Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

2015: 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 in near by Mycale, in Tiganakia, Marathi, Livadhi tou Geranou, Skala, & Agrio Livadhi in Patmos, near Lipsi Harbor & Katsadia in Lipsi, and finally 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 Samos to Leros
Route Samos to Leros

September 13 to September 22, 2015

During this time Thetis stayed in Samos Marina.

While I was in Kalami I received a very upsetting email from my sailing friend Turgut Ayker. One of my worst fears of a sea accident has happened to my friend.

Two weeks ago he drove to Selimiye to visit some friends who were there with their cruiser anchored off. They went to a restaurant for dinner. On the way back to the boat, there were 5 in the tender, a fast speed boat, without any lights and driven by the crew of a large cruiser, came at very high speed straight at them. By the time they saw it there was nothing to be done. There was a bad collision and Turgut fell in the water with a broken pelvis. He thought that he was going to drown because he could not move. He was rescued by his wife Arzu. In the mean time, the speed boat, which did not stop to help, sped to their cruiser which departed right away. Arzu called for help and an ambulance came and took Turgut to a hospital in Marmaris. He stayed there for one week and then he was moved, by ambulance, to their home in Izmir.

Wednesday September 23, 2015, Day 1

This was an eventful day. Yesterday it rained in Kalami all day and I slept in the upper house because I was afraid that if I needed to use the bathroom during the night I might slip and fall climbing down the outdoor stairs of the old lower house. I slept well. This morning started with with sunshine and not with rain as was forecasted.

During the past days I had difficulty withdrawing cash from the National Bank of Greece ATM. I thought that was because of the notorious Capital Controls imposed to Greek banks on June. After our housekeeper Vasso came I drove to town and tried the card again. It did not work. I went in the bank and spoke to the nice lady manager who has been very helpful over the years. The trouble was that my new debit card was not linked to the account that I transfer funds but to a small savings account. She corrected this and I was finally able to make a withdrawal.

Back in Kalami I helped Vasso to winterize both houses. My plan was to check the forecasts for the last time and then leave the house and move in Thetis. The forecasts predicted light southerly winds and some rain. With this information I decided not to spend the night in the marina but to move the boat to Mycale and anchor there for the night although Mycale is exposed to the south.

I left Kalami at 2:30 and drove to the marina. I had already paid both the marina and the car rental by bank transfers. By the time I got to the marina and loaded the boat with with my belongings and food it was cloudy. Fortunately there were no other boats adjacent to Thetis so the departure was relatively easy.

We departed the marina at 1605 and motored to Mycale [37° 42.3' N 26° 59' E] 1.5 M away. I anchored in 5.5 m depth and let out over 30 m of scope. I then uncovered the dinghy which was full of water from yesterday’s rain. After that I snorkeled and checked the anchor. It was well set.

The wind here was less then 12 knots coming from the SW but, as expected, there was some swell. I stowed the food and my clothes and tidied up the cabins. There was some light rain and a lovely rainbow. I spoke to my wife Alice, in Washington, DC, on FaceTime and then relaxed and started reading, slowly, Wolf Hall on the Kindle and continued reading Sharpe's Havoc.

Later I had an ouzo during the sunset, now at 1907. There were wonderful colors reflected by the cloud formations. The barometer was 1017 mB.

I was too tired to cook or even to warm some food. Instead I cut a tasty tomato and ate it with crispens and cheese followed by a banana. I went to bed early just before 10.

Thursday September 24, 2015, Day 2

I was woken up around 3 AM by the wind-generator. While I turned it off, somehow I could not fall back to sleep. Eventually I gave up and decided to get ready for departure. My plan was to sail south to Tiganakia an area of small islands S of Arki. If Tiganakia was too exposed to the S wind, then to go on to the Moschato cove N of Lipsi. Before departing however there were two tasks to be performed: transferring fuel from 2 jerry cans to the main tank and raising the dinghy to its davits. I did the transfer using my flash light. Thanks to the new siphon that I got last year not a single drop of fuel was spilled. The second task was easy but, as usual, time consuming. One of the lead weights on the extension straps had broken and I temporarily reattached it with some wire.

We departed Mycale, Samos at 0520. At first there was very light wind of about 7 knots from the S and we had to motor. While running the engine I turned on the water-maker and charged the iPad, iPhone, and the Kindle. Later the wind increased and came from the SE, and then from the ENE. I opened about 30% of the headsail and motor-sailed. There were distant thunders and lightning strikes ahead of us to the S. I turned on the radar and and tracked the thunderstorms. Eventually they caught up with us but we only got their fringes. The wind at the fringes was over 20 knots often 25. After clearing the thunderstorms it was calm again with some light chop. The barometer was up from yesterday’s 1017 to 1020 mB. The main cabin port window was leaking. All the forecasts were predicting low winds.

