Day 12: Folegandros to Serifos

Awaken to cloudy weather, 15-20 knot winds from the east in the harbor, gusty. East wind is perfect for us today since we want to head north.

We can’t find any weather forecast on the radio or any WiFi. Tom and I take the ship’s papers to the harbormaster, who said someone would be there 24/7. Nobody is there. We don’t know the protocol – we speculate that we only need to pay money if there is water or electricity, neither of which are available here that we can find. So, being uncertain if we owe any money and not being able to find anybody to pay, we untie and head out. The spastic French monohull (which trashed our anchor) has already left, and the stylish/savvy French monohull is still there, but re-positioned their boat to ride more comfortably on the swell.

The sea state is quite choppy, so we opt to hook around to the south and up the leeward side of Folgeandros. Much calmer conditions here on the west side. We cruise by beautiful big cliffs that have all kinds of interesting layers/swirl patterns.

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We are headed for Milos, but then we do the math and determine that if we stay in Milos overnight, we will need to do 2 very long days to get back to Athens by Friday afternoon. Not including any slop factor in case we hit bad weather. This doesn’t seem to be a good idea given our expert record of finding bad weather.

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We decide to cruise past Milos, and then continue up to Serifos in the northwest. Our nice French neighbors in Paros who have been cruising this area for 4 years said it was one of their favorites.

We head north along the east side of Poliandros, weather is pretty sketchy, gusting to about 30 knots. There are a couple hours of pounding in waves and wind. Crew retreats to berths to sleep. I sit at the helm with Sheven. About 4-5 times we get doused by rogue wavelets, and laugh it off. When we both finally don full foul weather gear over the top of our soaked clothes, the weather (of course) subsides a little.

When we get into the lee of Sifnos, the sun starts to come out. Tom takes the helm. We hoist sails and have a kick-butt sail the remainder of the way. Gusting to 22 knots, we make about 8-9 knots SOG.

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Crew is eating snacks and drinking in the Saloon like we are tied off on shore. I like this catamaran, or maybe catamarans in general. I think I’m becoming a Cat Person.

We rip up to the harbor on the southwest corner of Serifos. Head into the marina, pull alongside the nice dock and tie off. Perfect position, and very smooth docking.

Susan after hike up to chora
Susan after hike up to chora

We’ve learned to head into a harbor being ready for anything: throwable lines on all 4 corners, The Sheven ready to deploy off the aft gangway (in case nobody is there to grab lines), someone ready with anchor, and a couple of people with emergency fenders. Then when we get to a harbor/marina, we are ready for all combinations of anchoring, Med Mooring, or tying alongside. We also have the sewage cannon ready amidships on the starboard side to clear more space if needed.

After docking, a crew member in the starboard hull goes below to use the toilet, flushes, and fires sludge all over the dock. We decide it’s time to figure out the origin of the sewage cannon and the mysterious “Tank #3”. On the electronic display in the cabin, we can see levels for Water Tank #1, and Water Tank #2. There is also a “Tank #3” and we’re not sure what it contains, but it is ¾ full.

Tom and I pull up all the flooring and start tracing pipes. We find what appears to be a sewage holding tank behind the shower in the starboard hull, aft cabin. Current guess is that the sewage cannon is actually a vent pipe. The discharge is apparently plugged between the holding tank and the through-hull fitting and when the pressure builds, it rises and discharges from the vent. Our problem is that we need to unplug the sewage discharge under the starboard hull.

Sheven attempting to board a local sailing vessel
Sheven attempting to board a local sailing vessel

I go to town in search of a sewer snake to auger out the plugged line. I finally find a tiny hardware store. The nice lady speaks zero English and “sewer snake” is not in the list of 3 greek words that I know. In order to pantomime “sewer snake” I first need to get her to understand “toilet”. It doesn’t go well, but I finally find a chair and pantomime opening the lid and peeing, then putting the lid down and sitting on it. She brightens up … yes! She leads me over to a section of the small store, removes some boxes and bags to reveal a beautiful new white porcelain toilet, and she is ready to sell it to me. I then pantomime a plug in the toilet, then I make an “augering” sound and wave my arms around like I’m a snake. God only knows what she is thinking, but she acts like she understands. She pantomimes that she doesn’t have one. I pantomime a question of who might have one. She says nobody. I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m crazy and the safest thing is to get me out of her store as quickly as possible.

We find a bus ride to the Chora high above the marina.

Daniel prowling the streets on Serifos
Daniel prowling the streets on Serifos


Susan and I get accidentally separated from the rest of the crew and we spend about an hour wandering thru the town, looking for our group. The place is totally deserted and we call it the ‘Ghost Chora’.

Susan and Cactus, big ferry departing in background
Susan and Cactus, big ferry departing in background

Susan keeps wanting to walk down, while I want to go up. She refuses to climb a rickety ladder with me, which ends up breaking before I can get up. We don’t see another person for about an hour and we’re thankful when we see another live person.

We finally find our group at a Taverna, and have an awesome dinner, bus ride down the hill to the boat, and a deep restful sleep.

Day 12 Map
Day 12 Map


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