George Buehler Trawler in Kos > Katapola

We have decided to sell our beloved George Buehler Trawler, LeeZe.  The blog posts on this site are some of our adventures during our time cruising and meant to shed some light on the cruising life.  Enjoy our posts and please contact us for more information on the places we have been or information on our George Buehler Trawler for sale, LeeZe.  The complete collection of our travel blogs can be found here:

We spent some time in Kos, move around to three different mooring spots, washed LeeZe just before our third berth shift and loaded water (as it was free, just for the cost a new 50 meter water hose).

There had been a rain storm, and it came from the south. That means work, and lots of it. For rain from the south means that air mass has been over the Sahara and contains much sand, which comes down with the rain, sticks and does not wash away. So, I wait until I am almost ready to depart to wash LeeZe with soap and water, bow to stern, boat deck to aft deck. One can see the sand rinse away. I have to use my onboard water pump because while shore water is free, the pressure is not enough to even wash one’s face.

This also means that I have to load water, and with such a low pressure, and going thru filters before the tank to make sure the water is debris-free and chemically as soft as possible, the load takes over 22 hours. But I plan for this and this load does not inconvenience me at all.

So, we do the berth shift two days before our planed departure. We moor at the only spot at this marina where there is a 63 amp/308 VAC outlet and can people watch. I like to people watch from the aft deck, on the cushion, sipping a glass of wine.

But, the engine idling rough and dies maybe 5 or 6 times during the mooring. Ugh. But we do get in safely without crashing the wall. That is good!

As water here is €6.49 per ton, we only take electricity at €0.29/kw, and some €20 later, and after 2 equalizing battery charges, the battery is “back to normal.”

As for the engine, I am perplexed. I drain each fuel filter of water (there is none), inspect the water-separators and find them clean, tighten the throttle linkage and while those efforts made a difference, now the engine “hunts” at idle, and remains steady and strong at power.

Our plan is to go to Katapola. But as we tell people, we are retired and have no place to go in a hurry. So, I plan to stop at two anchorages along the way to make each leg about 6 hours long.George Buehler Trawler in Kos > Katapola

Our first stop is Vlychada.

George Buehler Trawler > Monastery of St Cyprian

George Buehler Trawler in Viychadia - Anchored 2017

There is a little town at the north end of the harbor but as we are only staying the night, we elect to keep the tender on the boat deck. (A new practice implemented the middle of the last cruising season continues with this one. If we plan to cross open water, no matter what the darn GRIB weather forecast predicts, we are securing the tender in its cradle on the boat deck. We no long want to worry about losing it when we run into foul seas.)

The next morning, we are off to Levitha, again to anchor one night.

George Buehler Trawler > Levitha

Our cruising guide states there is a mooring field in “E Cove” and it is right. There are about 24 mooring balls. None seem to be big enough for us to use so I anchor to the west of the field. By the time 1800 comes, there maybe be ONE ball not taken. After 1800, a person from the restaurant comes around to collect a fee for the use of the ball. The guide also says the the house over the ridge runs a small restaurant where the fish is fresh from that day, and the wine local. We inquire if they will run a “taxi” service” and was told no as they are short handed this night. So, we eat aboard, watch a movie, and plan to be underway at around 0800 the next morning.

Today is 7 June and this is the longest leg of this part of the adventure. Up anchor, and make the run to Katapola, arriving around 1400. Here we are mooring, but have NO info on who to call and who to speak to. This is somewhat maddening as one cannot arrange in advance to have help handling lines.

We arrived in the harbor and look around.

George Buehler Trawler > Katapola

There are two distinct groups of boats moored to the wall with a huge gap in between. There is a person on the SW side waving his hands and so we have found our place.

After studying how the gulets moor, we decide to try their way. Even after 6 years, we are trying new things and learning. We place our mooring ropes in such a way that they hang off the 3 meter passerelle. Zehra has a 10mm “Spectra” line in her hands that she can easily throw to moor us to the wall. The plan is to get that line over, settle in, and then with me on the aft deck with the anchor control, complete the mooring. That’s the plan and well, on this adventure, plans tend to fall to shit two minutes into them.

So, I drop the anchor about 90 meters from the wall, came back relatively straight this time (LeeZe backs to port) pause at about 50 meters out to verify the anchor is holding, (which USUALLY causes the line handler at the wall to start to yell because he has no clue why I am stopping, which depending on his antics, causes Zehra to get agitated as she knows what is happening and is unable to calm him down which………), verify that we are holding, and resume my backward approach.

When we are close, Zehra tosses her line, the guy on the wall takes it to the bollard, and we are in. Zehra stops all work and tells the guy to wait. Typically, LeeZe will lurch forward after one throws the line as she tries to find the equilibrium point between 90 meters of chain out and a line ashore. If the line ashore holds, and it has yet to not to, engines are now in neutral and will stay that way. Using the anchor control, I let out chain and slowly bring LeeZe back by hand. I then direct how I want our mooring lines placed and doubled up, and 15 minutes later, we are done. Zehra remarks that this was the easiest mooring in such a long time that she could remember.

So, the plan did not fall to shit like it normally does, and came together, like it normally does not!

Akmed, the Egyptian running the wall, tells us that water and electricity is €15/day, mooring fees are extra, and check-in is right behind him. Zehra goes and completes check-in with the Port Authority, and I decide that we will use our battery and water tanks while here. I will load water and charge the battery bank one day before scheduled departure.

That evening, a guy comes by from the municipality office and seeing how we are staying longer than two days, asks us to pay for two days, then call him before we leave. Two days is about € 17.50.

Katapola is a small town. The big and bigger ferries come into town and moor to a pier to the west of the town, and in some cases, cause a surge around the bay that is pretty strong.

That gap I mentioned? Well, sometime between 1800 and 2000, a not-so-small ferry comes in, drops some 300 + meters of chain across everyone’s anchor who is moored to the SW, and sterns too a loading ramp that I had failed to see until it used it.

There is a plus and minus to his arrival.

The plus is that no one will moor to the SW wall while the ferry is in as the ferry is guaranteed to lift our puny-to-it chain upon departure the next morning at 0600.

The minus? No one on the SW wall can leave until the ferry does.

Now that is out of the way, we clean up and for the next few days, plan to see the island.

Here is a city map (with a legend to the left that is not in the frame),

George Buehler Trawler > Katapola

And a local bus schedule.

Bus Schedule

By happenstance, we are moored next to a sail boat whose home port is also Florida, SV Believe. I knew the boat was a “real American” because they were flying a decent size flag. If the boat is from Delaware, the flag is BARELY the size of a napkin.

George Buehler Trawler moored beside SV Believe

They are leaving the next day so do not have much time to chat. They had been sailing away from the US for 14+ years, having been North of the Arctic Circle, been to Russia, and nearly all the places to go on the North Atlantic seaboard. SV Believe stays on the hard for 6 months and they use it 6 months. Wish we had more time to talk.

In Katapola, we use the bus system to get around, and spend some time in the mountain village called Chora. This island makes and sells it own cheeses, and some of them are quite good. Zehra buys what she likes and we will eat it all up! We met two Aussie ladies at Chora and come to learn that they are departing on the next morning’s ferry. Since they are staying at a place near to us, we invite them to seek the us out after dinner.

I choose to walk from Chora back to LeeZe, and the path, while well marked and easy to follow, it is only 7 km long but boring as the predominate color is earth brown. Other hikers told us it was quite a beautiful but I guess I missed taking THAT path.

The Aussies did come by after dinner and we shared a bottle of wine, talked and talked for 3+ hours. Nice people!

Anyway, 8 days after arrival, after paying our mooring bill, completing two more equalizers, and arguing with Akmet about how much water I actually did use, and having to get the Port Authority to resolve it (in my favor), we depart for a day run to Naxos.

That is all for now folks!

If you have any questions, please ask.
Lee and Zehra
MV LeeZe


You can find older blogs here::

George Buehler Trawler LeeZe in Chios> Samos> Pythagorean>Patmos

We have decided to sell our beloved George Buehler Trawler LeeZe.  The blog posts on this site are some of our adventures during our time cruising and meant to shed some light on the cruising life.  Enjoy our posts and please contact us for more information on the places we have been or information on our George Buehler Trawler for sale, LeeZe.  The complete collection of our travel blogs can be found here:

14 July. We arrive in Samos and  with the exception of  6 greek sailing vessels (look like they are permanently moored here) two German smallish patrol craft, a SAR rescue boat, on Turkish fast cruiser, one PT-109 like Greek patrol gun boat, and two Greek Coast Guard patrol craft, the long wall of Samos is empty. Port Authority tells us that we can moor in front of the JOY cafe, and we do.
This harbor is open to the North and the land formation is like a funnel, so the swell from the consistently blowing N, NE or NW winds pushed water into the bay, which circulates around, rocking LeeZe and everyone else almost as bad, but not quit as bad, as Chios.
Big ferries moor on the opposite side of the city wall, but they also cause a circulatory current that rolls LeeZe side to side.
I put out extra lines, having learned my lesson in Chios, but in a few days, the jerking and jarring and pulling and twisting had already caused one snubber to fail, and other to start to fail.
George Buehler Trawler LeeZe in Samos with Zehra
I consider pulling out from storage my huge winter springs, but realize there is no real safe way to install them on the pier and them move my lines to them. I need a really calm day to do that, and per GRIB forecast, one is not coming any time soon.
I go and check in and the Port Authority people are very friendly and nice. I give them my papers, and they ask a few questions. I come to learn that there is no fee to be at the wall, and water and electricity is included. Nice. But I know why! The swell and the circulatory current is nearly constant, anyone at the wall is very discomfortable, so few boaters come.
But we will make do and we settle in.
In the previous blog, we noted the attempted coup in Turkey 16-7 July so will not cover that again. Many did ask about us and Zehra’s family, so we appreciate the concern.
And we have some notable successes. We found a hardware store that took our Turkish 35 liter syrup can that Randal from Diesel Duck Dora Mac gave me (Thanks Randal!) and a metal pole, and for 10 €, they filled the bucket with cement and delivered it to LeeZe. Using that contraption, I mounted the satellite antenna to it and we enjoyed nearly perfect TV reception through out our stay.

George Buehler Trawler LeeZe in Samos with Satellite TV
I also found a great marine store owned by Nick (N. Tsoumakis, Fishing Accessories – Marine, and he was able to get from Athens in a few days 4 new snubbers, exactly what I get in Turkey, for less money than what I pay in Turkey. He also got for me the chart book from Eagle Ray for the local area (Volume IV) and passed on the discount he received. Nice man. Easy to work with. Not far from the main square.
We found a good place to eat Pita sandwiches (Teleion Plus) and they were ever so nice.
Pita and good friends
Regrettably, there was no close beach to go to and while the harbor looked clean, at times, it did not smell so clean. There was one person that persistently would fish. Never saw him catch even one.
Looking for beach in Samos
There is not much to say about Samos. To be honest, nothing significant broke, which is a good thing. The town’s shops are open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights, so on those nights, town was busy and we could people watch. The days were not as hot as Zehra’s family were experiencing at the summer place on the south side of Turkey, so that was nice.
Regularly, both German gun boats would depart in the evening and return the next morning. I never saw them with any refugees. Same for the Greek “PT-109” boat and the  Greek Coast Guard patrol craft. There were a few refugees in town, apparently staying in apartments. They would come out at night, and stand out, some, because of the way they dressed, and others because the color of their skin contrasted sharply with the Samos people.
There were not as many young adults here as there were in Chios, but more children were here than Chios.
At night, the town square became the focus point of the city, and LeeZe was not far from it.
We stayed long enough to enjoy the annual City Festival. It was on Saturday night, 30 July.
Samos City Festival
It starts with the Church leading a Parade of Blessing.
City Festival starts with Parade of Blessing
The streets along the water front were closed, restaurants and cafes filled the street with tables and chairs, venders came out to sell their wares along the sea wall, some bring their antique cars
Antique cars at the City Festival
and some bars had DJs spinning music far into the night.
There are fireworks and a fishing boat parade.
fireworks and a fishing boat parade
fireworks and a fishing boat parade

Our favorite restaurant will sell all of these “doners” this evening.
One was playing music for the Joy cafe, and when I went to bed at 0130, he was playing Greek music and dancing, like that which was depicted in the movie “Momma Mia,” was on full display.  Even though it was Saturday night, nearly all shops were open, with discount on many items. It seemed to me that the whole island came to the city that night, and many got dressed up!
The Germans though did not get a chance to enjoy the festival. They departed that morning, and returned the next day. Do not know this for sure but my guess is that the town did not want two EU “warships” along their city wall.
A cruise chip was in port for the festival.
A cruise chip was in port for the festival
Then there is an odd object on a building:
an odd object on a building
That white object at the top was there our entire stay and no one touched it. In my mind, I came to believe it was a raft, placed there for when the great flood comes.
We depart Samos on 1 August for a short, 19 nm trip around the island to Pythagorean. We had taken  city bus trip to this town while in Samos, and so we decided to come. I need to anchor to repair the lines damaged by the constant jerking they experienced in both Chios and Samos, and also needed to clean the water line of LeeZe from the dirt and the filth that stuck to it while in Chios. (I was hoping to do this in Samos, but chose not to due to the apparent condition of the water.)
We anchor in the inner harbor, chose to stay on board. In the afternoon, a big inter-island ferry comes in and drops her anchor REALLY CLOSE to us, or so it seems. This ferry will again come in on Wednesday, but by by then, we had taken up some on the anchor and with the wind gusting to 25+ knots out of the NW, she is not as close this time.  (The zoom on the camera for the picture is 1:1.)
a big inter-island ferry comes in and drops her anchor REALLY CLOSE
The next day is nice, so we use that day to clean the waterline, dive on the anchor to ensure it is dug in, and do other chores. We stay in Monday night, have a steak dinner (better than what we would ever be able to get ashore) and watch a pre-recorded version of the movie “Man from U.N.C.L.E.” Even though our plans were to depart for Patmos on Wednesday, a check of the weather on Tuesday indicates that our first good weather window for the 6+ hour run over open water MAY be Friday. Given that, we lower the tender into the water so we can go ashore.
Here is a shot of the city that we took on our bus trip.
Samos from the sea
The city is small, and made to handle the tourists. There are many more yachts here because the city is protected from the North wind by the hills, so the harbors are much less rolly. The city wall stays relatively full. Not at all like Samos.
Beside the Blue ferry ship, we also have another “PT-109” type boat that regularly goes out to patrol the narrow strait that exists between Turkey and Greece.
Patrol boats cruise the narrow strait between Turkey and Greece
If one is underway, on Channel 16 you can usually hear them telling Turkish fishing boats that they are in Greek waters and they are to leave immediately. I overheard one exchange where the person on the radio, speaking English, did all but jump thru the microphone to personally tell a Turk to stop fishing and leave. It was amusing to hear his temper rising with every order.
Of course, the Turk did not respond. I have no clue if he had a VHF radio, and if he did, was it on, if he even knew any English, or just did not care.
We do get ashore Tuesday night, and cannot find a good pita restaurant to have dinner. Our second choice was full and we did not want to wait for a table. We did sit down at the “House of Taste” and had a perfectly ordinary, nothing spectacular, meal. I had the village sausage dinner (only one sausage, where in Chios and  Samos, there were at least two on the plate, sometimes three) and Zehra had fish, which was dry and overcooked. Prices here are at last 20-30% higher than Samos, for less quality.
Wednesday, 2016-08-03, the morning is very nice and calm, but as predicted by GRIB, the winds start up about 1300 and are blowing hard by 1700. A look outside the harbor toward the straits shows waves and whitecaps. Some go fast yachts that went out this AM came back in a hurry by 1500.
Friday, 5 Aug, underway for a small anchorage called Marathokampou, as we hop, skip and jump toward Patmos. Th weather has brief 4-6 hour windows where the wind and waves are such that a transit is possible. I elect to break up the transit from Pythagorean to Patmos into two or three shorter legs, each about 2-3 hours in duration, because of the weather. So, off we go to Marathokampou,  and anchor outside the inner harbor, but inside the outer harbor. We had towed the tender thinking that we would use it to go ashore, come back, at about 2000, and lift it before the next leg. The next leg is across a strait that is about 10 miles wide, and IF the weather report is wrong and we enter the strait, or are in it when the winds hit 30+ knots, we stand a chance of losing the tender. Better to have it on the boat deck, strapped down, and covered. But, at 1800, Zehra announces that she does not want to go in, so we lift it and stow it.
Sat, 6 Aug. Underway at the dawn’s early light, for an horseshoe shipped anchorage called Vlychada Fournoi, at the southern tip of Fourni Island. But, it becomes obvious that the GRIB data is slightly off by about 3 hours and the calm weather has arrived early, So, with a course change toward 180, I decide to head off to Patmos.
Patmos, Greece. We arrive at about 1150 local, and for the first time in a long time, even with the Eagle Ray Chart book write-up, I am really confused as to where we are to moor.
So, I call up the Patmos Port Authority (PPA) and ask if I can moor at the city wall. They say no, I have to more at the “marina.” Uh? Drop anchor and review the books. Eagle Ray reports that there is a “marina” on the NE side of the harbor but when I poke my nose into it, there is no way in heck a 44 ton boat going in there safely.
So, call the PPA again and ask for clarification. I get the same answer: Go into the “marina.” I tell them there is no chance that I am going to safely fit into the “marina” on the NE corner and can I more at the city wall that is on my west. They say NO and I must moor in the “marina.”
I repeat myself again, but this time, I ask if it is possible to moor at the wall (note, did not say “city wall”) off my left! Now, any reasonable boater will tell you left and right have no place in this discussion, but in this case, I get back the answer “ if there is room at that wall for you, of course you can use it!”
So, having received permission, we med moor to that wall, near to a shore power pod.
So, we take our time to tie up, doubling lines, putting on chafe protection, when a civilian shows up at the passerelle, welcomes us to Patmos, tells us we have to check in at her booth, and that she requires our papers. Zehra says fine, and while working (it takes a couple of hours to get LeeZe positioned so that the 3 meter passerelle is resting near to the edge of the wall, the anchor chain is reasonably tight, and the stern lines are doubled and protected) I observe the people at the shack. Come to learn that they are agents, working for a travel agency (Astoria Travel) and that they want your papers so they can do the check in process for you, for of course a fee (sizable one as it turns out).
So, after the lines are done, clothes changed and with our papers, walk over to the PPA’s building to check in.
The walk into town along side the road is a little dangerous, as for most of it, there is no sideway. We see our new friends from SV MY Way tied up and come to learn they have just arrived.
Anyway, at the PPA, we check in and I ask about the agents. In a nutshell, they are looking for business. One is NOT required to give them your papers, and while they collect the mooring fee on behalf of the PPA, they cannot tell you that you have stayed one enough and you must leave. (That is nice to know as one man suggested to Zehra that after 5 days, we would have to go.)
I ask about the term “marina” and the PPA lady starts to laugh a little. “So, you are LeeZe she says.” To make the story brief, of course we know you cannot fit into the box marina (that is their term of the marina on the NE side) and you are not allowed at the city wall because that is where the day boats and the small commercial ferries tie up. You have to go to the west wall. So I ask why do you call it a marina? Because, she said, if we called it the city wall, like other islands, that would confuse boaters so we call it  the marina!  I suggested maybe you can call it the NW city wall and she laughed so hard, I started to. She said there are not many people that understand N, S, E, and West so that will not work.
I throw in the towel and we leave.
So, we are in Patmos, at the NW city wall.
George Buehler Trawler > Patmos, at the NW city wall
That concludes this entry.
If you have any questions, please ask.
Lee and Zehra
MV LeeZe

You can find older blog posts here:

George Buehler Trawler in Izmir (Levent Marina) > Chios

We have decided to sell our beloved George Buehler Trawler, LeeZe.  The blog posts on this site are some of our adventures during our time cruising and meant to shed some light on the cruising life.  Enjoy our posts and please contact us for more information on the places we have been or information on our George Buehler Trawler in Izmir and other places in and around Turkey and Greece. The complete collection of our travel blogs can be found here:

It has taken a while to get this going as I have been quite busy.
Over the winter, we stayed very near to downtown Izmir, @ Levent Marina. It is a small marina, and next to us for most of the winter, was MY Jackson, also a George Buehler designed hull. But where LeeZe’s salon is up, on Jackson it is down. It is owned by an American couple and was built by the same yard as LeeZe.
We actually got our pictured snapped and posted in Google Earth:
George Buehler Trawler in Izmir > Levent Marina
The two black rows that you see are our solar panels. Just behind the panels is a dark object, which is our tender’s dark blue cover. The small object off of out stern is our passerelle. Jackson is the next boat to the North of us. (Soooooo, Big BROTHER is watching!)
So, got all the chores done that needed to be done before taking a 5 week trip stateside to take care of urgent personal matters, and to spend some time relaxing off-boat. Our departure point from the USA was Miami and we found Miami to be like we had entered another country. We were @ Ikea doing some last minute shopping and when I went to get a coffee from the machine, all of the instructions were in Cuban / Spanish. When walking on the street, nearly every shop owner trying to entice us into his or her store started off with Spanish. To sum it up, we did not enjoy Miami as much as we thought we would and it is not high on our list to return there again.
But upon our return, it was time to haul LeeZe from the water, paint her bottom, do some repairs, do some preventative maintenance , and put her back in. The last time this was done, LeeZe was lifted by a crane and driven to the “parking spot.” This time, LeeZe was driven onto a steel and wooded cradle, then dragged over logs by a wire rope winch up some 100 meters to our spot. (Not much different than the way it would have been done in Noah’s time ☺!) It was a weird feeling because even though the winch was pulling continuously, LeeZe moved in small steps. The winch would pull the wire, the wire would stretch and tighten on the drum, LeeZe would then lurch a little more forward, and repeat.
The yard prepped and sprayed on the bottom coats of epoxy and paint, while I dropped and painted the anchor and chain. Another company at the yard came on board and replaced the 1½ inch sea water isolation valve that had been malfunctioning for nearly two years with a bronze one. As a good measure, I had all 6 replaced in the cofferdam with bronze versions. Of note, it took nearly three months to locate a company in Turkey that made bronze valves and fittings.  I was concerned by the potential for leak(s) because there is really no way to test until LeeZe is in the water. But, turns out they did not leak, and for cathodic protection, had the yard install a round zinc on the sea water side of the cofferdam before bolting its strainer plate into place.
With the work done some 12-13 days later, it was a time for launch. It pretty much goes the same as being pulled out UNTIL the cradle is in the water and LeeZe’s hull is wet. Then, with the next turn of the winch, one hears a lot of yelling, feels a very funny feeling in the belly, as LeeZe QUICKLY slides off the cradle back into the sea. Need to get the engine started and in gear to stop my backwards motion into what I thought was a rapidly approaching concrete dock. In fact, it was perception only as I had time and distance, but it sure did not feel that way.
We take LeeZe to the pump-out dock, get rid of our black and gray water that we accumulated over the winter, and then some 2.5 hours after launch, we are back in our spot, tied up nicely.
So, it is now June, and we want to depart. But there is work to be done on board, and this takes longer than we liked. In previous years, as an example, launching the tender and getting its two stroke engine going has ALWAYS  approved to be entertaining. This year turned out to be no exception. I had properly winterized it, made sure the plugs were gapped, installed, and wires connected (forgot that once), primed the fuel system after installing the filter (had forgotten the filter once!), and then inserting the emergency stop key (forgot that TWICE!), pulled to start it up. After a few pulls, it starts but …………, no cooling water coming out.
Great, another delay. I can just see me pulling the engine off the tender, throwing it into the back of the car, taking it for service, waiting weeks etc, etc, etc.
Took off the cowling and found where the cooling water hose mates up the the overboard nozzle. Followed the hose back to where it connects to the engine and gingerly, pull the hose off both connectors.
There is sea water in the hose because some came out as I did this, and so I tried blowing thru the hose. Nope, clogged. Zehra got m a wooden stick we use to cook kebabs on a grill and I used it to clear what looked like to me some type of waxy substance from the hose.
Reinstall, and viola, on the next engine start, cooling water flow!
All is well now in tender land, so we lift it back up to its cradle, and something is now horribly misaligned. The tender is way too forward of its cradle.
Now, one of those chores over the winter was to take the tender’s winch off, get new wire loaded onto the drum, do some work, reinstall. At the same time I replaced out a rusted steel pulley that was on the boom directly above where the tender sits in its cradle. Turns out the new pulley had slipped forward some 60-70 cm and that was the problem.
Sooooooo, after man-handling the tender onto its cradle, spent the whole next day trying to get this new pulley to stay on the boom under load without moving.
To make a long story short I think I got it to stay, but if I ever have to move that pulley again, I think I will hire a BIG BURLY guy to do it for me.
Lastly, I determine that the large frame alternator that charges our house battery bank is broken. So, on a Sunday I spent the day taking it off, so that the next day, we can take it to the repair shop. It comes off fairly easily, and with pictures taken along the way, I feel somewhat confident I can put it back on.
But, I am a little depressed. Another delay, and God only knows how long the repair shop is going to need.
So, early (by our standards!) we depart for the shop and get there about 1000. I explain the problem and he says he needs to bench test it. Having belts in hand, he sends me down the block to a auto supply place to pick up new ones. The new ones have teeth, while the old ones were just smooth rubber. Back at the alternator shop, he tells me it is fixed! Huh??? 30 minutes? Yup, needed a new regulator. Pay him and we are both relieved that the repair took nearly no time.
So, have the rest of the day to install the repaired unit. With the new belts, reversing the procedure that I used to take it off does not work. Ugh! Frustrated, I check the pictures to see what I am missing and I am missing nothing!
So, before calling for help, I take the mount of the alternator off also, and assemble the alternator on the mount. Then, loosely bolting the mount to the engine, I install the belts. Then it becomes a magical act to get the 5 bolts tight, with the belts also tight. Not knowing ANYTHING about tooth belts, I read up on them on the Gates web site and the site warns installers not to install them too tight! Well, that is good because I can barely get them “loosely” tight. But I do, connect it all up electrically, say a prayer, and start the engine. Physically everything is rotating as it should be and the alternators output is 110 amp DC, pretty close to rated output of 120. So, I decide NOT to tighten the belts any more, and run them for about 4 hours, thinking they will stretch and then need to be tighten. Nope, nada, not necessary.
So now, I check the output on engine startup and plan to tighten the belts when I note alternator output is lower than expected.
So, it is about June 16-17 and my birthday is on the 19th. I tell Zehra we are ready to leave, and will, after my birthday. So, with our next door neighbors, we do go out and celebrate.
With the weather not cooperating, we wait, get more supplies, wait some more, shop some more, etc etc until it looks like MAYBE Friday, 24 June will be good. It turns out that it is Saturday, 25 June, that the weather is good, and what can only be chance, a great friend from Ankara is in town with Australian guests that we know, so we end up having dinner together that night.
Saturday we do depart, late, after 1200, waiting for the winds and waves to die down, and some 5-6 hours later, we are safely anchored in what turns out to be a somewhat open area off Karaburun. It is only for one night so we make do with the rolly conditions, and leave early the next morning for Chios.
Chios Arrival:
We arrive on a Sunday at about 1230, usually NOT a day to check into a new country. But Monday’s weather looked not-so-hot, so instead of anchoring in some cove and coming in the next morning, we bite the bullet and come in. We check in with the port people by radio, who tell me I have to tie up at the Customs dock. We knew that, but in this case, I could see no room for us there. We try to explain that to them on the radio, and they just do not get it. They keep saying go there. We FINALLY get the point across that there is no room, and they say, “wait, I will go and look.” The lady comes back and says “you are right” and directs us to med moor opposite a hamburger restaurant on the “South” wall. There is no “South” wall. There is a SE one, and a SW one but we find the restaurant and tie up. By now, the wind is blowing 18-20 knots and it takes me about 2+ hours to get LeeZe tied up well enough so we both can leave her and go check in.
We check in, no problems, but it takes time as there are lots of people departing Chios for Turkey, and Customs and Passport Control have their hands full. (This will come back to haunt us as when we go to check out, a paper I am suppose to have was taken from me by the Customs person and he kept it. He was no where to be found so a duplicate was made and we project problems further down the road.)
Finally, about 1730, we are in officially, and so is LeeZe, so we go off to rest a little, and then go out. We are given the name of the person who can help us get shore power and water, but given we have a full water tank and battery, it is not high on the list.
Monday, we catch up with this official, who tells us we have to move! Huh???? Port people told us to moor here!. Turns out they do that because the restaurant sign is big and easy to spot. In fact, this spot we are in belongs to a Greek Coast Guard patrol craft and when they come, they want their spot.
So, we all go and look where to move too, and agree to do the move, the next day, in the morning, when the winds are low.
George Buehler Trawler in Izmir > Chios
We do move. We get our water and power, and over the next few days, the wind builds and builds, never quite dropping to any speed near close to what we had on Sunday and Tuesday. Stern lines that were fine in light winds are now doubled, chafe protection put on, changed and beefed up again. Bow lines to the wall are put on, with the starboard one tripled because it is taking the brunt of the wind that is twisting LeeZe to port. More chafe protection as the city wall’s rocks are quite capable of eating into these lines quickly.
The wind blows and blows, at times reaching 35+ knots, with white caps in the harbor, garbage collecting on the swim platform (seems the people in charge never clean the harbor of floating trash) and the noise from the waves crashing into the wall is deafening.
One afternoon, for example, after experiencing motion akin to one might experience if placed into a front loading washing machine, we had to get off and go ashore. The waves are so tall that we had to close all the portals in the master cabin as sea water was coming in. It has been like this nearly constant, for the time we have been here.
I am looking forward to moving on, and as of this entry, that appears to be next Wednesday. We MAY have guests arriving this weekend and if so, we THINK they may be departing Wednesday. In any case, if the weather forecast holds, we are out of here on Wednesday!
(And, if any one is curious, so far that Greek Coast Guard patrol boat has yet the show, and there are now 4 boats med moored in its spot, as the wall is somewhat full. It is so full that a 105’ expedition yacht came yesterday when the winds were topping 30+, looked around, asked, and was told there was no room for her. She left, heading North, in a high wind and 2+ meter high crashing sea. Nothing she could not handle, but her crew must have been disappointed that they could not find shelter even for one night.)
2016-07-04: Today is USA’s Independence Day so I am flying the flag. It is a 3’x5’ flag (BIG) and nearly all US flagged boats around here are owned by locals and registered in Delaware, so their US flag is practically no bigger than what one would buy to hand wave at a parade. Even the million $ yachts fly this tiny flags, which really gets me mumbling under my breath “Hey guys, can’t afford a larger flag???”
Zehra goes for a walk and come back with a BIG surprise, Safak Izgi, from Bodrum. She found him at the bus station. He was in Chios to catch the night ferry to Athens, so we have our first guest, if only for a day. This was a very nice and very pleasant surprise!
Lee and Zehra from George Buehler Trawler in Izmir
2016-07-10: We have two overnights guests on board, from Zehra’s side of the house, so they are our first “real” guests for this cruise.
Family and friends visit George Buehler Trawler in Izmir
Lee and Zehra from George Buehler Trawler in Izmir

The pictures above are from a dinner out. In nearly all street side restaurants, the “table cloth” is something akin to butcher paper. You eat your meal and they do NOT take away your dirty dishes until you pay and leave. This is because they dump all the garbage from the meal onto the paper, and throw that away. Efficient, but it means that if you want to sit around and talk, you are left with the dishes on the table. Hard to get use to. In Turkey, the waiter is practically taking your dirty dish away while one is lifting the last bit of the meal to your mouth. Also hard to get use to. But at least a dirty look gets him/her to stop. (Ahhhhhh, the pleasures of experiencing different cultures!)
The weather is starting to calm down a little, but the GRIB forecast shows some serious gusts of wind tonight and tomorrow morning. Chios harbor is full of trash down where we are and I got sooooooo tired of looking at it that I take my boat hook and started flinging out what I could catch onto the sidewalk nearby. I am hoping that a street cleaner will complete the job and cart the trash away. Its appears that there is no water craft assigned to fish the trash out from the water.
George Buehler Trawler in Izmir
Over the last two days, people were assembling boxes and display on stands on the sidewalk. It turns out these are for book sellers, who, starting last night, put out an array of books for those to peruse and if so inclined, to buy. We noticed many more girls than guys looking at the books as they walked by, and in some cases, we laughed as groups of guys would seem to accelerate their walk as they past the displays. Those boys who did show interest had a girl at their side and when she was showed interest, so did he. What guys will do for the attention of gals! ☺ And, we are told this book street fair will run thru the end of August. One stand had a few books in English. What seem to sell the most were children books bought by the parents for the little one(s) in tow.
2016-07-14: We checked out late last night so about 0730, we are weighing the anchor, taking time to clean the harbor mud off of it. However, the mud is quite reluctant to release our anchor and my tattletale line that usually floats above it is gone, probably chopped off my a passing boat. So, after some back and forth, the anchor is free, full of mud, but free. We depart, and turn South toward Samos. The wind and sea is relatively calm, so we decide to go direct. What this means is that we will cross into Turkish waters, and then back into Greek waters. So, The Greek flag comes down, and with just the American Flag flying off the stern, we motor on. On the radio, a Greek patrol craft is trying to tell a Turkish patrol craft that it is in Greek waters, and of course, the Turks disagree. This goes on for more than an hour and finally the Greek stops talking. I can tell you that around the Chios/Cesme area, the international border is in dispute because neither country has agreed as to where it is. So, most of us ASSUME it is half way between the two, but as there is no treaty, there is plenty of room for disagreement. We pass a Turkish Coast Guard frigate who shows no interest in us at all. Off in the distance, EU and Greek patrol boats are also patrolling, all part of the agreement to control the illegal entry of refugees into the EU.
Lat year, in Mytillini, there were THOUSANDS of them. This year, in Chios, maybe a hundred? The agreement inlace seems to be working.
For those that care, here are the particulars for Chios:
For assistance, call Koumis Stelios (Ch 69 or +30 694 686 1747)
Need 220 VAC 63 amp or 380 VAC 3 phase plug for metered shore power the SE side of the harbor. Come with these adaptors or be prepared to either go without electricity or pay a huge premium to get them made on the spot.
The SW side is a pre-pay as you go system. Mr Stelios can sell you the tokens. These outlets are 220 VAC, standard 16 and 32 amp outlets.
Do not moor in front of Goody’s Hamburgers no mater what the Port Authority says. That berth is for a Greek Coast Guard patrol craft and they will make you move if they return and you are in it.
The port makes no effort to remove the trash from the water.
When there is a sustained North wind, the SE and SW side of the port is rolly and uncomfortable, with white caps within the harbor a possibility.
When the Blue Star ferry comes in, it comes in at great speed causing all of the boats to “rock and roll” quite uncomfortably. Efforts to get that ferry to slow down have been in vain per Mr. Stelios and the Port Authority.
Nearly all other ferries come in a dead slow, or near to dead slow speed.
“Municipal Marina” daily fee this year for a boat up to 15 meters is 170 € /yr times length + Vat all divided by 365 days
“Municipal Marina” daily fee this year for a boat up to 16 meters is 200 € /yr times length + Vat all divided by 365 days
Cats pay more.
Electricity is 0.30 cents per Kw and 3 € per ton, VAT included.
I will blog about Samos in the next edition, but as many of you know, there was an attempted coup in Turkey in the early morning hours of 16 July. It failed. There are some reports that suggest that maybe even the government “staged” it for their own political agenda but that could just be conjecture. The Turks wrote the book on how to stage a military coup and this one was so poorly planned and executed that it had NO chance of succeeding. (My opinion, not worth the paper it is written on.) Zehra’s entire family is safe, and so are her friends. We both thank all of those who wrote in and were concerned about us and her family.

That concludes this entry.
If you have any questions, please ask.
Lee and Zehra
MV LeeZe

Older blog posts can be found here:

Diesel Duck Trawler LeeZe in Çandarli > Izmir (Levent Marina)


We have decided to sell our beloved Diesel Duck Trawler LeeZe.  The blog posts on this site are some of our adventures during our time cruising and meant to shed some light on the cruising life.  Enjoy our posts and please contact us for more information on the places we have been or information on our Diesel Duck Trawler LeeZe in Çandarli.  The complete collection of our travel blogs can be found here:

2015-09-13: Yesterday, after anchoring,

Diesel Duck Trawler LeeZe in Çandarli > Anchorages

knowing that the wind was going to pick up, elected to lower the tender from the boat deck into the water. That turned out to be a wise decision as later yesterday and so far today, the wind has not slowed to below 20 knots.

Therefore, spent most of last night on the couch in the saloon, waking up every two hours to check. Seemed like we had dragged as the mosque and castle and shore are MUCH closer than when I went to sleep a few hours earlier, but having panicked before and got my heart racing  to check only to find that I within my swing circle, I decide to believe that I had not dragged and that all was fine.

When we set the anchor yesterday, as soon as I drop it I mark the spot electronically on my chart plotter. I had 60+ meters of chain out (in about 8 meters of water) and had Zehra back down at slightly above idle until you can see the chain get quite taut. I then attach my 22 mm 12 strand snubber, lay out another 10+ meters and have Zehra back down again, slowly, until the snubber is taut, then have her increase RPMs until the water is starting to be squeezed out of the line and the line noticeably thins.

So, this AM, when I thought I might be dragging, I remembered all that and also remembered that whenever we anchored using that process, the anchor has never dragged.

So, this morning, Zehra thinks we have dragged. Fire up the navigation suite and measure the distance ween the spot I marked and our current position. We are within 65 meters of the anchor so I am quite confident that we did not drag, or dragged sooooooo little that it is imperceptible.

After breakfast, prepare the tender and our plans are at about 1700 to venture into town. The wind is blowing 25-30 knots with gusts up to 40 from the NE. When we get a gust, LeeZe is heeled by the wind until she is aligned with the wind. We have come to learn by the healing alone how big of a gust that was. We are usually right within 5 knots for gusts up to 60. Not much experience above 60, and care not to have any.

Our intentions are to mosey our way south, anchor MAYBE in Aliağa, Yeni Foça, Eski Foça, and then turn into Izmir Bay, making our way toward Bostanli, where LeeZe was launched, and stay there a week or so. We would like to be in our marina (Levent) on or around 1 Oct.

That’s our plans. Let’s see how well we hold to that plan.

2015-09-16: We left Çandarli yesterday and anchored in the afternoon in Eski Foça.

Diesel Duck Trawler LeeZe in Çandarli > Anchorages in Eski Foça

Zehra had taken a dolmuş (a type of minibus / van where multiple people are all heading generally in the same direction) to Aliağa and learned that they COULD possibly make some room for us but they were not sure, and there would be no access to water of shore power.

Diesel Duck Trawler LeeZe in Çandarli > Anchorages in Aliağa

So we passed.

“Intel” told us that we would be wasting our time anchoring in Yeni Foça

Diesel Duck Trawler LeeZe in Çandarli > Anchorages in Yeni Foça

so we moved on to here. The ride was good for the most part, with the wind mostly behind us and the waves mostly off our starboard quarter.

When we arrived, using the position the Turkish Coast Guard gave to us last year as a spot within 300 meters to anchor, we did. The wind was 20 knots out of the NE and the bay was rolly.

I laid out 60 meters of chain and then snubbed another 10. Depth of water was between 9-11 meters. But something went wrong.

Diesel Duck Trawler LeeZe in Çandarli > Anchorages in Eski Foça

Normally, I put a second snubber on the chain just BEFORE the anchor windlass as a backup in case the first snubber comes off the chain. Sometime after 2200, LeeZe started feeling not like herself, and I felt it, I think, even though the wind was 25+ knots, gusting to 40.

Yup, the first snubber had come off.

Working fast but safe in the dark with a small head light, was able to retrieve the snubber’s end and re-attach it to the chain. But, without having started the engine, I knew it would be foolish to bring in any chain so at the 80 meter mark, I attached the snubber again and let it out until it had the strain and the second snubber did not. At this time, I saw I had just about 100 meters of chain out.

I know the saying: “The anchor chain does no one any good sitting in the locker” (this is quoted to me by some many captains of day trip gulets that I now roll my eyes when I hear it) but I only have 130 m on board and I do not like the fact that at 2300 at night, I am left with few options to make me feel more comfortable.

We made it thru the night and this morning, the sea was calm and flat, with no wind. I woke up to see I was blocking a major portion of the channel and the castle / fort’s walls to the south of me looked remarkably close!

So, after coffee and before breakfast, start the engine and start retrieving all that chain that I had put out last night. Depth of water is 10 meters, and at the 60 meter mark, reattached the primary snubber. This time I take my time and make sure it is attached securely. I also lay out 10 meters of snubber line because, maybe, just maybe, I had laid out too much snubber (can one do that?) and somehow, laying on the bottom, the snubber got loose. Do not know.

After making sure that the snubber had the load, Zehra backed LeeZe down and confirmed that the Roca was holding.

This evening, Zehra wants to try anchoring in other part of the bay, closer to the North end. She thinks there will be less roll motion. We will try that tomorrow.

2015-09-20 Well, we ended up not moving as whatever was causing the sea to roll seem to stop. But this September weather has not been as kind and bright to our solar panels as June was and so the house battery was going down faster than I liked.

I thought something maybe draining it and looked around. Our digital satellite receiver had some unusual lights lit on its front, given that we were not using it. When I felt the case, it was quite warm to the touch. Pulled the plug and battery voltage jumped up 0.40 vdc. So, that was my drain. But after 3 days, that box took a lot out of the battery and so I was worried.

Thought we were getting underway YESTERDAY ((thought yesterday was Sunday!) so started up the engine in preps to move. House Bank was at 23.75 VDC but the engine lit off like a champ. (Never have learned the lower limit for engine start! Guess I need to!) But the Admiral squared me away and after an hour, shut down the engine. The alternator added about 80 amp hours during that hour, not enough to make an appreciable dent in the 1250 amp-hr bank.

So, started up the genset and ran it for ~2 hours until regardless of the manual load I set for the chargers, the genset was only putting 60+ amps into the bank. (The genset did get very hot. See the note at the end of this blog for the full story.)

We went out for dinner and, well to make a long story short, this morning the bank was at 24.57 VDC, and I was quite comfortable with that state of charge. (For those that want to know, full with no charge is about 1 volt more, and with the chargers on, a trickle charge is 2 volts more. Equalization  charge is just over 30 volts and the battery chargers take care of deciding when and for how long.)