As we were near the southern tip of Arki a low cloud enveloped us. Visibility became almost nil while the radar only showed a dark blur. Out of this thickness a S/Y appeared on an opposite course. She was uncomfortably close to Thetis. I immediately changed our course by 40° and we avoided her. Then it started to rain vey heavily. We rounded the S tip of Arki and headed to my favorite spot in Tiganakia. It was exposed to the S wind. I slowly guided Thetis into the narrow area between Arki and the Avaptisto islet [37° 21.9' N 26° 44.8' E]. I put on the storm jacket and dropped the anchor in 5.5 m depth on a spot of sand and let out about 25 m of chain. Thetis settled in 3.5 depth.

It was very calm here but it was still a very gray day although I could see some sunshine to the N. Later, around noon, most of the clouds dispersed and there was glorious sunshine. In the afternoon I took the dinghy ashore and had a walk.

I had been in touch with my friend Turgut who had a bad boating accident. His newly married son, Orhan, along with his bride, Tania, volunteered to crew their father’s beloved sailboat New Life III and allow Turgut to finally get out of his house. Today they are in Naousa, Paros and plan to move E. We exchanged several e-mails and SMS to coordinate a rendezvous as we have missed each other.

I spoke with Alice in Washington, DC. She is preparing to fly to Jackson, WI and visit our daughter Corinna and grandsons. I started cooking a pot roast with a combination of wine and freshly squeezed lemon juice. While the meat was simmering I had my ouzo and watched the sun go down behind Arki. I had a message from Turgut. They are underway to Patmos. Had I known this before I would have gone to Patmos to meet them. We shall see tomorrow. In addition to the e-books on the Kindle I started reading two back issues of the Apoplous literary Samian magazine.

For dinner I made some rice pilaf to go with the a couple of slices of the roast and serve it with Kalami wine vintage 2014. The night was very calm. As I was very sleepy I went to my bed at 9:30.

Friday September 25, 2015, Day 3

I slept to almost 6 as there was nothing to disturb me. The morning was slow and I spent it mostly reading. We exchanged SMS with Turgut. They will be arriving this afternoon in Marathi where I will meet them.

After a pleasant swim I prepared to relocate to Marathi. We departed from Tiganakia at 1050 and motored slowly, towing the dinghy, the 1.2 M to Marathi. While under way I prepared a line to tie to a mooring. We arrived in Marathi [37° 22' N 26° 43.6' E] at 1105. I caught one of Pandelis’ free moorings without any trouble.

I went ashore and met Katina and Toola who were very pleased to see me. I ordered a good fish for tonight and asked if I could tie the dinghy on the last available mooring to hold it for New Life. I did do that and then I swam back to Thetis. There were a lot of boats here: 2-3 large cruisers and many S/Ys. Later also came a large Turkish gulet. Most of these boats had either a Turkish flag or a US (Delaware or Wilmington) i.e. there were Turkish.

New Life III arrived around 1330 with Turgut at the wheel. I swam to the mooring with my dinghy and helped Orhan moor New Life. The new daughter-in-law Tania is a lovely petite girl. I am very sorry to have missed her marriage to Orhan in Mexico this spring. I spoke with the family and we exchanged our news. Turgut, after his bad accident, is hobbling in the boat and has to use crutches to walk, but he is so delighted to be once again cruising with New Life even if it is just for a few days. His wife Arzu is lovely as always and my friend Orhan was beaming with pride and satisfaction for his bride Tania.

In the evening we all met on New Life for ouzo. Turgut has a new toy: an inflatable floating platform with a canopy. He now deployed it and we all stepped into it and while floating enjoyed our drinks and the mezedes (tasty snacks) that Arzu had prepared. After this floating “happy hour” I went back to Thetis for a hot shower.

When we were all ready I went with the dinghy to New Life and picked up Arzu and Turgut and took them to Pandelis. Turgut despite his wounds managed rather well to lower himself to the dinghy and then to get off at the pier. Orhan and Tania followed us rowing their dinghy. Toola had set for us a round table in a corner. So, the feast begun. Appetizers: fava, Simi style tiny shrimps, octopus balls, and Katina’s great salad. Then came our main course, a large συναγρίδα (sinagrida - common dentex) perfectly grilled and a salad of greens with a balsamic dressing. All this with a few bottles of Thema dry white wine. There was so much fish that we could not finish all of it. A package was prepared and Arzu took it back to New Life.

It was a very eventful day, and after I returned to Thetis I went straight to sleep.

At Pandelis
At Pandelis, from the left Tania, Orhan, Vasilis, Turgut, & Arzu

Saturday September 26, 2015, Day 4

I woke up at 6. There was avery light breeze from the east and it was so humid that the cockpit was soaked. I made my coffee and sat on a cushion in the cockpit while sipping it. Pandelis, as usual, was taking his morning swim. We waved to each other. I read.

Later I was invited abroad New Life for a lavish “Turkish breakfast.” Back on Thetis I put up the tent although it was kind of cloudy. I swam for a while and read. I finished Sharpe's Havoc and continued reading Apoplous.

