Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

2014: Samos to Leros

This web page contains the logs of a 16 day solo sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis in the East Aegean of Greece. I sailed from Samos Marina to Partheni in Leros, where Thetis was hauled-out and will spend the winter. On the way I stopped at Agathonisi, Tiganakia, Marathi, Agrio Livadhi & Livadhi tou Geranou in Patmos, Papandria in Lipsi, and finally at 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 Samos to Leros
Route Samos to Leros
Route Patmos to Leros
Detailed Route near Patmos and Leros

Tuesday August 26, 2014

Alice arrived in Samos from the US yesterday. This morning was dedicated to harvesting the grapes (trigos - τρύγος). The participants were: Alice, Vasilis, our caretaker Yiorgos, Andonis & Jane Ephremides, and Ann & Bob Brown from the M/Y Voyager moored next to Thetis. While cutting and crashing the grapes our housekeeper Vasso made fritters (tiganites - τηγανίτες) and other snacks. A very pleasant and productive morning.

Harvesting the grapes
Harvesting the grapes
The Party
From left: our neighbor Stephanos Papageorgiou, Andonis Ephremides, Bob Brown, Ann Brown, & Jane Ephremides
The tiganites
Vasso & the tiganites

Monday September 1, 2014

I went to the marina with Vasso, our housekeeper, and while she cleaned all the cabins and interior storage spaces I washed the deck and cockpit with the pressure hose. I also topped the water tanks.

Monday September 1, 2014

Our youngest daughter Corinna and our grandson Rohan, aged 3½ arrived in Samos.

Saturday September 13, 2014

Today Corinna Riginos, Rohan Sundaresan, Alice, and I went on a sailing day trip. This was little Rohan’s first experience with Thetis and he loved it. But he loved even more the dinghy.

We departed from the marina at 1020 and motored the 4.9 M to Klima [37° 42.4' N 27° 02.3' E] as the wind was a light ENE breeze. We arrived at 1130.

In Klima, after anchoring, we swam and had lunch. Rohan, with me next to him, drove the outboard of the dinghy.

We left Klima at 1630. On our way back the wind was a favorable 15-25 knots from the NNW and we sailed with the headsail. We arrived back in the marina at 1735. All together we had covered 9.6 M.

In Thetis: Alice, Vasilis, & Rohan
Courtesy Corinna Riginos
Rohan in the dinghy
In the dinghy: Vasilis, & Rohan
Courtesy Corinna Riginos

Thursday September 25, 2014, Day 1

All day yesterday Alice and I worked hard to close our house in Kalami for the year. Then earlier this morning I drove her to the airport to comfortably catch her flight to Athens and then to Washington, D.C. via London. Corinna and Rohan had already left on Saturday.

After leaving Alice at the airport I drove to the Samos Marina where I left the rented car. I then prepared Thetis for her final cruise of this year. This cruise will end in the Agmar Marine shipyard in Partheni, Leros.

We departed from the marina at 0915. The wind was from the N at 8-15 knots. I opened the headsail and motor-sailed because the wind was not strong enough to propel Thetis over 3 knots. At 1245 and after 17.5 M we arrived in the Gaidouravlako (Γαϊδουραύλακκο) cove [37° 27.2' N 26° 57.65' E] in Agathonisi. There was an another S/Y in the cove with a British flag.

I anchored in 7 m depth behind the other boat and let out 40 m of chain. First I snorkeled and made sure that the anchor was well set. Here in this narrow cove with the prevailing NNW wind you have to anchor close to the E shore but as the wind gusts the boat can drift uncomfortably close to the rocks and I usually take a line from the bow to the W shore to keep the boat in the middle of the cove. So, I lowered the dinghy and took a long line from the rocks W to Thetis’ bow.

Later in the afternoon the British S/Y departed and Thetis was all alone in the cove. I stowed my clothes and other belongings as well as the provisions but by the time of the sunset I was too tired to cook. After I had a small ouzo I went with the dinghy to the harbor of Ayios Yiorgos. I had a nice meal at the Glaros (Γλάρος) taverna. Yiannis the proprietor and his wife were pleased to see me again.

By 10 PM I was back on Thetis and sound asleep in my cozy cabin.

