Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

Thetis 2021: To Patmos and back to Samos

This web page contains the logs of a 7 day excursion I took with S/Y Thetis from the island of Samos to Livadi tou Geranou in island of Patmos. from there I sailed to Lampsi and back to the Livadi tou Geranou where I stayed for 3 days. Then I sailed to Tiganakia, from there to Tsopela in Samos and finally back to the the Samos Marina.

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 Near Samos
The island of Samos

Tuesday August 24 to Tuesday August 31 2021

Thetis was in the marina.

Wednesday September 1, 2021, Day 1

Yesterday after looking at the forecasts I decided that there will be enough NWwind to allow Thetis to sail. So, I took the empty Diesel jerry can as well as the empty gasoline can to a fuels station and refilled them. I also bought 2 dozen bottles of spring water. These along with some provisions I took to the boat. I plugged-in the shore AC, turned on the refrigerator and put in it all the perishable provisions.

Today I drove to the marina some more provisions and some clothes, along with my briefcase with the MacBook, iPad, and the Kindle. After stowing these, I disconnected the shore AC and prepared Thetis for departure.

I met the new owners of M/Y Voyager. They seemed rather nice and helped with my casting off. Thetis departed from the marina at 0940. Outside the marina I stowed the fenders and raised the mainsail keeping it in its 3rd reef because it was very gusty. I set our course for the Livadi to Geranou in Patmos.

When we were near Samiopoula the wind died. After 4 M of motoring the wind was back and I set the mainsail to its 2nd reef. For the next few miles we were able to sail. Then we had to motor-sail again with a wind of 5 knots NW to 15 NNW and a confusingly wavy sea.

One M before rounding the Geranos Cape we headed upwind and I lowered the sail. During this I had to re-install its 4th batten that had fallen off while raising the sail. Other then that I had no problem, but the boat’s confused motion made tying down the sail difficult.

We then motored round the Cape and headed for the Livadi to Geranou [37° 20.7' N 26° 35.3' E] where we arrived at 1445 and after 30.2 M. I anchored in 5.5 m depth over sand and let out 30 m of chain.

During this passage we had the following equipment problems:
  1. The wind instrument had no indications, and
  2. The RPM meter was intermitent.

I raised the dinghy all the way up to allow me to crawl under it and snorkle to the anchor. The anchor was beautifully buried under the sand. Then I tried to lower the dinghy but while doing so the flag got caught on the dinghy and I could not continue lowering it without possibly braking the flag pole. Before lowering the dinghy any further I had to remove the flag from its pole. After that, I got into the dinghy and managed to remove the flag. Then, I removed the dinghy‘s cover.

After I was done with the dinghy, I I put up the tent and tidied all the reefing lines near the mast. By the time all these tasks were completed it was almost 5 PM and I was finally able to have my “afternoon” coffee. I opened the spray hood to shield me from wind. Then I took a nice hot shower and a shave.

I had my ouzo but I was not hungry. As the sun was going down I removed the tent.

Later I cooked a small amount of pasta and mixed it with some commercial pesto from a jar that I had brought from Kalami thinking that it was green olive paste.

By 10 PM I was in my berth falling asleep.

The beach in Livadi tou Geranou

Thursday September 2, 2021, Day 2

I woke up at 5:30 AM. I read and finished Matthew FitzSimmons’ Constance. After that I had my coffee and read the weather reports and the news. The predicted weather was not good. Strong NW winds reaching by this afternoon force 6-7.

My plan was to go with the dinghy to the harbor of Skala and get some supplemental provisions but with the predicted strong winds I changed my plan. I decided to go with Thetis to Lampsi and then go with the dinghy to the not so far Skala.

Before moving Thetis I did 2 important tasks:

  1. I sponged off the accumulated water in the bilges, 2½ buckets full and,
  2. I emptied the left cabin (storage room) and put it in order after bagging the clean bed sheets, pillow cases, and towels that I had brought from Kalami.

In preparation for this I opened the bimini and put the 2 towing lines on the dinghy. I then raised the anchor and departed from the Livadi tou Geranou at 0835.

We motored slowly, no more than 4 knots, to Lampsi or Aspri towing the dinghy. We arrived at 0910 after 2.2 M [37° 19.595' N 26° 33.384' E]. I anchored in 6 m with 30 m scope. But after I tested the anchor by strongly reversing it dragged. So, I re-anchored this time at 4 m depth (but close to an underwater reef) and let out 25 m of chain. I then snorkeled and checked the anchor. It was securely caught on a large rock so it was OK.

Lampsi or Aspri

Back on Thetis I got ready to drive the dinghy to Skala. It was a slightly wet ride in the Skala cove, after rounding the cape, because we then were going against the small but very choppy waves. I tied the dinghy on the quay and then started walking towards the AB supermarket.

During this walk I realized that I had forgotten my face mask, so I bought one. In the AB I bought some provisions, including a bottle of ouzo, and started on my way back to the dinghy. My favorite local bread and Patmian pies store was no longer there. It was replaced by a souvenir store. I got in the dinghy with my provisions and rode back to Thetis.

