The other side

June 20th Serifos
Hiya……probably should tell you about today…we awoke to a calm force 5… Wow this is unusual…we have been having much more than that for days. In fact when we arrived on Monday at 8pm ish it was at least 7. We circled round the big bay wondering what to do..after 14 hours of sail or motor sail…the last 3 hours being white knuckle stuff….. a victory as I held my nerves and wasn’t sick…anyway…the bay..arriving ….it was BAD…eventually Simon did a brilliant racing sweep at the quay and a great throng of wonderful international yachties hauled us in without a scrape…while I gibbered my gratitude in multilingual gesticulations. This was the only option as all the South side slots were taken and the holding in the bay is not good. SO that uncomfortable and scary berth lasted 2 days…Swedish intelligence informed us we’d need a new boat if we didn’t move soon and Falmouth kindness assured us of as much help as necessary to move round to the other side. Lots to weigh up.
At 4am a great commotion of Swedes careered into the gap ahead of us in a Benetteau 50having spent 8 hours sailing a mere 20 miles…’s bad out there.
This morning ….the calm force 5…Simon gently chatting on the quay with the early morning risers….assuring them that as soon as the little motor boat ahead of us moved we would come round to the other…sheltered, South side of the quay…suddenly a boat left, the committee swung into action and we were OFF.
15 pairs of strong arms to hold us off the quay….wind blowing us on….quick shift of half the fenders to the other side….raise the others…..and whoosh we were charging down the shallow ( very) South side and yeehar the anchor was down…oh no jammed…freed….out out out ….back to the cockpit…..embarrassing throw of lines ( me)…and we were IN.
Now here we are …it is SO bad that spray is fluming into the cockpit and down below….even with towels across the hatchway….the wind demon is lashing and tormenting with teeth bared. There are new poor souls getting drenched and bashing against the quay with fast flattening fenders and one poor German guy spun in ( chartered jeanneau 45.2) and smashed into a lovely Greek boat …skipper last seen in greek police car….speeding away to answer for his miscalculations…..his remaining crew at the mercy of a roaring, relentlessly northerly monster.
Really it is a miracle we made it….the timing was perfect. I was crouching on the bow, just as we approached the anchor point ….speaking sternly to the wind ….in the name of Jesus….and do you know it dropped exactly enough. ….it was truly noticeable, for just a few moments.
So tomorrow we plan to go for a swim!

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