This web page contains the logs of a singlehanded sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis in the Aegean in Greece. The logs cover a period of 14 days of sailing from Partheni, Leros where she was launched to Samos (Klima and Pythagorio Marina) via Blafouti in Leros, Lipsi (SE Cove, Platys Yialos), Marathi, Patmos (Livadhi, Skala, and Livadhi Kalogiron), and Fourni (Vitsiliá and Petrokopió).
The logs are illustrated with photographs and maps. They also include some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited as well as several links to other related web sites.
Monday May 21, 2007, Day 1
First thing in the morning I checked with Mastro Michalis, the head of Agmar Marine (now called Moor & Dock) technical operations. I wanted to make sure that:
- The new bimini will indeed arrive today, and
- Thetis is scheduled to be launched.
I then rode the scooter to Lakki where I got some fresh fruits, bread, etc. I also tried to withdraw some money from the National Bank of Greece ATM but the machine had a hiccup. While it printed a receipt for the requested amount and returned my card no cash came out. Fortunately the branch was open and I was able to speak with a manager. He made sure that the transaction was indeed canceled and he issued me the cash with a new transaction. This problem is a first. On my way back to Partheni I stopped and paid for the scooter (7€/day).
While I was away the new bimini had arrived and was installed. It is exactly what I wanted to begin with. They were also installing the sacrificial anodes on the shaft and keel.
From all the items that I had ordered in October what was now missing were:
- LED navigational lights that were back ordered,
- A power adaptor to connect the genset to the new AC input socket. This they will send to me in Samos.
- A zippered canvas to cover the area between the spray-hood and the bimini. This will have to wait for the next time Thetis is Partheni.
Around 12 o’clock the travelift came and Thetis was slowly moved to the launching pool. By 1240 she was afloat. No leaks. The engine worked well. No problems. The raw water pump worked and so did the electric pump for the head.
We departed Partheni (Παρθένι) at 1255. The wind was 15 knots from the SSW gusting to over 25. We motored. We headed for my favorite anchorage of Archangelos but there was an appreciable swell and would not be comfortable at all. So, after a change of plans we headed for the cove E of Partheni, Blafouti (Μπλαφούτι) [37° 11.4' N 26° 49.1' E] 4.32 M away where we arrived at 1340. Here the sea was very calm. I dropped the anchor in 3.5 m depth and let out 45 m of chain. The chain is rusted and needs to be replaced. Other than that, everything appeared to work fine. Nevertheless, just in case some work is needed, I planed to stay here near Agmar Marine (renamed Moor & Dock) until tomorrow.
After a light lunch I fell asleep. The new bimini does its job and provides a nice patch of shade.
Later in the afternoon I rigged the dinghy. The outboard also worked well. I was very pleased that Thetis was in good shape but most of all I was pleased to be afloat. I celebrated her change of status from a land based camper to a sea going sailing vessel by a glass of ouzo and a proper libation to Poseidon. I then went ashore for a nice meal at the I Thea Artemis (Η Θεά Άρτεμις). I had tiny fried fish (μαρίδες), grilled red snappers (μπαρμπούνια), and a salad.
By 10:30 I was sound asleep in my cabin in the gently rocking boat.
Tuesday May 22, 2007, Day 2
I woke fairly early, at 7:30. I puttered around doing various small boat tasks, checking e-mail, getting forecasts, etc. The forecasts called for SSW winds of force 3-4 and a possibility of rain. Clouds were appearing on the sky.
At 1130 I raised the anchor and motored to the SE cove of Lipsi (Λειψοί). Both of my favorite anchorages in the neighborhood, Archangelos and Katsadia/Papandria in Lipsi are exposed to the waves from the S. On the way, I started the water-maker, it worked well. I tried to use the headsail in the 10-15 knot SSW wind but it was just flapping. By the time we reached the SE cove in Lipsi [37° 18.3' N 26° 46.6' E], 8.8 M, it was 1300 and the water tanks were full. We anchored in 5 m depth and let out 30 m of chain. Thetis settled in 4 m. It is very nice here and well sheltered from the S winds and swell, but the little beach was heavily polluted with flotsam and jetsam.