After raising the anchor we departed from Lampsi and again motored slowly, less then 4 knots since the waves now were against us, towing the dinghy. We arrived back in the Livadi tou Geranou [37° 20.3' N 26° 35.2' E] at 1135 after 2.3 M. This time I anchored in shallower water closer to the shore at 4.5 m depth and let out 25 m of scope. Again I snorkeled to check the anchor. It was completely buried under the sand.

I put up the tent and closed the bimini. I set the table in the cockpit and had my lunch.

After a light nap and my afternoon coffee I started to cook a largish prepared chicken roast rolled with vegetables. First I browned it all around, then with a little olive oil, and finally put garlic, the juice of 4 lemons and let it simmer for over an hour.

In the evening I had my ouzo and then I went ashore to the local taverna to eat. There I met an Austrian couple whose catamaran was anchored not too far from Thetis. For dinner I had a nice greek salad followed by a tasty fish soup.

Back on board. I checked on my MacBook the accumulated e-mail and then watched the stars for a while. I went to my cabin to sleep around 10:30.

Friday September 3, 2021, Day 3

Again I woke up early, before 6 AM. While drinking my coffee I read the weather reports. They predicted very strong winds reaching to over 7 on the Beaufort Skale with even higher gusts. With this in mind I decided against putting up the tent. I also read the news in the Greek newspaper Kathemerini. They were dominated by articles on Mikis Theodorakis who died yesterday at the age of 97. He along with Manos Hadjidakis popularized the Rebetika music and made many compositions. Mikis Theodorakis in particular composed music with lyrics from the most notable Greek poets of the 20th century like Elytis, Seferis, Ritsos, and many others. Both of these two composers will stay, at least to us Greeks, until the end of our life.

After the news and the morning coffee I went ashore with the dinghy and walked along a very rough path to the cove E of here called Panayia tou Geranou and back. Altogether the walk was about 3 km and took me almost 1½ hour.

From the hike to Panayia tou Geranou

Chapel on small island

The famous Patmos Monastery

Back on board Thetis I opened the bimini and spent the rest of the very windy day with frequent swimming and reading. I finished Evangelos Mavroudis Return to Smyrna: Our sea (in Greek) and started the second volume of the series Return to Smyrna: Ittihat ve Terakki (Ένωση και Πρόοδος) (also in Greek) by the same author. I also started reading on the Kindle Tess Gerritsen’s Gravity: A Novel of Medical Suspense a book that I had downloaded before leaving Kalami.

In the afternoon I had a nice FaceTime conversation with my friend Jenny. After that I had an ouzo. Then I made some rice pilaf to go together with the warmed slices of chicken roll that I had cooked yesterday. I ate these along a glass of Kalami wine.

After dinner I tied the dinghy alongside Thetis to prevent it from being overturned by the violent wind gusts.

Saturday September 4, 2021, Day 4

Again I woke up just after 6. I read the weather and the news while sipping my coffee. The wind was predicted to be somewhat lower than yesterday somewhere between 5 & 6 Beaufort and less gusty. I decided to also stay here for the day.

I checked my email and did some of my banking with the MacBook getting its internet signal from the iPad that has a cellular connection from Cosmote. While I was doing this I ran the genset.

I put up the tent. Some how while doing this, the boat hook that was securing the tent while I was tensioning it on the mast fell off and disappeared. Eventually I spotted it in the water drifting away. Fortunately it floats. I got into the dinghy and retrieved it. Finally I finished putting up the tent. But actually putting up the tent was a mistake because in the afternoon it started blowing in earnest with gusts over 30 knots. I had to even roll-in the flag that was making a hellish noise banging on one of the davits.

I did not feel like swimming but did read a lot. I removed the tent and opened the bimini which I also folded about half an hour before sunset and had my ouzo.

I warmed some more of the chicken roll and ate it with some pasta. I finished half of the home grown water melon that I had brought from Kalami.

Sunday September 5, 2021, Day 5

I decided to relocate from Patmos to Tiganakia about 8 M E. This will make shorter our run to Samos. After checking the e-mail and weather I closed and stowed the MacBook and then raised the dinghy and prepared for departure.

By 0845 the anchor was up and we were on our way. The wind was 25-30 knots NNW. The sea was fairly rough and there was some spray but no banging at our speed of 5 knots. We arrived in Tiganakia [37° 16.9' N 26° 47.7' E] at 1040 after 8.1 M. I anchored in 6 m depth over sand and let out 35 of chain. Thetis setled in 7.2 m depth.

Instead of lowering the dinghy from its davits since I was not planning to use it I just raised all the way up to the davits. This allowed me to lower the swimming ladder and crawl under the suspende dinghy into the water. I then snorkeled to the anchor. It was very nicely buried in the sand. All was fine here with the calm sea except fot the howling wind.

