Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

Thetis 2021: Samos to Leros

This web page contains the logs of a 5 day solo sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis in the East Aegean. I sailed from Samos Marina to Partheni in Leros, where Thetis was hauled-out and will spend the 2021-22 winter. On the way I stopped in the small island of Marathi, in Lipsi (Papandria), and in the small island of Archangelos.

The logs include either some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited or links to these descriptions. Also included are links to other related web sites.

Route to Samos from Leros

Wednesday September 8 to Wednesday September 29, 2021

During this time Thetis stayed in the Samos Marina. At the end of this period I had to deal with re-enforcing the foundations of our old house to make it earth quake resistant.

Thursday September 30, 2021, D1

Today Thetis left the marina on her way to Leros for her haul-out. Two days before I washed her down with a pressure hose and filled her tanks with fresh water. I also re-filled one of the empty jerry cans with Diesel fuel, brought my duffle bag, put all the perishables in the refrigerator, turned it on, and plugged the the AC to the marina so that the refrigerator could operate without draining the service batteries.

I prepared the boat for departure, that is, I replaced the spring docking lines with double lines, disconnected the AC, and collected its cord, and finally removed the small bow ladder.

We departed the marina at 0938. The wind instrument (showing strength and direction) did not work and the RPM meter worked intermittently. Also, the GPS/Chart plotter did not accept detailed chart cartridges but displayed again a rough chart which disappeared when setting a waypoint.

The wind (measured with the hand held meter) was about 18 knots from the NW but there were frequent gusts that exceeded 30 knots. The sea was very rough with large and irregular waves. I was afraid under these circumstances to raise the mainsail (there was no rolling genoa this year), I was particularly afraid of having to lower the mainsail and tie it down with these seas. So we motored. It was not a pleasant ride!

After 23.8 M we arrived in Marathi [37° 22' N 26° 43.6' E] at 1350. There were other boats in the cove and it was rather calm. With some difficulty I caught a mooring. The difficulty was that I could not see the mooring from the stern while near it and becase of the strong gusts by the time I secured the tiller and went to the bow Thetis had drifted away. So, I tied a long line to the cleat in the midle of the boat and brought its other end to the stern. When we were next to the mooring I passed this end to the mooring’s line and tied it to cleat. After that I passed a second line, this time attached to the bow cleat, brought the mooring to the bow, and released the first line.

I lowered the dinghy and uncovered it. Then I went with the dinghy to boat’s bow and attached to the mooring, with a stainless shackle, a second line. After that I loosened the first line but kept it to be used during our departure.

Later after a delayed lunch and coffee I put some air in the almost deflated dinghy. Then I went ashore to greet Katina and Pandelis.

Around 5:30 I took a long walk around the the S side of the island. Back onboard I had a small ouzo and went back ashore for dinner. Katina served me a nice salad with local soft cheese, fried zucchini, followed by a fillet of a large common dentex (συναγρίδα - sinagrida).

By 9:30 I was back on board feeling rather exhausted. I went to my cabin and fell asleep right away.

Friday October 1, 2021, D2

I woke up almost at 7 AM. I guess that last night I was very tired. While drinking my coffee I looked up the weather forecasts. They predicted the same weather as yesterday’s. I also read on my iPad the news.

I decided to stay here in Marathi today and make a run tomorrow for Papandria in Lipsi. Looking at nearby Tiganakia the cove had waves and was not too inviting.

I siphoned the Diesel fuel from the jerry can, about 20 L, to the main tank. Then I sponged off the accumulated water from the bilges.

I finished reading Stratis Varkas Προσφυγικό ταξίδι (Refugee’s journey) an engaging narative of young refugee boy fleeing from his native Samos during World War 2 and ending in Kenya.

Later I swam a good distance and in the late afternoon took a hike, this time around the N side of the island.

After my ouzo I went back for dinner to Pandelis’s. Katina served me her usual salad, fried zucchini, and a plate of roast goat with rice. This last dish was somewhat disappointing because the meat was very tough.

After dinner I said my goodbyes to these good people and we all expressed our wishes to meet again in the spring. There was no talk this time of closing their lovely establishment but we all said how much we have missed their daughter Toola.

Saturday October 2, 2021, D3

This morning I once again got up just after 6 AM. My plan was to sail to Papandria on the S of the Lipsi island. This is one of my favorite anchorages. I had my coffee while reading the news and weather on my iPad. The weather prediction called for lower winds but again with high gusts. It was fairly calm here in the Marathi cove but the wind came from the NE.

I prepared for departure. First I removed the line and its shackle from the mooring and then I raised the dinghy on its davits. It was a rather cold morning, about 15°C (59°F).

I cast off at 0800. As predicted the wind and especially the waves were from the NE. I should had taken the longer route along the W side of Lipsi. But took my usual route along the E side. The waves were rather large and uncomfortable but less so then they were 2 days ago. Because the GPS/Chart plotter did not show enough detail of the large and several smaller reefs along this route I went to the E of them and well clear of them. When near the reefs I slowed down the boat until the depth went over 15 m from the lowest of 5 m.

We arrived without any mishap in Papandria [37° 16.8' N 26° 46.2' E] at 0930 after 8.1 M. There were 2 S/Y in the eastern Katsadia and 3 (Italian, Austrian, & Swedish) on the western Papandria. I anchored over sand in 4 m depth and let out 25 m of chain.

After lowering the dinghy I snorkeled to the anchor. It was well set. It was very calm here in the cove.

I kept reading reading Arthur C. Clarke & Paul Preuss Venus Prime 5 The Diamond Moon the fifth book from a fascinating series. I also had a long telephone call with my brother Nikos. I then called with my iPhone our caretaker in Samos, Yiorgos, who informed me that the work in re-enforcing against earthquakes our house in Kalami is progressing.