After lunch I fell asleep. I guess that the last few days had tired me out. Later in the afternoon I started cooking a pork roast. I browned it in olive oil, and then deglazed the pot with some red wine. After that, I added fresh chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, and some chopped sun dried tomatoes for extra flavor. While the roast was simmering I listened to classical music.
I tried to take a hot shower but the water out of the water-heater was just slightly lukewarm. Of course, some time had elapsed since the engine was running, but still. Also the hot water flow was very low. All together very disappointing.
To console myself I had an ouzo. This was satisfying. Later, when the roast was ready, I boiled some spaghetti (I usually use a mixture 3 parts fresh water to 1 part sea water) and served it with freshly ground Parmezan cheese and a red wine from Ikaria. A very good meal! The sky cleared and stars made their appearance. Not bad for the first day out.
Wednesday May 23, 2007, Day 3
I woke up fairly early. At 9 I went ashore and walked to the town about 1 hr away. There I bought some fresh bread. It was sunny and warm and rather pleasant. After my return to Thetis I had a brief swim. The water temperature was only 18° C (64° F), too cold for a long swim.
In the afternoon the wind changed direction, now coming from the NW at 8-12 knots. The resulting swell made the anchorage somewhat uncomfortable. At 1500 I pulled up the anchor and slowly motored 1.74 M to Platys Yialos (Πλατύς Γιαλός) [37° 18.8' N 26° 44.5' E] where I anchored in 4 m depth at 1530.
Here it was very calm and with the N wind the smoke from the garbage dump blew S and did not disturb me. Inside the cabin the temperature was 24° C (75° F), the humidity 62%, and the barometer 1010 mB.
I investigated the low flow of the hot water in the bathroom. By dismantling the hoses, I ascertained that the water flow just before the faucet was fine. So, there had to be a constriction within the faucet. Maybe some water conservation measure. As far as the temperature goes, the engine does ran rather cold. Could it be a problem with its thermostat?
In the evening I ate leftover roast with pasta.
Thursday May 24, 2007, Day 4
After a good night’s sleep I went ashore for a hike. I walked to Moschato, ½ hr away. It was a nice walk but I was sad to see exposed garbage at the side of the newly paved road. I have become even more sensitized to this problem after my recent trip to dirty India and to immaculate Australia and New Zealand. Greece is somewhere in the middle of these extremes but I do wish for an improvement. In a small island like Lipsi, garbage is inexcusable. I wish the local authorities become more concerned on environmental issues rather than nudism with which they seem obsessed.
When I returned aboard Thetis I called Mastro Michalis of Agmar Marine and discussed with him the possible problem with the engine’s thermostat. He assured me that there is nothing wrong with my thermostat since they had checked it. Raw sea water cooled Diesel engines do ran cold. I verified this with a detailed reading of the engine’s shop manual. It seems that the thermostat does not allow the cooling water to rise above 52° C. At that temperature and by the time the cooling water goes through the water-heater’s heat exchanger the best I can expect is lukewarm water and that after a couple of hours of engine operation.
At 1400 I raised the anchor and motored, at a low 1800 RPM, to Marathi (Μαράθι) [37° 22.05' N 26° 43.7' E] 3.67 M away. We arrived there at 1505. I caught one of Pandelis’s mooring without any difficulty. It was very calm. Inside the cabin the temperature was 25°C (77° F), 57% humidity, and the barometer up since yesterday to 1012 mB. The wind was 4-8 knots NNW and the sky was cloudy. There were two other yachts with German flags.
Later I disassembled the bimini. It does disassemble nicely. If there is sunshine tomorrow I will put up the old large tent which is more suitable while anchored.
I finished reading Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Flanders Panel, a very clever mystery set in Madrid with art dealers, restorers, and chess masters revolving around a painting by the Flemish master Van Huys. I started reading the 4th of the Ramage novel by Dudley Pope.
In the evening I went ashore. Katina, Pandelis’s wife had not noticed Thetis and was very surprised to see me just walk in their place. She hugged and kissed me like a relative. Later Pandelis came from Lipsi. He too was very pleased to see me again. We exchanged our winter news. I told them about our trip to India-Australia-New Zealand. They told me that their daughter Toola had a new baby boy. I had, as usual a very nice dinner: their special salad with caper leaves and fresh goat cheese, followed with roasted young goat.
