Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

Thetis 2022: Leros to Samos

This web page contains the logs of a 6 day solo sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis in the East Aegean. I sailed from Partheni in Leros, where Thetis was launched, to Samos Marina via Archangelos and Blafouti near Leros, Papandria in Lipsi, Marathi, and Mycale in Samos.

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

Saturday May 28, 2022, Day 1

I had a shower and a shave.

I was anxious to receive the computer adaptor that Jenny had sent via the ACS courier on Thursday. It did arrive with the ferry but it was not delivered here at the yard until 1 PM, almost Moor & Dock’s closing time. I went back to the boat and tested the adaptor on my AirBook. It worked! Now finally I could use the computer. Thank you Jenny!

In the morning one of the dinghy oars broke but Mastro Michalis made a temporary repair.

Around 2 PM Angelos and his wife Angela took me out to lunch to the upgraded Artemis restaurant in Blafouti. We had a great meal with a number of mezedes and some grilled striped red mullet - μπαρμπούνια - Mullus surmuletus.

Back on Thetis I had my afternoon coffee and cast off the mooring at 17:15. We motored 1.1 M to Archangelos [37° 11.9' N 26° 46.3' E] where we arrived at 17:45. Where I caught one of Stigma’s moorings.

After an ouzo and while I was not hungry I went with the dinghy to the little pier and then walked up to the Stigma taverna. I was warmly greeted by everyone: Yiorgos, Europe, and their son Tassos. Their daughter Demetra was pregnant and in Leros.

Just to be polite I had a stuffed pepper and some wine. It was, as usual here, very tasty.

I asked about Marko the rigger who usually hangs around here and whom I had not seen in the yard and who had helped me a lot last year. They told me that he died in December from cancer. I was very sad to hear this. After saying my good nights I took the dinghy back to my boat.

Tomorrow’s forecast called for strong and gusty WSW winds.

By 10 PM I was on my berth. I slept well.

Sunday May 29, 2022, Day 2

After I got up at 6 AM, I had my coffee and then turned on my MacBook computer that I had brought from the US. I brought all my bank statements up to date and payed my housekeeper Evelyn for 2 weeks.

For the past 2 weeks I had been receiving e-mails from my friends Andrew and Karin Wilkinson from S/Y Cresswell Jenny but somehow all of my responses to them could not be delivered. It seems that they are now in Blafouti. Since this is one of the most protected coves from the S winds I decided to go there.

I cast off at 0830 and motored the 2.7 M to Blafouti [37° 11.4' N 26° 26.5' E] arriving at 0915. My friends were indeed there. I anchored near them. The capstan on the windlass was acting up and I had to lower the anchor slowly by pressing the down button. At any rate, I anchored in 4 m depth and let out 30 m of scope. Latter I checked the anchor by snorkeling.

My friends came over with their dinghy and we had a nice chat.

In the afternoon the S wind came with gusts into the 40s. I removed the tent, just in case. The GPS/Plotter that had been working well until now stopped responding to my touch.

Monday May 30, 2022, Day 3

There were very violent gusts during the night, still from southern directions. Nevertheless I slept well.

I got up around 6:15 and after drinking my coffee I prepared for departure. First I installed the small bimini so that I would not be totally exposed to the sun. Then I raised the dinghy. I had forgotten the details on how to do so and I had to rediscover them.

Finally all was ready and after raising the anchor we departed at 0840 and headed to Papandria, in Lipsi. I turned on the water-maker for a while but it started making a horrible noise and I turned it off.

We arrived in Papandria at 0944 [37° 16.8' N 26° 46.2' E] after 5.3 M. I anchored in 4 m depth and let out 30 m of chain. After we were secure I put up the tent, lowered the dinghy, and snorkeled to check the anchor. It was nicely buried in the sand.

There was only another S/Y in nearby Katsadia but after while another one with a French flag came and anchored not too far from Thetis.

