Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

2016: Kea To Samos

This web page contains the logs of the second leg of a 22-day solo sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis to the Cyclades in Greece. The logs cover a period of 12 days of sailing from the island of Kea or Tzia (Koundouros), back to Samos (Tsopela, Kyriakou, Samos Marina) via the islands of Kythnos, Sifnos, Schinousa, Amorgos, Levitha, Leros (Lakki), Lipsi (Papandria), and Tiganakia.

The logs include some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited as well as several links to other related web sites.

Route from Tzia
Route from Kea (Tzia)

Wednesday August 10, 2016, Day 10

My plan for today was to sail to the Kolona anchorage in Kythnos. After raising the dinghy on its davits we departed from Koundouros at 0803. The wind was 10-20 knots from the NNW. At first we motor-sailed with 30% of the headsail while running the water-maker. Near Cape Tamelos the southernmost point of Kea the wind changed now coming from the NW and I was finally able to turn off the motor. The wind was, however, variable in strength. Sometimes we were doing better then 7 knots and others under 3.

After 10.6 M we arrived in Kolona (Κολώνα) [37° 24.9' N 024° 22.6' E] at 1010. There were many boats here and, across the sandbar, in Fikiadha: large motor cruisers, S/Y, catamarans, etc. There was even an old fashioned small ship. I anchored over sand in 4.5 m depth and let out 38 m of chain. Thetis settled in 5.5 m. After anchoring I lowered the dinghy and snorkeled to the anchor. It was nicely buried under the sand.

I swam to the sand bar and walked from one end to the other but towards the end of this walk the sand was so hot that I almost burned my feet before reaching the Kolona side of the bar.

In the late afternoon I spoke via FaceTime with Alice in Washington, DC. All was fine with me and the boat until the evening when 2 chartered S/Y arrived. The first anchored and then settled right over my anchor. I spoke politely with them and they relocated upwind from Thetis, close but not too close. The second with a family of 4 was circling and circling. Finally they dropped their anchor close to Thetis but slightly down wind and to her right. Then, with the anchor down, they powered in a large circle, dragging the anchor, until they stopped to the left of Thetis but almost touching. I tried telling the father of the group that 2 m separation between two boats was not very safe. Instead he snorkeled for a while and then declared that everything was fine. But after time the two boats came as close as less then a meter. I put a fender on Thetis’ bow and let out 5-6 m of chain so that at least I could sleep without worrying.

Kolona looking accros the sand-bar to Fikiadha
Boats moored stern-to in Kolona

Thursday August 11, 2016, Day 11

I woke up fairly early and my plan was to sail south to Vathi in the island of Sifnos about 36 M away. I had trouble raising the anchor without touching my two neighbors. At one time we were so close that while running from the bow to the stern to reverse the engine I slipped and fell. Fortunately there was no damage other then some muscle pain. Eventually the anchor was up and at 0627 we were on our way.

The wind was 2-10 knots coming from anywhere between NNE and NNW continuously changing direction. After clearing the cove I raised the mainsail and opened about 90% of the headsail. We kept alternating between lovely sailing without the drone of the motor and motor-sailing. The sea was calm. I put up the bimini and played some music. After 34.7 very pleasant miles we arrived in Vathi (Βαθύ), Sifnos (Σίφνος) [36° 55.8' N 024° 41.5' E] at 1300. I anchored in 6 m with 25 m scope.

After snorkeling to the anchor I saw that it was not well set but that it would be OK for a while. I lowered the dinghy, put up the tent, and opened the bimini. After a snack, I relocated the boat and re-anchored in 7 m letting out 35 m of chain. Thetis settled in 4.5 m depth. This time the anchor was very comfortably buried in the sand. There were many boats and a lot of new buildings since my last visit here in 2001. They were not an improvement but still Vathy is a nice place.

For dinner I went ashore. To my delight my favorite Tzikali restaurant was still there and packed. I had a good dinner there and bought 2 of their homemade cheeses.

My plan for tomorrow was to sail to Dhespotico, an island S of Antiparos, with a good anchorage and then on Saturday to sail to Schinousa. But after seeing the forecasts it looked that on Saturday there will be strong gusty winds of force 6-7. So, I changed my plan and decided to make tomorrow the 45 M run directly to Schinousa. In preparation for this I raised the dinghy and set the alarm for 5 AM.