Friday September 26, 2014, Day 2

Chapels in Agathonisi
The chapels of Ayios Ioannis & Ayia Irene near Tsangaris

I had an e-mail from Alice: she is now safely at home in Washington, D.C., all her flights went smoothly. After my morning coffee I took the dinghy and went across to the Tsangaris cove. There I took a 2 hr hike, first to the twin chapels of Ayios Ioannis and Ayia Irene and then up to Megalo Chorio (Big Village).

Back on board I put up the tent. By that time the weather had changed, as it was forecasted, from NW to S but the wind was just 3-6 knots although the forecast now called for strong NW winds and possibly showers starting by tomorrow and on Sunday. My plan was to stay here where I felt secure with an anchor to the NE and a shore line to the NW. At any rate, I was not in a hurry since I had plenty of time until my haul-out appointment in Partheni is on October 10.

While I was getting ready for a light lunch I found out that I only had some very hard rusks that were impossible to eat unless they were soaked. Later in the afternoon after I removed the tent and went to the harbor I bought a few bags of softer rusks.

The new forecasts called for thunder storms maybe later tonight with strong W to NW winds. I had an ouzo and then cooked the 3 snitzels that I had bought in Samos. I refrigerated 2 of them and ate the other one with rice.

By the night, the barometer had plummeted from 1012 mB to 1005 and I could see a lot of lightning strikes N of here. Then, around 9:30 the storm arrived. There were lots and lots of thunders and strong winds from the S and the N and heavy rain. By 10:00 the wind was down to less then 5 knots mostly from the S and the barometer up to 1006 mB. Were we in the eye of the storm? Then the wind was up again and Thetis was been tossed but the anchor was holding.

I was reading Matthew White’s The Great Big Book of Horrible Things: The Definitive Chronicle of History’s 100 Worst Atrocities an interesting but somewhat depressing account of history. By 11:00 the wind had settled to the NNW at 18-25 knots. Thetis was held well by both the anchor and the shore line. The stars appeared in the sky. I went to bed.

Saturday September 27, 2014, Day 3

I got out of bed around 6:30. The dinghy was full of water, the cabin temperature was 21°C (69.8°F) and the barometer was 1007  M. The sky to the S was clear but here it was cloudy. I had my morning coffee out in the cockpit as it was not any colder then inside the cabin. The forecasts predicted fairly calm winds for this morning but they will be reaching 7 on the Beaufort force Scale by the evening with possible rain, same for tomorrow. Here, at 8 AM the wind was 8-11 knots NNW, the cabin temperature down to 20°C (68°F) while the barometer had risen to 1009 and then it fell back to 1006 mB. I will definitely not move from this lovely and secure anchorage until the weather improves and stabilizes.

It drizzled most of the morning and I had to sit inside the cabin. I got a little tired and depressed reading The Great Big Book of Horrible Things and I started Tess Gerritsen’s Girl Missing a mystery/romance.

In the afternoon the rain stopped. Despite the forecasts the sea was calm with a light breeze from the N. I spoke with Alice on Skype. All was well at our home in Washington, D.C. After that I went ashore with the dinghy and walked for an hour or so up the hill. Back on Thetis I swam and checked the the anchor. It had not moved.

In the early evening it drizzled again for a while. I had an ouzo between the drizzles. Later it got windy again. For dinner I boiled some Greek pasta papardeles (παπαρδέλες) that I had bought in the Greek specialty store in Vathy. These I served with homemade tomato sauce from Kalami and graded Parmezan. It was simply delicious along with Kalami wine.

The night was cold and windy.

Sunday September 28, 2014, Day 4

The wind howled all night reaching 32 knots but Thetis was secured at 9.4 m depth and comfortably away from both the E and the W shore. The cabin temperature dropped to 19°C (66.2°F) and the barometer went up to 1014 mB. The sky in the morning was cloudy but not overcast. I am waiting for the sun to break through the clouds and warm the boat. The forecasts call for winds of force 7 for all of today with high gusts in the morning and lower winds of force 6 for tomorrow. Certainly Thetis will not move today either.

I finished reading the Girl Missing and went back to The Great Big Book of Horrible Things. The sun, fortunately, kept on peaking through the clouds and by late morning the cabin was up to 24°C (75.2°F).

I went ashore for a nice hike. Then back on the boat and kept reading alternating between sitting in cockpit, depending on the sun, and sitting down in the cabin. The wind kept blowing and gusting into the upper 30s.