When I later joined the Aykers I found out that this is the Bayram, a moslem holiday (Kurban Bayramı) and that explains why almost all the boats here are from Turkey. We had long talks covering a wide range of topics with Arzu, Tania, Turgut and Orhan.

In the evening Turgut rowed over to Thetis and we had a cup of coffee. The tender from a large cruiser came to us. It was driven by Seref dressed in immaculate white. Seref years ago was crew to the original New Life. Now having finished his studies and obtained his captains license he is the skipper of the large cruiser. He saw Thetis and came to greet us.

At around 8 PM we all went ashore for another meal at Pandelis. It was crowded but they set a table for us in a quiet spot of the garden. We had a lot of appetizers and tasty spaghetti with mussels along with Thema white wine.

Tomorrow morning at 5:45 there will be a total lunar eclipse of the full moon at its closest approach to earth. This is a rare phenomenon and will not repeat until 2033. The eclipse will be visible from here. Tania said that she will join me to the top of the island to view the moon as it sets.

Back on Thetis I kept the tent on to keep the humidity away and went to bed.

Ouzo platform
Turgut & Orhan deflating the platform where we had our ouzo
At Pandelis
Tania, Orhan, Arzu, & Turgut
At Pandelis
Tania & Orhan
At Pandelis
Tania, Orhan, Vasilis, & Arzu

Sunday September 27, 2015, Day 5

I had set the alarm on the iPhone at 4:30 but I woke up at least 10 minutes before that. I made my coffee and looked at the moon. There were some scattered clouds but the moon was very visible although it was approaching the island and soon it would not be visible from the cove. I looked at it with the binoculars and I could see the eclipse progressing, or at least I thought so.

While waiting for 5:30, the time I was to pickup Tania, I started reading a new book on the Kindle Alexander Kent’s For My Country’s Freedom, another nautical novel. When it was almost time, I got dressed, took a large flash light and the binoculars on a boat bag and went to New Life. Tania was also dressed and waiting. We went ashore and started climbing up the hill and chose a good vantage point for looking at the large very dull-red moon that soon would be obscured by another small islet. At 0545 the time of the totality we could see it. We observed it until it was hidden by the islet and then started going back to the dinghy. On our way we saw another figure in the dark climbing up the hill. When we got close we saw that it was not Orhan as we thought but Pandelis wearing his bathrobe. He had just remembered about the eclipse and hoped to catch it. He had missed it by just a few minutes!

It was not until 8:30 that there was any sign of life from New Life. They were getting ready to depart. I went over with the dinghy to help them. The sea being calm they planned to have the obligatory Turkish breakfast when underway. I helped them raise their dinghy and we all said our good-byes.

After that, rather then going directly back to Thetis I went ashore and said my good-byes to Toola, Katina, and Pandelis. We all wished each other a good and healthy winter. They expressed many good wishes for Alice and their hope of seeing us both next Spring.

Back on board Thetis I prepared for our departure. My plan was to go to Patmos for the next few days. I put up the tent, I removed the line with the cleat from the mooring and left only the doubled line so casting off would be easy. I then raised the dinghy on the davits.

There was a problem with the GPS. After a long time it found several satellites but it got stuck in the Aquire mode and did not get a fix. At any rate, I cast off the mooring at 0925.

The wind, such as it was, came from variable directions and never exceeded 2-3 knots. We motored running the genset and the water-maker for about ¾ of an hour and charged the iPad. After 8.2 M we arrived in Livadhi Geranou, Patmos [37° 20.7' N 26° 35.3' E] at 1100. Still there was no fix on the GPS. I got our fix from the spare portable GPS. The breeze here was from the south. I anchored on a sand patch in 5 m depth and let out 25 m of chain. There were 2 other S/Ys here: one with a Dutch flag, and one with a Maltese flag.

By the afternoon the sky became cloudy and the other S/Ys had left. Thetis was the queen of the cove. There was some low key activity in the taverna and just a few people in the beach. I snorkeled to the anchor. It was well set. Once I got out of the water it was cold. I removed the tent.

During the sunset I had my ouzo. By that time the breeze had slowly changed from S to N. For dinner I warmed some of the ground meat sauce I had brought from Kalami and boiled some spaghetti. By 9:30 I was falling asleep.

Monday September 28, 2015, Day 6

I woke up a little before 6 after a very long uninterrupted sleep. There was a light breeze from the NE to the NW. Thetis was resting at 6 m depth. First I read inside the cabin and then when it got warmer I moved to the cockpit and continued reading. The sky was overcast and the sun just peaked behind the clouds.

I was thinking of sailing to the harbor, Skala, anchoring there, do some shopping, and then relocating the boat to Agrio Livadhi but later I changed my mind. The clouds thickened and it started to drizzle.

Panayia tou Geranou

After the drizzle stopped and the sun made an anemic appearance I topped the outboard with fuel and drove the dinghy to the Panayia tou Geranou (Παναγία του Γερανού) where I took a hike for an hour or so. While I was walking a gulet arrived and anchored near Thetis. On my way back I could only see the gulet and not my boat, mild panic! But as I drove the dinghy back I saw that my boat was where I had left her. Everything was fine.

