This is a very personal account of approximately six months, May to October 2007. During this time I sailed my boat, S/Y Thetis, in the Aegean. There are four separate trips:
- A 14 day trip when I singlehanded Thetis from Leros, after she was launched, to Samos, where we maintain a summer house.
- A number of 1 and 3 day excursions from Samos to either Samos or near-by islands.
- An 11 day trip together with my wife Alice to the NE Aegean from the island of Samos to Turkey (Teos, Sigacik, Kirkdilim) and the island of Chios then, back to Samos via the island of Fourni.
- A 48 day trip from the island of Samos to SE Peloponnese and Leros where Thetis was hauled out for the winter. There are four legs of this trip: Samos to Yerakas (singlehanded), Yerakas to Tzia (singlehanded), Tzia to Samos with Mary and Manos Castrinakis, and finally Samos to Leros (singlehanded). At the end of the fourth leg, after reaching Leros, I almost lost Thetis.
The 2007 summer sailing season in the Aegean was rather unusual. The months of July and August which are usually dominated by the northerly seasonal wind the meltemi, this year were very calm and exceptionally hot, very often with temperatures over 40° C (104° F) and sometimes going as high as 45° C (113°). Normally during these months there at lest 3-4 gales. This year there were none. In September and October when other years the winds subside and there are fewer gales this year was dominated with gales. Was 2007 a freak year or are climate patterns changing because of global warming?
Other than the unusual weather our usual enjoyment of the summer and sailing was marred by the fires which devastated Greece and by the death of Telemachos Papageorgiou, our retired caretaker of our Kalami property in Samos. He had a stroke in 2000, which caused him to retire. Although he recovered his health has been deteriorating since then. Early in the summer he had a fall and broke his leg. He spent the best part of June and July in and out of the hospital. Finally, in August, he succumbed to an infection. My whole family was very saddened by this loss. We considered Telemachos a member of our family, an uncle to our daughters and a wonderful friend to us. We will miss him but we will not forget him.