The night was quiet and uneventful.
Friday May 25, 2007, Day 5
The day was sunny so I put up the large tent that covers the boat all the way from the mast to the stern. Unfortunately it was a little too cold under the tent while it was too hot under the sun.
I met an American couple: Charles and Robin Weismeth from the US flagged S/Y Robin Leigh. They came over to Thetis with their dinghy and asked me where to eat. I, of course, strongly recommended Pandelis and we agreed to meet there for dinner and exchange sailing stories.
It was too cold for a long swim. I ran the genset for 1 hr to re-charge the batteries. It had been serviced during the winter by Agmar Marine (now called Moor & Dock) but I had not tested it yet. It ran very well. As an experiment, I turned on the AC of the new water-heater. It right away tripped the genset. I turned off the battery charger and reset the genset. With the only load now the 800 W water-heater resistance there was no problem with the 1000 W genset. I ran it this way for 15 minutes. I then checked the hot water. To my delight it was warm. I took a shower.
After my shower I went ashore and had an 1 hr walk around the tiny island. On my return I went to Pandelis. His cousin Angelos from the village of Spatharei in Samos was there. I had met Angelos few years ago. He is a carpenter and has lived for many years in South Africa, he comes once in while to Marathi to do repairs. Together with him was a young couple with a baby. It turned out that she is the daughter of Katina’s sister who grew up in Italy. The young man is her Italian husband and they now live in Milano.
Later I was joined by Robin and Charles from S/Y Robin Leigh. They bought few years ago their aluminum boat in Holland and sailed her to the Caribbean via the Canaries and from there to their home in Florida. A year later they sailed N to Main and then via Bermuda and the Azores to Scotland and Ireland where they joined a rally touring the distilleries. From the North Atlantic they sailed to the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea. Now they are heading W and eventually back home to Florida. It was a delightful evening but with the grilled fish along with their stories it was too short.
Saturday May 26, 2007, Day 6
Last night Katina had sternly told me to make sure to come ashore before departing so that she can give me a loaf of her wonderful whole wheat bread that she would bake in the morning. I did so but the bread was still in the oven. While it was baking I spent the time chatting and helping Angelos with his woodwork. When Katina gave me the piping hot loaf I returned to Thetis and prepared for departure.
I cast off the mooring at 1350. Again there was no appreciable wind, just an 8 -10 knots breeze from the SSW. The sky was overcast and inside the cabin the temperature was 26° C (79°F), 60% humidity, and 1011 mB. We motored, while running the water-maker, to the cove of Livadhi (Λιβάδι) [37° 20.7' N 26° 35.3' E] just SW of Cape Geranos in Patmos (Πάτμος). It was nicely sheltered by the small island of Ayios Yiorgios (Άγιος Γιώργιος). We arrived at 1530 after 8 M. We anchored in 5 m depth letting out 25 m of chain and as the wind was from the S Thetis was blown towards the shore and settled in 3.5 m depth.
It was very pleasant here. Later the wind changed direction first SW, then NW, and finally W. For supper I had left-over roast.
Sunday May 27, 2007, Day 7
This was a quiet day at anchor. In the morning I went ashore for a 2 hr hike. I met a farmer whom I asked for directions. He pointed out to me the faded path and then he cut a cucumber form his field and gave it to me as a gift. This is the old Greek tradition of Philoxenia (hospitality). The beach of Livadhi is very beautiful but it was spoiled by a number of plastic bottles, food wrappers, and other trash thrown by inconsiderate visitors. There was also some tar from passing ships. There was not very much that I could do about the tar but I came back in the evening with plastic bags and collected the trash.
I had a nice swim and snorkeled to check the anchor. It was well set in the sand. After that I spent some pleasant time under the large tent reading. I finished the 4th of the Ramage novel, Governor Ramage RN by Dudley Pope. I enjoyed it a lot but these naval story books do not seem to last long enough. I had just started it only 3 days ago.
I topped the service battery with distilled water and ran the genset for ¾ hr.
For dinner I made a rice pilaf with chopped roast, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts.