I put up the tent and spent the rest of the day reading and swimming. In the afternoon I swam ashore and walked along the beach. Back on board I cleaned the bathroom and the galley. By that time the gulet had left and Thetis was once again by herself until later a S/Y with the French flag arrived. It was very quiet.

As the sun was going down I removed the tent and had my ouzo. For dinner I warmed 3 slices of the pot roast, fried some potatoes, and opened a bottle of 2010 Kalami wine.

The switch that controls the wind-generator broke and I was unable to fix it. The generator made a lot of noise but no electricity. I removed the switch and shorted the positive lead of the wind-generator to the ground and at last stopped the noise. This operation took some time and I did not go to bed until 11 PM.

Tuesday September 29, 2015, Day 7

After my morning coffee I prepared to go to Skala. I raised the anchor at 0823 and motored, towing the dinghy, to Skala (Σκάλα) [37° 19.7' N 26° 32.7' E] 2.7 M away. As Thetis was leaving Livadhi Geranou I noticed smoke rising from Panayia tou Geranou. I called the the Limenarchio (Greek Coast Guard) on VHF channel 12 and let them know. We arrived at 0905 and I anchored off on the NE side of the inlet at 8 m depth with 45 m of scope. On an impulse I turned on the GPS.

I got into the dinghy and went ashore to the town where I did some provision shopping. I also managed to withdraw from the ATM, the 420 € weekly allowance under the obnoxious capital controls. I also found some lead weights to replace the broken weights on the dinghy extension straps.

It was past 10:30 when I returned to Thetis with my shopping. Miraculously the GPS was working and had acquired a fix. After stowing the provisions I raised the anchor. The time was 1100. We motored the 2.07 M to Agrio Livadhi (Άγριο Λιβάδι) or Agriolivadho [37° 20.5' N 26° 33.4' E]. I anchored on a patch of sand in 4 m depth and let out 35 m of chain. I then snorkeled to check the anchor. I did not like what I saw. The anchor was not buried but had snagged a cluster of weed. Back on Thetis I started the motor, raised the anchor, and re-anchored in 4.5 m over sand with 40 m of scope. I then snorkeled again to the anchor. This time it was set well and I was pleased.

I spent the rest of the day pleasantly reading. I suspended reading Wolf Hall and For My Country’s Freedom and started Jeffrey Siger’s Prey on Patmos, a mystery that, very appropriately, takes place mostly in Patmos.

Later I removed the tent and had an ouzo. For dinner I warmed the leftover spaghetti with meat sauce. There was a fire ashore and I noticed several people milling around with flash lights. It seems that they extinguished it.

There was a fantastic red moon-rise.

Wednesday September 30, 2015, Day 8

View from Kambos
View from Kambos with Mt. Kerkis in the background

I slept very well and I did not get up until 6:45. While the day was still cool I went ashore and walked, about 45 minutes, to Kambos, an attractive village with a pleasant square (πλατεία). There I had a fresh orange juice and then walked back to Agrio Livadhi and Thetis.

Patmos is an island of contradictions. It is dominated by the Monastery and the local people are very devout. The most common first name is Theologos (theologos - theologician is an adjective of St. John). Here are a number of very run down shacks, and animals: goats, sheep, donkeys. These are interspersed by large fancy houses, of good architecture, made of local stones and blending with the arid environment. These are owned by wealthy Athenians and foreigners. But there are also many room-renting houses of the “concrete box school of architecture” catering to the tourist trade.

After returning to Thetis, I took ashore the trash. As I was getting back into the dinghy Richard Chambers and Wendy Effer, the couple from the British flagged S/Y Myrica, a Halberg Rassy 34, came and spoke to me. We realized that we had actually met before. That was last Spring in Agmar Marine while both our boats were still on land. Richard had helped me to re-string an errant reefing line through the boom. I invited them this evening for an ouzo.

Back on board I put up the tent and sat in the cockpit reading. In the afternoon I spoke with Alice on FaceTime. In the mean time the wind got stronger and stronger gusting into the low 30s. I had to remove the tent. After that I could not sit in the cockpit any more because the sun was still too strong.

In the evening the Myricas came and we had a very pleasant chat while sipping our ouzo. At that time another S/Y arrived and anchored off near the islet of Ayia Thekla. After my cruising neighbors left, I made for dinner a cheese omelet using the last eggs that our Kalami caretaker Yiorgos had given me. I ate the omelet drinking, of course, some Kalami wine.

Agrio Livadhi
Agrio Livadhi from the East

Thuresday October 1, 2015, Day 9

Kambos backyard
Backyard in Kambos

Although it was a very windy and gusty night I slept rather well, using a blanket because it became cold as the night progressed. I went ashore but from the main dock and then I walked up hill on the paved road to Kambos. It was much closer this way then yesterday’s walk along the northern dirt road.