Friday August 12, 2016, Day 12

After the alarm woke me up at 5 and had my coffee taking into account the low forecasted winds to make sure that there will be plenty of fuel in the tank. So, I siphoned into it one of the jerry cans.

By 0620 all tasks were completed and the anchor was up and lashed. Last night I had already entered a route from here to Schinousa in the GPS/Chart Plotter. The last time I had done so was when leaving Marathi and it was a disaster. Today however it worked very well. When we were about 5 miles from the cove it actually automatically changed the course on the autopilot to intercept the route to the next waypoint. The wind was a light 2-6 knot breeze and there was almost no apparent wind on our course of 095. Nevertheless I raised the mainsail and opened about 60% of the headsail. But we could not sail, just motor-sail. Soon the headsail was very unhappy and I had to roll it in. I opened the bimini to have some shade. The sea was very calm.

We moved and the mainsail helped us on and off. The wind was sometimes from our starboard and some times not. Eventually we reached the island in the middle of Schinousa. I was intending to go E of to the Aligaria cove where Alice and I had weathered a gale in 2009 but I saw a large motor cruiser there, so I turned around and headed to Livadhi (Λιβάδι) [36° 51.7' N 025° 31.4' E]. The time was 1350 and we had come 45 M from Vathy, exactly as I had calculated. I dropped the anchor in 4.5 m and let out 35 m of chain, just in case.

After lowering the dinghy I snorkeled and looked at the anchor. It was under the sand but not completely upright.

Later the S/Y Scarlett, a Moody ketch, arrived. Her skipper hailed me and asked if I was “Vasilis Riginos”. He said that he has been following my website for several years and was intending to contact me by e-mail but had not come around doing so. On board there were 2 ladies and another gentleman. In the late afternoon I went with the dinghy over to Scarlett and met her crew. They were: the skipper/owner Grigoris Tsitsas, who had spoken to me earlier, his wife Grigoria, Petros, and his wife Maria. Both Grigoris and Petros are fellow Athens College alumni. I had an ouzo with them and they invited me to join them for dinner at the taverna ashore.

S/Y Scarlett in Schinousa

After the sunset as we had arranged we went to the taverna where we had a nice dinner and a good time. Grigoris is in business although he has a chemistry degree. Grigoria and Maria are partners in an advertising company, and Petros owns two preparatory schools, in Athens and in Salonica, that tutors students intending to study either in the UK or the US.

Back on Thetis I checked the forecasts. They were dire for the next few days predicting gale force winds.

Saturday August 13, 2016, Day 13

There was some wind during the night but certainly no gale. I spent the morning quietly reading. I also checked the anchor. It had not moved or changed its orientation although only one side was under the sand. The forecasts were issuing dire reports of gales with force 7 to 8 and possibly 9. Just in case I let out 10 more meters of chain.

By the afternoon there was still no significant increase of the wind but the gale forecasts kept coming. I decided not to take a risk and prepared to set the Brittany our 2nd anchor. While doing so a Greek gentleman from a nearby small cruiser asked if I needed any help. I thanked him for his offer and we talked for a while. He is staying at Costas Negrepontis’ house but Costas was not here. Grigoris also insisted in helping me. When all was ready, that is lines, chain, and anchor, I put them in the dinghy and drove it paying out the line and then the chain. I finally dropped the anchor. Back on Thetis I pulled on the line until both anchores were balanced at about 35° with each other.

I invited Grigoris and Grigoria for an ouzo (Petros and Maria had gone with their dinghy to a near by beach). In the mean time 2 more sailing catamarans had arrived and one of them anchored rather close to Scarlett and the other close to Thetis.

Earlier the strange looking large catamaran S/Y Astarte that I had seen in Vathi arrived. She is not a modern looking yacht but looks like a Hawaiian catamaran like the Hokulea. She was followed by another large charter S/Y. The skipper of this last one was a very attractive and agile young woman. She reminded me of our daughter Corinna. After consulting with the skipper of Astarte they moved their boats to the W side of the cove and took shore lines helping each other. The charterers of either boat offered no help.