In the afternoon the wind increased and so did the waves. It was haard to measure its strength because of the failed wind instrument. All I could use was the hand held wind gauge. I tried to check the electric cable coming from the wind sensor on top of the mast and connecting, under a cover at the ceiling, to the cable that goes to the instrument. I unscrewed the cover and checked the connection. There was nothing obvious.

I noticed that the filter on the fresh water pressure pump intake was very dirty. I turned off the valves from both fresh water tanks and opened the filter and cleaned it. Problem fixed.

I also siphoned about 20 L of Diesel fuel from the spare jerry can to the main fuel tank. Now the fuel meter indicates that the tank is over ¾ full.

The rest of the day was almost the same as yesterday. That is ouzo, Theodorakis music, and dinner: same chicken roll but tonight with rice.

The small islands in Tiganakia

Monday September 6, 2021, Day 6

The night was uneventful but there was more swell. I decided to take the plunge and move straight N to either Samiopoula or Tsopela whichever will be calmer.

I re-secured the dinghy, raised the anchor, and departed Tiganakia at 0718. We first headed W and then NW, rounding Arki, and heading to it northernmost point and finally we headed N. The sea was very rough and irregular while the wind was only 10-15 knots NNW. We motored but moving slowly with a lot of spray and “hobby horsing” slowing us down. I had to close all the hatches. Our speed would vary from 5 knots to less than 3.

When we were almost 3 M from Samos the waves became smaller. I decided that Tsopela would be a better choice. We arrived there [37° 38.3' N 26° 50' E] at 1110 after 18.8 M. By that time there was almost no wind. I dropped the anchor in 5 m over a sandy spot and let out 20 m of scope. I lowered the dinghy from the davits and then snorkeled to the anchor. It was well set.

It was a very hot day. Thetis was swinging in almost all directions. It was hard to find a shady spot under the bimini to read for a while. Maybe I should had put up the tent after all. I took many cooling jumps ito the water. My plan was tomorrow morning to cover and raise the dinghy and then to proceed to the marina. If there is wind to sail but if not to cover the sail before departing.

It the late afternoon very violent but short lived gusts began. There would be a period of low wind lasting 20-30 minutes and then the next gust would come. It was fortunate that, after all, I had not put up the tent. Despite these gusts and at times Thetis proximity to the small reef the anchor was holding and keeping her at a minimum of 38 m depth.

From yesterday I had a bag of watermelon rinds that I kept in the dinghy. Now I took the dinghy to the small concrete pier on the SE side of the cove. After tying the dinghy I walked with bag of the watermelon rinds up the hill to the camping establishment and got rid of them in trash can. I met Mr. Yiannis the owner of the camp. He invited me for a coffee, he is a nice friendly fellow from the village of Pagontas. His friendy wife brought me the coffee. I was glad that after all these years that I anchor in this cove I finally met them. He told me that he had observed Thetis several times in these past years.

Back on Thetis I closed the bimini and hanged from its frame the battery operated lantern. The gusts continued every so often with maybe increased ferocity making a terrible noise.

I had my ouzo and then ate some more slices of the endless chicken roast with some pasta.

I did not sleep well because I was worried that one of those gusts could dislodge the anchor and then Thetis would fall on the rocks. Bad night!

Tuesday September 7, 2021, Day 7

I was up by 4 AM reading Tess Gerritsen’s Gravity: A Novel of Medical Suspense and Return to Smyrna: Ittihat ve Terakki (Ένωση και Πρόοδος) (in Greek). Later I made my coffee and drank it while reading in the iPad the news and the weather.

When there was some daylight I covered and raised the dinghy on its davits. The gusts were still with us. It did not look that there was any chance of sailing since the wind, other than the gusts, was from the NNE at about 10-15 knots (estimated). So, I covered the mainsail and opened the bimini.

By 0845 the anchor was up and we were underway. After we were away from the cove while the autopilot was steering the boat I secured the anchor. We then motored along the coast towards the marina. The gusts diminished and the wind was now 15-25 knots from the ENE.

When we were near the marina I stopped the boat and got out from the sail lockers the fenders as well as the 2 spring lines. Then we continued motoring with the autopilot while I hanged the fenders on both sides and took the 2 spring lines to the bow. I then hailed the marina on the VHF channel 9. Elias, the morning attendant responded and I asked him to meet us on berth C17 and help as moor. So we slowly motored inside the marina to our berth. With Elias’ help we moored in no time. We had come 8.1 M and the time was 0950.

I called Aramis for the rental car that I had arranged yesterday. They promised to deliver it soon. I turned off the camping gas, and removed the speed sensor. I then put the spring lines and adjusted all the lines to allow room for the front ladder. I put the ladder. We had arrived

The S/Y to our left was now occupied and the M/Y Voyager was gone. Our new neighbor told me that they left this morning.

Soon Aramis delivered the car I loaded with my stuff and drove to our house in Kalami. This is the end of this boating excursion.