The weather here in Monastir seems to alternate between blue skies with relatively calm wind to Sahara dust laden warm winds from the south that leaves Milly coated with red sand to frigid and fierce north winds from France and the Gulf of Lyon as lows sweep from the Atlantic and squeeze through the Pyrenees and the Alps across the Med and past us. Those systems begin with cloud and then blue sky but strong cold winds of 25-35 knots continue for several days. There are places to sit out of the wind - many locals huddle at marina cafe tables, smoking and drinking fancy, non alcoholic fruit drinks or minute cups of Turkish coffee.
But the best place to be is on Milly. The Antares comes with a full enclosure. We can use part or all of it as weather and seas dictate. The two panels on the windward side have been essential to keep us dry in high seas on a close or beam reach when waves are splashing onto the deck. On passage we have never used the full enclosure but since mid November, sitting at dock here in Monastir, Milly's cockpit has been fully encapsulated. Sea spray is no longer an issue. We are using it for warmth and wind protection. Our friends enviously call it our hothouse. Our cockpit is the place of choice for boaters plants when they go on multi-day trips to explore the country or return home. Peter, who is allergic to dirt on the boat, has even okay'd me starting my own basil from seed. The enclosure has allowed us to keep our sunny daytime living space expanded outside the salon when being on deck is cool and windswept. We can host bigger parties in the evening because all that hot air from laughter and bodies heats up the space just like the sun. To avoid the wind taking our laundry to the place it deposits plastic bags - trees, beach, olive groves - we hang the clothes in the cockpit to dry or steam. On cloudy days when we know longer benefit from the sun, we shrink back inside and notice the difference in temperature comfort. Then we feel Tunisian winter weather, about 15 C. Our Canadian blood has definitely thinned in the last three years of tropical living.