Underway this morning to check to see if there is room for us in Güzelbaçhe’s marina under construction. If not, the “bingo field” field CeşmeAlti. Our underway was complicated by some fish and net gear that got around the anchor and chain. It was sooooooo heavy that is was difficult to lift completely out of the water. So, got into the tender and with Zehra raising the anchor slowly, cut it all away. But it was dirty; it got me dirty; it got the tender dirty. It was a dirty job. ☺

Diesel Duck Trawler LeeZe in Çandarli > Anchorages in Güzelbaçhe’s Marina

While underway and south of Eski Foça, received six VHF DSC (distress) announcements from both Olympia (Greek) and Turk Radio. Each reported thee different capsized craft, all off the coast of BabaKale / Lemnos Island and each asking ship in the area to kindly keep a watch for them, reporting accordingly. The first report was for 26 souls, the next for 10, and the last for 44. An afternoon press report by Hurriyet newspaper reported that none of the 26 were found as of the filing of the report.

Today seemed like a superb day for the refugees to travel. There was little wind, no rough seas, and the sun was out. But nearly all the boats are overloaded, with questionable engines, and few have life vests.  Some reports indicate that the really cheap life vests are full of water absorbing foam. It appears that the smugglers are making money two ways!)  Some say nearly 8% of those who brave the sea to get to an EU country die at sea. May their souls rest in peace.

Just under two week ago, we passed Babakale and did see one migrant craft in the water, on the Greek side, who waived us off because my guess is he wanted to be rescued by the Greeks.

I was nowhere near the area but asked myself if I was prepared to pick up 20-30 “souls” and if I did, even if I reported it by radio, could I get into some trouble legally, that is. Were we prepared in any way to host these people. I know we have enough tea and coffee, but are definitely lacking in changes of clothes and blankets. If I did run into situation, I would obviously pick up all of them, hope it is a sunny day, have them rest in the sun on the forward deck and boat deck, give them water, tea or coffee, and IMMEDIATELY contact the appropriate coast guard people for instructions. But I am in uncharted waters here and if any of the readers of this blog can provide advice, I would welcome it. (please note that the Greek and Turk radio announcements ask ships in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report what they see. The announcement does NOT ask the ships to effect rescue!)

Any way, while the landing at Güzelbaçhe was not perfect,

Diesel Duck Trawler LeeZe in Çandarli > Anchorages in Güzelbaçhe’s Marina

we got in, side too, into a half finished marina. If all goes well, we will stay here a while and then proceed to our winter marina, Levent, some 10 miles to our east. There is a three day religious holiday at the end of this week celebrating Abraham willing to slaughter his son, but instead did a lamb. The Turks tend to take these holidays and stretch them into a full week off, and this is no different. We saw Turk tourist showing up in Eski Foça Friday evening thru Saturday, starting what was to be a 8-9 day holiday!

Here is not a touristy area so we expect that less will be open than normal. Things get back to normal a week from tomorrow. Tonight we are going to a fish restaurant where you by what you want to eat from the fish merchant out front and then go to the restaurant where they cook it for you for a nominal fee. People drive for miles to come here. We are 100 meters away! What luck!!!

2015-09-21 Well, we did NOT go to that fish restaurant because the restaurants were way too crowded and the choice of fish was limited. We instead went to a kebab restaurant right across the street from the entrance to the marina and Zehra had the best chicken kabab in her life (per her!). I had a cheese and egg pide (‘turkish pizza”) but while mine was good, it was not extraordinary.

Will try again. Did some work today and probably will do more tomorrow. Quiet day.

2015-09-24 Yesterday, visited Çesmealti and Urla, two ports within 5-6 nm of where we are, though to the west. We have tried for years to go to the wall in both places and have been consistently told, no room. When we visited, neither had room. There are good anchorages closely and the towns are very lively all summer, and usually lively on weekends during the Fall and Spring, providing the sun is out.

Zehra did go a few days ago to visit Levent marina, our winter “home” and learned that they are ready for us, that we will be moored next to two other Asboat built Diesel Ducks 42s, and that should make for an interesting winter.

2015-09-28 I FINALLY got a chance to go to the fish market two nights ago, buy my calamari and 10 tiger shrimp, take them to a seaside restaurant where for 14 TL (Currently about 3TL=$1), they cooked up my fish and Zehra’s (whole) fish. The calamari was scrumptious and the shrimp were as dense as a fine cut of beef. Zehra was quite happy with her fish also!

Yesterday, we went to Izmir by bus and subway and walked around Konak to Alsancak. In Aug 2011, we were moored stern to to Pasaport Pier (located between Konak and Alsancak) with other boats. Now, 4 years later, the authorities have removed most of the mooring bits and locked up tight the electrical / water distribution boxes, so there are no pleasure craft there now. There were some sailboats moored at Konak Pier (a shopping mall built on a disused pier), but even they are gone. The authorities also removed all of the cafe and bars’ tables and chairs that use to abut the seawall so now there are few areas to sit and enjoy the view, and no place along the seawall to get a tea, coffee or a bite to eat. The area appears to have been “sanitized.” (It was more fun to walk there back then than now!)

There were rumors that the authorities were going to create a marina at this spot, but there is no indication. The Port of Izmir is also moving somewhere up the coast, but even that seems to be going slowly, as there were 12 ships at anchor waiting for the religious holiday to end so they could come in and either offload or load their cargo. The Turkish Navy did announce some years ago that it was returning the base it has opposite the Port back to the city but we saw ships still there yesterday. Someone told me that the city wants to put a marina where the Port is, which may make better sense as there is a lot of infrastructure that can be reused, but we saw no evidence that was happening. When we left Güzelbaçhe, there was hardly any wind but along Pasaport Pier, the wind was 20+ knots and the water was choppy and splashing onto the sidewalks. (It seems like lots of projects get proposed, some started, and even fewer finished. Funding is always an issue as much of what is needed to complete these projects is not produced in country with locally sourced materials.)

We ended up walking to Alsancak and having dinner on its main street, before taking two busses back to LeeZe. We were out and about nearly 7 hours and we were beat.

2015-09-29: Underway this morning at about 0900 for Levent Marina where we will winter over. The seas were calm and there was no wind. Numerous SAR (Search and Rescue) announcements were on the NavTex as even the refugees found this to be a good day to cross, and they were doing it in a big way, given the number of SAR messages. Channel 16 was also full of SAR traffic, and as I was entering the narrow choke point of Izmir Bay, a Turkish Navy frigate was just leaving it at flank speed.

We approach the marina, having already made arrangements by phone for them to take our tender first, tie it off, then get us in, and then bring back the tender. One of the tubes is leaking air, and the marina staff will have their tender repair person look at ours this week, hopefully.

Levent is a very SMALL marina, maybe room for 40-50 boats in the water? Our spot is on the north side of the marina, very close to the bathrooms but not the showers. We are moored next to a Diesel Duck 42 named Jackson, home port New Castle, De. Zehra has met them. The builder that built LeeZe also built Jackson.

The wind is dead calm and with a little push on the stern from the helper’s boat, we slide into our spot.

Diesel Duck LeeZe in Levent Marina

I take the bow lines from the marina staff and these will keep LeeZe from slamming into the dock. It is early still so decide to get the heavy lifting done while adjusting the stern lines. I retrieve the winter springs and chains and within an hour, that work is done. The marina uses a LARGE 63 amp 3 phase shore power connector which must be the only one I do not have. A quick call to their electrician and I am in business. They are still working on water and we should have that tomorrow.

2015-10-08: It looks like we are staying. There was a chance that we would not, as a club nearby played music with a very heavy bass element last weekend until 3 AM. Zehra could not sleep. If this goes on every weekend, Zehra did not want to stay. We have come to learn it does not. The bars and clubs around here play music until midnight on weekends, which is OK. The late music is for special occasions, like weddings.

We did get water. We have electricity. The yard’s small inflatable tender repair man came by last night at about 2000 and found numerous small leaks, most of them on the stern tubes’ joints, which he said was caused by leaving the boat uncovered during the hot and bright Turkish summers. Our current cover has too many holes in it to fix, so we were planning on getting a new one made. Now it looks like we need a lightweight summer one also. Ugh!

So, this concludes the 2015 Where is LeeZe’s blog. We traveled over 400 nm on this trip, with an average speed over ground of 5.6 knots, consuming somewhere just under 400 liters of fuel. The generator consumed less that 15 so all and all, we did OK.

We plan to go to Ankara to do a mini-family reunion and retrieve our car sometime during the middle of the month. Zehra will stay and vote and then, if Mom is willing and the weather remains nice, Mom and Zehra will fly back. I will stay a week, get some chores done and return with the car. That’s the plan today, and it could all change in a blink of an eye.

Thanks for reading!

Any questions?

Lee and Zehra

Izmir, Turkey

Some additional notes. We have been wise with the use of water so we did not need a water delivery while in Güzelbaçhe. The Fall sun is not as strong as a June-July sun (duh☺) so we ended up running the genset some 13+ hours over the last 9 days. We have also had 3 days of really cloudy weather so that did not help.

Some of my long time readers may remember that the genset was not a reliable machine. It would overheat all the time. I left the yard with it overheating as the manager blamed me for it overheating.

So, it took to our second winter to figure out that the hard plastic pipe the yard used to run the cooling water to the keel cooler was blocked with the excessively applied pipe goop that is used to seal the pipes’ joints. That was one fix. The next fix was to remove a restrictor the yard put in a water recirculating hose. The thought was if “we” could slow down the rate the genset came up to operating temp (80C) then there would be more time to get a charge into the battery. I removed it because I needed to put the machine back in its original condition if I was to continue to trouble shoot the problem.

The genset came with a 3 piece sound shield and I had taken off the end so I could check the oil level before starting. With that off, other problems started to show up. Start the engine and its rpm  would vary all over the map. With the cover off, I could see small bubbles in the clear fuel filter so I had to tighten and then wrap with plastic wrap, the incoming fuel line all the way from the tank under the master cabin to the corner of the engine room where the genset was. Got that problem solved but then the load that the genset could carry was ridiculously low before the engine would die. I assumed that the little 1 cylinder diesel just did not have enough strength to suck the fuel needed from the tank, so I bought a 41 liter diesel fuel tank and had the genset suck from it. (I had toyed with the idea of using my fuel recirculation pump to push fuel to the genset, but then if that failed, I could not run the genset. So, I bought the tank. I can also use it in an emergency as a day tank for the main engine if all hell broke loose☺.)

So, as a result of the above, I could now get the genset to operate at 50-55% of full load for over an hour before it would shutdown on over temperature.

Then, I made a mistake during the second cruising season and allowed the genset to run dry. I thought I had enough fuel in the tank. I did not. To bleed the engine, I had to take the middle sound shield off. There was also the pipe cap for checking the water, which I check at the beginning of every season. When I checked it two seasons ago, it was low so I added. And added. And added. I ended up adding nearly 7 liters of water-antifreeze to the tank, which is connected to the keel cooler. So, then, I started the engine, ran it for 15 minutes, and checked level, adding whatever was needed until no more could go in.

Now, the engine lasted 1.5 hours. This got me thru last season and over the winter, I made no additional headway into resolving this issue. (It turns out I did NOT try hard enough!)

The next thing  I did was to keep off the middle sound shield after checking the water, bleeding the engine, and put a fan on the motor end of the genset. I did that while here in Güzelbaçhe. (This is not the first time this boating season I have needed the genset, but this is the first time where I will need it for days!) That appeared to do the trick. I ran the engine now consistently for 6-9 hours (3 hours at a time) and with the fan on, the engine did not overheat. (I only do 3 hour run times as I usually stop the genset when no matter how much I load the engine manually, the battery charger is calling for less amps to charge. No use wasting fuel!)

Since the manufacture of this 4 kW genset has been bought out by someone bigger, it took me some time to track down the man I bought it from.

Here is what he told me. They built only ONE keel cooled genset, mine. When I paid them to provide the calculation for the keel cooler, he provided two answers to the yard: One for the genset enclosed in the sound shield, and one not. The size of the required keel cooler for the one in the sound shield was about 6 times BIGGER than the one without with a much larger water recirculation pump than the one that came with the unit. The yard, seeing that, probably decided that it was impractical to make the big keel cooler and so, installed the small one. I guess someone forgot to tell me that I needed to run the genset “naked.”

That would explain a lot.

Right now I am limited to loading the genset to 100 amps, the maximum charge one of my two battery chargers can put out. I did not want to jinx anything so this winter, will try using both battery chargers. Per the manufacturer notes in the manual, while the machine can handle two battery chargers, to avoid load shifting from one to the other, one should be set 15-20% lower than the other. (The genset is only connected to the battery chargers. I did try to find a DC genset when building LeeZe but the smallest I could find was a 12Kw unit. I thought that was way too big. I tried to get a 6 Kw custom built but that turned out way too hard. So, I ended up buying this small 4 Kw AC genset. )

If this all works out, I intend to see if the genset will run at 75% load, with is about 3 Kw (with a fan, and then maybe without the fan).  That would mean that if I can load one battery charger to ~ 80 DC amps, and the other to 40, then I can get a quicker charge.

Right now, this is on the back burner as a winter project.

I know I am cheating but I use a fan on both alternators all the time when running the main engine, and during the winter, I use a fan on the battery chargers. I know heat (and the salty air) is the enemy here so if by keeping these components maybe just a little bit cooler, I can get them to laster longer. In a perfect world, I would not need a fan, but this world is far from perfect!



Izmir, Turkey

That concludes this entry.

If you have any questions, please ask.

Lee and Zehra

MV LeeZe

You can find older blog posts here:

George Buehler Trawler in Samothraki > Mytillini

We have decided to sell our beloved George Buehler Trawler, LeeZe.  The blog posts on this site are some of our adventures during our time cruising and meant to shed some light on the cruising life.  Enjoy our posts and please contact us for more information on the places we have been or information on our George Buehler Trawler in Samothraki.  The complete collection of our travel blogs can be found here:

2015-08-28. We depart today for Mytillini, an island about 120 nm away. Our PLAN was to go 30 nm to Gokceada, then another 30 to Bozcaada, then another 30 to Molivos, and then onto Mytillini.

However, this being boating, plans can change, and in this case, they did. The weather was sooooooo nice on the way to Gokceada, that, after I check my GRIB weather forecast, we decided to push on to Bozcaada. About 1-1.5 nm north of the start of the traffic separation lanes for the Çanakkale Straits, the winds and waves change from nice and friendly to angry and confused.

George Buehler Trawler in Samothraki, Greece

Maybe it was something that I missed (although later, I could not determine what I missed) but the seas rapidly build to over 2 meters at times, winds gusting to 60+ knots, and LeeZe rolling side to side. At some point, although strapped down, the tender on the boat deck comes off its mounts and landed on the starboard side, thereby increasing the effect of a roll to starboard by a very perceptible amount.

