Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

2016: Samos-Levitha-Samos

This web page contains the logs of 2 excursions with S/Y Thetis from the island of Samos: an eight day excursion with friends to Levitha and back to Samos (via Patmos, Lipsi, Tiganakia, Marathi, Samiopoula, Tsopela, and Kyriakou), and a 2 day excursion to Mikri Lakka in Samos. The rest of the time Thetis stayed in Samos Marina.

The logs include either some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited or links to these descriptions. Also included are links to other related web sites.

Routes near and from Samos

Tuesday June 8 to June 10, 2016

Thetis spent these days in the marina. On Wednesday June 17 she was moved right next to M/Y Voyager in berth C043. Also on that day with the help of our Kalami caretaker lady, Photene, we cleaned all the interior spaces, powered-cleaned the deck and cockpit and topped the water tanks. This was done in anticipation of expected guests.

I also provisioned the boat before the expected cruise with my guests.

Saturday June 18, 2016, Day 1

Today I moved back in Thetis together with our ex-neighbors in Washington, DC and long time friends Douglas and Molly McMillan, parents of Mara, Corinna's childhood friend. We were going for one week of cruising. We must return in Samos before June 27 when my wife Alice will be arriving and joining us in Kalami.

We departed from the very hot marina at 0950. The wind was a light NE breeze of about 12 knots. We put up the tent and opened about 40% of the headsail and motor-sailed headed for the island of Patmos (Πάτμος). When we were abreast of the small island of Samiopoula the wind begun slowly to increase and backed to NW at 12-16 knots. I increased the headsail to 75% but continued to motor-sail. Our speed was over 7 knots.

We arrived in Livadhi to Geranou (Λιβάδι του Γερανού) [37° 20.7' N 026° 35.3' E], Patmos (Πάτμος) at 1425 after 30.1 M. We anchored in 6 m depth over sand and let out about 40 m of chain. We lowered the dinghy, swam, had a snack, relaxed, and swam some more until ouzo time.

For dinner we ate part of a veal roast that I had brought, already cooked, from Kalami. Along with the roast we had some pasta and plenty of graded Parmezan cheese accompanied by a bottle of 2015 Kalami wine.

Courtesy Douglas McMillan

Sunday June 19, 2016, Day 2

This was a very hot day. Our plan was to move Thetis closer to the harbor, Skala, and to walk to Skala, get a taxi, and visit the famous Monastery. The McMillans have never been here in Patmos before.

On 0845 we raised the anchor and we motored S, running the water-maker and towing the dinghy, the 2.3 M to Lampsi (Λάμψι) [37° 19.5' N 026° 33.4' E]. We arrived at 0906. It was dead calm and hot. We dropped the anchor in 5.5 m depth and let out 35 m of chain.

After checking the anchor we went ashore with the dinghy and then walked for about 30 minutes to Skala. It was awfully hot! We should had gone to Skala with the dinghy. At any rate, we found a taxi and we were driven to the monastery. We arranged with Vasilis, the driver, to come back after an hour and pick us up.

We spent most of the time inside the relatively cool monastery museum because the chapels were packed with people. Today it turned out was not just any Sunday but the eve of the Holly Spirit holiday. Everything in Greece was shut. After we left the museum, Molly managed to squeeze into one of the chapels while I waited outside. It was so hot that that I almost fainted. I walked out of the monastery and fortunately there was an ice cream stand. I got one and it restored me somewhat. By that time both Molly and Doug came out and also got ice creams.

The taxi was there already waiting for us. He took us down the road to the grotto of St. John where he had the visions of the Apocalypse. After visiting the grotto Vasilis drove us to Lampsi, our cove. After we got on board Thetis all of us jumped into the sea. This was very restorative and it revived our spirits.

The rest of the day was very lazy. We lounged under the tent with frequent jumps into the water.

In the evening, with Douglas’ help, I transferred one jerry can of Diesel fuel into main tank bringing it up to ¾ full. Then, Douglas and I took with the dinghy the jerry can as well as an almost empty gasoline canister to Skala where we re-filled them. We took 24.7 L of Diesel.

Back on Thetis we all took hot showers, and had an ouzo. Then all three of us got into the dinghy and went back to Skala. We had a very good dinner at the verandah of the Tzivaeri restaurant. It was past 11 PM when we returned to our boat.

Monday June 20, 2016, Day 3

After my morning coffee I started preparing for our passage to Levitha. I raised the dinghy to its davits and I put up the tent. There was no wind and the sea was dead calm.

We raised the anchor and departed from Patmos at 0802. Motoring was the only option. It was a smooth and easy passage. We ran the water-maker which filled the tanks and we re-filled a few bottles with water for cooking. After 23.8 M we arrived in Levitha (Λέβιθα) [37° 0.15' N 026° 28.2' E] at 1202. Doug easily caught a free mooring. There were only 2 other boats here and one of them left shortly after we arrived.

After launching the dinghy and a refreshing jump in the water, I put the permanent line with the cleat to the mooring and then loosened the double line that Doug had attached. I have been doing this with moorings since the last time I was sailing with the McMillans and we were in Emporio in Kalymnos with strong wind, the usual double line had abraded and we were almost cast loose.