Back to the dinghy. While going to my boat I stopped and chatted with the Canadian 43' S/Y Onward. They purchased her in the east US and then sailed her to the Mediterranean from N. Carolina. They have owned her now for 4 years and winter her in Preveza. But they are now selling her. After this brief encounter I stopped by Myrina and we exchanged calling cards. They also invited me to stay for a cup of coffee.

After returning to Thetis I snorkeled and checked the anchor. It had not moved since it was set yesterday despite the strong gusts. Again it was windy and too gusty for the tent. So, I rigged the small bimini and a large left over old cover. These allowed me to have my lunch and then to read while sitting in the cockpit.

Later I spoke with Alice. She is getting ready to fly to Jackson and and visit our daughter Corinna and our two grandsons: Rohan, aged 4, and baby Leander, aged 6 months. I finished reading Prey on Patmos and continued For My Country's Freedom.

When the sun was near setting I removed the bimini and had an ouzo. Later I cooked some rice and ate it with 2 slices of the endless pot roast. It was still windy but less so then last night. The forecasts predicted less wind for tomorrow. If all is well I plan to relocate to the Livadhi tou Geranou in the morning and then on Saturday to Lipsi.

Friday October 2, 2015, Day 10

For no apparent reason I woke up early and could not go back to sleep, so I read. The wind, as predicted, was less gusty then yesterday. Now it was in the low 20’s but it still came from the NW-NE.

I prepared to depart. We left Agriolivadho (Agrio Livadhi) at 0850 and motored slowly towing the dinghy and running the water-maker. We arrived in the Livadhi tou Geranou [37° 20.7' N 26° 35.3' E] at 0915 having travelled all of 1.7 M. I anchored in 5.5 m depth on the sandy bottom and let out 30 m of chain. I put up the tent but just in case I left the bimini still installed.

There were 2 other S/Y here both Italian but they both left soon after our arrival. Once again Thetis had the whole cove to her self. I kept on the motor running for another ½ hour and filled 3 bottles of water from the water-maker. Later I noticed that our depth was 4.8 m instead of 5.5 and I was afraid that we may had dragged our anchor. Although the sun was up it was chilly and I had not yet snorkeled to check the anchor. But now I did so. My fears were groundless the anchor was beautifully set.

I removed the bimini and finished reading For My Country’s Freedom. I read some more of Wolf Hall on the Kindle and also started re-reading Alexander Kent’s Stand Into Danger in paperback form. I am not sure how long this book had been on my cabin’s shelf.

The afternoon and evening were breezy 10-20 knots from the NE but not as gusty as yesterday’s afternoon. I had my ouzo while watching the the sun go down and a group of very exited 8 people ashore hauling on a trailer first a small speedboat and then a very ungainly small caïque. There was a lot of yelling and arguing.

For dinner I boiled some pasta and graded some Parmesan cheese on top of it and then added half of the leftover meat sauce. One more meal and I will finish it. The rest of the night was uneventful.

Saturday October 3, 2015, Day 11

This morning moved slowly. First, I started the genset to power the coffee grinder because I had ran out of ground turkish coffee for my necessary morning drink. Then I took the trash to a bin ashore. Then I raised the dinghy on its davits. After that I raised the anchor and departed from Patmos at 0910.

To my delight the wind was 12-16 knots from the NW and this allowed me to open the full genoa, turn off the motor, and sail all the way to Lipsi, 8.5 M away. I did not go to my favorite cove Papandria on the S side of the island but entered the cove of the main harbor and anchored in front of the little chapel [37° 17.8' N 26° 45.3' E] about 1 M E of the harbor. The time was 1100. Nearby a group of 3-4 small dolphins went by. I dropped the anchor over sand in 6 m depth and let out 35 m of chain and the boat settled in 7 m depth.

I put up the tent and lowered the dinghy so that I could gain access to the swimming ladder. I then snorkeled and checked the anchor. It was nicely set. It was a pleasant calm afternoon with occasional strong gusts reaching 19 knots coming from every direction. The anchor held.

I realized that the service batteries were being depleted now that the wind-generator was inoperable. Also, I had trouble emptying the head but after I turned on the motor and thusly raising the voltage the head pump worked well. I was also running kind of low on gasoline for the outboard.

In the evening I went to town with the dinghy taking with me an empty gasoline canister but the fuel station was shut. After inquiries I learned that it will not open until Monday. It opens only on weekdays from 11:00 to 14:00. I was not sure what to do about the gasoline. At any rate, I bought some fresh bread and a small bag of fresh crisini at the bakery and then I had some ouzo with grilled octopus, large baked beans (γίγαντες - gigantes), and fried tomato balls (tomatokeftedes - τοματοκεφτέδες) at Nikis’ & Louli’s café.

Back to Thetis after a slightly wet ride with the dinghy. There were no news yet from Alice about her arrival to Jackson.