In the late afternoon, around 6:45, I took the dinghy ashore to the little mole in Katsadia and then walked for about 40 minutes to the harbor. It was hot. At the harbor I sat at the Nick & Loulis taverna but Nikos nor his wife were there. The grilled octopus this time was nowhere as spectacular as other times grilled by Nikos. I had a portion, a small bottle (karafaki - καραφάκι) of ouzo with some baked beans (gigantes - γίγαντες), and cheese. I left at about 8:30. I then walked to the nearby bakery and got a sweet roll (diples - δίπλες) and took it with me as I started walking back to Katsadia.

On the way, still in the harbor area, I met Ms. Anastasia Miliou one of the directors of Archipelagos. She invited me to visit their installation on the N side of Lipsi. I promised to so tomorrow morning.

Back in Katsadia and then to Thetis, I ate the diples roll and shortly after I went to my berth.

Tuesday May 31, 2022, Day 4

Once again I slept well and I was up soon after 6 AM.

I had a response from Raymarine but what they wrote did not solve the GPS/Plotter problem.

Since I was planning to stop at the Archipelagos installation on the N side of Lipsi, I towed the dinghy. We departed at 0825 and motored the 4.6 M to the Archipelagos cove [37° 19.1' N 26° 43.5' E], at 09:37. I anchored in 5 m depth with 25 m of chain. I then went with the dinghy to the little pier next to a large research motor cruiser. The old warehouse building has now glass doors and a fence. All were locked and I could not enter. There was no person in sight. I went back to Thetis and raised her anchor. As I started motoring to exit the cove I saw that some people were arriving at the warehouse. Several minutes latter I received an email from Ms. Anastasia Miliou . We missed each other by a few minutes.

We left the cove at 1005 and motored 3.1 M to Marathi (Μαράθι) [37° 22' N 26° 43.6' E] arriving at 1100. I had a hard time catching a small mooring buoy belonging to Pantelis, because it had no attached line that I could grab with the boat hook. Gone this year were the larger buoys. I moved to another buoy. This one had a line and with some difficulty I caught it with the hook, from the boat’s stern. With the help of two other lines I tied the mooring from the bow.

After securing the boat I went ashore with the dinghy. Neither Pantelis nor Katina were there but I was greeted by their adult son Manolis. He is now running the place with some hired help and his teenage children.

Back on Thetis after a swim, I sat under the tent and read The Silent Girl: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel: A Thriller on my Kindle. There were 5 other S/Y in the cove, one with a Turkish flag.

In the late afternoon I spoke with Evelyn, my housekeeper back in DC . She now has an appointment on Friday with ADT, our security company, to investigate some motion alarms in our TV/exercise room. In the mean time she is setting the alarm at “Stay” instead of “Away”. Of course, there can be no motion alarm when it is set at “Stay” which implies that there are people inside the house. Evelyn and I sorted the accumulated mail into 3 pile: important, keep, and throw away (the larger by far).

In the evening I went ashore and walked around the S side of the island and then sat for dinner at a table in Pantelis. The salad was OK but not up to Katina’s standards. The shrimp appetizer was tasty, but the fried fish again was no-where like what I had been served during the past 25 years. It was dry.

Back onboard I went to sleep.

Wednesday June 1, 2022, Day 5

This was an unforgettable bad day. First thing in the morning I raised the dinghy on its davits and got ready to depart. I cast off at 0745 left Marathi and motored towards the NW side of Arki island.

Near the end of Arki the engine started making funny noises. The waves were kind of large and the wind was about 20 to 35 knots from NNE straight to the boat’s nose. While rounding the island the engine stopped. I restarted it but I could not raise its RPM and it propelled the boat no faster than 3 knots. I opened the headsail. This was easy with its new fuller but at our direction the sail had no effect on our speed. If I wanted to sail we would have to tack. But just in case we lost the engine, I also raised the mainsail and kept it in its 2nd reef. Again it did not help if we were to maintaining our heading of 025 to Mycale in Samos.