By the late afternoon the barometer was up to 1017 mB and there were fewer clouds. It was definitely more comfortable.

In the evening I went with the dinghy to Ayios Yiorgos. It was a slightly wet ride going against the wind and the waves. I bought a bunch of bananas and some needed batteries. The Glaros taverna was shut and I ate at the St. George taverna. I had a salad, fresh calamari, and a beer. I met a German lady sitting across from me. She was vacationing here all by herself and she too walks and reads a lot.

On my way back with the dinghy I was so concerned not to catch on the propeller one of the many floating lines that I forgot to take in the dinghy’s painter line. It fouled the outboard propeller. After dealing with this there was another wet and bumpy ride to Thetis. By the time I got back onboard the wind somewhat down and gusting into the lower 30s.

Nevertheless the wind kept on howling all night again. I did not sleep very well.

Monday September 29, 2014, Day 5

It was a very windy night. The wind made loud screaming noises and I kept getting up to check the boat. At 8 AM the wind was gusty between 6 and 7 on the Beaufort Scale. The sea was ugly but Thetis was OK. The forecasts show a possible improvement by the afternoon and for sure by tomorrow morning.

I was not sure what to do. Even if I decided to leave I was afraid that if I undid the W shore line Thetis may drift dangerously close to the rocky E shore before I would be ready to raise the anchor. I decided to wait.

I read and finished The Great Big Book of Horrible Things and started William C. Hammond’s The Power and the Glory, another naval novel of the Napoleonic Wars but from the perspective of a US hero.

Later I eventually decided to depart. Just so that I will not waste any time after untying the shore line I prepared everything for raising the dinghy on its davits. I then went with the dinghy to the rock on the W shore where the chain loop to which the line was tied was around. To my pleasant surprise it was easy to remove the loop from the rock. Then by pulling on the freed line the dinghy was brought alongside Thetis’ bow. During this time the boat had stayed well clear from the E shore. I got into the cockpit and coiled the long line, securing it with bungee cords, and stowed it as well as the chain loop in the sail lockers. Then I raised and secured the dinghy. Now I was ready for the anchor. I started the engine and went to the bow to raise the anchor. This took some time because I did not want to overload the windlass. So I raised few meters of chain, let the boat drift forward and slacken the chain, and then raised some more meters. It was slow because the gusts did not allow the boat to drift forward very much. Eventually the anchor was up and we were on our way heading for the S side of Arki. The time was 1405.

The wind came from NNE to the NNW at any speed between 20 and 35 knots. Although our heading of 240 was favorable for sailing I did not open the sails because I was afraid that I might have a lot of difficulty with these gusts and fairly large seas to roll-in the headsail and to lower the mainsail. This is the price for solo sailing! So I just motored. At 1615 we arrived in Tiganakia. The sea in the protected cove was very calm. It was almost a miracle! The wind was about 15 knots from the NE but it was not very gusty. I anchored [37° 21.6' N 26° 45' E] in 5 m depth over the lovely sand and let out 30 m of scope.

Fishing boat
A fishing caïque in Tiganakia

There was a glorious sunshine and it was warm. I rewarded myself with a much deserved cup of coffee. There were no other S/Y nor any motor cruisers in sight. There was only a small fishing caïque. This is as it should be, not the madness of August. After an hour or so the caïque left and Thetis had the cove all to herself.

I read and listened to music alternating between sitting in the cockpit and inside the cabin. I cut into chunks two potatoes which I put into a pyrex tray together with some garlic, coated them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and put them in the hot oven. In the evening I had my ouzo. About 1½ hour later the potatoes were ready. I took out of the refrigerator a pork cutlet and coated it with egg, dusted it with bread crumbs, and pan fried it. This along with the roasted potatoes and Kalami wine made an excellent dinner.

During the night there were a few howls of the wind but a far cry from last night. I went to bed around 10 and slept very soundly.

Sunset in Tiganakia

Tuesday September 30, 2014, Day 6

This morning there was not a single cloud in sight. It was warm but not hot and there was some wind, 10-20 knots NNE. Thetis was still the only boat in the cove. Although I wanted to I did not go swimming because the dinghy was on the davits blocking the swimming ladder so I spent the morning reading.