Sunday October 4, 2015, Day 12

It was a windy night and Thetis was gyrating so I got up at 5:30 to check the anchor. It was alright but I could not get back to sleep. I did receive an e-mail from Alice that she had arrived safely and with out any complications to Jackson. She is now with the family.

While waiting for the daylight I read in the cabin Wolf Hall on the Kindle. Around 8:30 there was some noise from ashore. Three men on motorbikes had arrived and were unloading a number of bags which they carted to the rocks near the sea. They were very busy and vocal. I first thought that they were doing their laundry but after I looked with the binoculars I realized that they were washing with soap powder not clothes but pebbles! I was sure that they had brought the pebble with them and that they intended to use them for a decorative project. A mosaic?

In the mean time, the gusts became more ferocious. The wind would go from 5-6 knots to 19, stay there for a few minutes, and then go down to 5-6 again. 10 minutes later this cycle was repeated. It was very tiresome. I decided to re-locate to either Papandria or Katsadia on the S side of the island. I made arrangements for towing the dinghy and raised the anchor.

We departed at 1015 and motored slowly, at 4 knots, around the southern tip of the island and entered the two coves. There were 2 S/Y in Papandria and one in Katsadia. Both of the moorings in Katsadia were free. Mindful of the strong gusts I caught the deeper of the 2 moorings [37° 16.9' N 26° 46.3' E] without any trouble. The time was 1045 and we bravely crossed the relatively flat sea for 1.9 M!

Later I swam ashore to see if the taverna was open because since I used their mooring I felt that I ought to have at least one meal there. To my relief it was shut.

In the late afternoon I heard shots from ashore. It turned out that there were 3 hunters and maybe 6-7 dogs up the hill, not too far from Thetis, shooting at birds. I hopped that no stray shot would come our way. I removed the tent, had my evening ouzo, and when it got dark I started the genset to charge the batteries and the iPad while cooking.

While doing so the telephone rang. It was Alice from Jackson on FaceTime. She could not hear me well and we agreed to call her back in 45 minutes.

Since I had to finish my supplies I made a cheese omelet with the last remaining eggs. I was running low on fruits (3 oranges left) and gasoline but I still had some ground meat sauce, 3-4 slices of pot roast, and plenty of potatoes. After the food was ready I turned off the genset and ate. After eating I called back Alice.

By 9:30 I could not keep my eyes open.

Monday October 5, 2015, Day 13

After I had my morning coffee I debated with myself what to do. Wait until 10:30 and walk to town and get gasoline, fresh bread, and fruits or to forget it. I decided to forget it. I raised the dinghy and cast off the mooring at 0855.

I headed south to Archangelos, less then 2 M from Partheni in Leros. The wind was 10-14 knots from the WNW, a down wind for our course of 166. I opened about 45% of the headsail and motor-sailed. This is the last sail of this year, not that I sailed very much. The mainsail has not been used at all this year. I called Ms Irene at Agmar Marine and confirmed that Thetis’ haul-out was scheduled for Thursday October 8. My flight for Athens is on the 12.

The sea was a little rough. We arrived in Archangelos [37° 11.9' N 26° 46.3' E], after 5.1 M, at 1045. There were 3 other S/Ys in the cove. I anchored in 4 m depth and let out 25 m of chain. Then I put up the tent. Soon the other S/Ys left to be replaced some time later by others.

After a while a wooden τσερνικοπέραμα (tsernicoperama - a caïque variation of the traditional Perama) arrived. Her name is Υπαπαντή (Ypapanti). I called my brother Nikos to see if he knew her since there preciously few of the classic Greek boats left, but he was not available. I went over with the dinghy and spoke to Ypapanti’s skipper Dionysis. He told me that he had met Nikos in Paros. Ypapanti is kept in Patmos. I was not sure if I had seen her before, maybe I had. At any rate she is not in very well kept condition.

The afternoon here was calm. Three small boats, a cruiser, a largish inflatable, and a smaller inflatable arrived. I had seen these 3 boats yesterday rafted in Papandria. Now they rafted again E of the cove’s promontory. In the evening I removed the tent and had an ouzo. The 3 boats moved to the taverna’s small pier and rafted again. Seven men came ashore and started beating an octopus.

I took a hot shower and then went ashore to the taverna Το Στίγμα (To Stigma - the latitude and longitude coordinates). While entering the porch I was greeted by my name. It was Mr. Yiogarinis the owner of the well known ouzo distillery in Samos. He was a member of the 7 men group from the 3 small boats. Another member, Mr. Vasilis, is the owner of the Samos hotel. His wife owns a property adjacent to ours in Kalami. They told me that every year, around this time, they take a 10-15 day trip together with their boats with a lot of spear fishing. I, of course, sat with them. The ladies of the taverna, Europe and Demetra, asked me about Alice. I had a good dinner with a very congenial company. Although the party was going strong I had to excuse myself because I was rather tired.

