Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

Thetis 2017: Patmos to Samos

This web page contains the logs of the third leg from a cruise in the East Aegean from Livadhi tou Geranou in Patmos to to Samos marina. This leg consistes of an 8 day singlehanded sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis. On the way there were stops in: Skala (Patmos), Tiganakia, Marathi, Limnionas Bay, Tsopela, Kyriakou, and Mycale (all in Samos).

Route from Samos to Kalymnos
Route from Samos

Monday August 14, 2017, Day 21

Manolis Kouvaritakis departed with Daphne to go back to Diakofti. Maybe we will get together in another anchorage in the next few days. He needs to haul out Daphne before departing from Leros on Sept 10 and I need to be in Samos before Alice arrives on August 25.

I prepared to depart. I first wanted to make a stop in Skala for supplies. I departed Livadhi tou Geranou at 0850 and motored slowly the 2.6 M running the water-maker and towing the dinghy. We arrived in Skala [37° 19.7' N 026° 32.7' E] at 0935. I anchored in 7 m with about 35 m scope.

I went to town and bought a number of provisions including fruits that had all ran out. I was back on Thetis around 10:45. I has hailed by a S/Y moored on the “marina” that wanted to depart but Thetis was on her way. I quickly, that is as fast as I could, raised the dinghy and got ready to leave and started raising the anchor. But the windlass was laboring very hard and was bringing the chain up very slowly. I tried to help it by motoring slowly forward. Eventually our anchor came up but in a very close embrace with another, much larger, anchor. It took some doing to pass a line around the strange anchor, belonging to a large motor cruiser moored at the quay about 80 m away, to hold it while I lowered my 25 kg Rocna and thus freeing it. I then untied the line and the large anchor dropped back into the water. In the mean time while doing all this, the crew of the large Turkish cruiser did nothing, not slacking their scope, but watched. After the anchor was released they started screaming requesting that I re-anchor them, that despite having out 2 anchors at 80 m. I told them that there was very little I could do since their anchor was already at the bottom. They were 3 men with a large dinghy and if they wanted they could easily re-anchor.

At any rate, Thetis was free and departed Skala at 1130. We motored out of the harbor. The wind was 15 - 25 knots from the NNW. I kept the tent but opened 75% of the headsail and turned off the engine. We had a lovely sail doing 6 knots all the way to our destination Tiganakia [37° 21.6' N 026° 45.1' E] where we arrived at 1325 after 9.4 M.

I anchored in our usual spot in 8 m depth with 40 m of chain. After lowering the dinghy I snorkeled and checked the anchor. Later a chartered S/Y came and anchored near-by. Soon, they rigged a kite with a skateboard. At least two people used it. One was very, very good at it, making impressive jumps and turns.

After I removed the tent, with some difficulty because of the gusts reaching 30 knots, I had a small ouzo. Then I made some rice and pan-grilled 2 chicken patties that I had bought in Patmos. I slept well despite the howling wind.

Tuesday August 15, 2017, Day 22

It was much calmer in the morning. After my coffee I put up the tent and went ashore to the little island Lungo and walked for about 1 ½ hour.

After I returned to Thetis a French flagged S/Y which was next to us left, and I relocated Thetis to a more sheltered position. I dropped the anchor in 7.7 m over sand and let out 45 m of chain.

I called my “sister” Mirka whose name-day is today. I also ran the genset to operate the coffee grinder for my afternoon coffee. By noon only two S/Y were here Sadie with a British flag and Thetis. Other then the wind gusting to over 30 knots it was fine.

I finished reading on the Kindle Michael Shermer’s The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods, and started Tess Gerritsen’s The Silent Girl. I have to conserve books on the Kindle less I run out since I cannot download any more without WiFi.

In the evening I removed the tent and had an ouzo. I cooked some pasta and served with a left over tomato sauce from a few nights ago.

Wednesday August 16, 2017, Day 23

The wind this morning was strong. My plan was to go to Marathi but I waited until 10 so that I may have a sporting chance to find a free mooring.

