This web page contains the logs of a sailing trip that I and my wife Alice took with S/Y Thetis to the Cyclades in Greece. The logs cover a period of 15 days of sailing from Samos (Samos Marina, Samiopoula) to Kythnos via the islands of Fourni (Vitsilia, Kampi), Rhinia, Syros (Finikas), Tinos (Tinos Harbor, Livadha, Kolympithra, Panormos, Pourgia) and Kythnos (Loutra, Kolona).
The logs are illustrated with maps and photographs, they and also include some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited as well as several links to other related web sites.
Tuesday May 18, 2010, Day 1
Alice and I moved into Thetis in the early morning hours while it was cool. But right after we got all of our stuff into the boat a downpour delayed our departure. Our plan was to slowly sail west to the Cyclades and reach the island of Tzia (Kea) by June 5 when my younger brother Byron will be having a party to celebrate his 60th birthday.
Eventually we moved the boat to the fueling dock, topped the fuel tank, and filled 2 empty jerry cans. All together we bought 83 L of Diesel fuel for 115 €.
We departed the marina at 1150. The wind was a light 5-15 knots, a head wind. The sea was choppy a left-over from the recent gale. After 9.1 M we stopped on the sheltered Psalida cove of Samiopoula (Σαμιοπούλα) [37° 38' E 26° 47.3' E] at 1330, anchoring in 4 m depth over sand. It was very calm here and we had lunch and a swim.
We left Samiolpoula at 1455. We opened part of the headsail and motor-sailed for about 10 miles with a nice boat speed sometimes reaching 7 knots. We had a dramatic view of Mt. Kerkis the tallest mountain of Samos. We arrived at our destination Vitsiliá, Fourni (Βιτσιλιά, Φούρνοι) [37° 32.7' N 26° 30.5' E] at 1725, a total distance from the marina of 23.4 M. We anchored in 5.5 m depth and let out 40 m of chain. It was very calm and Thetis was the only boat in the cove.
Later a fishing caïque came and her captain waived to us in a very familiar way. It turned out that he was Miltos the owner of the Miltos restaurant who had recognized Thetis.
The sunset over the small island of Dimas was spectacular.
For supper we had turkey cutlets, pre-cooked in Kalami, with a balsamic vinegar-capers-mustard sauce along with rice and a Caligas rose wine.
Wednesday May 19, 2010, Day 2
We had a quiet night and morning. The day was overcast. In the morning we hiked to Ayios Ioannis (Άγιος Ιωάννης).
After lunch some swell developed, so we raised our anchor at 1340 and motored around Cape Agridio to Kampi. We motored the 4.7 M slowly because we had left the outboard on the dinghy while towing it. We arrived in Kampi (Καμπί) [37° 34.2' N 26° 28.6' E] at 1430. We caught the one and only mooring which used to belong to the Sklavos taverna but now it looks totally unmaintained.
After showers, around 7 PM, we walked (about 20 minutes) up and down the steep hill to the town. There, we bought bread and some of the local goat cheese and we had an ouzo. After that we went to the Miltos restaurant where we splurged on a fantastic grilled lobster weighing 1.2 kg at 90 €.
The night back on Thetis was very quiet.
Thursday May 20, 2010, Day 3
I woke up at 5 AM, had some coffee and prepared for departure to Rhinia. We cast off at 0615. The wind was very light 2-8 knots from variable directions and motoring was the only option. We ran the water-maker for 2½ hr and topped the tanks. We also filled 5 empty water bottles. This water we will use for cooking and making coffee.
The sun was strong and we put up the tent. After rounding Cape Papas (the easternmost point of Ikaria) we encountered several large ships but with the help of the AIS we had no problem with them. The wind increased, now from the SW, to 10-12 knots. We opened the full genoa and motor-sailed for about 2 hours sometimes doing better than 7 knots. While underway we connected to the Internet via the mobil connection and checked the forecast. It called for light SW winds. So, instead of the S cove in Rhinia (Ρήνια) we headed up the Delos channel to Skhino (Σχοίνο) [37° 23.7' N 25° 14.7' E] where we anchored in 5 m depth with 30 m chain. The time was 1520 and we had come 62 M but the log had recorded only 57.3 as we were being helped by the current.
It was very nice here but we were tired. Later we had an ouzo and an early supper of just plain spaghetti with olive oil and garlic sprinkled with plenty of Parmezan cheese.
By 10 PM both of us were on our berths.