Monday May 28, 2007, Day 8
There was conflict between different forecasts. The Greek Meteorological Service (Navtex ) and the Athens Observatory predicted for this region SE winds of force 6 and locally 7 while the Weather on Line predicted S winds of only force 3 to 4. At any rate, this anchorage is exposed to the SE so we had to move.
I decided to first stop briefly at Skala (Σκάλα), Patmos’ main harbor, and get some provisions and then to head for the island’s N shore where the chart shows 2-3 coves that should be sheltered from the S winds. None of the pilot books, however, mention these coves.
The anchor came up at 0820 and we motored for 2.9 M to Skala [37° 19.7' N 26° 32.7' E] where we arrived at 0900. On the way I ran the water-maker. The wind was 8-12 knots SE. After anchoring off in 8 m depth and letting out 35 m of chain I went ashore with the dinghy and did my shopping (bread, fruits, vegetables, etc). I also stopped at the chandlery across the yacht harbor and bought a cleat. The new painter I had made for the dinghy was a little too short. With the new cleat and a left over length of the same 8-ply rope I will make an extension. This will give me maximum flexibility.
We left Skala at 1040. First we motored for a while with the water-maker running. When the water tanks were full, I was able to turn off the engine and sail with the headsail. This was great and I was very pleased with the boat, the wind, myself, and the world. But, as we were approaching Cape Condoros on the NE of Patmos the wind started to reach 20, then 25, and then up to 35 knots. We rounded the cape and headed to the attractive looking Lampi Bay (Λάμπι) [37° 22.1' N 26° 34.7' E]. The sea was calm here but the gusts were ferocious and from several directions. It seems that the S wind was funneled over the island and accelerated. I dropped the anchor in 6 m depth at the head of the cove but the water was agitated and I could not see very well the bottom. Ashore there was a nice looking restaurant but the anchor dragged. It turned out that most of the bottom was weed with very small patches of sand which with this wind coming from all directions would be almost impossible to hit. After another unsuccessful attempt we left.
We motored around Cape Sardela and entered the small very pretty cove Livadhi Kalogiron (Λιβάδι Καλογήρων) [37° 22.2' N 26° 33.6' E]. The gusts here were less ferocious and I dropped the anchor in 4.5 m depth while letting out 40 m of chain. It did hold. The time was 1310 and we had come 9.7 M from Skala. However, this cove is very narrow and expecting a possible increase of the S winds, and in the interest of serenity and trouble free sleep I decided that the second anchor was called for. I deployed it with the dinghy at an angle of about 40° east of the primary and a 60 m line with 20 m of chain. There is a certain perversity with cruising. As soon as the second anchor was set the wind decreased to about 15 knots and so were the gusts.
I sat down in the cockpit for lunch. As soon as I started eating it started to rain. First it drizzled, then the water came down in great volumes. Being stuck inside the cabin I spent the time making the splices for the dinghy’s painter extension. The GPRS signal here is very weak and it fades while there is no voice GSM signal at all.
For supper I made pasta with tuna, garlic, olive, and capers. The cherries I had bought in Skala were excellent.
Tuesday May 29, 2007, Day 9
It was very windy and gusty all night. Thank goodness that Thetis was held by 2 anchors, she did not move at all. In the early morning, while it was cool, I went ashore and took a 2 hr hike over the hills. The wonderful smells of the newly watered aromatic spring plants were everywhere. The freshly washed earth was gorgeous. Unfortunately all the beaches were covered by the flotsam that the N wind have brought over the winter.
The intensity of the wind today was much reduced from yesterday but it was still from the SE. I spoke with some fishermen and they told me that this weather pattern with southerly winds at the end of May is most unusual. They also predicted that by the afternoon the wind will veer to the W.