In the early afternoon the wind increased to 15-23 knots still from the NNE, and there was some chop. I decided to relocate to near-by Marathi. I raised the anchor but it was tangled with some net sections. I had a hard time cutting off the net sections and at the same time paying attention that Thetis did not drift too close to the shore. By 1420 we were freed of the nets and underway. The sea was very choppy and we motored slowly the 1.4 M to Marathi. By 1450 Thetis was secure on one of Pandelis’ moorings [37° 22' N 26° 43.6' E].

I lowered the dinghy and had a nice long swim. By that time the cabin was nice and warm, 25°C (77°F), but it was too late to put up the tent since by 5 the sun is low on the horizon. There were 3 other S/Y here and unlike the situation in August there were no motor cruisers. These were: a Belgian S/Y, a Greek charter boat, and a ketch with a US flag. This was more like the Marathi I have loved over the years and not like the madhouse of July and August. I will have to avoid coming here during these months.

In the evening I had a hot shower and an ouzo after which I went ashore. Pandelis, Katina, and their daughter Toola greeted me very warmly. The group of 6 from the Belgian boat were the only other customers. I had their usual salad with capper leaves and the local soft cheese, some delicious fried calamari, and a fantastic grilled small skathari (σκαθάρι - Black seabream). I decided to spend tomorrow here and then move on to Patmos on Thursday.

When I returned back onboard Thetis there was almost no wind. I slept very soundly.

Wednesday October 1, 2014, Day 7

It was almost 7 when I woke up. After my coffee I went ashore and hiked around the N side of the little island. After I returned to Thetis I put up the tent. All the boats that were here yesterday had already left and for a couple of hours Thetis was all alone.

Then 4 more boats arrived: a British, a Greek charter, a Swiss, and another Greek charter that tied to the mooring next to Thetis. The last one was occupied by 8 Germans, 4 middle aged men and 4 rather good looking young women. As soon as she was secured they launched their dinghy and all the men went to the Piratis taverna where they spent all of the afternoon while the ladies sunbathed and read. Strange!

In the evening I had an ouzo and after the sun set and it was getting dark I went to Pandelis. I had the usual salad, a delicious fried eggplant, and a goat meat stew. I had brought 2 bottles of Kalami wine and we shared one of them with Pandelis, Katina, Toola, and her friend Dimitris. The other bottle they kept for another occasion. I tried to pay for my meal but Toola had left and I was told that I could pay for it before leaving tomorrow morning. Katina pressed on to me a loaf of her wonderful home made bread.

Thursday October 2, 2014, Day 8

In the morning I went to say goodbye to my Marathi friends and also to pay my restaurant bill from last night. No way. They absolutely refused my payment. I was their guest. Instead we had a cup of coffee together and Katina gave me a jar of her hand made pesto that she had made with her homegrown basil.

After I got back on Thetis I got ready to depart for Patmos. By 1020 we were underway. The wind was between 12 and 21 knots from the NNW, favorable for our 265 course. I opened about 60% of the headsail and turned off the engine. It was a nice gentle sail for about 7 M.

While we were underway my brother Nikos called. He wanted my advise about getting photovoltaic panels for his caïque Faneromeni to maintain her batteries while she is moored for the winter in Trizonia.

After we reached Cape Geranos in Patmos I had to roll-in the sail and turn on the engine because for the last few miles we had a head wind. We arrived in our destination Agrio Livadhi (Άγριο Λιβάδι) or Agriolivadho [37° 20.5' N 26° 33.5' E] at 1155 after 9.8 M. I anchored in about 6 m on a sand patch and let out 40 m of chain. There were no other boats here but soon 3 S/Y came: 2 German and a British.

Yesterday I was a little cold under the tent so today I put up the bimini instead. Then I snorkeled and checked the anchor. It was totally buried under the sand. The rest of the day was very quiet and I did a lot of reading.

In the late afternoon I went with the dinghy ashore and got rid of the accumulated trash. I had forgotten to throw it away in Agathonisi and of course there were no trash bins in Marathi (only street lights for the goats). After returning to the boat I had an ouzo and then boiled some pasta and ate it with homemade tomato sauce.

The night was very peaceful.

Friday October 3, 2014, Day 9

I slept non-stop until well past 6:30. My plan for today was to go to Skala with the dinghy and buy some provisions. I left Thetis at 8:30. The ride to Skala took me about 30 minutes. I got the provisions and then sat in café in the main square and had a croissant and a fresh orange juice. Then I rode the dinghy back to Agrio Livadhi and Thetis.