Friday May 21, 2010, Day 4
I slept very soundly. The forecast called for possible rain and for southerly winds changing by tomorrow morning to northwesterly. Alice was very busy with the computer editing the next issue of the Torch to which she is the editor.
While Alice was working on the computer I took the dinghy and went ashore for a long walk. It was a nise day.
In the afternoon we both went ashore for a walk. I took some pictures of the island of Delos just across from Rhinia.
The wind increased to 10-20 knots S but our anchor was holding. We swam but the water was only 22°C (72°F) and it was cold.
In the evening we had a nice ouzo. For dinner we had the last of the turkey cutlets cooked with a lemon sauce and served with rice. Since we were both still tired we went to bed around 11 PM.
Saturday May 22, 2010, Day 5
I was woken at 0030 by a very heavy downpour. It was as if Thetis was being pelted by hail but it was only raindrops. It lasted about 1 hour during which there were lots of thunder strikes most of them at a distance although some were uncomfortably close. It only takes one… There was almost no wind. Later the rain abated I went back to sleep. Some water had entered in my cabin from the closed but not latched porthole.
Around 0400 I was woken up again. This time it was the wind, now from the N gusting to 25 knots. The anchor was blissfully holding. Later the wind diminished to 10-15 knots NNW but the forecasts called for strong northerly winds by this afternoon.
We decided to leave Shino early and either go to to the South Bay of Rhinia or push on for Finikas in Syros. We departed at 0935 and went down the Delos-Rhinia channel. On the S side of Rhinia the wind was 10-16 knots NNW. We decided to continue to Syros. We opened 75% of the headsail and motor-sailed on a westerly heading. After 23.5 M fast moving we arrived in Finikas, Syros (Φοίνικας, Σύρος) [37° 23.5' N 24° 52.5' E] at 1340. We anchored off in 5 m depth over the sand and let out 35 m scope.
It was an overcast day. There were at least 5 motor cruisers in the bay.
Later in the evening, after hot showers, we went ashore and bought some fruit. There was almost no wind. We returned to Thetis and after an ouzo we cooked some Kalami potatoes in the oven and served them with an omelet.
The night was quiet and the sky was clearing.
Sunday May 23, 2010, Day 6
This was a laid back easy day. I spoke on the phone with Yankos Krinos my fellow alumni and friend from Athens College. He and Sue were in Athens but will be coming to Syros tonight. So, we arranged to meet tomorrow.
Alice spent the day with the computer editing the articles for the next issue of the Torch. I had no chance to do any editing for the Cruisers Wiki or to continue on the facelift of the Travels with S/Y Thetis site.
In the evening we took a long walk and returned onboard for dinner. We ate pasta with a ready-made tomato sauce from a company in Lesvos that does not contain anything artificial. It was not bad for a commercial product.
Monday May 24, 2010, Day 7
In the morning we took the 9:30 bus to Ermoupolis where we did some shopping. We bought whole coffee beans, a chicken roast, capers, fruits, etc.
In the evening, after hot showers, we met the Krinos’ ashore who drove us to a really very good restaurant in Kimi. Unfortunately I failed to write down its name. By the time we came back to Thetis it was midnight.
The Krinos’ had a terrible adventure in Rome. As they were leaving their hotel for the airport their hand luggage with computers, jewelry, papers, etc. were stollen from inside their taxi as it was being loaded. Needless to say they were very upset.
Tuesday May 25, 2010, Day 8
In the morning we moved Thetis to the “marina” where we got 65 L (87 €) of Diesel fuel and topped the water tanks. Then we returned to our off-shore anchorage where there were no disturbing lights and noise.
Alice continued working on the Torch while I read.
In the evening we went with the dinghy ashore and took a walk after which we did some shopping: gasoline for the genset and outboard, bottled water, etc.
Dinner was onboard. We roasted in the oven the chicken roast we bought yesterday and ate it along with some Kalami wine. It was quite good.
Wednesday May 26, 2010, Day 9
We departed Finikas at 0810 heading for the island of Tinos. The wind was a light 5-8 knots WNW breeze, not too helpful for our 044 heading. We did a little of motor-sailing with the the headsail while keeping on the tent.
After 19.4 M we arrived in the Harbor of Tinos [37° 32.3' N 25° 09.7' E] at 1130. As we were entering the harbor a man was waiving to us and directed us to a berth. He was the harbor attendant, Dimitris Psaradelis (tel. +30 6932 810 489, email@example.com). We had to anchor, in 4 m depth with 50 m chain, since there were no moorings. Dimitris took our stern lines and helped us dock. Later, when next to us a more desirable berth was vacated we winched Thetis to it.