More boats arrived in the afternoon including a lovely wooden schooner flying a Dutch flag. The wind increased and there were gusts just under 20 knots.

In the evening we went ashore and walked to the Kamposos’ hamlet. Mr Dimitris, Mrs Irene, and their grown sons Manolis and Tasos greeted me as an old friend and all asked about Kyria Aliki (Mrs Alice). I had to promise to come back with her.

On the way back, although there was a full moon, we somehow lost our way and Molly slipped and fell but fortunately she just got some scrapes which we disinfected as soon as we got back on board. It was a windy night.

Tuesday June 21, 2016, Day 4

The morning was windy 10-15 knots NNW but less so then last night. We prepared to leave. I removed the line with the cleat and left the double line holding us to the mooring. We then raised the dinghy and cast off at 0733.

After rounding Cape Spano, the easternmost point of Levitha, I thought that we may be able to motor-sail and I opened the small bimini and raised the mainsail. The wind was 8-15 knots NNW, a headwind for our course of 053. We motor-sailed running the water-maker and recharging various devices.

We arrived in Papandria (Παπανδριά), (Λειψοί) [37° 16.8' N 026° 46.2' E] at 1158 after 25.9 M. We anchored in 6.5 m with 40 m of scope after attaching the little marker buoy to the anchor. There here several Turkish gulets and over 6 S/Y of various nationalities. We did a lot of swimming.

Around 7 PM we went ashore and walked to the town where we had the obligatory ouzo and grilled octopus in the Nikis’ & Louli’s (blue tents) café. This was followed by buying fresh bread from the bakery/patisserie and eating a sweet. Then we walked back to our cove.

Our plan for tomorrow was to go to Tiganakia. The night was gusty, over 20 knots, and we removed the tent.

Douglass & Vasilis having ouzo in Nikis’ & Louli’s
Courtesy Molly McMillan

Wednesday June 22, 2016, Day 5

In the morning there was some wind, about 8-14 knots NNW. We prepared for departure: lifted the dinghy, etc. By 0845 we were underway. We motored running the water-maker past the reef on the SE side of Lipsi. I had it marked on the new GPS/Chart Plotter but because of the low sun it was hard to see. A Greek navy boat was anchored off not too far from the reef. We motored making less than 2 knots past the reef. We then turned N but once again no sailing was possible. Other then some mild spray there were no problems.

We arrived in Tiganakia (Τηγανάκια) [37° 21.6' N 026° 45.1' E] at 1015 after 7.2 M. We anchored in 6 m with about 40 m of chain. I put up the tent, lowered the dinghy, and snorkeled to the anchor. It was very well set.

Soon after we arrived the other S/Y that was nearby left and we had the cove all to ourselves. It was a quiet day spent mostly swimming. The afternoon wind arrived and by the evening it was gusting to 25 knots. I washed the dinghy.

In the early evening we went ashore in nearby Arki and walked for a while. Marathi across looked very crowded.

After our return on board I removed the tent and made a potato salad with the potatoes I had brought from Kalami. For dinner, in addition to the potato salad we had some more of the veal roast.

Thursday June 23, 2016, Day 6

It was a quiet night and a lazy morning. But I was alarmed by the number of boats that we had seen yesterday in Marathi, our next intended destination. So, around 9:30 I called Toola, Pandelis’ daughter, and asked her what were the conditions there today and I also alerted that I will be coming with 2 guests so that they can reserve a good fish for us. She told me that at this time there were at least three free moorings and she advice us to come right now.

We raised the anchor and motored the 1.3 M slowly, towing the dinghy. We arrived in Marathi (Μαράθι) [37° 22' N 026° 43.6' E] at 1010. There were at least 4 free Pantelis’ moorings. We had some difficulty with the one that I had chosen because its line was submerged and Douglas did not see it. So we went to another one and he had no problem catching it.

There were still a number of boats in the cove: at least 4 Turkish S/Y and a small cruiser. We spent the day reading and swimming.

In the evening we all went ashore and took a good walk. After our walk we had an ouzo at Pandelis with fried small squid (καλαμαράκια - kalamarakia), tiny Symian style fried shrimps, and a fava spread. All were, as usual here, superb. Then the fish a σιναγρίδα (sinagrida - common dentex - Dentex dentex) came with a salad. Along with this we had a Malagousia white wine. We did not get back to Thetis until 11.

The anchorage in Marathi

Friday June 24, 2016, Day 7

We cast off the mooring at 0647 and motored along the W side of Arki. During this we raised the mainsail and motor-sailed to Samiopoula, the small island on the S side of Samos. The wind was 5-14 knots NNW on our course of 019.

After 17.6 M we arrived in Psalida (Ψαλίδα) in Samiopoula (Σαμιοπούλα) [37° 38' N 026° 47.4' E] at 1015. We anchored in 4.5 m depth and let out a lot of chain. Thetis settled at about 14 m depth.