The NEAREST safe port was Yenikoy, on the south side of the Straits, about 8-9+ NM away, but speed over ground (SOG) was < 2 knots and we did not want to take this for that long.

A safe and reasonable course took us to the west, far out of our way to Bozcaada.

Turning around to Gokceada was not possible because the seas made the rolls even more frequent.

So, I elected to run SOMEWHAT south and west, taking advantage of the wind and the current. SOG was some 7+ knots.

There are some small islands just south of the southern limit of the traffic separation lane that if I could just get to them, MAYBE they would help block the sea conditions. (The port guide says there is no safe place to anchor or land on these islands.)

So for 3+ hours we slug on, making course changes as needed to the east so that I do not drift too far away from the islands. Oh yes, I did forget to mention that I hand steered for these 3+ miserable hours. The autopilot was working, but the numerous changes required  prevented its use.

Most of the stuff on LeeZe that we had not stowed for sea was now on the decks, and even stuff in the Engine Room moved (a little). It was a mess. The aft door broke off its mounts before we could get it secured, the lazarette bilge pump failed, forgot to latch shut the hatch to the lazarette so the sea water coming over the aft deck was what was filling that bilge, and there was green water coming over the bow during each and every turn, and some of it ending up on the Pilot House windows. Even the solar panels above the pilot house had a layer of salt on them by this time.

Zehra was ABSOLUTELY not happy, and in the end, for the first time since we owned LeeZe, I proclaimed that this day was NOT a fun day!

But I digress. We make it to the vicinity of those islands and the seas calm somewhat.

Once we passed south of these islands, I was able to steer a more direct course to Bozcaada. The current was pushing us along at more than 7 knots and at around 1900, some 11 hours after departing, we arrive.

We are tired, beat, NOT happy, etc. etc. etc. and now we have to deal with the locals who are waiving and yelling at us (and doing that ridiculous dance) to come tie up here, or there. All we want to do in anchor and rest, but we come to the realization that the harbor is just too small and crowded to do that, and a quick check of the charts indicates there is no safe place to anchor around the entrance of the harbor.

So we drop the hook to collect our thoughts, LeeZe drags, we get close to  small fishing boat but we get away from him, move to the other side, drop the hook again, verify it is holding, and recollect our thoughts.

Why is it soooooooooo HARD to get the harbor master to talk on the radio??????????????? Why do they elect to scream from shore, do a funny and ridiculous looking dance to indicate where they want us, etc… Just pick up the radio and call us on Channel 12, JUST LIKE THEIR PORT GUIDE SAYS THEY WILL DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zehra needs more time to collect her thoughts than we have but we have to decide where we are going to tie up. So, she soldiers on, and we accept their offer to tie up side to at a concrete pier taller than LeeZe, just ahead of the fast ferry dock.

George Buehler Trawler in Samothraki > Bozcaada

George Buehler Trawler in Samothraki > Bozcaada

We do tie up, and then we collapse.

By the time we leave LeeZe for dinner at 2130, we had picked up all the stuff that had fallen (did not put them back where they belong yet!), did a temp repair to the aft door, and cleaned ourselves up.

We dragged our sorry asses to a restaurant to eat, only realizing later that Bozcaada is one terribly expensive place to eat, buy groceries, and moor.

The next morning, GRIB indicates that it is BEST not to resume our trip south until at least Wednesday, 2 Sept.

So, we are stuck here a few days. I make repairs to the door and jury rig a repair to the broken bilge pump. There is no water and electricity at this pier. Since the step ashore is about 1+ meter high, getting off and on is not an elegantly executed event.

But we make do. We come to learn that our daily port fee is over 110 Tl ($37+) a night, but Zehra, bless her soul, goes to the Port Captain and negotiates a one time payment of 100 TL for as many nights we need to stay until the weather improves.

There is not much more we can say. This port is expensive. Probably the whole island is. Ferries arrive frequently. The pier we were at is safe and secure, but 10 meters ahead of me, rocks are just below the surface. Most boats med moor to the pier immediately to starboard of the harbor’s entrance. There is electricity, water, and mooring lines there so one does not have to use your anchor to med moor.

2015-09-02. Today is Wednesday and per GRIB, this is the day to move south. So we depart, stick our bow into the channel, see that it is nice, and turn south. This time, I have numerous places along the Turkish coast we can duck into, but we do not have to.

George Buehler Trawler in Samothraki > Approaching Babakale

Approaching Babakale, I hear an alarm that I do NOT recognize. A quick check shows the engine is fine, bilges are fine, but the alarm continues. I look UP where my radios are (they are above my head) and I have a DSC alarm. Someone is in trouble and they pressed their distress button on the radio.

OK, now what? Try to call the Turkish Coast Guard (TCG) on the cell phone but they have no English speaking people on duty right now. Zehra talks to them but cannot get them to understand.

Try to raise anyone on Channel 16 and one person answers but cannot help. Finally call “Olympia Radio” (Greek authorities). They respond, and after some confusion that it was not ME that was in distress, they finally tell me that the call in on the Turkish side of the sea border and the TCG is responding.

So, it probably took you all of one minute to read this. In fact, it took me an HOUR to resolve. Meanwhile, we had decided to bypass Molivos as the weather was still good and push on.  (About an hour later we pass a small inflatable full of people. They make no effort to signal us and I do not give it a passing thought. A Turkish patrol craft was nearby but just “hovering.” Later, I figured out they were waiting for a Greek Coast Guard (GCG) boat to come by to rescue them. They were clearly in Greek territorial waters.)

We push on, having a 1+ knot current to our advantage for nearly the entire run.

At about 1900, we arrive in Mytillini. Our plan (once again) was to anchor between the marina on the southern end of the port and the commercial docks. But, Zehra suggests we poke our head into the inner harbor to “check it out.”

As we do, we again have a person, this time a GCG person in uniform, yelling at us and doing that ridiculous dance telling us we have to tie up at Customs. I chose to ignore him but he is insistent. So, I come to a dead stop inside the inner harbor and call the harbor authorities on Ch 12. They respond. I ask about this ridiculous looking GCP person, they ask a few questions, I respond, they tell me to ignore him and I am free to med moor between the inner wall pier locations 26 and 28.

The inner wall is empty except for two boats, moored side too. The weather is dead calm, so Zehra says lets moor.

With her help, I drop the anchor in the right place as required, and moor without incident. Three young men ashore help us tie up, one Syrian, one Iranian, and one Afghani. It dawns on us quite quickly that the charm of Mytillini is being masked by about 10000+ refugees that made their way from Turkey to Greece, awaiting processing by a government so broke it cannot afford a camp for them to stay. The Government appears to be processing their paperwork at a reasonable pace, but more refugees are arriving than departing.

It appears from discussions with the locals that about 2000-4000 refugees arrive each day from Turkey, and the ships the government has chartered to take them to the port of Athens (so they can proceed to the “promise land” (which nearly all tells us is Germany)) takes about 2000 each trip. I cannot say with certainty but it appears that there are between 5-7 of these charters per week.

There are also commercial ferries going to Athens (“Blue Star”) but it appears that the refugees cannot use that ship, even if they have the money.

So, they are stuck here until at their number is called to get on the chartered ship. They camp in nearly every park and sleep on the sidewalks and benches if they cannot find room. They are constantly searching for water and a place to recharge their cell phones. They do get some money from the government so the cheap eatery places have long lines. With their money, some buy tents but the government does not supply. (Remember, the government is BROKE.) There is no EU refugee representative here, nor any aid people.

Each day, I can see the GCG patrol craft returning from patrol offloading people that they have plucked out of the sea. And, for those not plucked from the sea and successfully land anywhere else on the island, they make their way to a public bus stop, get on a bus to “here,” and then walk from the bus station located on one side of the Port, to the other side, where the check-in station is.

I have been asked by some to take them to Chios, a Greek island off the coast of Izmir / Cesme Turkey, where they “hear” that processing times are shorter and there is a way to get off the island to the Greek mainland. I have even been asked to take a family to Piraeus, the port of Athens. Of course I say no but they are willing to pay up to 4 figure fees.

It is truly a disaster of HUMAN proportions.

Pictures to follow.

George Buehler Trawler in Mytillini > Çandarli, Tu

We have decided to sell our beloved George Buehler Trawler, LeeZe.  The blog posts on this site are some of our adventures during our time cruising and meant to shed some light on the cruising life.  Enjoy our posts and please contact us for more information on the places we have been or information on our George Buehler Trawler in Mytillini.  The complete collection of our travel blogs can be found here:

2015-09-02 thru 07. We arrived in Mytillini and are safely med moored. We have been here before (2014) but the charm and grace of this city has been tarnished by the refugee crisis.

This is a shot of the castle that ones sees when arriving from the North.

George Buehler Trawler in Mytillini - Castle view

I feel sorry for the locals. They are doing the best they can in “hosting” these new arrivals and there appears to be an agreement as to where and when these “guests” can be, and where/when  they are not welcomed.

The area around the port is swarming with the refugees

George Buehler Trawler in Mytillini - Port

(the news reports there are 15000+ on the island) waiting their turn to depart for the mainland. They use the public beach by the port for swimming and showers (men do, not the women, except for a very select few) and clothes washing, and those that are on the other side of the port use public fountains and water supplies to do much of the same. There is an oldish cruise ship that the Greeks have chartered that can take 2000 off the island at a time. The fee is 50 € p.p. and they get to sleep only in the common areas. Per the news reports, the staterooms are not available to them. It seems this ship shows up about every other day. It appears that the regularly scheduled ferry ships to the port of Athens are not taking any refugees.

Most of the parks and open areas have been taken over by them, erecting the tents they have just bought wherever there is room to put one up. Nearly all have been quite polite and well behaved, and even their protest this morning (2015-09-07) asking for more departures to the mainland was noisy, but orderly, and contained. The police were watching, but they let them say their piece, and move on. It lasted all of 24 minutes.

They have been thru a lot. By most accounts, they left their homes in a hurry, had to travel thru a war torn land, get across a border that was guarded by military people, then make their way west for over 1000 kms, then brave a small boat ride to Greece. They are so focused in getting to an EU country that they are willing to risk death to get here. And far too many do pay that price.

Once here, they know that others will eventually take care of them. They still have an arduous journey ahead of them (most want to go to Germany) but their need for smugglers and the like is over.

They are frustrated in the pace of getting off this island, but with a Greek government so broke it can barely take care of its own citizens, the strain must be huge.

At the beach yesterday, talking with some Greek locals, they have accepted that this is happening, they are not angry at the refugees (they are angry at other nations though) and they know that in time, this too will be resolved. In the meantime, the beach we are at is for the Greeks, and the public beach on either side of this beach is for them.

We have seen no people begging, no fights breaking out, no altercations, etc etc. The refugees are not happy with how long it is taking to get off of this island, but they know that the worst of their journey is behind them.

The two boats that were here when we arrived have now departed, so just like last year, we are all alone at the city wall. There was a 100+ footer med moored when I got up in the middle of the night to do my checks, but it too was gone by the time I woke up. The hotels along the waterfront that were full last year are not now, and the number of tourists coming is not as many as it was in years past.

2015-09-08: Some info that is absolutely nearly impossible to get from the authorities

The services along the city wall are managed from an office in the port area, past the Arrival Hall, around the corner and go to the very end. I regret I am unable to provide a English name for this office but you are looking for Charis (+30 22510 25349) The person who cares for the shore power pods is Protogriros Efstratios, (+30 69782 81184). The pods are in a decrepit state of repair but if you plan to spend some time here, he and his electrician friend will open up a 32 amp shore power  connection and a water connection.

If water is NOT available, give Mr. Harris a call at +30 22510 28620, wait for some Greek announcement to finish, press “0” (zero) and he can arrange for a water truck. He told me he could bring two tons (minimum) for 15 euros. I did not use him.

In all cases, if the Tourist Office is open at the port, the two ladies inside will help you wade thru all of this (The office is open M-F between 0900 and 1430 or so.)

Last year when we came, I thought I might use an agent to help us out. But I found them to be $$$ (actually €€€!) This year is no different. One can check in completely by themselves but be aware that the Coast Guard will ask you to tie up at the Customs Dock which is a PITA because it was built to handle ships, therefore the wall is high, and black nasty tires are used as fenders. Somehow, agents get around this and by using one, you are allowed to go directly to the city wall.

Dining: The food at the end of the port toward the south is really good, and in some cases, inexpensive. There are two grocery stores within 1-2 blocks of those restaurants, and at the southern end of the commercial pier, there is a large grocery store. There is also a Greek fast food type restaurant near to the NE corner of the port, but with the refugees set up in the small park next to this place, it is not as inviting as it was last year. The old port (a walk along some narrow streets to the north) has some great fish restaurants that we will again go to after our guest arrives.

An OUTSTANDING butcher is located on the first street (Archipelagous) that runs parallel to the city wall, behind the row of cafes that are located at the #27 spot painted on the city wall. A well equipped hardware store is nearby to the butcher. Note the hours are M-Sat 0800-~1400, then Tues, Thurs, and Fri 1830-~2100. Nearly nothing is open on Sundays except cafes, restaurants and ice cream stores.

We are awaiting a guest to arrive either tonight or tomorrow.

And in a moment of either sheer levity or absolute absurdness, a Syrian refugee came up to me this morning offering to me his Yamaha water skiing lift vest that he used, saying quite proudly and in excellent English, “I think you will have more use for this then I will, given to where I am going to go. I used it only once!” I took it, offered his some money, but all he asked for was two bottles of water.

Last night, about 16 coach type buses arrived, and refugees got off. Each was full. These refugees are the ones that safely made it across the water to land, then find their way to a place where these charter buses pick them up and ferry them into the city. As it was after 2100 when these buses started to arrive, the registration center in the port was closed and so was the police station, where I am told they go to get a cash stipend. Many are quite confuse, disorientated, and bewildered by what is happening to them, but then some people talk with them, explain what will happen, and slowly but surely many are taken under the wing of a “veteran” and go find a place to bed down for the night. The refugees are taking care of the newcomers. Most do take a moment to put on a smile and take a selfie.

2015-09-09: Our guest, Vern, arrived but due to emergent issues, he cannot stay as long as we all would like him too. But it is great to see him. He took a morning ferry and I met him at the Customs House. We walked to LeeZe, had breakfast, and then I took him to “my” butcher to get whatever he wanted for dinner.

