Greece, Dodecanese, Patmos: Useful Information for first-time visitors
A very comprehensive report on the island of Patmos for cruisers who are visiting for the first time, by long-term cruisers in Greece MY LeeZe.
Published 7 years ago, updated 4 years ago
I submit the following to, maybe, help those that are coming to Patmos for the first time.
Upon entering the bay, contact the Port Authority (PA) on Channel 12 and they will tell you-you have to go to the “marina.” If one has been cruising Greece for a while, and usually stay at the city wall (like we always do), they will tell you-you cannot, and direct you to the marina.
The “city wall” is where the Patmos Ferry boat and day charters tie up, just North of the big concrete pier where the biggish ferry boats tie up. So, what the PA is calling the “marina” is the city wall on the west side of the harbour. LeeZe is stern-too at this “marina.” (see google image below).
Shore power is only available on the southern half of this west wall. It is pre-paid and the smallest amount you can buy is 10 € for about 11 kilowatts. A1 Travel takes the fee and turns on the outlet. Receipts are not offered but will be provided if asked.
Noonsite suggests that boats are better protected from the north winds if one is more north at this wall than south, but the lack of electricity may force a boat to use the southern end of this wall. Also, this morning a 78m long fuel tanker came into the northern end of this wall to refuel a local electrical generating station. It came in at 0700 and made a racket. It tied up North of me in the vicinity of where there are NO shore power pods. It is refuelling the electric generating station across the street.
According to some yacht owners who were moored in its space, they were told late last night just before 11 PM that they had to move across to the other side of the harbour to make room for the ship. Those boats that had no one on board were apparently moved, but by whom I do not know. More (10 -11 in total) had to be moved than the space this ship occupies because there is a “no-boat” safety zone around the ship “just in case.” If this ship exploded, none of us would be safe, but clearing out the whole pier is probably impossible to execute in the summer.
This boat, per the agents on the dock, does not come infrequently, but depending on how hot the summer is, maybe 3-4 times.
Water is by tanker and costs about 10 euros per ton.
This west wall is managed by A1 Travel this year and they have a white “shack” just south of where we are berthed on the wall under a tree. They try to sell you their services but we gently declined.
Check-in or check-out is done at the big concrete pier one sees on your left as one enters Patmos. All of the folks that you need (Customs, Passport Control, PA) are there. Big trash collection dumpsters are next to and slightly behind the shack.
The cost to tie-up is set by the Greek Government and is based on how long the boat is in meters. A1 Travel “demands to see and copy your papers”, but per the PA, they have no reason for doing so. We politely declined that request also. The PA will copy your papers and that is as expected. I am told by Turkish Gulet Captains that they call A1 in advance to “reserve” a place at the wall, but in fact, the wall is first come, first served per the PA. So, reserving a spot, like one can do in the old harbour of Rhodes, is not possible even if A1 says that it is. But that does not seem to keep the big boat people from trying.
Space at the wall seems to get tighter and tighter as the day progresses. Last night numerous very large yachts came in from 1800 and ended up tying stern-to to the big concrete dock by the PA. Big cruise ships anchor just outside the bay and passenger ferry vessels service these ships.
In the picture below, the squarish basin on the north-east side has no electricity and water, but boats of all types, even a 56 Lagoon cat, moored there for one night when the wall was full. As you approach this squarish basin, there is a long concrete wall on the right that boats have med-moored to or side-moored to waiting for a spot to open. If there is room, one can use it. I did see a small freighter tie up to it for one night and offload cargo. Otherwise, fishing boats tend to use it. Again, no electricity. If you moor at the basin or the long concrete wall at the basin, A1 will try to collect – but per the PA, tie-ups are managed by the fishing co-operative and they set their fees. (So far, the three boats that I talked to that used that area for one night were not asked for any money by the co-operative.)
Lastly, per the PA, one can stay as long as one likes but A1 suggested that the maximum stay was 5 days.
On the road running next to where we are moored is a reasonably equipped marine store called Bluefin. North of him is an auto-electrical shop (sign above the shop has “Electrical Repair Auto and Boat” written on it in faded English), run by Spiros who can fix everything and make up new battery cables. Nice man! Take 20 steps north of his store and there is a small road. Turn left and walk 20 meters and there is another marine store even better than Bluefin.
A hardware store in town next to the Alpha Bank had the bronze nuts and bolts and washers that I have been seeking for YEARS.
He tells me that he always tries to keep a variety because boaters and shipwrights always seem to have a need. I cleaned out his stock of 20 remaining 8 mm bolts, nuts and washers so he said he would reorder and have them next year. The price I paid was a 3-year-old price and he expects the new ones will be quite expensive. He says he gets them from a place in Athens. He had old boxes of other bronze parts behind the counter and very nice decorative bronze drawer pulls, hinges, hooks etc.
A1 allows boats to run their generators at night, and WILL NOT ASSIST is resolving disputes when the smoke, smell, and carbon monoxide are in your sleeping cabins. This has been a problem for at least three boats, including me, and last night it involved two angry boat captains yelling and screaming at each other which took the police and PA people to resolve. PA SAYS that the law does not permit generator operation between 2200 and 0800, but I am not sure. I know they shrug their shoulders and say “What can we do?” when pressed. There is a lot they can do if they wanted. Since this is a first come/first served dock, it is very likely that a long large yacht will be stern-to and on either side of them will be 10-13 meter sailboats.
The walk into town is interesting as there is a long section where there is no sidewalk and one shares the road with the cars, trucks, scooters and motorcycles. If one is walking back late in the evening, it makes for an “interesting experience.”
Lastly, the agents are all going around telling us that our courtesy flags are too small. My Aussie neighbour went to the Coast Guard people and after checking with Athens, said that is true. However, no one can find the actual rule. And we hear the fine for having a small one is steep.
Hope this helps.
Great report however needs to be updated with new marina info.
I will enter to Patmos tomorrow June 10th , 2022 and will update accordingly.