After stowing the new provisions I checked my email. I had a very disturbing message from my younger brother Byron informing me that our brother Nikos, after driving yesterday for 4 hours from Trizonia, where he had moored his Faneromeni for the winter, to his home, had a heart attack his 2nd. He was taken to the hospital and had an emergency angiogram. Two of his arteries were 90% blocked. They performed an angioplasty and inserted 2 stents. It seems that now he is out of danger but he is in the intensive care. I called Byron and he told me that he was waiting for more news as the day progresses. Later in the morning Byron called and informed me that Nikos had another heart episode and that they inserted 2 more stents, his doctor is now optimistic. Later I spoke with Nikos’ significant other Rozina. It seems that his condition is now stable. I called my wife Alice and told her the news.

The afternoon and evening were quiet. The local taverna where I have eaten several times in the past appears to be shut. I was not sure if it was shut for the season or permanently so. I had an ouzo, baked some potatoes, and cooked the last of the pork cutlets. This was the second night that it was warm enough to allow me to eat out in the cockpit.

Saturday October 4, 2014, Day 10

I woke up for no apparent reason around 4:30 AM and could not go back to sleep. I suppose I was too concerned about my brother Nikos.

Around 8:15 I went ashore and took a long hike until 10:30 when I returned to Thetis. There was only one other S/Y with a Dutch flag in the cove. The forecasts were very benign, predicting 3-5 knot NNW winds for today and 2-3 knots for tomorrow.

At 1115 I raised the anchor and motored, towing the dinghy at no more then 4 knots, the 1.75 M to the Livadhi tou Geranou [37° 20.7' N 26° 35.3' E] where we arrived at 1145. I anchored in 5.5 m depth with 35 m of chain and Thetis settled in 6.5 m depth. After snorkeling I verified that the Rocna anchor was totally buried under the sand.

As I was climbing the swimming ladder my iPhone rung. I assumed that it was my brother Byron because I was anxiously expecting his call with an update on our brother Nikos’ condition. It was not Byron but it was my cruising friend Manos Kouvaritakis just checking up on me. He had spent all of this summer preparing his newly acquired S/Y, to be also named Daphne. She will be ready to be launched in a few more weeks.

Later Byron did call. Nikos’ heart had another episode last night. It was not chest pains this time but some fibrillation. He is now stable again but it is expected that he will be released from intensive care on Monday instead of tomorrow.

I spent the afternoon swimming and reading. I finished reading William C. Hammond’s The Power and the Glory which I had started three days ago and began re-reading first For Love of Country, and then A Matter of Honor by the same author.

Now that the sun sets earlier I am having my sundowner ouzo sometimes after 6 PM while watching the sun go down and admiring all the colors. For dinner I had pasta with the pesto from Katina. The night was calm and I slept very soundly.

Sunset Geranou
Sunset from the Livadhi tou Geranou

Sunday October 5, 2014, Day 11

In the early morning I went ashore for a walk. After I returned to Thetis I spoke with my daughter Cynthia and grandson Alexander on Skype. We tried using Apple’s FaceTime (for non Apple devices) but it did not work. She too could not get through to Alice in Washington, D.C. and was wondering what was the problem.

The sea here was very calm and the forecasts called for weak NNW winds of force 3-4 weakening further by tomorrow to 2-3. I read a lot.

Around noon Rozina called me. Nikos has been transferred from intensive care to a regular room. They will keep him in the hospital for a while to observe and regulate his medications. This news was a great relief. I sent the news via email to Alice and my daughters.

By 3 PM (7 AM in Washington) I had not received an email from Alice. I tried calling her in both the fixed and her mobil phone but had no success. By 4 PM I got really very worried and tried calling her again. This time there was an answer. Another relief. I think that I am getting rather edgy.

I took the dinghy to the next cove east and walked up to the Panayia of Geranou chapel. After I returned to the boat I had my sundowner ouzo and then made some rice and cooked 2 pre-made “Gordon Blue” turkey cutlets that I had bought in Skala. I then opened a bottle of Kir Yiannis Paranga red wine. By the the way Kir Yiannis is Yiannis Boutaris, the present mayor of Thessaloniki. The cutlets were rather disappointing despite their fancy name. I can do better then this. Buying prepared food is a mistake.