I departed at 0950 and motored slowly towing the dinghy. The sea was rather choppy. Arrived in Marathi [37° 22' N 026° 43.6' E] at 1015 after 1.25 M. There were 2 free moorings but none of Pandeli’s, I caught one without any trouble.

I saw that the Archipelagos cruiser was docked at the Piratis dock. I went over with the dinghy and inquired if by any chance Mrs. Miliou, their research director, was was there. As luck would have she was and so was her husband, the other director, Theodoros Tsimpidas. She and I have corresponded for several years and tried to arrange a get together without any luck. But here we are in Marathi. I invited them for an ouzo in the evening.

Back to Thetis. I saw that now one of Pandelis’ mooring was now free, so I relocated. I put up the tent. After a while the German flagged S/Y Inspiration arrived and tried to catch the mooring that I had vacated earlier. There were 2 men and 3 children: an older girl and 2 boys, one very young. They had trouble catching the mooring and dropped their hook. I went over with the dinghy and helped them. I then went ashore where I was greeted by Pandelis, Katina, and their daughter Toola. Lots of hugs. Pandelis he is doing better, and has almost recovered from his stroke, but still he is much slower than his usual energetic self. They seem to have lots of hired help.

Later more boats arrived. By the evening there were in addition to Thetis, Inspiration, a large French catamaran, a Turkish catamaran, Archipelagos, 2 Turkish motor cruisers, a Greek motor cruiser, a Greek charter S/Y, and Turkish gulet. I spoke with Mrs. Miliou and they were ready to come. I picked them up with the dinghy: her, her husband, and their lovely 9 year old girl. We got to know each other and had a long conversation on the environment, the Aegean, over fishing, political situation, etc. They were committed to eat at the Piratis, since they were using his dock, and I, of course at Pandelis. So I took them back.

The wind increased with fierce gusts. I removed the tent although the sun was still up. I later did go to Pandelis and had, as usual, a nice dinner: Katina’s special salad, a small plate of appetizers (mezedes), and a very tasty grilled sfirida (σφυρίδα - White grouper - epinephelus aeneus).

The Marathi cove

Thursday August 17, 2017, Day 24

In the morning, after I had my coffee I went ashore and took a nice hike. After I returned to the boat I put up the tent and washed the dinghy. Then I went ashore again, and had a chat Katina and Toola about Pandelis. He is mending but not as fast as he would want and he gets frustrated and moody.

Pantelis Mooring

The rest of the day was quiet and I spent it mostly reading. A new boat came with a French couple. After 3 attempts to catch a mooring he started screaming at his wife. I went and gave them a hand. Then I swam and took some photographs of the blocks securing my mooring.

The 50 foot French flagged S/Y Eros came. There was only one person visible on her deck. He very skillfully maneuvered his large boat and then reversed to a free mooring buoy caught it, and passed an already prepared line to its loop. He then he, slowly took the end of the line to the bow and secured it. It was an excellent singlehanded performance, especially if you considered the size of his boat and her inertia. Later a young girl appeared and made several dives. In the mean time, he inflated a small sailing dinghy boarded it with the girl and proceeded teaching her how to sail it. So much fan! So much better then those infernal jet skis.

I have to admit that I am getting tired of this place. Inflatable dinghies continuously come and go, some at great speed creating annoying wakes. They keep this up even late at night.

I had a shave and went to Pandelis for dinner. Again I had Katina’s salad, followed by a small plate of exquisite fresh squid, then a plate of katsikaki kokkinisto (young goat pot roasted with tomatos), and a creme caramel. But at 50 € per night I better get moving. I said my goodbyes to Katina and Toola. Pandelis had already gone to bed. Katina gave me a loaf of her homemade black bread that she had baked earlier today.