After a nice hot shower I took the dinghy to the small pier in Katsadia and then walked for about 40 minutes to the harbor. I sat at the Nick & Loula taverena. Nikos greeted me and asked me if was on my way back to Leros.

I ordered a very smal bottle of ouzo and grilled peppers, fried zucchini balls, and 2 portions of grilled octopus (after it was cooked). While at the taverna my friend Jenny Assimakopoulou called me on FaceTime and we chatted. I enjoyed my meal, especially the octopus.

After my meal I walked to the nearby bakery and bought a portion of deples (δίπλες - fried flat patties with honey). Then I walked back to Katsadia. I borded the dinghy and went back to my Thetis. I ate the deples and by 10 PM I was on my berth.

Sunday October 3, 2021, D4

I was up by 6 AM. I had my coffee while reading the news and the weather reports. There was no appreciable change in the predicted weather. NNE winds of about 5 on the Beaufort Scale but with gusts.

I raised the dinghy and prepared for departure. By 0815 the anchor was up and we were underway motoring to the small island of Archangelos which is about 1.6 M from the Partheni and the yard. There were good size and very frequent waves from the NNE. Not a comfortable ride but better then yesterday’s.

We arrived in the nice anchorage in Archangelos [37° 11.9' N 26° 46.3' E] at 0918. I anchored in 5.5 m depth with 30 m scope, Thetis settling at 4.4 m. There were seven S/Y’s there: a French, a Dutch, 2 German, and 2 British.

I lowered the dinghy from its davits and snorkeled to check the anchor. It was OK.

Soon the wind diminished but kept changing direction. I wanted to take advantage of the low wind and remove the mainsail but I was hesitant. But I saw the Dutch boat near Thetis lowering their large genoa without any problems, although they were 2 people. So, I decided to go ahead with the mainsail.

Before doing so, I snorkeled again to the anchor to make sure that with all the gyrations it had not changed place and was still buried. After that, I takled the mainsail. This took some time. I had to raise it enough to remove its battens and the reefing lines. Finally I lowered it and after freeing its ring that holds it to the mast I slid the sail in the boom and removed it completely and folded it. I then pulled all the reefing lines towards the mast and tided them up. When everything was over, about 1 hour later, I raised again the spray hood to shield the cockpit from the wind.

Following this task I took a nice hot shower and had my ouzo. The Stigma taverna appeared closed. I looked at it with the binoculars. There was no light and no people were visible. I started planning an onboard evening meal but then I thought that I did have Yiorgos’s, the owner, telephone number so I called it. He answered right away. They were open but since there were no customers they were economizing on electricity.

So, after I checked the dinghy I went ashore. I was the only customer. Mrs. Evrope, Tassos, and his fiance Popi were also there. They served me roasted goat meat with pasta and tomato sauce. It was rather tasty. There were lots of cats, at least 8, of different sizes and colors.

When I got back to Thetis it was just before 8:30. I had a small glass of Samos Moschato Nectar and then I went to bed, around 9:30.

Monday October 4, 2021, D5

After looking up this morning’s weather forecast and having experienced during the night very gusty winds from several directions, at times even from the S, I decided that it would be prudent to haul-out Thetis today rather than as scheduled for tomorrow. So, around 7:30 I called Mastro Michalis on his mobile phone. He was not yet in the yard but he told me to go ahead to Partheni and that he will accomodate me.

After this, I secured the dinghy with 2 tow lines and then raised the anchor. By 0750 we were under way. Even in this rather protected area there were waves from the NNE and the wind was also from the NNE anywhere from 15 to 30 knots. We motored slowly, under 4 knots, because the outboard was on the dinghy.

We arrived in front of the Moor & Dock yard [37° 11.3' N 26° 46.3' E] at 0815. There were already 2 other S/Ys tied at the moorings but not a sight of the travel-lift. I had some trouble catching a small mooring because of the gusts. Eventually I went to a large marking mooring and I easily caught it with the boat hook. I tied on it temporarily and then went with the dinghy and passed another line through the large ring at the buoy’s top. We had come from Archangelos 1.68 M.

Shortly after at about 8:30 the travel-lift arrived and hauled-out a ketch. While the travel-lift was gone with the ketch I raised the dinghy on the davits, hung fenders, and prepared 4 lines for our hauled-out. The travel-lift returned at about 9:45. Now it was the turn of the other S/Y with a UK flag. They entered the “pool” in reverse instead of going in with the bow, despite Nikolas waving otherwise. This took a lot of maneuvering and about 20 minutes. Eventually they were out of the water and slowly being driven to the yard.

Now it was Thetis turn. I cast off and entered the “pool”. In no time the lines were tied and Thetis was ready. She was hauled-out at 1200.


Tuesday October 5 to Monday October 11, 2021

I did many tasks during these days until flying to Athens on Monday October 11. Among other things I lowered the anchor and washed it and its chain. It soaked overnight in the filled with water dinghy all the lines that had been used this year. After that I hanged them to dry on the rails. Fortunately there was plenty of sunshine.

On Wednesday the yard took the mainsail to be washed they also took the outboard and the genset. I went over with Antonis, the Moor & Dock technical customer advisor, the list I had prepared and printed for the work to be performed on Thetis before my planned arrival in April.

Before leaving I left for the yard, inside the main cabin, to be washed and repaired: the tent, the spray hood, the sail cover, and the bimini.

This is the end of the 2021 cruises.

2021 Vital Statistics
Total Distance 300.4 M
Time at Sea 26 days
Total Time Underway 55.7 hr
Total Solo Time 20 days
Total Engine Time * hr
Total Fuel Consumed 195 L
Total Water Consumed 200 L

* Unknown due to the RPM meter failure.