The sea was very calm during the night.

Monday October 6, 2014, Day 12

After I got up and had my coffee I looked at the forecasts. They predicted very light notherly winds for today and tomorrow although there is a gale in the Ionian Sea. I went ashore and disposed the trash, then I got ready to depart from Patmos.

By 0857 the anchor was up and we were underway to Lipsi. The wind was a light 4-8 knot N breeze but I opened about 40% of the headsail and we motor-sailed the 10.3 M to Papandria [37° 16.8' N 26° 46.2' E] where we arrived at 1045. I dropped the anchor on the sandy bottom in 5 m depth and let out 35 m of chain. Thetis stabilized in 5.7 m depth. After lowering the dinghy I snorkeled over the anchor. It was well set.

There were 2 other S/Ys here but they soon left. After a while the S/Y Seti with a Greek flag arrived and anchored uncomfortably close to Thetis. She too was a Janeau Sunshine so if not a sister at least a first cousin to Thetis. I spoke to her crew and told them that our boats were about to kiss each other. It turns out that they were a Greek couple: Aris Zamanos and Sophia from Oropos. They started their engine and reversed pulling taut their chain while I reduced mine by 5 m. This fixed the problem.

In the evening a had a hot shower and then went ashore and walked to the harbor. While I was walking my iPhone rang. It was my brother Nikos. I was delighted to finally hear his voice. Although he sounded a little groggy he was upbeat. He was not sure how long they will keep him in the hospital, that will depend on a number of tests that they will perform tomorrow.

When I reached the harbor I sat in my favorite Nick’s & Louli’s where I had an ouzo and a number of mezedes (appetizers) including their unrivaled grilled octopus. While sitting there Yiorgos, the ex travel-lift operator from Agmar Marine, came and after seeing me he came over and we chatted for a while and then he joined his friends in another table. When I finished my drinks and mezedes I wished a good winter to the proprietors and walked to the nearby pastry store. There I bought a loaf of bread and indulged in a portion of diples (δίπλες - lightly fried pastry dough with honey). I then walked back to Katsadia where I had left the dinghy and from there I rode to Thetis.

It was a very calm and mild night.

Tuesday October 7, 2014, Day 13

I slept late and I almost missed the sunrise. After my coffee I washed down the cockpit that had accumulated a lot of bread crumbs.

The morning was quite warm under the sunshine. I put up the tent.

Later Aris came to Thetis for a cup of coffee. He is a retired airplane engineer. He looked over my boat and was pleased that she is so similar to his Seti. Then we both went to Seti and it was my turn to inspect his boat. Sophia was born in Burundi in Africa but her family is from Samos. They are a very attractive couple. I was pleased because one meets so few Greek sailors with S/Ys. After my return to Thetis they departed for the harbor.

I spent a nice day doing a lot of swimming and reading. I finished William C. Hammond’s For Love of Country and started Rayven T. Hill’s Blood and Justice: A Private Investigator Mystery Series a mystery taking place in Canada.

The evening was beautiful and while drinking a glass of ouzo I enjoyed all the various shades of red reflected in the glassy sea. Then, the moon started rising and provided another spectacle.

For dinner I had spaghetti with the last of the homemade tomato sauce from Kalami, sprinkled with lots of Parmezan.

Moonrise over Papandria

Wednesday October 8, 2014, Day 14

The sun rises

This morning started slowly but by 0917, the dinghy and the anchor were up and Thetis was underway to Archangelos. The wind was 8-10 knots from the NNE and I opened about 65% of the headsail.

I was about to turn off the engine when the tachometer showed 0 RPM. I looked in the engine room and saw that the charge regulator was off. I immediately turned off the engine less the alternator gets damaged. I then checked all the cable connections and associated fuses. They all seemed in order. So, I re-started the engine. The regulator was now back on-line and after the usual delay so was the tachometer. It must had been an intermittent contact. I once again, turned off the engine and continued sailing.

When we were near the E side of Archangelos the wind dropped to less then 5 knots and I started the engine, rolled-in the headsail and motored the rest of the way. We arrived at our usual place in front of the tiny chapel in Archangelos [37° 11.9' N 26° 46.3' E] at 1020. We had come 5.7 M. I anchored in 4.6 m over a sand patch and let out 30 m of scope.