What looked the best was some beef rib steaks so I had the butcher cut three of them, wrap it all up and pay. (For reference, we paid 32 € for 3.2 kgs of steak.)

We caught up, exchanged stores and recent events, and eventually the day ended with a steak BBQ drinks, and great fun.

Vern and Zehra in Mytillini

Lee and Vern in Mytillini

Meanwhile, we are seeing less and less refugees. It appears that the commercial ferries are now willing to take them (for a fee of course!) to the Port of Athens. So between the ferries and the charter ships, it seems like more and more are leaving the island than arriving on to it. Where once we had people pitching tents on the sidewalk in front of LeeZe, last night, we had none. (The Greeks, who in the past would walk the city wall after sunset, have not been doing that these past few days. But tonight, more of them were out, slowly retaking their city.) Where before people were constantly searching for water, few if any were today. Tonight, there was no mass arrival of charter buses loaded with refugees that we saw, but at 2300, a long line of them walking slowly toward the port indicated that a island bus full of them had probably just arrived at the bus station some minutes before.

2015-09-10: This morning, an unbelievable event happened. The police came around to all of the parks and open areas that had tents on them, said something, and then we saw the refugees taking them down, bundling them up, and walking toward the port. Cleaning people came buy to pick up the trash the refugees left behind, and slowly, the locals are taking back their parks, fountains, and open areas.

A friend dropped by morning. Sami is a Greek who lives in South Africa when not boating in the Med. We met him when we wintered over in Cesme, then again in Kusadasi and now here, today. He tells us that he understands that hundreds of thousands more refugees are coming (not all to this island he hoped) and starting next month, when the nights get cool to cold, and the winter rains start, he has no idea how the island is going to cope. (Neither do we.) It was nice to see him and catch up.

Our guest took some time this AM to go update his open ferry ticket, and came back bluer than blue. Turns out there are no ferries departing tomorrow BEFORE 1800 so therefore, to meet his previous commitments, he will have to leave tonight at 2000. I feel so sorry that he cannot stay longer. We try like heck to get him to modify his commitments, but what we most like about him is that he is true to his word, and remains so. So, with some sadness, we will see him depart early.

And, it looks like we are leaving Mytillini early also. Sunday the weather is not as nice as Saturday so if that holds, we are departing here Saturday AM for parts south and east.

2015-09-11: In the last 48 hours, there has been a major change to the crisis.

Nearly ALL of the refugees that were here are now gone.

The tent cities in the parks and open areas are gone. People searching for water and a place to charge their cell phones are gone. The police came yesterday and forced those still residing in the parks and open areas  to take their tents down and move to the port.

The number of people waiting at the port is low, really low as of last night, when I dropped our guest off.

The locals have reclaimed their city, were walking about last night, and were smiling.

From talking with them, and a policeman, it seems the government has changed their process.

Refugees are still coming. But when they get here, they are recorded and for 50 €, they are provided a trip to the Port of Athens, where they are registered. Neither knew what was done with the refugees that did not have the money to by a ticket.

This morning, when I got up, the city was clean, and tent free. The mounds of trash are gone. Last night, the refugees that came in from the north had their “care” package in hand, their stipend, and instructions to report to the port for processing and passage to Athens (per the policeman) today.

So, unless their is a huge influx of refugees, the problem on this island is now very much under control.

But, checkin here is still a major PITA. Last night, the Customs dock was full with two cruise ships (taking away that last of the refugees),  3 ferries from Turkey, and a Greek island hopping ferry (which is now selling tickets to refugees to take them to Athens). Therefore, two incoming boats were tied along the wall waiting to be called back to Customs to check in. One was called at 2115, the other 2245. The Customs people refuse to allow those that do their own checkin to come to the city wall and walk over to them.

Checkout: The process to check in and out of Greece in Mytillini is cumbersome, not user friendly, and a royal PITA. If you are checking in, you FIRST have to moor your boat at the Customs dock, against icky, black tire fenders that are of the same height as the walls in Kavala. If the wall is full with ferries and cruise liners, then one must go to the inner harbor and wait until the officials call you to tell you to come back. Ugh! For checking out, if you want to depart before Customs opens at 0730, then the night before, you and your boat MUST move to the Customs Dock, process your passports, and transit log, and then stay on your boat behind a locked fence until you depart.

If the Customs Dock is full, Customs tells you they have no room for you and then they say that you cannot depart until after they open in the morning. If you complain, they tell you too bad. So, what I have seen people do is leave without checking out. I have no idea what, if any trouble they get into but it happens often enough that the consequences must NOT be too high. Personally, if I was to do that, When I got to a place where there was a Greek Embassy or Consulate, I would turn in my papers there, explain why I left, provide a written report of the facts, and make a note of my visit in my passport and deck logs. I am really struggling how a port official can order one not to depart, especially if there is a narrow weather window to safely conduct the next leg. (If one of the readers knows the answer to this, please advise!) (Can “force majeure” be invoked in this scenario?)

So, though I tried, checking out Friday for a Saturday departure is just not possible.

Church: There is a catholic church in town that was chained locked since we arrived. But yesterday, a note on its door that there would be mass tonight at 1800. Since it had been a long time, I went. Of course this is Greece and the the priest was late to arrive from another island, but mass kicked off at 1830. It was all in greek, but there was an Irish couple there also so there were three foreigners among 20 worshipers. It lasted 45 minutes. Later, I learned that there is mass about every 2 weeks or so, usually Fridays or Saturdays, all dependent on the ferries.

After Church, went shopping for some last minute supplies, then dinner at our most favorite restaurant, and then back to LeeZe. Tomorrow, there is a a lot of work to do.

2015-09-12: I was up at 0630 and completed filling the fresh water tank. It has been filling for two days. The flow from the facet located 80 meters away was so low that it measured out at about 1 liter every 5 minutes. But remembering the “5P” lessons learned, I started filling on Thursday and just let it do its thing.

So, stop the fill and coil up 80 meters of hose. Then, with papers in hand, go to passport control. While waiting, the refugees at the port during the night had taken up some sidewalk space so the official opening up shooed them away. I said to him some Turkish words they would understand. He tried those and they moved right quick. Hw wrote them down and thanked me.

Passport control opens, stamps our passports to depart, stamps our crew list (after looking at it and asking where were the two guests listed (they had departed in Thassos!). Eventually they stamp that too and them I am off to Port Authority, where I wait, the lady does something, then sends me to another Port Authority some 7 blocks away for more stamps (ugh). I go there but they cannot find my entry paperwork so they search, then tell me I cannot depart until they find it. Great But eventually they do, have questions about the guests that had departed in Thassos (again!) and then stamp my paperwork.

Then they tell me to move LeeZe to Customs. I say no, too dangerous and to hard for the two of us. They insist. They call Customs and he insists. I am about ready to say yes, but them go back to LeeZe to leave, when I ask them where this person is. He is back at the port (7 blocks away) so I walk to him and lo and behold, it is the same person that I taught him those Turkish words. He is grateful, says “OK for this time but…” and the process is over.

It is now nearly 0900. I returned to LeeZe, take in my two bow lines, startup, bring in shore power, cast off the stern lines and slowly take up some 80 meters of anchor chain. The anchor itself has so much mud on it that the windlass is really slow to raise it. I get most off while Zehra motors us out of the harbor. As we pass the ferry loading dock, there are two ships in, and more than 1000+ refugees waiting to board one of them. So, the government has found a solution. Bring the refugees to the port, process their names, let them pay for a ticket, and then sleep in the port until the ship(s) arrive.

The weather is good for the first half hour but turns windy and nasty. Winds are 35-30 knots behind us and the waves are off my port quarter. The ride at time is rolly but not too bad. We are talking water over the aft deck, but this time, we remember to lock the aft door so it cannot break.

We are off to Çandarli, Tu, some 22 nm away.

George Buehler Trawler in Mytillini > Çandarli, Tu,

When we get within the ½ nm of Turkey, the land blocks most of the waves and wind and the ride improves greatly. We anchor on the city side of the city, in 10 meters of water, putting out more than 60 meters of chain, with the snubber some 5-7 meters below the waters’ surface. The wind is till low so we lower the tender from the boat deck and tie it securing to our stern’s mooring bits.

George Buehler Trawler in Mytillini > Anchorages in Çandarli,

We were here last year. so on the picture above, your can see last year’s and this year’s position

That concludes this entry.

If you have any questions, please ask.

Lee and Zehra

MV LeeZe

You can find older blog posts here:

George Buehler Trawler in Kavala > Thassos

We have decided to sell our beloved George Buehler Trawler, LeeZe.  The blog posts on this site are some of our adventures during our time cruising and meant to shed some light on the cruising life.  Enjoy our posts and please contact us for more information on the places we have been or information on our We have decided to sell our beloved George Buehler Trawler, LeeZe.  The blog posts on this site are some of our adventures during our time cruising and meant to shed some light on the cruising life.  Enjoy our posts and please contact us for more information on the places we have been or information on our George Buehler Trawler in Kavala.  The complete collection of our travel blogs can be found here:

2015 Where is LeeZe? Thassos > Samothraki

2015-07-29: We depart Kavala for the island of Thassos. We plan to spend a night at Skala (The Port of) Prinos on the west side of the island and then move the next day to the main port on the NE side of the island. We arrive at Prinos and while anchoring, a Greek Coast Guard person on the shore is yelling at me to move. After much hand waving and yelling, I get them on VHF Ch 12 and the person (who would NOT give his name) told us that he wants us to anchor 1 MILE off shore. I am SHOCKED. Why? He says we otherwise will interfere with the ferry boats. I offer to move away from the port and more toward the beach clubs but he insists, 1 MILE!  Finally, I propose and he agrees that if I move 250 meters off shore, that would be fine.  (I figured that he probably was not the smartest person on the block and that a shift in units (from miles to meters) would confuse him enough, and I think I was right.

We move, set the anchor, and do admit that the huge ferry boat from Kavala does seem to pass fairly close.

We go ashore that night to check in, cannot find the harbor office, walk around and come back.

The next day we planned to move but for some reason, I blurted out that maybe we should stay another day and go to the beach club nearby.

Beach club visit

Everyone agrees and we do that, having a great day. We come back to LeeZe, change, and go back to town to eat.

2015-07-31:  The weather is starting to build but my GRIB forecast says that once we round the northern cape of the island, the wind will die down and the waves will flatten. So, we are underway and GRIB is right. We approach Limenas, Thassos from the west and the harbor’s entrance is hidden from view by the multitude of ferry boats that are at the slips. We get into the harbor, drop the hook and call the Port on VHF Ch 12. They finally answer and tell us to call them on the cell phone, giving us only 5 numbers. Trying NOT to to sound stupid, I ask them for their entire telephone # and they seem exasperated that I have to ask. (A harbinger of things to come?) Eventually I get them on the cell and we agree on a spot to med moor along the wall.

We do moor, and it goes relatively smoothly, except in the end, I feel I am way to close to a small cabin cruiser to port. But that gets resolved and Zehra and I go to check in. I made a FUNDAMENTAL error. I failed to bring our guests’ passports with us. Since we had added their names to the cruising log in Kavala, I did not think I would need them.

But this Port Authority (Greek Coast Guard) made it ABSOLUTELY HARD to check in. They wanted to see our passports, insurance, registration and my license to drive LeeZe. I told him that the USA does not require us to have a license and then he spouted some BS that Greek Law requires me to have a license. He wanted me to prove to him that I was not required to have a license. (How does one prove a negative?) He would NOT let us leave while he checked what to do with us and while the office was cool, I at least felt that I was being detained. In all the years that we have been coming to Greece, this question has never come up.

So while this “person” is running around trying to see what to do with us, he does stamp our cruising log (after calling Kavala to confirm that our guest has indeed checked in there) and puts in on his desk. While he is “out and about” Zehra suggests I give to him my USCG card saying that I completed a safe boating course back in 1999. I do, he is happy, and we get to leave. But the issue is still not resolved because the next American owner who comes into Thassos will have to go thru the same rigamarole because this person / office does not understand the rules. (We has this same question asked of us in Marmaris, Turkey some years ago by the agent we had to hire to check into Turkey. To make a long story short, she ACTED like she did us a favor by convincing the Port Captain that I did not need a license. Later that same week, we physically went to the Port Captain, and looked at his rules, which EXPLICITLY state that if the host country does not require their owner-captains to have licenses, neither can Turkey. MY guess is that this is the same in Greece.)

I intend to resolve after we depart Greece as I feel that if I made a scene now, retribution will follow.

2015-08-02. We are really enjoying this port and today, I wanted all of us to got to a real beach club and relax. But Murphy heard me and about 1030, one of our guests tells me that the toilet will NOT flush. In addition, at about the same time, I figured out that the head’s shower/sink sump pump is also not working.

After trying all of the usual tricks to get the head to flush, I realize it is really broke and that I need to disassemble it and install the spare macerator I have. I kick everyone off and over the next 8-9 hours, replace the macerator and the electronic control panel because that also was burned out.

I have NO idea how it came to be that three items (macerator, control panel AND sump pump) all broke at the same time, and with guests on board!

I am not going to go thru the gory and messy details but it is NOT a job I every want to do again! The new macerator came with a different piping arrangement than the old one and I had to try a couple of times to get it all to go together and connect with the piping in the bulkhead. (For those that might not know, the entire inner workings of a toilet are in and under the toilet bowl, where space is a premium and not a whole lot of ways to check for leaks!) Then, worried about leaks, but keeping an eye toward the future that so poor slob, (hopefully NOT me) would have to replace it, I used sealing caulk where needed, but did not go overboard. (The yard must have used TUBES of the stuff when assembling the toilet because it was everywhere!.)

The actual job to replace the control panel required me to fish wires thru a narrow space behind the bulkhead to a junction box under the sink. I knew to use string and attach it to the old wires so when I pulled them out, the string would be my guide but all did not go as planned. (Murphy!) Hours later, got the wires thru and reconnected them per the photos I took before taking they apart.

It is now nearly 1900 and Zehra has been back from the beach for a couple of hours, just to lend moral support. (BTW thanks honey, I really did need it!)

(I replaced the sump pump while waiting for the sealing caulk to dry. Of course, even though I had an exact spare, the new one came wired differently and that took some noodling also. Ugh!)

Time to test… and it works! The macerator does its thing and I am relieved. Ah, Murphy strikes again because when Zehra goes to use it and there is NO water during the flush cycle. (I guess I had missed that when checking.

