull and stainless rails, and applying of anti-fouling painting.

I had also asked Agmar Marine to replace the extremely rusty anchoring chain. This they failed to do.

Tuesday August 18, 2015

I flew to Leros with the 6:40 flight from Athens having arrived there from Washington, D.C., the evening before. The new dinghy cover looked great although I did not realize that its fitting with the outboard mounted was less then perfect. Thetis looked lonely.

The day was hot, 35°C (95°F). I put up the tent. It took a lot of work to get ready for the scheduled launch for tomorrow.

I rented a car and went provision shopping. On the way I filled all 4 jerry cans with Diesel fuel and the two small canisters with gasoline (petrol) for the genset and outboard. I then drove to Lakki and went to the Limerarchio (Coast Guard). To find out if there are changes and get the required apoplous (permission to sail) stamp.

It was a scene beyond description. The small yard was packed with refugees, some in small tents. The gates were locked. A crowd of other refugees were camped out side the yard. Fortunately an officer was getting out of the yard and he let me in. The usual small office was relative quiet and the young lady officer remembering me from past years observed how late I was in coming this year. She told me that the refugee crowd today was relative short compared to other days. She also told that although the officers have not been paid their salaries for 2 months they had made a collection among them to buy food for the refugees especially the children. It is beyond description. It seems that other islands like Kos and Lesvos have much larger crowds then Leros.

After that I went to the fruits store and the supermarket and completed my shopping. Again no problem with change. Most customers were paying with credit cards. This is because of the disastrous capital controls impose by the current left government. People can now only withdraw 420 €/week from their accounts.

After returning to the yard I stowed the provisions and took a shower, then I went to the Archontiko, the little taverna across from the airport. Vasilis was very glad to see me since I was his 2nd customer for the whole day. I had 2 delicious grilled fish, very fresh, a salad and a beer. All for 20 €.

Very very tired I went to bed and fell into a deep sleep. It was a long day!