S/Y Astarte in Schinousa

When the sun was low on the horizon I went ashore and took a ¾ of an hour walk. Back on board I cut a few slices of the lamb roast and made for dinner a pilaf sprinkled it with Parmezan.

The night was very quiet and there was no gale.

Sunday August 14, 2016, Day 14

Still no gale but the gale warnings continued. I did some computer work and then I snorkeled to the anchors. The Rocna was exactly as it had been for the last 2 days. The Brittany was well set. While the sun was still not too strong I transferred 1 jerry can of fuel to the tank after which it was full.

Not very much else to do. I read, swam, and watched the activities on other boats. The forecasts were still the same. I spoke with my brother Byron in Kea. There was a fire on the E side of the island fanned by the strong winds. Here it was calm.

I worked on the computer doing my weekly banking using the iPad for Internet access. I updated all the accounts and scheduled payments for several bills. I also started the 2016-17 list for the major maintenance needs of Thetis.

In the evening I went ashore and had dinner at the taverna.

Monday August 15, 2016, Day 15

Today is a major holiday in Greece. The night was very quiet and the morning was calm. Still the forecasts predicted force 7 winds between Schinousa and Amorgos. I decided to stay here today and leave tomorrow when the winds are predicted to be less strong. I may go either to Aigiali in Amorgos or go directly to Levitha some 47 M from here.

I put up the tent and closed the bimini. I decided to raise the 2nd anchor, which was really not needed, and make tomorrow’s departure easier. The problem was that I did not want to possibly disturb the primary anchor by using the windlass, so I had to raise the 2nd by hand. I prepared the lines, put on boating shoes and gloves and got into the dinghy. I pulled up the 30 m line, coiling in the dinghy, until I reached the chain. Then I pulled up the chain. Thetis’ Rocna anchor was under Scarlett so that made the lifting even harder. Eventually the anchor was up. I started the outboard and drove back to Thetis. With some effort I raised the Brittany anchor to its holder on the pulpit. Then I pulled the chain into the cockpit and stowed it in the left sail locker. Finally I coiled the long rope, attached two bungie cords to keep it coiled, and stowed it in the right sail locker with the rest of the long lines.

While resting under the tent I admired the lady skipper of S/Y Archipel preparing her for departure. While they were a number of charterers they did not help her. She did everything by herself working methodically, gracefully, and slowly: first taking in the shore line, storing it, then raising the outboard from the dinghy, then raising the dinghy, washing it, lashing it down, and covering it. Finally she raised the anchor and they were on their way.

Nothing much happened the rest of the day. I spoke with my sister-in-law Mirka who was in her house in Karystos. I had a message from Turgut. He was in Mallorca with his friend Fatih and will be returning to New Life next week, then back to Izmir.

Anticipating an early start tomorrow I raised the dinghy, removed the tent, and uncovered the mainsail.

For dinner I made pasta with a sauce of chopped garlic, diced onion, and capers all lightly cooked in a little olive oil. After mixing the sauce with the pasta I sprinkled it with plenty of Parmezan cheese. Before going to bed I set my iPhone to wake me up at 5 AM so that I could get an early start. My plan was to sail to Aigiali in Amorgos, and if the weather is good to push on for Levitha.

Tuesday August 16, 2016, Day 16

Despite doing yesterday a lot of the departure procedures and getting up at 5 I did not manage to depart before 0635. Before that I checked the forecasts: they all predicted NNW winds of force 4-5 everywhere but of force 6 near Amorgos.

After clearing the cove I turned the boat into the wind and raised the mainsail taking in one reef. Then, after clearing the long island on the east side of Schinousa I headed for the channel between Keros to the N and Antikeros to the S. The wind was more or less as predicted but mostly from the N. What was not predicted, however, was the size of the waves. They were short and large. I opened about 20% of the headsail and sailed for a while but then I had to roll it back because it was seriously flapping and I did not want to change our heading. It was also hard to keep the mainsail happy because the waves continuously threw us off course. I had to start the engine just to have enough power to maintain the course. The gusts increased reaching 28 knots. It was not fun and I decided not to continue to Levitha and headed instead for the W side of Nikouria island expecting it to shield us from the waves.