But I find that by manually adding water, it works so I ask all to use the toilets ashore for their solid waste until I can resolve the water issue.

Now it is Monday and I then ask everyone to go topside, ashore, somewhere else while I resolve the water issue. (one guest departs for the mainland to buy bus tickets to go home.)

I verify that the valves are properly aligned up to the solenoid valve. I check the wiring and determine that I had mis-wired the power wire to the solenoid and when I switch them, still no water. THINKING that the wiring mistake fried the solenoid, I go to get a spare from the locker and install it, double and triple checking the wiring.

Still no water. By this time, I am frustrated, 4 hours has passed, and I am no closer to getting water.

So, I go up to the aft deck and make myself an electrical and piping drawing, and stare at it.

And stare at it. Finally a light bulb comes on. I can test the control board. During its function, the solenoid gets power, then the macerator, then the solenoid again. So, this time, armed with a VOM, and with Zehra pushing the buttons, I determine the controller is working!

So now I turn my attention to the solenoid valve itself. While Zehra pushes buttons, I determine that the proper voltage is getting to the solenoid. (Had to disassemble the solenoid to test.) After reassembly, I asked Zehra to push the buttons again but for some unknown reason, I left my hand on the solenoid! As the controller cycled, I felt a vibration as the solenoid tries to do its job, I also noticed that there were some small bubbles in the clear hose on the discharge side of the solenoid.

Thought that was strange, so I went to the back of the toilet and with a bucket in hand, removed the hose to see if water would flow out. Did NOT have to push any buttons! There was a blockage. I fished out three sheets of what appears to be toilet paper. Pondered that for a minute, reconnected the hose and cycled the controller.

Water appears, the macerator flushes, water cleans.

All is well again. Of course, the guests are mortified. They blame themselves for breaking it, and then watched me work 2 days to get it repaired. Of course even after all this, I still ask that everyone do their solid waste removal ashore for another day while I check for leaks. There is water everywhere and it will take days to dry before I am 100% sure there are no leaks.

(BTW, I am still pondering how TP made it to the flush hose. If TP had somehow got into the fresh water tank, there is a pump, three filters, and a solenoid valve that it has to get past to get where I found it. Not likely, I think. Been there since new construction? Why show up now, 4 years later? Clueless and I believe I will never learn the answer!)

Meanwhile, our guests make arrangements to depart on Saturday. I am ASSURED that they are not leaving over this “event” but ……

Our guests do depart Saturday evening, 8 Aug, by ferry, then two local buses to the long distance Bus Station, then an 8+ hour bus ride into Istanbul to pick up Mom and their car.

It is 10 Aug before we are convinced that that the toilet is not leaking and I can finally properly mount it. It makes more noise, and different noises than the last one.

And yes, I did disassemble the broken macerator. The motor is burned up and the impeller is quite hard to turn. I guess when the motor seized, it drew a big current thru the control board burning up some components. Since I was not there when it happened, I did not see the black smoke that may have escaped.

And remember about retribution? The Greek Coast Guard person that gave us a hard time harassed another Greek boater near to me, threatening him with a “large” fine BECAUSE the boat’s name (Aqua) has to be in Greek letters and not “English” letters. Really???? The guy is a lawyer and will sort it out, but in plain view, there are three large GREEK ferry boats with their names in “English” letters, not Greek letters. The owner of this boat did say that he had complained the last time he was here about the garbage in the harbor so…… (fill in the ending yourself).

We did take one day to take a ferry boat ride across the straits to Kerimodi. The cost for two r/t was 14 euros. Kerimodi had really nothing to offer us. It is a small town whose basic purpose is to service the ferry boat users. There appear to be nice beaches there, but Thassos’ are nicer.

Ferry to Kerimodi

2015-08-22: Back on 8 Aug, just before our guests departed, Zehra and one of the guests went to the Greek Coast Guard office to remove their names from our sailing list. Zehra is not quite sure what was done then because today, when we went to the SAME office, there was again a rigmarole because the staff on duty said that our paperwork stilled showed the guests on board. We are BOTH clueless as to how this got screwed up, but it did. It took nearly 45 minutes for them to find in THEIR “deck log” that we had come on 8 Aug to remove their names. Then they spent MINUTES explaining to us how they were going to fix it, then minutes to fix it, and then FINALLY, our exit stamp.

For the record: Thassos’ Greek Coast Guard office is the worst by far office we have had to deal with ever since we have been coming to Greece since 2011. The worst, by far. Hands down. The island is wonderful. They really taint it.

Some thoughts about this island and this city. There is a “farmer’s market” in the city of Prinos (inland from the Port of Prinos) every Monday. We went and we were not impressed. If one uses these markets in Turkey, this one will disappoint. If not, by all means go!. There is public bus that takes you within meters of the market’s entrance and it takes you back directly to the city wall you will be moored at. The city bus also goes around the island 3 times a day so if you want a cheap windshield tour, there is one.

The public beach just notheast of the Old Port is the place we spent many afternoons. The water is clear and clean and mostly clear of rocks. The beach has three huge trees that provide all the shade from the blistering sun one would want. There is a fresh water shower and a changing room. I did dig this up from the beach:

Beach Find

To me, it looked like a stone encased key and some type of tool. I gave it to the local museum and never heard from them. My guess is that they had a huge laugh at my expense.

You need to buy a “key” from City Hall (restored two story building at the old Port) (use the back steps and go up to the second floor to purchase the key) (open M-F 08-1400, holidays and weekends closed!)  to get electricity and water from the Shore Power pods, but otherwise, there is no fee to moor at the wall. The pods have 16 amp connections, as well as 3 phase 32 amp and 3 phase 63 amp connections. They do NOT have a single phase 32 amp connection. Therefore, if you are a 32 amp boat like me and want 32 amps, need to have a male, 3 phase, 32 amp (4 pins) or 63 amp (5 pins) to single phase 32 amp connector on board. I could not find any shop on the island that sold any marine 3 phase connectors. If all you need is water, there is a free water tap in the corner where the quay and the city wall meet. The locals use this water a lot. Try not to loiter.

There is NO cost to med-moor at the city wall or side moor (they call it “English” moor) along the quay wall. None. Nada, ABSOLUTELY FREE!!

George Buehler Trawler in Kavala > Thassos New Harbor

There is very limited electricity on the quay, and a lot of working pods of the city wall.

George Buehler Trawler in Kavala > Thassos New Harbor

The city wall is elevated about 1 meter above the nearby street so street noise is very very low. The pubs and cafes play music well into the night, but not loud. The city seems to roll up the sidewalks at about 0300 and roll them out again at about 0800.

The old port.

George Buehler Trawler in Kavala > Thassos Old Port

This port was built by the Romans and they would still recognize it to this day. The sea wall offers little in the way of protection from a rough sea. Some port guides suggest one could moor in that harbor but I think one needs local knowledge to do that safely. I saw no boater other than locals use this harbor.

If you need something fixed, there is a small shipyard at the Port of Prinos. Thomas (+306979614650) who speaks a little English runs their workshops there and will try to help.  I saw NO marine store in town. I am told by some boaters that they get their supplies in Kavala.

If you need a full fledged boat yard, give Manitsas Stavros a call at +302594023180 / +306944365503 ( Per nearly all the boaters that I talked with they all winter their boats with him.

Lastly, keep a sharp eye out for a 1938 Greek flagged wood boat named Lalin, No 26.

Lalin, No 26

It was the 26th boat registered in Greece and languished for years on the hard, until a man bought it 20 years ago and has been slowly over time, restoring it to its as-built condition. He is now quite old and his family has agreed to continue the project. It med moored next to me a couple times and it is quite a sight to see. (Thomas was on that boat three times to fix things so he told me the story.)

2015-08-23. We depart today for Samothraki, Gr, an island about 36 nm away.

George Buehler Trawler in Çanakkale > Kavala

We have decided to sell our beloved George Buehler Trawler, LeeZe.  The blog posts on this site are some of our adventures during our time cruising and meant to shed some light on the cruising life.  Enjoy our posts and please contact us for more information on the places we have been or information on our George Buehler Trawler in Çanakkale.  The complete collection of our travel blogs can be found here:

2015-06-17 We left Çanakkale, Turkey  yesterday and anchored over night at Kapatepe, the port where the ferries from Gokceada discharge their people. And that is all that is there. One restaurant shoreside to handle those waiting for the ferry, and a bunch of fishermen

Underway this morning at dawn for Alexandroupolis, Gr, a 43 nm run. LeeZe was fine, and the seas were calms. A Turkish Coast Guard Ship comes alongside and asked me who I am, and where I am going, we provide answers, and he departs. Guess he was satisfied. (He also probably scanned us with his infrared scope to verify that there was just two of us on board.) Had some dolphins frolic with along the way and we get into Alexandroupolis at about 1300  and moor side to.

George Buehler Trawler in Çanakkale > Alexandroupolis

Start the check in process and by 1530, we are done, having NOT done steps we did the last two previous check-ins. (We think they will catch up with us.) Hooked up shore power, water, satellite TV and had dinner. By 2030, a t-storm started up that literally by wind alone had LeeZe rolling about 5 degrees. Still IP as I write this.

We are here in Greece during what should be interesting times. The lady that gave to us our transit log says we are the 6th boat to check in this year, and from her mannerisms, that is too low a number to be “normal.”

We are moored along a quay that is used to load trucks and cargo as there is no city wall to tie up too. We hope they will move us to a nicer part of the port but am clueless if that will happen.

Now 2155 and the rain is tampering off. Probably.

But as usual, there were some chores to be done before departure.

One event that did not happen this year was that Mom never came to visit. We missed her not coming!

Our Tender: Every Fall, after fogging the 2-stroke engine, I left the tender on the boat deck, clean it up all nice and stuff, cover it, and tie it down. This Spring, when I uncovered it, it was FILTHY!. No clue why! Check the cover for holes and found none. Maybe I put the cover on wrong or something. So, cleaning it took a day+, with pressure washer, scouring powder, soap, and grit. Ugh.

Then, when my neighbor was gone, we dropped it into the water along side. (OH yes, at first the hoist would not operate. Electrical issue. Then, I remember a C/B that I left open because I could not find an electrical outlet that it controlled. (I completely relabeled all electrical breakers on board over the winter since some were wrong from the yard and some were labeled in ways that was just plain embarrassing.) Turn that breaker on, and now the hoist works. (I later go to the label shop and get them to engrave the label!) Now the moment of truth. With the fuel tank full, new spark plugs installed (last year engine would not start because I had forgot to connect the wires to the plugs) drain plug installed (forgot that two years ago and had a bit of a scare as the tender filled up pretty quick) etc etc etc, pull to start the motor. Nope, nada, not a chance! Ain’t cooperating, being a PITA, etc. etc etc. (This happened our first full season in Mersin, and at that time, I had failed to fog the engine correctly the previous Fall so the repair was over $150.) After numerous pulls, and still no success, the memories of Mersin flood back. So, take a breather and look into the box I have where I keep tender accessories, and what do I see? I see me being stupid, dumb, idiotic, an imbecile. There staring right back at me is the red “key” one has to install on the arm of the motor because it prevents the “dead man switch” from letting the engine run.

So, slapping me about, I install it and the first pull, the motor starts. Relief. Take it for a short joy ride, all is well, bring it back along side, lift it back up to the boat deck, cover it up, tie it down, and done for that day with that chore!.

Changing the oil and fuel-water filters: So, LeeZe’s Iveco engine needs about 20 liters of oil per the manual. There is a mechanical pump built into it and unlike in previous years, started this chore when the March winds were still blowing. Getting the first 15-16 liters out is easy; (including the sample) maybe not so hard is a better choice. You pump and out comes the oil. Fill 5 liter empty water bottles and all is going smoothly for the first 3. The next one, well, out comes two liters. Before draining I was down ½ liter or so so, in my mind, I need to get two more to come out. By this time, Zehra has a chore I need to do so we go do that.

The next morning, I decide to tacking the oil change again. This time, looking at the filter, and realizing that it is upside down, and probably full of oil, I punch a hole in its top and hear the rush of oil flow. Pump again and get another liter plus. Putting oil pads around the oil filter to catch any drips take off the old and install the new, but not tight as I am thinking that maybe with the fill cap off and the oil filter not tight, more oil will drain down.

Meanwhile, remove the four fuel-water filters and install new ones. The ones from the SEPARS filters do not look so bad, especially the starboard one as that is what is used during fuel recirculation ( some 200+ hours this past winter alone).

After installing those filters, I can test the integrity of the fuel system by running the fuel record pump and low and behold, the last filter on the engine is leaking diesel fuel like a sieve. I am not using original IVECO filters but substitutes that Iveco of Marmaris sold to me. which were different from the substitutes that Iveco from Izmir sold to me two years ago. So, after much sleuthing, I come to the conclusion that the Marmaris filters are wrong.

Go into town and talk to my “oil man” who gives me another make and mode to try. This also leaks, so I am back to him for another one, which also leaks. Finally, I ask him to special order the same make and model that was on the engine. He says they are very expensive and that is why he usually does not stock that brand! I ask him to get me four from Istanbul, which he does, and he charges me about $5.50 for each. (The ones on his shelf are less than $3 each!) Install the “expensive ones” and no leaks!

Meanwhile since the above fiasco took days, I was able to pull out some 19 liters of oil.

So, now, I tighten the oil filter and ponder how to get the oil from the 14 liter can out of the can and into engine. I have a hand pump but it is too small and too slow. The can is too heavy to hold above the engine and pour, so in the end, I transfer the oil from the can into liter bottles which I then transfer to the engine. Note to self: Next time dummy, buy oil in smaller jugs!. Finally got the oil in, and start the engine. All is well, stop, refill (oil filter took a full liter!) and restart, run until warm, check transmission and shut down.

Hull Cleaning: Asked around and found that there is a place up stream from us that will take LeeZe out of the water and pressure wash the hull and put her back in. The waters in the straits are filthy and hull growth is a serious issue. But he wants well over $1000 so ask around and find two divers willing to do it for 1/3 of that. They even provide a before and after video just to show you what they cleaned. They came, and took about 8 man-hours to clean LeeZe. Next year we are scheduled to paint but the divers reported that after cleaning, the paint looks pretty good soooooooooo maybe we can delay a year. Will decide later!.