By the time we lowered the dinghy and had a good swim we were attacked by numerous small flies, particularly vicious in their bite. We killed and killed but the flies were endless. We gave up and at 1120 raised the anchor and headed to the Tsopela (Τσόπελα) cove [37° 38.3' N 026° 49.9' E] 1.9 M away. We arrived there at 1145 and anchored in 5.5 m depth letting out about 40 m of scope.

The wind in Tsopela was light but it came from variable directions and the boat was slowly gyrating. However, there were significantly less flies here. We had our lunch in peace and spent a pleasant afternoon. I finished reading Mukherjee Siddhartha’s Gene: An Intimate History and started Vanish by Tess Gerritsen, a mystery.

In the evening we prepared for our return to the marina. We were planning to be there by 7 PM tomorrow.

Molly & Vasilis having lunch in Tsopela
Courtesy Douglas McMillan

Saturday June 25, 2016, Day 8

Approaching Kyriakou
Courtesy Douglas & Molly McMillan

At 1015 we left Tsopela and motored, towing the dinghy, 1.6 M east to Kyriakou (Κυριακού) [37° 38.3' N 026° 51.8' E] where we arrived at 1035. On the way we ran the water-maker and re-filled the empty bottles. We anchored in 4 m depth with 35 m of chain. I snorkeled and checked the anchor. It was well set.

It was nice and calm here. After the anchor check, without wasting any time I serviced the water-maker filling it with the biocide solution. This has to be done any time you expect that the water-maker will not be used for more then 3 days. We then all packed the food stuff to be taken back to Kalami.

We swam a lot, had lunch, read, etc. Then, with Doug’s help, I covered and raised the dinghy on its davits.

Finally, at 1754 we raised the anchor and we were on our way to Samos Marina. We motor-sailed with about 50% of the headsail. When we were less then a mile from the marina we removed the tent, hanged the fenders on both sides of the boat, and prepared docking lines. After hailing the marina on VHF channel 9 we entered. An attendant was already at our berth waiting to hand the mooring line to Douglas. We had arrived back in berth C043 [37° 41.45' N 026° 57.49' E]. We had come 7.1 M from Kyriakou. I had left the thick docking lines with the steel spring on the quay so now the attendant just handed them to us. It was all very smooth.

Soon Alexis from Aramis delivered the rented car and after taking all our stuff and the food from the refrigerator we drove to the Kotopoula restaurant for dinner and then to Kalami. Our short cruise was over.

Sunday June 26 to Tuesday July 12, 2016

Thetis was in the marina. My wife Alice arrived in Samos and the McMillans left Samos.

There was a bad fire in Samos and a large area was burned. It took 3 days of airplanes and helicopters dropping sea water before the blaze was over. In addition to the tragic loss of many old trees all the boats in the marina were covered with ash. It took some effort to clean Thetis.

In one of these days with the help of our Kalami caretaker Yiorgos we removed and spread on the quay the anchor’s chain, and installed the color markers that I had received from Agmar Marine. These allow me to know within 5 m the amount of chain used during anchoring.

Tuesday July 19, 2016, Day 1

Tonight there will be a full moon. So, Alice and I took Thetis out of the marina at 0835 and motored E against the opposing 10-19 knot ENE wind the 9.3 M to Mikri Lakka (Μικρή Λάκκα) [37° 45.45' N 027° 1.6' E] where we arrived at 1030.

We anchored, lowered the dinghy, and spent a nice day mostly swimming and relaxing.

As expected, at 2145 the moon rose behind the hills of Anatolia. It was a wonderful sight with the calm sea illuminated by the red-silver light.

Wednesday July 20, 2016, Day 2

I covered and raised the dinghy after which we departed from Mikri Lakka at 0715. The wind was 18-4 knots from the ENE. We opened about 75% of the headsail and motor-sailed back to the marina [37° 41.54' N 026° 57.49' E] where we arrived at 0902.

During this passage at one point we were able to turn off the motor and sail. This unfortunately lasted for only 10-15 minutes. When I tried to start again the motor it would not turn. Suspecting a dead battery I crossed the batteries and with power now by the service battery there was no problem starting the engine.

Thursday July 21 to Sunday July 31, 2016

Thetis was in the marina.

During this time with the help of our Kalami caretaker Yiorgos we replaced the now 6 year old starting battery with a new one rated 140 Ah. We carried the new battery with Yiorgos’ truck to the fuel dock. We then removed the old one and loaded it in the truck, to be properly disposed off, and carried the new one in the boat which we had already docked side-to the fuel dock. There was a slight hitch however. The new battery had the usual round poles while the old one had bolts with wing nuts. Fortunately we found in an near-by gas station proper contacts for poles with wing nut bolts on the side. With these the new battery was connected and the engine started perfectly.

Taking advantage of being at the fuel dock, we topped the boat’s fuel tank with 50 L of Diesel fuel for 57 €. We also topped one of the small canisters with gasoline. After that we moved the boat back to her berth.

In preparation for my August solo cruise Alice and I moved provisions from Kalami to Thetis and washed down the deck and cockpit with the pressure-hose. I also connected the boat with the marina AC power to run the now full refrigerator.