After entering the cove between Amorgos to the W and Nikouria to the E the waves did subside. I headed into the wind and lowered the mainsail without any trouble. We then motored slowly transiting the narrow and shallow channel between Nikouria to the north and Amorgos to the south. But after we cleared the channel the waves were back. We arrived in Aegiali (Αιγιάλη), Amorgos (Αμοργός) at 1130. A large S/Y was anchored off exactly in the protected by the jetty spot that I wanted to anchor. Anywhere else in the protected area may interfere with an arriving ferry. So, I anchored in a more exposed to the swell location [36° 54.3' N 025° 58.6' E]. We had come 24.8 M from Schinousa. I dropped the anchor in 6 m depth over sand and let out 35 m of chain, Thetis settled in 5 m depth.

I put up the tent and raised the dinghy so that I could lower myself into the water and snorkel to the anchor. It was well set. I then lowered the dinghy and went to the harbor where I bought bread and fresh fruits. I then returned to the boat. Thetis was rocking. I had a small nap and a coffee. I then removed 2 of the floor boards to check the bilge. While doing so I heard someone calling my name. I went out and saw that it was a gentleman with a dinghy. I knew that my brother Nikos has a friend here who own a house. Indeed it was he, Takis Kondis, whom I had actually met several years ago in Athens. He also owns the S/Y Nisos Amorgos. We spoke for a while about the weather conditions and the swell. He told me that this swell is not very unusual here. The waves are reflected by Nikouria and cause the swell in the harbor and cove of Aigiali. He keeps his boat moored bow-to in the harbor and has his own mooring. Takis is an architect and his wife is a painter.

In the evening I went ashore heading for my favorite little taverna that has a few tables in an alley. It turned out that they also have more tables up on the building’s roof. I sat at a roof table and watched, while eating, Thetis pitching. Back on board the swell seemed less. I went to bed in my rocking cabin.

Approaching Aegiali

Wednesday August 17, 2016, Day 17

I am writing this while sitting in Thetis’ cockpit under the tent. She was swinging on a mooring in Paradise. It was calm here, quiet, and there was no swell.

When I went to bed last night the boat was violently pitching up and down with the nasty swell but after crawling in my cabin I had no trouble falling sound asleep. Suddenly I was woken up by a terrible loud noise. The boat, other then the pitching was alright. The noise came from ashore. It was “music” sounding like 100 screaming devils. I tried putting on my hearing aids, without turning them on, to muffle the cacophony. It was no use. I shut the cabin’s port but still no use. The horrible sound combined with the boat’s wild dance in the water made further sleep impossible. I read for a while, looked at the forecasts, read the news, my emails, but nothing worked. Finally I gave up.

I worked for over half an hour raising the dinghy, not a mean feat in that swell. I then tried again to sleep but no dice. I finally made myself a cup of Turkish coffee and after drinking it I raised the anchor. The time was 0438. We motored slowly out of the cove and over a mile away from the Amorgos cliffs to avoid any reflected waves. Amazingly although there were good sized waves it was more comfortable than at anchor in the “sheltered” cove. The wind was not very strong, about 5-10 knots NNW but it was a head wind. This lasted for a while until we cleared Cape Vilakarda, the northeastermost end of the island. Then we turned to 066 and headed for SW side of the small island of Kinaros. I opened about 50% of the headsail and although it did help it did not give enough power to maintain our course. We still had to keep the engine running at low RPM. When we reached the S side of Kinaros we were sheltered from the waves and I opened all of the genoa and turned off the engine. We sailed all the way to Levitha. Here there were strong gusts. I turned the engine on again as we entered the S cove and rolled-in the genoa. We then motored to the E side with the moorings.

My fears of not finding a free mooring were unfounded. There were only 2 S/Y: one with a British flag and a catamaran with the German flag. I easily caught one of the many moorings [37° 0.15' N 026° 28.2' E]. The time was 0930 and we had come 24.8 M from Aigiali. I launched the dinghy and attached a strong line with a large shackle to the mooring buoy. I do this because in the past double lines had been frayed on mooring buoys. After I put up the tent I tidied up the cockpit and had a swim. So here I was in paradise and very glad that I left Aigiali.

