Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

Thetis 2020: Samos to Leros

This web page contains the logs of a 3 day solo sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis in the East Aegean. I sailed from Samos Marina to Partheni in Leros, where Thetis was hauled-out and will spend the 2020-21 winter. On the way I stopped 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 to Samos from Leros

Wednesday September 23 to October 21, 2020

During this time Thetis stayed in the marina.

Friday September 25

Yiorgos and I went to Thetis in the marina and removed the alternator and the AC/DC charger.

We took the alternator as well as the spare one and a bag with Zener diodes to the Manolis Tsirigos car shop in the Mitilinii town and we spoke to him. He will not be able to look at alternator until Monday.

We then drove to Samos town and took the AC/DC charger to an electronic shop. The man at the shop told us that the charger is not repairable. I later called Moor & Dock in Leros and spoke with Mr. Koumparos in their chandlery. He located a 50 A unit (the old one was 40 A) in Athens and ordered it for me to be send to Samos via courier.

Tuesday September 29

I went to the Manolis Tsirigos car shop in the Mitilinii town. The 100 A alternator was completely burned and not worth repairing. Manolis has checked the spare one and it is OK. He removed the double pulley from the 100 A alternator and put it on the spare. I picked up everything.

After I returned to Kalami I was notified that the new AC/DC charger had arrived in Samos.

Thursday October 1

Yiorgos and I drove to Samos town and picked up the new AC/DC charger. Then to the marina to install the spare alternator.

After mounting it, with some difficulty we found 2 problems when we turned on the electricity. Two circuit breakers tripped: the service battery the circuit breaker and the start battery its circuit breaker. After a few hours we found that a black wire connecting from the alternator to the engine stop button was causing the problem. We had to disconnect it. But to do so we had to unmount the alternator.

After removing the the black wire connected the engine stop button everything was fine. But now we could not stop the engine.

After several hours of this work we left rather frustrated. We will have to come back tomorrow to continue this troubleshooting.

Thursday October 2

We, Yiorgos and I, went back to Thetis this morning.

While Yiorgos was connecting the new AC/DC charger to the AC power in the left cabin I continued investigating the problem with the alternator connections tripping 2 circuit breakers. First I tried, following Panayiotis, (the ex Moor & Dock electrician) suggestion, to disable the circuit that combines both batteries while being charged. This had no effect.

After trying several connection combinations to the cables connected to the + pole of the alternator I found out that if the the wire connected the engine stop button is connected only, that is BOTH the starter battery and the service battery connections are removed, the circuit breakers do not trip. This of course makes the alternator useless. It will not charge the batteries when the engine is running.

We decided that the safest course, other than completely disconnecting the large number of cables going to the engine panel was to leave the alternator disconnected from both batteries. Both Yiorgos and I then re-mounted the alternator and all the 3 belts. We tensioned the belts and tested. No problem, the engine does works and it can be stopped. After that, Yiorgos mounted the belt protective cover and we tested again.

Now the Thetis will be able to motor back to Leros and I also know what instructions to give to the yard’s electrician. I still do not know if the mounted spare alternator is operational. There are no readings from the tachometer when the engine is running.

I found several spare cables from which we cut 3 extensions for connecting the AC/DC charger to the starter, service batteries, and ground.

Sunday October 4

Yesterday Yiorgos got metal tubes for connecting the DC output of the AC/DC charger and borrowed a large clamper for squeezing the connectors to the existing short cables in the left cabin. The problem was that he had to return the clamper tomorrow. So, we went back to the marina.

With some difficulty because of the limited work space Yiorgos connected the extensions to the old cables and then to the DC output of the AC/DC charger. After testing its operation he mounted it on the location of the old one. Then we tested it again.

Now the boat was operational and during a stop both batteries can be recharged by means of the genset.

Yiorgos packed his tools and I put back mine to their proper places and then rather pleased with our selves we left.

Wednesday October 21, 2020, Day 1

Yesterday Yiorgos and I took most of my boat and travel clothes, food, etc. to the boat. We connected the AC. Our new charger worked like a charm. I turned on the refrigerator and put in it all the perishable food.

Today I woke up at 5. I closed the Kalami house. I then followed Yiorgos’ truck with the rented car to the marina. As we had arranged with Aramis I left the rented car with its key under the mat.