Friday August 18, 2017, Day 25

The first thing I did was to siphon 2 jerry cans of Diesel fuel into the fuel tank. I then lifted the dinghy on its davits and cast off at 0800. My plan was to go to Fourni but because the wind was 10 - 17 knots from the NNW, a head wind, and the waves were large I changed my mind and headed for the cove east of Limnionas and slightly west of Psili Ammos in the SW side of Samos. There was no possibility of using the sails. I motored and ran the water-maker. There were large irregular waves causing banging and spraying. At times the waves would brake the boat reducing her speed from 5.5 to almost 2 knots. I rigged the bimini so that I could at least have some shade.

We motored along the 18.8 M and arrived to our Limnionas Bay (Λημνιώνας Μπέη) anchorage [37° 41.9' N 026° 38.5' E] at 1145. This whole anchorage has a beautiful sandy bottom. I anchored in 5 m depth with 30 m of scope. After lowering the dinghy I snorkeled to the anchor I saw that it was very well embedded in the sand. It was hot! I put up the tent and jumped again in the water to cool off. I folded the bimini and tied it to the boom.

Mt. Kerkis in Samos as seen from the approach to Limnionas

I had a light lunch and then tried to take a nap but it was too hot. Only frequent jumps into the water made it bearable. I read on the Kindle and finished the The Silent Girl. It is in my opinion the best book written so far by Geritsen. I then started reading Sharpes Gold.

Around 7 PM the wind was gusting from the N to 25 knots. I removed the tent with some difficulty. Later the wind increased reaching 35 knots. I snorkeled to the anchor again. It was fine but, just in case, I let out 5 more meters of chain bringing the scope to a 7:1 ratio. I also secured the chain with a second snubber.

I had my ouzo and then cooked some rice and pan-grilled the remaining 2 chicken patties. These I ate along with red wine, Erythros Vassiliou (Ερυθρός Βασιλείου), a bottle I had started but not finished last night in Pantelis. Still some was left.

The lovely house ashore kept their flood lights on all night. I went to bed around 10:30.

Saturday August 19, 2017, Day 26

In the morning I planned to take the dinghy to Limnionas and see if I can find any fruits which I were running low. I got ready for this, and also took the trash. The beach in Limnionas looked nice and smooth but there was no landing place. I had to pull the dinghy on the beach. I slowed down and partially raised the outboard and proceeded to the beach not realizing that there were many solid rocks at very shallow water. Bang! the outboard propeller hit a rock. After landing and exploring, it turned out that there was no store here, but at least, some distance away, there was a trash bin. I got rid of the trash. That was all I had accomplished.

On the way back to Thetis I realized that the outboard’s propeller was slipping, same as it did in last year in Ikaria. I was very annoyed.

The day was hot but less then yesterday. I put up the tent and made frequent jumps in the water.

In the afternoon there was a 12 knot WNW breeze so it was pleasant. I contemplated briefly to depart for Samiopoula and avoid the fierce gusts of last night but inertia won out. Just as well, because the afternoon was not too hot. Fearing the gusts I removed the tent around 5:30 and after a brief jump in the water raised the dinghy. The expected gusts did not materialized.

I had a lovely evening with a light pleasant breeze while sipping my ouzo. I was glad that I stayed. For dinner I made a 3-egg omelet with left over pasta and tomato sauce. Then the gusts came back at 28 knots from the N but they later subsided.

Sunday August 20, 2017, Day 27

I prepared to depart. Before the departure I put 4 potatoes to boil in sea water as I was planning to make a potato salad. I put up the tent because the wind was almost zero. I raised the anchor and departed at 0815.

The wind picked up so I opened 25% of the headsail and motor-sailed running the water-maker. The wind started coming from NNE and gusting to 25 knots. I kept on sailing. I noticed some smoke coming from the W side of the Karvounis mountain under the village of Spatharei. I called the Samos fire department (local tel. 199). They already knew about the smoke. It came from a wood burning oven.

When we were less then a mile from Samiopoula the wind died. I rolled-in the sail but keeping in mind yesterday’s unsteady wind and the forecasts I passed Samiopoula and continued on to Tsopela (Τσόπελα) [37° 38.3' N 026° 49.9' E] where we arrived at 1015 after 9.6 M.