I spent the rest of the morning reading and working on the computer. Later in the afternoon, while I was occupied with the computer inside the cabin something did not feel right. I looked outside and was appalled. The fishermen’s prediction had come true. The wind had veered now coming from the W, and Thetis had drifted dangerously towards the shore. There were less than 50 cm under her keel. I had left the table in the cockpit and any maneuvering was impeded. With 2 anchors down, in the wrong place for this wind, extricating Thetis would be dicey. I started the engine and engaged it to slow forward until we had 1 m under the keel. This gave me some breathing space. I removed the table and went to the bow. Before Thetis was blown back I pulled as much as I could on the second’s anchor line. I then engaged slow forward again and pulled some more of the line. Then, with the windlass, I pulled as much chain as I could from the primary anchor. This was not too smooth because the chain and the line were twisted together but I was able to pull enough of both so that the boat was stabilized at a reasonable depth. After that, I got into the dinghy and with some difficulty raised the 2nd anchor. Back on Thetis I secured the anchor, untangled its line from the chain, coiled it, stowed it, and removed and raised the outboard. All this was done in a hurry and it was hard on my back but that could not be helped. Finally I raised the primary anchor and departed from the now non-hospitable cove. The time was 1745.
After clearing the cove, I decided to head back to Livadhi in Patmos. The wind was 10-15 knots from the WSW. I opened the genoa and actually had a very nice sail, at times doing 7 knots. A school of large dolphins, 4-5 of them, came and played for a while with Thetis’ bow wave. They gave a marvelous performance of high leaps. I had only seen such high dolphin jumps in sea worlds but never before in the wild.
Now, after all this excitement, I felt tired and my back was hurting. I did not feel like facing another hustle nor did I feel like cooking supper. So, since we were making such a good speed, I decided to go back to Marathi instead. It was not that much further than Livadhi and there I was sure to get a great meal. We arrived in Marathi (Μαράθι) at 1925, 9.54 M, and easily caught a mooring.
There were there several yachts including 2 Turkish charter boats but when after a shower I went ashore to eat at Pandelis’s I was the only customer except for 2 German ladies who have been staying here for a week. I do not understand why the rest of the yachtsmen do not patronize such a high quality eating establishment. I, though, had a wonderful meal together with the two ladies. One is a pediatrician who has been coming to Marathi for 30 years and her friend is a psychologist. We ate a salad, spanakopites (spinach pies), and fresh kalamarakia (fried squid). Before I went back to the boat, Katina gave a warm loaf of her bread.
Wednesday May 30, 2007, Day 10
We departed from Marathi at 0900 heading for Fourni. The wind was a light breeze 4-8 knots from the W. There was no alternative than to motor, at least we ran the water-maker and re-filled the tanks.
Until today the batteries have been absorbing all the charge at the rate of 40-50 A and I was beginning to worry that either they have been sulfated or that the regulator was at fault. Fortunately during the passage the current did drop to a trickle of 1-2 A, I suppose that the batteries have been stabilized.
I opened the headsail and motor-sailed most of the distance to Fourni. As we were approaching the island an easterly breeze of 10-12 knots materialized but still the Navtex forecast was calling for westerly winds. We arrived in Vitsiliá (Βιτσιλιά) [37° 32.6' N 26° 30.4' E], Fourni (Φούρνοι) at 1215 after 15.45 M. I anchored in 8 m depth allowing room for Thetis to swing with either E or W breeze, she settled in 3.5 depth. Later in the afternoon the wind was 10-15 knots from the W and she was at 16 m depth after which I let out more chain for a total of about 40 m.
My back was still hurting after the exertions in Patmos. I cleaned the woodwork inside the main cabin and polished the stainless steel mast post. In the evening I had a hot shower, than an ouzo, and dinner. It was very pleasant. The moon, almost full, was a welcome sight. The night sky was lovely.
Thursday May 31, 2007, Day 11
While this was not an exiting cruising day it was a very satisfying one. In the early morning, before the heat, I took an 1½ hour hike up the steep hills. This was followed by a most welcome swim. The water temperature now was 20°C (68°F) a great improvement over the temperature of a few days ago.
After a short afternoon nap I did some more bookkeeping tasks and I finished reading the 5th of the Ramage novel, Ramage’s Prize by Dudley Pope. It was not as good as the 4th but it was equally fast reading. I started the last of the Hornblower novels: Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies, by C.S. Forester.
In the evening I had my customary ouzo while watching the sunset being reflected to the E on the mountains of Anatolia. Dusk is a magic hour at sea. From Vitsiliá on a clear evening such as this, one can see Samos and at a distance Mt. Camila in Turkey over the Mycale channel. The sea at that time was flat and a wonderful expanse of water with shades of blue and pink in the distance contrasting with the vivid greens of the bushes ashore and the gray rocks.