The town is attractive and later, with the help of Dimitris, we connected to the shore AC power. Water was also available. Since we had ran out of Camping Gaz and were now using our spare canister, I walked to the nearby store that Dimitris had indicated and exchanged the empty canister with a full one.
I continued reading on the Kindle, Classic French Literature in English: 31 books by Jules Verne: Celebrated Travels a short history of geographic explorations from the antiquity to his time in the late 19 century. I also started a new book the 8th of the Ramage series Ramage’s Mutiny.
In the evening we walked to the famous church Our Lady of Tinos (Παναγία Ευαγγελίστρια) where there was a sign “No candle lighting is allowed, just leave your candle and we will light it for you tomorrow.” Ha! Please keep in mind that any devout Greek wants to light a candle when he enters a church. After the church we sat at a café by the waterfront and had an ouzo. We then made arrangements to rent a car for tomorrow (25 €).
We ate dinner at the Palea Palada restaurant. It was quite good.
Thursday May 27, 2010, Day 10
Today is Alice’s birthday. We left Thetis in the harbor and after getting the rented car we drove north. We went off the main road towards Tarampados (Ταραμπάδος) and Smardaki (Σμαρδάκι) to see the lovely dovecotes and villages. We took many photographs.
We then went NE passing the Isterna (Ιστέρνα) village to Pyrgos (Πύργος). There we visited the Yiannoulis Halepas (Γιαννούλης Χαλεπάς) house and the adjacent museum of Tinian sculptures. We walked around to the narrow streets and the lovely platia (town square) with its imposing old plane tree. All three καφενεία (cafés) had marble top tables, some of them carved.
We came across a small hardware store with several very whimsical tin items: watering cans, lanterns, funnels, boats, etc. made from re-used tin cans. We could not resist and bought a watering can for our house in Kalami.
On we went to Panormos where we had a picnic lunch, then back to Pyrgos where we took the road going NW following a sign “Minoan Tholos Grave” but we did not find the site. Then we took another turn to Aetofolia (Αετοφωλιά - Eagle’s Nest) and then to Kolympithra (Κολυμπήθρα). After seeing these places we drove back to the harbor and Thetis. By that time it was almost 4 PM.
In the evening, after hot showers, we had a wonderful dinner at the Koutouki tis Elenis (Κουτούκι της Ελλένης) off the main street. Notable among the tasty eats was a plate of αγγιναρόπιτα (anginarosalata - artichoke pie).
Earlier while walking we saw two old ladies crawling on their knees over the disreputable narrow rug that runs along the main street from the harbor to the church.
Friday May 28, 2010, Day 11
We visited an ATM and then the post office to mail a package. The line was very long but the conversations very amusing.
Back on Thetis we topped the tanks with water and washed the deck and cockpit. I then paid Dimitris, the attendant. The bill for 2 days berthing plus the water and electricity was 17.50 €, in addition to his delight, I gave him a 5 € tip.
We departed from Tinos harbor at 1030 heading SE around the island. There was almost no wind, just a 11 knot SW breeze. After motoring for 10.4 M we stopped in Livadha (Λιβάδα) [37° 36.7' N 25° 14.3' E] at 1230. This cove, one of the most attractive that I have seen, is just W of Cape Livadha. It has lovely clear water and sandy bottom. We anchored in 4.5 m.
We should had stayed in Livadha but at 1615 we raised our anchor and headed for Kolympithra. Along the way we saw 2 bad oil slicks. We reported them to www.archipelagos.gr a non-profit organization that monitors pollution and sea mammals in Greece.
We arrived in Kolympithra (Kολυμπήθρα) at 1725. The water in the main cove that looked so beautiful from the land yesterday was full of floating plastic refuge so we anchored in 7 m depth in the E cove [37° 38' N 25° 09.0' E]. Our total distance from the harbor was 16.6 M.
This cove is also attractive but its water was not as clear and inviting as the water in Livadha.
We had our usual ouzo and then for dinner left-over chicken roast with rice, and a wonderful salad using the small tomatoes that Alice bought this morning at the farmers market in Chora (Tinos). These were the best tomatoes we have had so far this year.
Saturday May 29, 2010, Day 12
Alice worked on the computer for the Torch a good part of this early morning.
At 1000 we departed and motored to Panormos Bay 4.7 M north. There was still no wind, just a very light mostly southerly breeze. On the way we ran the water-maker and refilled the tanks and some bottles for cooking water.
