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: http://whereisleeze.blogspot.com
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.
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.
I also found a great marine store owned by Nick (N. Tsoumakis, Fishing Accessories – Marine, http://www.tsoumakis.gr) 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.
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.
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.
It starts with the Church leading a 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
and some bars had DJs spinning music far into the night.
There are 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.
Then there is 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.)
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.
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.
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.
That concludes this entry.
If you have any questions, please ask.
Lee and Zehra
You can find older blog posts here: http://whereisleeze.blogspot.com