The Kamposos hamlet in Levitha

In the afternoon more S/Ys arrived, about half of them Italian. I rested, read, and swam. In the evening I took a hot shower and put on blue jeans because it was breezy and chilly. After I had an ouzo I went ashore and walked to the Kamposos hamlet. They all greeted me as an old friend. I sat in the taverna and had a salad, grilled cheese, and a loutsos (fish λούτσος - pike). I met there an attractive French family, parents and 2 lovely teen age daughters, form the S/Y Namaste a large Lagoon catamaran, flying a Greek flag. They winter her in Lefkas and sail in the Greek waters every year.

Well fed I walked back and went to bed early. I slept like a log.

Thursday August 18, 2016, Day 18

After I woke up I debated whether to spend the day here or to sail to Leros and get some fuel. Finally I decided to go on to Leros. I slowly prepared: removed the tent, removed the line with the shackle from the mooring, raised the dinghy, etc. At 0755 I cast off. I then, while in the cove, raised the mainsail, still on its 1st reef, and motor-sailed running the water-maker. I had decided to go today to Xerocambos and then tomorrow to Lakki for fuel. But then I remembered that now there are strong flood lights in Xerocambos and so at 0840 I headed for Lakki, after clearing Cape Spano (the easternmost point of Levitha). The new plan was to anchor off, get the fuel, and spent the night there. The wind was about 12 knots from the NW. I opened the full genoa and turned off the engine. It was a very nice slow sail. A large ship crossed our path with less than 1.5 M clearance but she was not registered in the AIS. This also happened once yesterday. Further none of the large motor cruisers appear on the AIS. I had a hard time getting e-mail and forecasts on the iPad even when we were less than a mile from the entrance to the Lakki inlet. We kept on sailing until we reached Lakki. Then I rolled in the genoa, turned upwind and lowered the mainsail. I anchored in 6 m depth at 1245 [37° 7.8' N 026° 51.2' E] and let out 35 m of scope. The distance from Levitha was 20.1 M.

I put up the tent and then called Cosmote, my mobile service provider, about the problem I had getting e-mails and Internet access on my iPad. In the mean time, while the iPad had received hardly an e-mail the iPhone had received over 60 e-mails. I turned off the iPad and restarted it. It too received the same e-mails and its web access started to work. Although they did not specifically said so I suspected that there was some service outage in Leros.

I had a light lunch and took a nap. In the early evening I lowered the dinghy and unearthed from the right sail locker the cart for carrying jerry cans. I then went ashore and refilled the empty can with 24 L of Diesel fuel for 30 €. I also bought some groceries and fruits. Back on Thetis I stowed the cart and then siphoned the fuel from the can to the main tank. Now the tank was full.

After a shower I went ashore intending to eat at the Petrino restaurant that has the best grilled meat in the island. Thinking that there may be some waiting time I took with me, in addition to the iPhone, my Kindle e-book reader. I will come to regret this. I went to the restaurant sometime after 8 PM. Mr. Yiorgos, the proprietor, greeted me profusely and explained to his staff that we are fellow sufferers since years ago we had met at a doctor’s office in Athens. I had a salad and a very, very good bon-fillet. After this wonderful meal I walked to the marina. They do not run a café anymore but have replaced it with a fancy office. It was time to go back to my boat. While getting into the dinghy I somehow slipped and found myself in the water. In my belt pouch in addition to my wallet there were the iPhone and the Kindle.

As soon as I climbed out to the water I switched off the iPhone but I was not successful with the Kindle. The reason for immediately turning off any electronic device that has been submerged is that this prevents its electronic components from carrying any current and thus, being wet, and shorting. Back on Thetis I rinsed both devices with fresh water, wiped them, and dried them in the warm oven. When dried the Kindle displayed a message: “Damaged battery”. The iPhone, being off, did not display anything. I put both devices in a container full of rice. Rice absorbs moisture. I then attended to my soaked clothes which I hung to dry. I went to bed early and very upset.

Friday August 19, 2016, Day 19

I woke up early still upset about my accident and its possible consequences. I did not try to turn on my iPhone but left it in its bowl of rice. I prepared to depart for Lipsi.