For dinner I had a pilaf with mushrooms and tomatoes. I ate in the cockpit while watching the moon, a day shy of being full, appearing over the stiff cliffs to the S.
Friday June 1, 2007, Day 12
Early in the morning I went ashore and cut some wild thyme for our yearly supply not only in Thetis but also for Kalami and our Washington, D.C. home.
Since the forecast called for NW winds of force 3-4, I decided to move the boat to the west side of the peninsula. I raised the anchor at 0925. We motored slowly, at 1700 RPM, to Kampi (Καμπί). It looked that from the 3 moorings that used to be here in 2004, when Thetis last visited the cove, only one remained. Since I was not even sure if that one was from the set laid by the local restaurant for visiting yachts or if it belonged to a local boat, I did not stay. I moved instead to Petrokopió (Πετροκοπιό) [37° 33.6' N 26° 29.3' E] where we anchored at 1115. We had come 6.8 M. I dropped the anchor in 8 m depth and let out about 40 m of chain. The wind was variable, almost from every direction, with gusts up to 12 knots.
I had a very pleasant and long swim. Until the afternoon Thetis was the only boat here and things looked very quiet. The peace, however, was not to last. First a British M/S arrived. They had some difficulty anchoring but after several attempts they seemed to be alright. About ½ hr later a small fishing boat approached the M/S and spoke to them, then it came straight at Thetis. While approaching the fisherman was waving an enormous fish and asked if I wanted to buy it. This kind of an encounter with a fisherman has not happened to me for several years now. I explained to him that I am all alone and I could not possibly consume such a large fish even if I ate nothing else for a whole week. Undaunted he produced two much smaller fish. Although I really was not prepared to cook any fish I did not have the heart to turn him down like my neighbors. I asked the price. It was €15 for both fish, which considering their freshness was not unreasonable. After the transaction it was time for polite small talk. Was I really Greek? Yes. Was I really sailing all alone? Yes, how about you? Yes, but I am a fisherman and at the end of the day I go home.
After he left, I was confronted with the reality of the fish which were indeed very fresh but needed immediate attention. I decided that the best was to make a soup and to do it right away so as to preserve their freshness. I lowered the outboard to the dinghy and took the fish ashore to the little bay and cleaned them. While I was doing this two young Greek ladies came over to watch. Are you Greek? Did you come from the sailboat? Are you sailing all alone? Is it exiting? Where are you from? I explained that while I am originally from Athens my parents came from Samos where I have a summer house and where I am heading. Well, they are schoolteachers stationed in Samos and have come to Fourni for a short vacation. In fact, they will be going back to Samos tomorrow. They had walked to this cove from the town, a 45 minute walk. They asked many questions about life on a boat and travels. I was almost tempted to invite them to sail with me to Samos but I shied away from doing so. They did inspire me, however, into walking to the town to eat some fabulous lobster for which Fourni is so famous.
After simmering the fish in 3 parts fresh water to 1 part sea water, I drained them, de-boned them, and put them the refrigerator. The liquid I strained and put it also in the refrigerator. Then I cleaned up the mess in the galley and took a hot shower. After that I went ashore and walked towards the town. The ladies must be fast walker because it took me over an hour to reach the town. At least half of this time it was going up a steep and strenuous hill. At the town I bought some bread and a soft fresh locally made cheese. After that I ended at the Miltos restaurant. Miltos himself greeted me and selected two small lobsters for me. He asked all about my boat and where I had been since he last saw me. Where is your boat now? At Kampi? No, at Petrokopio. That far! How did you come here? I walked. All this way? This led me to tell him that I had not been able for years to find a map of the island with all the local names. Could he please give me the names of the coves on this peninsula at least. He did better then that. He gave me a Xeroxed copy of a map. They are hard to find! The lobsters were finally grilled and came. They were memorable and set me back only €40. The walk back was as long but cooler and very pleasant with the full moon rising over the hills. All together a very pleasant day. The night was gusty.
Saturday June 2, 2007, Day 13
It was rather windy during the night and I kept getting up to check that all was well with Thetis. It was.