There were several S/Y here: the Greek Garfield (that I know from the yard), a French yawl, a British, and a Swedish. I put up the tent. Later a charter boat with a crowd of Germans also arrived. For over an hour they made numerous attempts to anchor with no success. Eventually they did so but after a while they raised their anchor and moved again, and again. I was hoping that they would go to another anchorage because they were a clear menace to all the boats here, but alas they did anchor once more some distance fro Thetis.

The morning became quite gusty with the wind averaging 15 knots form the NW and Thetis drifted to 8.5 m depth. I snorkeled and looked at the anchor. It was well embedded in the sand but just in case I let out 10 more meters of scope.

I spent the rest of the day reading and swimming. I finished Blood and Justice. It was entertaining enough but nothing special. I started reading Rebecca Lochlann’s (Oct 31, 2011) The Year-god’s Daughter: A Saga of Ancient Greece a novel set in Minoan Crete.

In the early evening I removed the tent and had a glass of ouzo. Around 7 PM I went ashore with the dinghy and went to the To Stigma taverna to eat. I was the only customer. Demetra, the proprietor’s daughter, served me a salad and a portion of moussaka (μουσακά - a baked dish with eggplant, potato, and a béchamel crust). While eating I watched the full moon rising. Everything was great but on my way back to the boat I had an accident.

Earlier I had tied the dinghy in what I thought would be the most likely protected side of the pier. But the wind kept changing direction. All was well until I returned to the pier. The dingy was not there! I almost panicked but then I realized that the wind had shifted 180° and the dingy was swept completely under the wooden pier. I pulled its painter and brought it half way out. Then I lowered myself in it. When both my feet were in the dingy a strong gust came and once again it was swept under the pier. With my feet under the pier and the pier pushing my waist I lost my balance and before I knew it I was plunged, head first, into the water. I was not hurt but was completely drenched. I pulled myself back into the dingy, started the outboard, and soaking wet returned to Thetis. In addition to my completely wet clothes my purse, strapped to my waist, was full of water. In it was my iPhone, my wallet, the box with my hearing aids, a flashlight, etc. When I got on board Thetis I removed them, and spread everything to dry. The hearing aids were moist but not totally wet while the iPhone was very wet. Unfortunately it had been on during the plunge. I tried every trick I know about submerged electronics. I rinsed them with fresh water, put them in the warm oven, then in a sealed container with rice and desiccant bags, and so on. I left them there for 24 hours. While the very expensive hearing aids and my paper money, to my relief, recovered that was not the case with the phone, it never recovered.

Thursday October 9, 2014, Day 15

I did not sleep very well last night. Two things contributed to this:

  1. the wind which while not exceeding 15 knots kept shifting direction by 360°, and
  2. my anxiety about the iPhone and the very expensive hearing aids.

Later in the morning I removed both the headsail and the mainsail and bundled them. This took me more then two hours. Unfortunately I did not notice that one of the reefing lines did not have a stop knot before I partially pulled it inside the boom. I will have to fix this before leaving Thetis for the winter.

It was a beautiful day. I had my last swim for this year and basked in the glorious sunshine.

At 1640 I raised the anchor and departed from Archangelos for Partheni, 1.5 M away. The wind was 10-15 knots from the NNE. We motored since there were no sails. At 1708 I caught one of Agmar’s moorings [37° 11.3' N 26° 48' E].

This is the end of cruising for 2014. Tomorrow the boat will be hauled-out and I will be doing a lot of washing and end-of-the-season maintenance.

I had a celebratory ouzo and then I went ashore for a walk.

After I got back onboard I finally opened the sealed container with the hearing aids and the iPhone. I turned on the hearing aids and to my delight they worked. What a relief! Alas I cannot say the same for the iPhone, it was dead. Well I cannot complain. I did not hit my head during last night’s plunge and have rescued both the hearing aids and my money.

I baked the last two of the Kalami potatoes and ate them with the last of the pre-prepared cutlets.

The night was a little rocky.

Friday October 10, 2014, Day 16

I got up fairly early and prepared the boat for her haul-out. I then raised the dinghy on its davits. It was good that I did so because it turned out that Thetis was the first of the 4 waiting boats to be hauled-out.