After a short time the engine sputtered again. I could not raise its RPM. Every time I tried it sputtered. I could only keep the boat on our course doing less than 2 knots.

I should had turned back and returned to Marathi but being stubborn I kept on our course to Mycale. It was endless and unpleasant. The boat banging into the waves, unhappy flapping sails, and a sick motor.

At any rate, after 19.2 M very uncomfortable nautical miles we arrived in Mycale [37° 42.3' N 26° 59.1' E] at 1510. It took us more than 6 uncomfortable hours. I anchored in 5 m depth with 25 m scope.

I rolled in the genoa without any problem, although I had to use a winch. Then I started lowering the mainsail. One of the mast spreaders was bent and the sail had a 1 ½ rip near its edge. While lowering the sail its halyard dropped the bin from its shackle and rode near the top of the mast. At any rate I tied down the sail.

I then partly raised the dinghy and I was able to lower the swimming ladder and got into the water. I snorkeled and checked the anchor. It was well set in the sand. It was the only thing that went well in this day!

Latter I had an ouzo and cooked some pasta and mixed it with a garlic and olive oil sauce.

Thursday June 2, 2022, Day 6

I woke up at me usual time near 6 AM. I made my coffee and then prepared for departure from Mycale for the near by Samos Marina.

I had called them yesterday and advised of our coming. They told me that there will be an attendant by 8 AM. I also had called the car rental company Aramis and told them that I will be needing a small car for several weeks. I had also called our Kalami caretaker Yiorgos Hadjipanayiotis advising him that I planned to be in the marina at about 8:30.

Now Yiorgos called me back and told me that he was on his way to the marina with his truck so that he could take my belongings to Kalami.

I raised the anchor and departed from Mycale at 0835. The engine, unlike yesterday, was well behaved; no sputtering, and propelled the boat in the usual 6 knot speed. When we were outside the Samos Marina [37° 41.5' N 26° 57.3' E], at 0905 and after 1.5 M, I hailed them on the VHF channel 9. No response. I called them with my mobile iPhone again no response. In the mean time, Yiorgos had arrived and he could help me dock. He looked and found an empty spot, C009, in the preferred area. After preparing the bow mooring lines I slowly motored to the spot. Yiorgos caught my lines and handed me the stern mooring line. Thetis was now secured.

I handed my duffel bag and the belonging to Yiorgos and called Aramis for the car. Mr. Costas Loutraris, the owner, himself brought me the car. I plugged-in theAC and locked the boat. Then I drove to Kalami where our summer house is.

This is the end of this first, for this year, cruise.

Friday June 3 to Thursday July 14

Thetis stayed in the marina.

Thursday June 9, 2022

I drove to the marina where I met Grigoris Tsaparikos from Samos Sail. He climbed the mast and repaired bent spreader. He also retrieved the halyard.

I called Anitta Kirgeorgiou, the lady who repairs sails in Pythagorio. She said that she will come. While I was waiting for her I removed the torn mainsail. After she came, we folded the sail and she took it with her.

Sunday June 12

Our housecleaner Fotini and I drove to the marina.

She did a complete cleaning (vacuuming, dustings, & mopping) of the inside cabins while I pressure hosed the deck and cockpit.

We took with us all the pots and pans to be washed in Kalami.

Tuesday June 21, 2022

I drove to Anitta’s house, which past the airport, and picked up the repaired sail. She is from Denmark but has been in Samos for 20 years and speaks Greek fluently.

After driving to the marina I re-installed the mainsail. This took me a fair amount of time and it was very hard during hot late morning.

I also put in their place the pots and pans that Fotini had washed few days ago.

Thursday June 23, 2022

I drove to the marina where I checked the large fuel filter. I was clean. Then I opened the small filter on the engine. It too was clean.

It took me some time to prime the small filter. The priming pump we had installed under the large filter was very helpful.

Friday July 8, 2022

I went to the marina and ran the engine for 10 minutes. I also sponged the accumulated fresh water in the bilges. Most likely it came from the refrigerator.