We departed Petrokopio at 0820. While still inside the cove I raised the mainsail (full) and then headed towards Cape Agridió, the southernmost point of Fourni. The wind was 15-25 knots NW with gusts up to 35. But, after we rounded the cape and turned E towards Samos the gusts subsided and I was able to open 80% of the headsail. This was too much and after I reduced it to 60% we had a fast and exhilarating reach doing 7.5 knots. As we left Fourni behind us the wind became more orderly and I opened more of the headsail. Still, we were doing over 6.5 knots but with less strain on the boat. This was great!
The closer we got to Samos the strength of the wind decreased and kept veering N. At 1100 we were about 1 M from the small island of Samiopoula and the wind was down to 12 knots NNW and I had to turn on the motor and motor-sail. I also turned on the water-maker and replenished the fresh water. After 5 more miles when we reached the Bay of Pythagorio the wind backed to SSE. In came the headsail and later down came the flapping mainsail. We motored up the Mycale channel and after a total of 33.4 M we anchored in Klima (Κλήμα), Samos (Σάμος) [37° 42.6' N 27° 02.6' E] at 1435. I lowered the anchor over a patch of sand at about 5 m depth and after letting out 20 m of chain we drifted towards the shore stabilizing at 3.5 m.
Later in the afternoon the wind decided to come from the NW at 10-12 knots and I was able to let out more chain for a total of 35 m and Thetis settled at 6.5 m depth. By that time it was hot. I had put up the big tent. I had a nice swim. As the sun came down I had an ouzo…
For supper I had the fish soup that I had started yesterday. It was surprisingly good considering the meager ingredients that I had at hand. So let me say how I prepared it. Yesterday after I bought the fish I cleaned them and simmered them for 30 minutes in 3 parts fresh water to 1 part sea water. Together with the fish I should had simmered several vegetables such as onions, carrots, celery, parsley, etc. But, I only had some wilted onions, dried bay leaves, and pepper corns. After the fish cooled, I strained the broth and put in an empty water bottle which I placed in the refrigerator. The fish, I de-boned and skinned and placed them in the refrigerator in a sealed container. This evening I brought the broth to a boil, added ½ cup of rice and simmered it for 15 minutes after which I added the fish. I wanted to thicken the soup in the traditional Greek way with avgolemono (αυογολέμονο - egg and lemon juice) but I had no lemons only eggs. I beat 2 eggs and slowly spooned in them the hot broth so that the eggs would not cook, after a good amount of the broth was combined with the eggs I poured the mixture into the rest of the soup, and simmered it for a few minutes stirring it as it thickened. The result was a thick delicious soup.
After eating the soup, around 11 PM, I greeted the one day past full moon rising over Mt. Camila in Turkey with a glass of chilled Turkish white wine. A perfect ending to my first evening this year in Samos.
Sunday June 3, 2007, Day 14
The night was quiet, but today is a day of work preparing Thetis for her stay in the marina. First, I went ashore with the dinghy to get rid of the trash that had accumulated over the last days. After that, I raised the dinghy on deck and lashed it down. While taking out the sling for doing so, I found water inside the front cabin storage bin. I suppose it came from the recent downpours. At any rate it had to be pumped out and all the wet objects had to be dried before stowed again. Then, I put the covers over the fenders etc.
The day was hot but the sea water temperature was a nice 22° C (72° F) and I was able to swim for a long time.
At 1640 we departed Klima for the Pythagorio Marina (Μαρίνα Πυθαγορείου) [37° 41.5' N 26° 57.3' E] where Thetis will stay for the next few weeks. The wind was 8-12 knots E. I opened 60% of the headsail and we motor-sailed the 4.5 M. We arrived at 1740. Before entering the marina proper I stopped at the fuel station. Mike, one of the attendants, warned by my VHF hail on channel 9 was there to assist with the lines. I filled with Diesel fuel the main tank and all the jerry cans for a total of 111 L. I then moved, under Mike’s direction to the exact spot that Thetis occupied last year.
I had some trouble opening the swollen floorboard to remove the speed-log impeller but eventually it was done. I removed the flag and the horseshoe lifesavers. I covered the instruments etc.
I decided to spend the night onboard and move to our house in Kalami tomorrow morning. I had a congratulatory ouzo and made dinner. I ate spaghetti with the last of the unending roast. My sleep was disturbed by mosquitoes.