Tuesday October 6, 2015, Day 14

The wind, still mild, had shifted overnight direction from WNW to S and Thetis drifted close to the shore but still in 3 m depth (she draws 1.6 m). After my coffee thinking to take advantage of the calms I opened the genoa and started lowering it. But, when the sail was half way down it got stuck. This had happened before at the joint of its two extrusions. There was nothing to be done other then rolling-in the partially opened sail. Somehow Thetis looked sad without her big sail, like a bird with clipped wings.

Taking advantage of the sun, still low on the horizon, I went ashore and took an hour hike to the top of the island.

Back on board I ran the genset for ½ an hour and I put up the tent and spent a pleasant morning reading and listening to classical music.

In the afternoon I heard somebody calling my name. It was one from the Samian group that I had met yesterday. He asked me to join them in their boats. They were all under the shaded cockpit of the larger boat drinking copious amounts of ouzo and eating grilled octopus while Vasilis was preparing a large salad. They introduced me to a new meze (μεζές - tasty treat): the ink gland of an octopus fried in olive oil. It was delicious. After a couple hours I left. I am not even sure how I managed to get back to Thetis. I jumped into the water and swam just to somber up. I then made a strong cup of coffee. But the party was not yet over. They had invited me tonight for κακαβιά (kakavia - a fish soup made from small fish like the French bouillabaisse).

When the sun was low I removed the tent. Then I raised the mainsail and aftre removing its battens and its reefing lines, I lowered it and removed it from the boom.

After dark I went ashore to the taverna. All 7 of the Samian group were there and waiting for Ms. Demetra to declare the soup done. When it was ready and served it was out of this world. It was made with the fish speared this afternoon. After 3 plates of soup for each one of us, we were served the small boiled fish, salads, cheese, etc. What an evening!

Wednesday October 7, 2015, Day 15

This was my last day aboard Thetis because she was scheduled for her haul-out tomorrow morning. My plan was to spend the day here in Archangelos and then, in the late afternoon, move the boat to Partheni and tie in one of Agmar’s moorings. Also I had to consume most of the left over pot roast because from tomorrow it would be hard to do any cooking in the boat. I took what was left of the Kalami potatoes, onions, lemons, etc. to my Samian friends. Back on board I put up the tent.

Contrary to yesterday’s morning forecasts there was hardly any wind, just a 4-7 knot breeze from variable directions. Today’s revised forecasts called for force 2 wind from the NW.

In the afternoon I saw a S/Y with a singlehandler lady entering the cove. She expertly anchored. She is American and her name is Christina. Her husband is British and they have a house in Gourna, Leros.

Later I prepared to relocate Thetis to Partheni to be in place for tomorrow’s haul-out. I removed the tent and departed from Archangelos at 1600. We motored slowly the 1.2 M to Partheni [37° 11.3' N 26° 48' E] towing the dinghy. I easily caught one of Agmar’s moorings, the time was 1625.

During the sunset I had my last ouzo afloat. I then pealed my last 2 potatoes and baked them with garlic and thyme in the oven. When they were ready I warmed the last of the pot roast. Although I ate 3 slices there were 3 more left. I wrapped them in aluminum foil to be eaten as cold cuts for lunch some time in the next 4 days. I ran the genset, just to burn some of its fuel. I also spoke to Alice with FaceTime.

Thursday October 8, 2015, Day 16

I got up early to prepare for the haul-out. While I was making my coffee the Camping Gaz ran out and I had to replace the canister to continue with the coffee making.

After my coffee I hung the fenders and prepared the mooring lines. I then went ashore with the dinghy and walked to the yard. It was still shut. It opens at 8:00 and it was only 7:30. When I was getting ready to go back into the dinghy somebody from the yard drove to the pool. He told me that the travel-lift will be coming shortly. I got back to Thetis and raised the dinghy on its davits.

By that time the travel-lift was in place and waiting for the boat. I cast off the mooring and slowly drove Thetis to the "pool". By 0830 Thetis was out of the water and was being driven to her winter resting place.

Thomas, the German rigger, came and lowered the stuck headsail. The bottom of the boat was very clean so they only rinsed it with fresh water. I went to the office greeting everyone and asked Ms. Irene to order for me a rented car.

Back to Thetis, now on her stands, I lowered the dinghy and made a large bundle of the headsail which along with the mainsail were to be picked up for washing, folding, and winter storage. Also to be removed and stored were the passarella and the genset. I connected the boat with the AC power. Then I lowered the mooring lines, to be washed tomorrow, and did various odd jobs. I also put up the tent.

I had a very hard time with the yard’s WiFi. Unlike other years this time it just refused to work from the boat and in the office it sort of worked but at snail’s speed.

In the late afternoon I had a good chat with Angelos, the yard’s owner-director, about Thetis’ defects and her issues. Following that I had a nice hot shower in the yard’s facilities with abundant water.

After an ouzo I drove with the rented car to Alindas and had dinner at the Steki. Dimitris, the owner, was full of the political situation. At the taverna I met a Turkish family from a S/Y: father, daughter, and grandson. They are from Izmir and they do know my friend Turgut.

