25 September 2018

Escape from a "Medicane"

Friday's forecast on Windy.com yesterday.  We are the first orangey-pink streak north of the ruby red/magenta line which is itself north of Crete.  The cyclonic wind plays around in the vicinity before shrinking in circumference and heading east into the Aegean on Saturday/Sunday, as far as the forecast will take us.  We are headed through the Corinth Canal when prevailing NW wind finally comes back.
We have found refuge in an abandoned marina in Argostoli, Kefalonia, Greece from a “medicane”, a hurricane-like cyclonic event in the Mediterranean.  They aren’t too common - a few per year - but some have done a whopping amount of damage.  And sailors know that they are not to be trifled with.  This one is forming as a powerful northeast Bora in the Adriatic combines with an equally powerful Meltemi in the Aegean just south west of us.  It then glides east heading south of the Peloponnese, turns and comes a bit northeast towards us and then turns again and heads west.  (Check out windy.com)  All this over about five days.  
Milly looking safe and sound at the end of the dock.  But note the opening to the marina just behind her.  If the prevailing wind comes in with any strength Milly will be squeezing her fenders against the rough cement.
We are safely tied to rusty bollards on a stable cement dock surrounded by rotting abandoned ships and sinking sailboats and cruisers looking for safe harbour.  Of the few spots left, we chose our dock based on the strong east wind expected over the next many days.  Milly will be blown off the dock, always better then depending on fenders keeping her off very hard and rough cement.

Our neighbour.  Not too pretty.

And just down the dock....

A sailboat has seen much better days.  She is now a mussel farm

However, contrary to forecast, the wind has picked up early and from the worst angle for us.  Waves are building and coming into the marina entrance right beside us, trying to pound us onto that darn cement dock.  A few fellow cruisers came over to help Peter create a system of foraged tires, our wooden plank passerelle and a row of fenders to ensure Milly’s safety as much as possible until the wind veers.

The early wind means that we cannot provision in preparation of my childhood friends’ arrival in two days in the thick of the storm.  They will arrive to half empty cupboards, cool temperatures, wind, rain and water shortage.  They say they’re excited to experience what real life is like on board!  They are sweet!
We left this supremely peaceful anchorage yesterday morning.  Seems like light years away.

1 comment:

  1. Thinking about you all! That storm looks like a bad one. We've got windy up - keep us posted on the progress. We were able to avoid hurricane Florence being in Annapolis. Luckily! Pam