We left Lakki at 0740. Almost no wind, hence no sailing. We motored all of the 12.4 M to Papandria (Παπανδριά), Lipsi [37° 16.8' N 026° 46.2' E] where we arrived at 1010. I anchored, marking the anchor’s location with the small buoy, in 4.5 m depth and let out 25 m of chain.

On the way I plugged the Kindle to its charger. It flickered and the message about the battery disappeared but its amber charging light did come on. I planned, without much hope, to leave it charging for several hours. I also charged the iPhone. To my delight it turned on and seemed to work but just in case, I turned it off and put it back in its bowl of rice.

After anchoring, I put up the tent. My body hurt and I had several abrasions. Here there were over 11 S/Ys, 2 Turkish gulets, plus 2-3 small motor cruisers. I spent a quiet day reading, swimming, and resting. Now that the Kindle was not working I continued reading the e-books using the Kindle app on the iPad.

In the afternoon I spoke with Alice via FaceTime on the iPad. When the sun was low on the horizon I went ashore with the dinghy and walked to the town where I bought some rice and bread. Then walked back to Papandria and Thetis. There was a lovely moon rise, the moon one day past full. The iPhone now worked except for its finger-print recognition. I even used it to send music, via Bluetooth, to the loud speaker. So far so good.

For dinner I made rice pilaf and served it with the last, thank goodness, of the lamb roast. After dinner I turned off the iPhone and put it back in the bowl of rice so that any moisture released by it being on will be absorbed.

Saturday August 20, 2016, Day 20

I slept late and did not wake up until 7 AM. I prepared to depart for Tiganakia. We departed at 0910. The wind was 10-15 knots from the N. We motored running the water-maker. After 6.3 M we arrived in Tiganakia [37° 21.5' N 026° 45.1' E], near Arki. There were 10 other S/Ys here. I anchored in 7 m depth, let out 40 m of chain, and also deployed the small marking buoy. Thetis settled in 7.8 m. I launched the dinghy and snorkeled to the anchor. It was beautifully buried in the sand.

Later I washed down the cockpit which was full of bread crumbs. I turned on the iPhone. It was still working. I made a test call to our Kalami number. The answering machine answered with my recorded voice. I left a message. Good! I turned off the phone and put it back in its bowl of rice. I then did some banking connecting to my bank accounts with the mobile connection on the iPad.

In the afternoon I witnessed the following drama at sea. An Italian S/Y near Thetis prepared to depart. They removed their outboard from their dinghy and then raised their anchor. They did not go very far and they stopped. Being curious I watched them with the binoculars. They lowered back the outboard to the dinghy and a young man went some small distance and “rescued” a woman and two children who were swimming. Then he ferried them to a Turkish gulet anchored not too far away. After a while he entered the dinghy and untied it. His outboard did not start. He tried starting it for several minutes to no avail. The dinghy was already drifting away. He jumped in the water and removed a section of a rope that seemed to be tangled in the outboard’s propeller. He then, still in the water, started towing the dinghy to the S/Y. In the mean time, a crewman from the gulet got in their dinghy and and went to the rescue. While all of this was going on the S/Y had re-anchored. The dinghy and the young man were towed to the S/Y. They, once again, removed the outboard, raised their anchor and off they went on their way. Lesson: never, never untie a dinghy before starting its outboard.

In the evening I had my traditional ouzo and then made for dinner a potato omelet with the local eggs I had bought in Leros. I decided not to go to Marathi tomorrow because I saw that the cove was full of motor cruisers. Instead I will make the run back to Samos.

Sunday August 21, 2016, Day 21

I got up a little before 6. Raised the dinghy, opened the bimini, and departed at 0645. We motored along the W side of Arki. There was a substantial swell but the wind was only 15-20 knots from the N, a head wind lasting all of our way. After rounding Cape Koumaro, the northernmost point of Arki, the sea was too rough to climb on deck and raise the mainsail so, I just opened about 25% of the headsail and tried to motor-sail. It was hopeless for our course of 025 and I gave up. We motored the rest of the 17.8 M to Tsopela [37° 38.3' N 026° 49.9' E] in Samos where we arrived at 1015.