We arrived at 1050 and we anchored in 5 m depth letting out 30 m chain in the Ayia Thalassa (Αγία Θάλασσα - Holy Sea) cove [37° 39.6' N 25° 03.4' E]. The bottom is mostly weed and I was somewhat worried whether the anchor had penetrated it. I snorkeled but still I could not tell.
Alice continued working on the Torch.
In the afternoon we swam. The water temperature was almost 25°C (77°F) a far cry from the 21°C of a week ago. We swam ashore and enjoyed the comfort of the clear sea.
In the evening we took the dinghy to the hamlet and had an ouzo in one of the tavernas. Back on Thetis we made pasta with tomato sauce using the small tomatoes that Alice bought yesterday morning at the farmers market in Chora (Tinos).
Sunday May 30, 2010, Day 13
I was woken by the wind-generator at 1 AM. The wind had picked up to 10-12 knots from the N and I was concerned about the holding of the anchor in the weeds. But it was OK. I kept getting up to check. As a result I slept late while Alice was working on the Torch.
We departed Panormos at 1010 and headed W along the coast of Tinos. Our plan was to move closer to Kea, most likely in Kythnos and then, after the weekend cruisers from Athens departed go to Kea in time for my brother Byron’s birthday party. We motored slowly at 2100 RPM and we arrived at Pourgia (Πούργια), Tinos [37° 39.9' N 25° 0' E] at 1125. We anchored in 7 m depth with 35 m chain.
The hamlet here seemed totally deserted although there were a number of boats either afloat or on land. It is very attractive and the cove is lovely but one can see that with the northerly meltemi it would not be tenable.
In the late afternoon we went ashore for a good walk. We met the one and only local who had just come from Pyrgos to water his plants. No one lives here he told us except for 20 days in August when the owners of the houses come for vacation either from Pyrgos or from Athens and enjoy their boats.
For dinner we made omelets with our left-over spaghetti.
Monday May 31, 2010, Day 14
We departed Pourgia at 0745. The sea was calm with a variable 5-12 knot breeze. We mostly motored with an occasional motor-sail. I ran the water-maker and refilled the tanks and some bottles.
At 1250 we arrived in Loutra, Kythnos (Λουτρά, Κύθνος) after 29.8 M. We did not stay in the small harbor but anchored off in the Ayia Irini (Αγία Ειρήνη) cove [37° 26.4' N 24° 25.9' E] in 6 m depth with 40 m of chain. It was very nice here.
In the evening we went ashore with the dinghy and called for a taxi (Yiorgos +30 6944 271 609, 6945 800 278) to take us to Chora, the main village of the island. He could not come right away so we started to walk up the hill until later he picked us up. We ended at Moschoula’s where we ate some very nice mezedes (tasty appetizers) and grilled meat, the island’s specialty.
On the drive back to Loutra Yiorgos told us that the loutra (hot spring building) will not open until June 15.
Tuesday June 1, 2010, Day 15
In the morning we went ashore to the harbor and did some shopping. While we were getting back into the dinghy with our bags a fishing caïque just moored next to the dinghy. They had some live fish so we bought 4 lithrinia (λυθρίνια - red snappers).
Back on-board Thetis we prepared for departure. At 1110 we raised the anchor and headed to Fikiadha (Φυκιάδα). The wind was 10-15 knots, first from the SSE and then from the SSW. We motor-sailed and also ran the water-maker. The sea was fairly rough.
We arrived in Kolona (Κολώνα) [37° 24.9' N 24° 22.6' E] at 1320 after 9.1 M. Here it was nice and calm. We anchored way deep in the cove where there is also very good protection from the southerlies, in 7 m depth with 45 m chain over a patch of sand among the mostly weed bottom.
Later we took the dinghy and looked for the hot spring but we did not find it. We swam and I checked the anchor. It was well set.
For dinner Alice made a lentil salad and cooked some tomatoes for a fresh sauce. I fried the fish which were delicious along with a vintage 2009 Kalami wine.
Wednesday June 2, 2010, Day 16
We spent the day at anchor here in Kolona.
During the night there was some strong northerly wind, very gusty but later in the day it calmed down as forecasted.
Alice worked with the computer on the Torch issue. Later we went ashore and walked to the small chapel on the peninsula. We swam and collected some garbage from the sand bar.
We had a very pleasant evening. I finished reading the 8th of the Ramage series Ramage’s Mutiny.
For dinner we made pasta with the fresh tomato sauce that Alice had made yesterday.
Tomorrow we will sail toKea.