After preparing the boat that is: disconnecting the AC, removing the mooring lines with the springs, and stating the engine Thetis departed at 0930. The alternator, now disconnected, was of course not working.

There was a nice 8-20 knot NNE breeze so I opened about 75% of the headsail and motor-sailed directly to Archangelos [37° 11.9' N 26° 46.3' E]. We arrived after 28.2 M at 1430. A mooring was free and I easily caught it thus avoiding anchoring.

I tried to make coffee but there was no gas. I changed the Camping Gas canister and made the coffee. It was fairly calm here and there were only 2 other S/Ys. I lowered the dinghy, uncovered it, and re-inflated it. The outboard started right away.

I then I made my bed in the right cabin. This took some time. Because the nights are now rather short and rather cold I now put 2 of the thick blankets on my berth.

In the late afternoon I tried to open all of the headsail to remove it. But because the roller reefing line was too thick I could not open it all the way, so I rolled it back and after tying the sail I removed some of the line. This allowed me to roll it all out. I then lowered the headsail, removed it, folded it in a large ball, and tied with one of its sheet lines.

After this work I shaved and then I had a small celebratory ouzo. It was some time after 7 when I went with the dinghy ashore to the Stigma taverna. The only dish they had was pieces of tasty pork cooked with several vegetables. I ate accompanied with some red wine.

By 10 PM I was in my cabin falling asleep.

Thursday October 22, 2020, Day 2

After my morning coffee and as soon as there was some daylight I removed the mainsail that unfortunately had not been used this year. This took some doing because of its battens and reefing lines.

I then ran the genset to recharge the somewhat discharged batteries because of the running refrigerator, cabin, and anchoring lights.

The rest of the day was quiet and I spent it reading a book of Greek short stories written in Yiorgi N. Karatza Διηγήματα (in Greek). I was thinking of spending the night here in Archangelos and then early next morning raising the dinghy and motoring to Partheni in Leros for the scheduled haul-out. But in the late afternoon I changed my mind and decided to go now to Partheni and not to have to do very much in the morning.

I cast off at 1703 and motored towing the dinghy. We arrived in Partheni [37° 11.3' 26° 48' E] at 1732 after 1.3 M. There were no other boats and all of the Moor & Dock moorings were free. As it was fairly calm I easily caught one of them.

After a hot shower I got dressed with warmer clothes and had an ouzo after which I went ashore with dinghy and walked to the Archontiko taverna. They were open. I had a nice salad and, again, pork with pasta and some red wine. It was rather tasty.

Then it was back to Thetis and an early bed.

Friday October 23, 2020, Day 3

This is the day Thetis is to be hauled-out. I woke up after 6 having slept very well. I had my coffee and then raised the dinghy on its davits. After that I hang fenders on both sides of the boat and rigged docking lines both fore and aft.

Now all was ready and I waited for the travel-lift. It came some time after 7:30. Thetis was hauled-out at 0803.

I spent most of the day preparing the boat for the long layout in the coming winter. First I connected the AC and ordered a rental car. I lowered the dinghy to 2 pallets. There was plenty of work. The day was rather warm, about 29° C (84.2° F). I put up the tent.

In the evening I drove the rented car to the Mylos restaurant where I had a fantastic but rather expensive fish.

Thetis’ haulout
To be hauled out

In place


She is up!

Saturday October 24 to Tuesday October 27

I did many tasks during these days until flying to Athens on Tuesday October 27. Among other things I lowered the anchor and washed it and its chain. I soaked overnight in the dinghy filled with water all the lines that had been used this year. After that I hanged them to dry on the rails. Fortunately there was plenty of sunshine.

On Monday the yard took the sails to be washed they also took the outboard and the genset. I went over with Antonis, the Moor & Dock technical customer advisor, the list I had prepared and printed for the work to be performed on Thetis before my planned arrival in April.

This is the end of the 2020 cruises.

2020 Vital Statistics
Total Distance 422.6 M
Time at Sea 31 days
Total Time Underway 82 hr
Total Solo Time 30 days
Total Engine Time * hr
Total Fuel Consumed 145 L
Total Water Consumed 250 L

* Unknown due to the RPM meter failure.