So, due to weather, there was no good day to do a a seat trial. I know I should have but we ended up departing that morning a little earlier and instead of going to our first stop, we meandered around the marine for a hour JUST in case. But there was no need to return so we did move on.

2015-06-23: We are along side the wall, a big rubber tire messing up the hull paint, but the authorities are clueless to resolve. I cannot move forward as there is a sailboat present. Cannot move back because a big ship is coming (heard that for the last 5 days… still no ship!). Can’t remove the tire as it is just too darn heavy.

George Buehler Trawler in Çanakkale > Alexandroupolis

But I take the good weather to pull 100+ meters of 13mm anchor chain out of the locker and lay it along the wall. Once out, washed it down, verified the paint markers at every 20 meters of chain (two were wrong),  spray the entire chain with galvanizing spray paint, and then remark  the 20 meter points.

That took the better part of the day and by 1800, was slowly reloading the anchor chain into its locker.

Town is typically Greek. On Sundays, only cafes and restaurants are open, with the exception of two tourist shops by the ferry dock. After 1 PM on Saturday, nearly all shops are closed. Many are also closed Monday and Wednesday evenings so they can be open on Saturday Morning.

All seem to close around 2PM and reopen at about 6-7 PM. All then close between 9-10 PM.

On Sunday afternoon, we found the young people filling up the cafes along the beach, ordering expensive euro coffees and talking. There is at that moment no word about any resolution to the financial crisis currently IP (aka Grexit) and to us, they are acting as if all is normal.

Also on Sunday, the Greek coast guard vessel comes back from the night out with what appear to be refugees on board.

Greek Coast Guard vessel

There appears to be about 10, and after tying up, a fancy Greek Government bus shows up and the people get on that. From their looks, they look scared and frighted. Not one was smiling, (at least from what I could see.) The newspapers every day have stories about refugees being pulled from the waters between Turkey and Greece, many being found dead, etc etc. Kos, the Greek island near to Marmaris is overrun with them. Many are fleeing from Syria

Monday, it rained a light rain from noon to well past midnight, which helped wash down LeeZe.

2015-06-30: Since my last entry, the Greeks have been either unable or unwilling to resolve their debt / loan issues with their EU counterparts and the IMF so a vote will be held Sunday to ask if the people if they should accept or reject the latest offer proposed. In the meantime, the country closed their banks and limited ATM withdrawals to no more than 60 € a day.

This all happened over the weekend. So, last Saturday night, we went out for dinner and our customary walk. Restaurants were full and people were out and about. I suggested that this was their way of saying a last “hurrah” to the life they knew. Sunday’s walk found much of the same, but with the ATM restrictions in place, standing in long lines at the ATMs that have euros has now become a thing they must do. We had dinner and Zehra posed in from of the city’s restored lighthouse.

Dinner in Kavala

Restored Lighthouse

Monday, again long lines, very long lines in the morning. Even lines at 10 PM when I joined one to see if my debit card worked. It was Monday so judging crowd size is hard as Mondays is typically not so many out, but we conclude there are fewer out than customary. One waterfront fish restaurant of many was busy, and of the cheaper fast food places, only one or two were busy. Some cafes and bars had some customers, but most were quiet.

Oh and yes, my debit card did work and I was able to get the max I am NORMALLY allowed so the 60€ limit does not effect me. (Did hide this from the people standing behind me as I did not want to draw attention that I had a different /larger limit!)

On board, the ship aft continues to run its generator loudly and I continue  painting the aft deck. A sailboat came in in the afternoon for a crew change and water so I lent him my hose. Some man who claims he comes from the Port was quite ANGRY with me for doing that because I come to learn that the Port changes a 25 € fee to open the electrical-water  supplies and then some more based on what is used. So he was angry because I let them use “my” water. When we checked in, we were told utilities were included so will resolve this when we depart.

2015-07-02:  I am here in Alexandroupolis, Gr  and have seen only “no” handouts on the street. The restaurants and bars are full, and people are happy, so it appears that they are not concerned about Sunday. There are long lines at the ATMs (even at midnight!) but even that has just become a chore people now add to the list of chores they do every day. The lady at the hardware store says she will vote no because she believes that the EU really does not want Greece to give up on the Euro so another sweeter offer will come. She absolutely believes that the drachma is not in Greece’s future, but if it  does come, all Greeks will be much better off.

2015-07-03: Someone commented “These people look like the passenger on the Titanic sipping their drink oblivious to the coming disaster.” Wed., I would have said that seems to be true but yesterday, it appears they now realize (to continue with the analogy) that the cold water lapping at the bottom of their shoes indicates the ship is sinking. Yesterday, the ATM limit for Greeks went DOWN to 50€ (from 60). The restaurants, bars and cafe along the waterfront were NOTABLY lacking in customers. The restaurants in the “alley” next to the port, which are always cheaper than the waterfront  ones, (but none serve fish!) had probably 70% less customers on Thurs. compared to Wed., when we ate there. More ATMs were empty and those that were working had long lines, even at 10PM, when I took my money. (I took because sometime next week, Greece may actually run out of Euros  to dispense!) So, it appears they realize something is happening. How bad it will be if they vote “No” they cannot comprehend! Our plans are to move to Kavala on Sunday to arrive Monday.  Today we paid for our 18 days  here @ Alexandroupolis (~116€), went for a walk, and then came back to LeeZe.

2015-07-04 Happy Independence Day America! Here is not so festive. Per an observation I made on a WSJ article: I am here in Alexandroupolis, Gr and was out this morning shopping. It appeared that the supermarkets were more crowded than last Saturday, and the items in most peoples’ carts seem to indicate that they were buying items to stock up just in case. (The oldish lady in front of me had numerous packages of macaroni and chocolate items.) I did see credit cards in use, but those stores made their use difficult. The cafes were FULL, as were the lines at the working ATMs. (Not as many working as earlier in the week.) The cafes had lowered their prices across the board. I talked with one youngish lady in a market and she will vote no, even though that means that her kids will be paying the price for the country’s actions when they are old enough to enter the job market. She said that there has been too much pain and it has to stop. But then went on to say that a “No” vote will not end the pain, only make it last longer. I also spoke with a Greek Port Authority (Coast Guard type) person who said the Greece has been around for 2000 years, and will survive this, regardless of the level of pain inflicted by others. But he also admitted that the previous governments and the people that elected them are the cause, for which we all must have to pay for. He said he does not plan to vote tomorrow, but his co-worker, a female, did chime in that she will vote yes tomorrow, because her child needs her to.

Alexandroupolis, Gr

After shopping, did stop by the port police to get the outbound stamp.  Per everyone we talked to with the Port Police and Port Control and the Greek Coast Guard, our stay and fee includes electricity and water. However the Port Authority, last week and came by and say “oh No, not true. We charge 25€ to OPEN electricity and water and then a fee of 1€ per Kw used and 4€ per 1000 liters of water used.  Well, no one giving me my outbound / exit stamp said anything about this and I did NOT raise the topic. I consider those charges to be a rip off.  The commercial freighter behind me is using 380V / 3 phase electricity (had to– his decrepit generator that made such a loud racket that we nearly departed a week ago, but it broke) must be paying those charges.

The Port Authority did report that a private yacht marina is being built just to the NE of the commercial harbor but right now, all there is is a sea wall and there is no money to finish. We heard this story in Chios, Samos, and Rhodes so it must be a “greek thing!” One last walk tonight and we depart toward Kavala tomorrow, weather permitting.

Note that we plan to be at anchor tomorrow night and enter Kavala on a Monday, a weekday when there probably is more support for us to moor. Also, if there is a decision on yes or no vote, and the people get angry, we would like to have some water between them and us. Prudence seems to dictate this decision.

2015-07-10 We have been here in Kavala since Monday. For would-be boaters that are consider visiting in the June-Oct period, the inner harbor is occupied by yacht club members and charter boats and the corner seems to be reserved for the daily fishing boats that go out at night and come in the next morning. As you enter, with the inner harbor dead ahead, there is a quay wall on the west side facing south that has in some places steps coming down from the wall.

Alexandroupolis, Gr

These spots are usually reserved for Kalava people who cannot get a place in the inner harbor. This quay is way over two meters high above the water line so the steps are all but a necessity. Med moor is the only way possible to moor to this wall. There is ONE shore power pod every 150 feet or so and then there are no more. On each pod is one power outlet (16 amp) that you feed a 50 euro cent coin in one at a time to get 2-3 Kw of electricity. Water is the same way. There are two outlets, and the same coin gets you 10 minutes of water.  As this wall runs west, there are no shore power pods and no steps. There is also a wall pointing south as one comes in that has no services what so ever. So, with the high wall, the poor electrical and water supplies, the sparsity of said supplies……… this place is NOT friendly to yachters.  The man that runs the port, Gregory did say that there are plans to put in floating docks but given the monetary crisis, one should not hold one’s breath. (BTW, plan to arrive at THIS port M-F, 0800-1500. Outside those hours, the Port Authority people on duty will advise you to wait until the Port Control office opens on the next business day.)

If one needs shelter from a storm, on the far west side of the harbor is a storm anchorage that has good holding. With the arrival of two to three ferries a day, I think anchoring anywhere in the vicinity of the inner / outer harbor is just not in the cards. One could ride out a storm anchored there, but I think you would be told to move if you wanted to anchor for a few days and see the city.

Gregory goes OUT of his way to accommodate you if you plan to spend some time here. He got us metered electrical and water supply and told us that the spot we are in is “owned” by someone but that person has yet to put his boat in the water. We may have to move. Gregory did say that we PROBABLY could take one of the fishing boat spots in the inner harbor, but then he retracted that saying we just might piss them off. He implied that they use the spots without paying but I am not 100% sure. We tried to moor in the inner harbor and were consistently, and quite dramatically waived off, even though on the VHF, we were told to moor there.

Kavala Greece

Kavala itself: Well, the view of the old city to the east of the inner harbor, behind a quite substantial fortified wall, with a reasonably restored castle / fort protecting the old city from marauders is IMPRESSIVE! Walking that area takes one breath away, literally and figuratively. There is a “train

Kavala Greece

to help you get up most of the way to the castle. The view is breathtaking!

Kavala Greece

George Buehler Trawler in Çanakkale > Kavala Greece

The city’s tourist office is quite helpful and  answers all one’s questions. Up from them is a food shopping area, consisting of a huge supermarket on the first floor and above it, a fresh fruit, vegetable, meat chicken cheese etc etc market that is open 6 days a week. First we have every seen this and it seems to have reasonable prices with good to great quality.  Dining out prices APPEAR to be higher than Alexandroupolis.

Services: There appears to be a shipyard to the east of the port and in the old city, men who work with their hands making nearly anything one could need are all around. Stuff I could not find in Alexandroupolis I found with ease here. But, for the record, the hardware stores in Alexandroupolis are far superior than the ones here.

2015-07-19 So it looks like we might get a guest soon so we are sticking around. Yesterday, we went to Thessaloniki by bus since a review of the facilities there indicates that the marina is so far out of town that for an extended stay, we would have to use busses to get into and out of town. The city has a city wall, but it is open to the sea, and because of the absence of boats, they probably do not allow people to tie up to it.

Kavala Greece

Plus, it has no services. Thessaloniki has stores that we have yet to see, and on Friday, nearly all stayed open during the 1500-1800 period. Many were full, at least those running significant sales. Those not were not full. I would estimate that 50% of the store fronts are closed. We visited the castle on high and walked down to the water front. There is a commercial port that seems to have seen better days. One might be able to moor there, but all the gates we saw were closed and locked, so access may be a problem. The marina is to the SE and may be 10+kms outside of town. Did not see it. There was no indication of riots like those reported in Athens the previous night. The city is much more expensive than Kavala.

Saturday, the government announced that the banks will be opened on Monday for some business. Given that they were closed three weeks ago, that seem to bring a sigh of relief. The crowd along the waterfront Saturday night were festive and alive. Or so it seemed to the Saturday night a week ago. Even the carnival with the rides was bustling. Today, I saw no one waiting at an ATM to make a withdrawal, something I had not seen in the last 3 weeks. Today was not as festive as yesterday, but even the retirees that were sitting on the waterfront’s benches seem to have some smile to them.

2015-07-21 So yesterday was the first day that banks were open after 3 weeks of being closed. Took a bike run to buy bread in the morning and each of the three major bank branches in town were packed to the rafters with people. ATM lines were also long as many banking restrictions still remain. Had to move LeeZe last nighttime space to port which we did, but got the word just before dinner and after my shower. With some help from ashore, got most of the work done by 2200 and resolved to finish the work today, which we did. Took ANOTHER shower and went out for ice cream in lieu of dinner. Today, cleaned up, made an adaptor that allows me to plug my 50 meter shore power cord into LeeZe as it really is only an extension cord. washed aft deck, loaded water (source was 100+ meters away so had to run all my hoses just to get it onboard!). Finished up just before dinner and mustered every ounce of remaining energy just to get to the shower. No walk tonight! Zehra went alone. Just nothing left in me tonight.

It turns out we should have moved a long time ago. Having the passerelle lined up with a sloping ramp of a not-in-use ferry loading dock is much safer and easier to us than lining up the passerelle with the bottom step of a 5 step staircase that one can only use when the boat is not being jostled too much.

It appears that the everyday mood of the Greeks is improving. No scientific process followed. Just observing. What is STRANGE is the fishermen that use to come and fish by us every night stopped about 5 days ago and have yet to restart. Had a talk with the Captain of the 25+ meter fishing boat moored next to me. In a nutshell, they go out 6 nights a week, 11 months a year, catch MAYBE a half of ton to a ton of fish and sells that to the local market for between 2-3 euro a kilo. After expenses, the owner takes half and the crew gets half. Backbreaking work and from what I can see, safety precautions are not a priority. The men wear flip flops, handle rope with their bare hands, and wear no eye protection.

2015-07-25: Guests from Turkey arrive: Zehra’s sister and her husband. They were in Ankara when Zehra’s Mom decided that she wanted to visit a relative in Istanbul. So, they drove Mom to the relative, left Mom and took an overnight bus to Kavala that got them here at 0730, bone tired and exhausted. While MANY Turks drive here, apparently to get across the border one needs to have European Insurance and an International Driver’s license, which may be a PITA to get, especially on short notice.

Our guests settle in and there is more happening now: More food to prepare, more shopping to be done, more time at the beach, and of course, the dishwasher is getting a workout. No problem! All are happy.

2015-07-29: We depart Kavala for the island of Thassos.