By 0815 I had cast off the mooring, entered the “pool,” gotten off the boat, and the travel-lift had hauled her out of the water. While she was slowly moved to her winter resting place I walked to the office, said hello to everyone, and asked Irene to make arrangements for me for a rented car.

Now the real work work begun. I connected the AC, connected the water hose, lowered the dinghy to the ground, and emptied the starboard (right) sail locker of all the lines stowed there. These I lowered to the dinghy which I filled with fresh water and let them soak to remove the accumulated salt.

The rented car arrived and I took possession of it. My friends Monika and Dietrich with the catamaran S/Y Fromo were here and I went to see them. They will be leaving on Sunday and we agreed to go out for dinner tomorrow evening.

Finally I had a very nice hot shower, with plenty of water, in the Agmar Marine’s facilities. After that I went out for an early dinner to the Steki in Alindas. Dimitris, the proprietor, told me that tomorrow they will have live music.

Saturday October 11, 2014

I continued with various tasks. The yard’s WiFi was intermittent. I started downloading the OS upgrade on the iPad from iOS 7 to 8 but after several hours it was lees then half way so I gave up on it.

I raised the soaked dinghy lines from the starboard (right) sail lockerand and hanged them to dry. After washing the dinghy I lowered the lines from the port (left) sail locker and filled the dinghy with fresh water.

Panayiotis brought me a very thin old stay so that I could use it to re-route the reefing line through the boom. I spent a couple of frustrating hours doing so but without any results. The boom was full of birds nests and torn pieces from plastic bags, presumably brought there by nesting birds. These I had to clear and that took some time. I then ran a string through the boom to which I attached the loose reefing line. I eventually managed to pull it all the way to the mast-end of the boom but then it got stuck. After this I gave up.

In the late evening I went to dinner, back at the Steki with Monika and Dietrich. We had a good time with a pleasant meal and the live music. Dietrich insisted that it was his turn to treat since I treated last time, at least 2 years ago. Of course, I had completely forgotten this.

Sunday October 12, 2014

In the morning I washed the sail locker and continued with the soaking and drying of the various line, stowing the dry ones back to by then dry sail lockers.

A fellow cruiser from a nearby boat had seen me yesterday struggling with the reefing line and he came to help me. With his help, and after removing more nest material, we eventually to succeeded.

I took the power hose to the sail washing area and washed the spray hood, the tent, the bimini, the dinghy cover, and the sail cover. While doing so I met Peter Penz with the S/Y Ana. He is from South Africa but lives in Australia and produces TV documentaries. His most recent one is Greeks of the Sea. Later we went together for dinner in Lakki. We first went to the Petrino restaurant but it was crowded by a large group of Coast Guard cadets. So, instead we went to the Ostria which Angelos had recommended. It was very good and we both had a very nice evening.

Monday October 13, 2014

Today I did more washing and picking up. Washed more lockers and sail running lines, chains, anchors, etc. Finally I washed the dinghy.

In the evening I had invited Panayiotis an his wife Mary to the Petrino restaurant. As usual we ate very well and had a good time.

Tuesday October 14, 2014

First thing in the morning I tried to do my banking with the computer. I especially wanted to transfer money from my account to Agmar to pay my account but the yard’s WiFi had so many problems that I did not accomplish anything. So, I took my MacBook to the office, where the signal was stronger, and eventually succeeded.

I washed the fender covers and then covered the dinghy and raised it on the davits. I then covered the roller reefing mechanism, the mast area and the boom end, the other end of the boom, and the winches. I also covered all the exposed electrical contacts with vaseline spray.

For dinner I had invited Irene, the very helpful yard’s customer relations manager, and her boy friend Michalis. We met at the Mylos restaurant, another favorite of mine. We had such a good time that it was almost midnight when I got back to the yard and Thetis.

Wednesday October 15, 2014

Today is the day I fly to Athens. I got up at 5 AM to do the last day tasks. I collected all the laundry which I left with Irene, cleaned the refrigerator, removed the AC connection, stowed the water hose, shut off the boats electricity, etc.

Finally I said my goodbyes to all my Agmar friends and drove to the nearby airport where I checked in and returned the car.

This ends the adventures for 2014.

2014 Vital Statistics
Total Distance 742 M
Time at Sea 83 days
Total Time Underway 124 hr
Total Solo Time 37 days
Total Engine Time 130 hr
Total Fuel Consumed 250 L
Total Water Consumed 1709 L