I anchored in 5.5 m depth over sand and let out 35 m of scope. After anchoring I put up the tent, closed the bimini, lowered the dinghy, and snorkeled to the anchor. It was well set. Several small cruisers came: 2 from Turkey (one with the Turkish flag, the other with the US).

In the afternoon the wind changed direction now coming from the SW at 10 to 20 knots, not as forecasted. My iPhone now works and I spoke with our Kalami caretaker Yiorgos. We arranged to harvest the grapes on Tuesday morning. Then I called the marina advising of Thetis’ arrival tomorrow evening and called Aramis and arranged for a car delivered in the marina. There was a lot of swell. It seems that it follows me. After staying for a few hours the 2 Turkish cruisers left.

The evening was nice, other than the swell. I had an ouzo and made a potato omelet for supper. It was hot inside the cabin.

Monday August 22, 2016, Day 22

An unbelievable large swell woke me up at 2 AM. It was hot and I could not go back to sleep in my cabin. I slept for a while in the main cabin and then went back to my right cabin.

When I got up for the day I had a slow start as there was no reason to be in any hurry. The morning was hot and I jumped into the water to cool off. Then I put up the tent. I raised the anchor at 0835 and motored slowly, towing the dinghy and running the water-maker the 1.7 M east to the cove of Kyriakou [37° 38.3' N 026° 51.8' E] at 0905. I anchored in 5 m depth with 25 m of chain. There was less swell here than in Tsopela but the 2-8 knots breeze kept changing directions: now from the E, then from the W, WSW, and back from the E. I jumped in the water and snorkeled to the anchor. It was totally buried in the sand.

I ran the water-maker and filled 2 empty bottles. Then I made a biocide solution with the pure water from these bottles and filled the water-maker that will not be used for a while until our next trip with Thetis. I packed my laundry and stripped my bedding getting ready for the boat’s layout in the marina.

I swam frequently and started a new book: Alexander Kent's Second to None. I also organized what needed to be taken tonight to Kalami and what can wait for another day. I decided to keep the tent and if there is some wind on the way to the marina to just use the headsail.

Around 4 PM, after a final cooling jump in the water, I covered the dinghy and raised it on its davits. Then I took a cold shower. We then, at 1720, departed from Kyriakou. Again there was a light breeze from the NNW and I opened 30% of the headsail. It did some good, off and on, but the wind was not enough to support more sail and definitely I could not turn off the engine. When we were about 1 M from the marina I rolled in the sail and slowed down. I hung fenders on both sides, prepared mooring lines, and hailed on the VHF channel 9 the marina advising them on Thetis’ arrival. Motoring slowly we went to our slip [37° 41.45' N 026° 57.49' E] at 1825. The distance from Kyriakou was 5.4 M. We had arrived.

I called Aramis and let them know that I was here and waiting for the car. Then I emptied the refrigerator and cleaned it. I prepared all the things to go to Kalami tonight, all except for the laundry which I will take another day. Although the sun was low it was still hot. I removed the tent, and covered the mainsail. I left the spray hood to be removed on another day. Around 8:30 the rented car was delivered and after loading it I drove to Kalami.

Our caretaker Yiorgos met me on the road and took my stuff on his motorbike to Kalami. I walked down the path. He had already turned on its lights. At home I found Photini, our house cleaner, and her husband Grigoris. She had prepared a mountain of goodies to be consumed tomorrow after the grape harvest. We all had some ouzo and sampled the goodies.

Τuesday August 23, 2016

While Thetis was in the marina in Kalami it was grape harvest day (trigos - τρύγος). Around 7:30 Yiorgos and Periklis, Photini’s son, arrived. They were followed by Ann and Bob Brown from the M/Y Voyager, Thetis’ neighbor in the marina.

We all worked cutting the grapes almost without talking to beat the rising sun. We cut 14 ½ crates. We then crashed them with the crasher/stem separator machine and put them into stainless steel drums for the first fermentation.

After that, the party begun. We opened a 2013 bottle of Kalami wine and ate the various mezedes prepared by Photini, luza from Kea, and kopanisti (cheese spread) from Sifnos that I had brought during the trip. Και του χρόνου (may we repeat this next year also)!

The grapes
The happy crew: Ann, Bob, Yiorgos, & Periklis
The grapes to be are put in drums for their first fermentation