We had been warned and even spent several days hiding from the Meltemi last year. But this was different. We knew a wind event was coming, so we found a harbor, on Tinos, Greece. On the second morning stuck to the wall in Tinos, I woke again to the creaking of the dock lines and the howling of the wind. Neal and I came up into the cockpit and while observing the wind speeds of 40-55 knots, Neal observed one of our seat cushions was missing. Seat cushions that we checked were snapped down. I looked to see it floating ahead, towards the crashing seawall. Mauro started singing the mission impossible tune while he and I jumped in the dinghy for operation Cushion Overboard. We went battling out to sea (the harbor 100 meters in front of the boat seemed like the middle of the ocean) and rescued the seat cushion, then turned the dinghy INTO the 45-50 knots winds for part 2- Operation Salt Water Shower. I then went boat to boat asking if anyone planned to leave today, as I imagine the anchors are all on top of each other and everyone laughed at me. No one is leaving!
We are stern to on the inner harbor wall 10 feet from the taxi stand and across from cafés, where I sit now to eat rather than have breakfast “at sea”. Amante is the biggest boat on the wall, so she gets no wind protection from neighbors, and we spent the night rocking and rolling as if on delivery. Mauro did a masterful job of docking in 25-30, fortunately stern to the wind with only a bit of cross breeze, into a space with less than a foot to spare on each side. Neal wasn’t sure the anchor set well, but since we are blowing off, it seems to be well enough, but we still squish the poor 40 foot Oceanis? to port. Sitting here having eggs and bacon I didn’t intend to order, merely to inquire as to their availability, I watch as the big charter sailing yacht’s headsail unfurls, and the scrambling and yelling that ensues. The older Greek men who sit in the cafes watch the morning’s second drama, our cushion rescue likely the first. The world goes by as it has for 2000 years, and the Greek men drink their coffee, smoke their cigarettes, and perhaps play a game of backgammon.
The postcard version of Tinos: