Before the storm
The last four days have been very intense!
During the storm
Our friends Andrew and Angela on their boat Millie were also hit. A motor yacht moored behind them barged into them several times and they have received quite a lot of damage, but luckily not below the waterline!
As soon as the weather gets a little bit more stable (thunderstorms are coming) they will be able to sail to Preveza and put Millie on the hard for repairs.
Thoughts after the storm
Never thought I would actually be in the eye of a storm!🙄 First total mayhem for many, many hours and then suddenly blue sky and sunshine! Confusing!
One person said that the eye was open above us for 45 min but I think the wonderful calm lasted about 1-1,5 hour. However long it lasted we got a lot of things done during that time.More fenders, tires, ropes and even planks! between Hoppetossa and the concrete pontoon. We knew that the wind, when it returned, would come from the N and NW. That was a very bad direction for us since it would push us up against the pontoon. If there had been a place on the other side of the pontoon we would have gone there, but the harbour was completely full so we just had to remain were we were. We also had time to take a necessary shower and a short nap.
Eating and drinking was completely forgotten! At one point I tried to force myself to eat a green apple-something I normally like very much. But I couldn’t manage more than 5 or 6 bites and then I had to give up. It tasted like wood and I couldn’t swallow. I think that the body can’t cope with food when you are in a fighting mode. It takes a lot of energy to digest food and you can’t afford to lose any energy at all under these circumstances. Drinking we should have been able to do, but we just didn’t and that, together with lack of sleep of course, resulted in a very bad headache for a couple of days afterward.
Sleep-As you can understand it is very difficult to sleep when the wind is howling in 60-70 knots around you. According to some people the wind sometimes went up to 102 knots in the gusts! A number I can’t even understand the meaning of!😨 And I’m happy that we decided to not look at our instruments. It would only have made us scared unnecessarily, since it is nothing whatsoever you can do about it.
We dosed off for 10-20 min or so whenever we could but more than that was not really possible. After 10-12 hours with 60-70 knots I looked at my weather app on my phone , saw that it was “only” 48 knots in the gusts and thought “Oh that’s good, then I can sleep a bit”! And I did! Everything is relative!😏
Being outside-Apart from the wind there was an enormous amount of rain coming down on us. As soon as we stuck our heads outside we were instantly drenched through to our skin. Rein tried to put on his heavy weather sailing gear but it was too bulky and heavy to run around in. So at the end of the storm we had about 12 sets of soaking wet clothes laying and hanging all around the boat! What a mess!
You would think that the strong wind and the rain would make us cold! Especially as the wind was sometimes so strong that we couldn’t stay upright, but it was really warm outside. We were running around in t-shirts and thin trousers even when the wind did it’s very best to blow us away! And the rain was lukewarm and actually salt except for one time when it was hailing. So you realise that the hurricane is constantly feeding itself with the warm ocean water so that it can spew it out on you! Bastard!
You might also wonder why we even went outside in this insane weather! Quite often we had to check on the ropes and see to it that the fenders were evenly distributed to take the pressure away from the boat as much as possible. Two fenders just exploded and one rope broke. As soon as the eye had passed us the low pressure in the storm made the water in the harbour rise about 2 dm, so we had to lower all the fenders and tires that we had tied to the side. And when the drifting boat hit us in the side we had to rush out to put out fenders between us in order to stop it from making holes in our hull with it’s anchor.
Slow Hurricanes-Ianos was moving quite slowly and that makes the devastation in it’s path so much worse! Gives it more time drop water and blow extremely strong winds at you. This one was raging from Thursday to Sunday before it finally died down.
The scientists are debating about what makes some of the hurricanes slow moving. They think it has to do with a weakening in the jet streams (fast flowing air currents in the atmosphere) because of the increasingly warmer poles. And we will probably see more of this kind of hurricanes in the future.
Yesterday (23 sep) we had a surveyor from the insurance company here. A very nice man from Athens that checked Hoppetossa over and gave us clearance to continue to Kalamata for repair. Today Rein is patching her up but the weather is so unstable at the moment so we will have to remain here awhile before we leave.
As if it hasn’t been enough with Ianos-Tonight we were hit by a Supercell thunderstorm, also called a Mesocyklon. It brings with it a lot of lightning, thunder, strong winds and hail! Heavy sigh! Well, at least it doesn’t lasts for 4 days! It will only take about 2-4 hours before it’s gone, but another one will probably be here on Saturday, so we will wait until next week before we leave Argostoli.
Having our dear friends Andrew and Angela here has helped us enormously❤ We have treated each other to dinner and drinks when we have not been too tired to move! And having someone to talk to about what we have all been through together is really helping us to process it.
Writing this has also been a kind of therapy, so thank you for listening🧡