I anchored in 5 m over a sand patch and let out 30 m of chain. I lowered the dinghy and snorkeled to the anchor. It was nicely set.

Nothing much happened the rest of the day. The wind was 5 -10 knots from the SW. Thetis drifted to 4 m depth. I watched people on the beach, finished Sharpes Gold, on the Kindle, and started Ο πόλεμος της Όλγας (Olga’s War). I also did some banking with the iPad.

Around 5:30 I removed the tent and some time later had an ouzo. For dinner I had potato salad. But, there was a problem: lots and lots of bugs. They attacked the light I had hanging from the boom over the cockpit. I turned it off and retired inside the cabin. They were everywhere in the cabin and the bathroom. During the short time I kept a light on to wash the dishes many more of them came. I turned off all the lights and lit a citronella candle but it had not much of an effect. I ended going to bed before 10, just to escape ththe bugs.

There was no wind but it was a rolly night.

Monday August 21, 2017, Day 28

In the morning I found corpses of flying ants everywhere, in both the cockpit and the main cabin. After I had my coffee I contemplated to either go to Mycale, spent the night there, and prepare the boat for a long stay in the marina, or to go instead to nearby Kyriakou and see. I decided to go to Kyriakou. Earlier I had called the Samos Marina advising of Thetis arrival tomorrow. I also called Aramis and reserved a car.

I raised the anchor and departed from Tsopela at 0755. I motored, towing the dinghy. The wind was 5 - 15 knots from the ESE. We arrived in Kyriakou (Κυριακού) [37° 38.3' N 026° 51.8' E] at 0820 after 1.5 M. There was no one here. I anchored in 5 m with 25 m of scope. Here most of the bottom is sand.

I put up the tent, and snorkeled to check the anchor. It was under the sand. The rest of the morning was very quiet. In the early afternoon a fishing caïque went by and then came a group of canoeist. There were 6 canoes 3 with 2 people, a lead and a tail canoe with one. I think I had seen them before either this or a similar group in Mikri Lakka. I ran the genset for 15 minutes and ground some coffee.

Later in the afternoon the wind increased to 15 - 18 knots from the WSW. Fearing of more bugs I decided not to spent the night here but to continue to Mycale and stay there and slowly prepare for the layover in the marina. We left at 1545 and motor-sailed with about 50% of the headsail most of the 6.9 M to Mycale (Μυκάλη) [37° 42.2' N 026° 58.8' E] where we arrived at 1700.

I anchored in 4.8 m over sand and let out 30 m of chain. After lowering the dinghy and freeing the swimming ladder I snorkeled and checked the anchor. It had almost disappeared under the sand. There was some swell.

In the evening I removed the tent and had an ouzo, the last on Thetis for a while.

I was thinking of cooking spaghetti with tuna but I was not very hungry. Instead I made a cheese omelet and ate it along with potato salad.

It was a delightful dusk and night — no bugs. I slept well.

Tuesday August 22, 2017, Day 29

There was frantic activity for over 2 hours after my slow start with coffee. I put up the tent, I stripped my bedding, arranged the accumulated laundry, dug out of the left cabin the dinghy cover, removed the bimini, etc. I then serviced the water-maker, changing its pre-filter and filling it with a biocide solution. I removed the spray hood and washed the cockpit from the accumulated bread crumps and dead insects. Then it was time to rest before the next burst of activity in preparation for leaving Thetis in the marina.

Around 4 PM I tied the wind-generator, covered and raised the dinghy on its davits, and removed the tent. I hanged the fenders, and prepared the docking lines.

We departed at 1733 and motored the 1.5 M to the Samos Marina [37° 41.5' N 026° 57.4' E] arriving at 1755. I had already hailed them on the VHF channel 9. Mooring presented no problems.

After securing the boat I left with the rented car for Kalami.