This was an eventful and busy day.

Friday October 9, 2015

Another busy day. It started by a call from Alice. Then with a lot of washing. I lowered to the dinghy, which was on the ground, the fenders and mooring lines (the ones that had been used). Then I filled the dinghy with fresh water, washed the fenders, and soaked the lines. I removed the roller reefing line, the sheets lines, the downhaul line, etc. All this lines I placed inside the dinghy which was filled with water was a like a large bath tub.

After these activities I drove the car to Kamara and bought fresh bread and some fruits. Back in the yard I met with Mastro Michalis, the technical director, and discussed Thetis various maintenance issues of Thetis.

I washed more things. I then siphoned Diesel fuel from the remaining 2 jerry cans into the main fuel tank and topped it. I do this every year because if the tank is full the possibility of water vapors entering the tank is minimized. I lowered the now 4 empty (2 had been emptied before) jerry cans and took them to the yard’s fuel disposal tank and drained them. After that I washed the the cans with soap and water and placed them upside down to dry.

The S/Y that I had met in Agrio Livadhi, Myrica, was hauled-out. It turns out that Richard and Wendy will be flying on Monday in the same flight that I am in.

I finished reading Stand Into Danger and started reading on the Kindle William C. Hammond’s A Call to Arms.

In the evening I had a luxurious shower and then an ouzo in the cockpit and consumed more of the remaining food supplies. I then walked to the seaside. The sea was fairly rough and the wind was up. After this stroll I got into the rented car and drove to Lakki where I had good dinner at the Ostria restaurant.

Back in Thetis I read a little and then went to bed.

Saturday October 10, 2015

Because today was the last working day of the yard before my very early morning flight on Monday I occupied myself, right after my morning coffee, preparing on the MacBook the “To Do” list for Agmar. After it was done I printed it.

I slowly lifted on deck all the lines that had been soaking in the water filled dinghy and hanged them on the rails to dry.

At my request Antonis (customer’s relations) and Panayiotis (electrician) came to Thetis and we discussed the items on my “To Do” list. Later Sideris (the cover maker) came and we discussed the modifications needed on the new dinghy cover that will allow the outboard to be attached while the dinghy is covered.

After that I removed the spray hood and washed it with soap and fresh water and hanged it to dry. Then I thoroughly washed the dinghy and let it rest on a pallet on the ground. The yard will remove the outboard for service and storage and cover the dinghy when the modifications on its cover are done. I attended to lots and lots of details for the winter lay out.

In the evening after a very welcomed shower and an ouzo I drove to the Gourna Taverna where I met Panayiotis and his wife Mary at 8:00. I had never been in this taverna before. We had good conversation with many stories and a wonderful albeit too big an array of mezedes: μαρίδες (marides - small fried fish), shrimps, octopus, salad, mussels, grilled peppers, etc. By the time I returned to my boat it was past midnight.

Sunday October 11, 2015

I slept past 7 this morning. This will not do for tomorrow because I will need to be at the airport by 7:30 and there are plenty of last minute tasks to be done before I leave the boat. The morning was very windy with N winds gusting to 26 knots.

I sorted my clothes and packed what was to travel with me in the duffle bag. I also wrapped in bubble wrap the 5 bottles of Kalami wine and also packed them. Everything was packed except my bathroom kit which will have to wait for tomorrow.

I re-installed the newly washed spray hood to both shield the cockpit from the wind and to thoroughly dry it before stowing it. I raised the end of the water hose and first I washed the used mask, snorkel, and flippers, then I washed with soap and brush the deck and cockpit. I also put back on the deck the genoa sheets that were still moist. Unfortunately some of the runoff soapy water from the cockpit ended in the dinghy and I had to wash it again and drain it. I collected the water hoses and stowed them in a sail locker.

There were plenty more pickups and stowing. I oiled the roller reef mechanism and all the winches. I then covered the roller-reef and the area around the boom side of the mast. I lowered the duffle bag and put it in the trunk of the car.

Finally, at the end of the day, I drove to Lakki and ate an excellent veal chop in the reliable Petrino restaurant.

Monday October 12, 2015

Although the alarm was set for 5 I woke up a few minutes before. I had my coffee and then emptied the refrigerator, cleaned it, and turned it off. I also shut the Camping Gaz. I packed the laundry in a bag to be picked up by the yard. Finally I shaved and put my bathroom kit in the duffle bag already in the car. I disconnected the AC cable and stowed in a sail locker. Then I got dressed for travel and I was ready to go.

I drove to Myrica and picked up Richard and Wendy and their luggage and we drove to the nearby airport well in time for check in. I returned the car, and paid the rent of 100 €. Our flight was on time and we flew to Athens without any trouble.

This year’s cruise was ended.

2015 Vital Statistics
Total Distance 141 M
Time at Sea 22 days
Total Time Underway 32.3 hrs
Total Solo Time 21 days
Total Engine Time 39.2 hrs
Total Fuel Consumed 120 L
Total Water Consumed 150 L