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Kiladhia - Weather, Friends and Family

18 July 2024
Jane Paulson
Yesterday , the temperature was 41 deg C. The sea temperature was 36 deg C. We spent the afternoon on the beach and taking a dip was like taking a bath. Not refreshing at all unless you came across a ‘cold’ patch ( and I use the word ‘cold' lightly). Every now and then, a burst of very cool underground ‘sweet water " would shoot up from the seabed and if you found one, you just loitered around to cool off – albeit temporarily!
We have had reports from friends of appalling weather back home in the UK. 13 degrees in July? Insane ! Very strange and very worrying.

Here, where we are anchored – or as I jokingly refer to us as ‘having taken root’ – the prevailing wind should be from SSE. We've yet to see it. North West/North East wind is what we are getting with some very big noisy gusts. All very strange.
We've been here so long we are now being recognised in the local supermarket, petrol station, bars and pharmacy and are greeted warmly. It's nice. We are happy here but are looking forward to moving on but not before the Captain is 100%.

Andreas is drugged up to the eyeballs with painkillers and can't feel any pain. We are due to speak with the Urologist in a day or so as he has done his 20 days so we will arrange for another scan to see if the stones have broken down and exited. Watch this space!

It's great having the car as we can shop, get to the beach and visit friends and family. We spend afternoons on the beach followed by an hour or so in the North Bar with a coffee or cold beer and making good use of their wifi before dinghying back to Stiletto for supper spotting turtles along the way. They are completely unfazed by our presence in their bay and the other day one surfaced right beside us as we were making our way back to Stiletto. I get so excited!!!!

Dinky, the new dinghy is a great success and is very stable and we can stand up without fear of falling into the water!

Our friends Janita and Andreas who we met while wintering on Samos back in 2020/2021, were taking part in a Classic Boat Regatta on the island of Spetses and we agreed when it was finished they would sail over to Porto Khelli and we would meet up for supper. A lovely couple whose company we thoroughly enjoy and we laugh – a lot. It was so good to see them again.

Two days later they sailed to Kiladhia , anchored close to us and invited us on board Mayflower for Pina Coladas and Mezze. Andreas had cooked octopus and spicy sausages on the BBQ and Janita had made a delicious selection of salads and her home made bread.

That day, the Greek Meteorology Office had put out a severe weather warning. Thunder, lightning and rain but no mention of strong winds. We looked at our weather sites and it looked like we were right on the edge of what was coming and in fact we were certain it would miss us but if we were to get hit then it would be about 5pm. As is always the case when there is any mention of seriously bad weather we would stay put and stay aboard. In the morning, there were clear blue skies and Janita took up my offer of taking her by car to Kranidi to visit the pharmacy, butcher and supermarket. She loaded up and between the two dinghys, we got all her shopping aboard Mayflower and they headed off for Porto Cheli at about 2pm in time to be safely anchored if the bad weather hit.
Half an hour later, grey clouds appeared over the top of the big mountain and the sky very quickly turned dark. Very dark. This weather, quite clearly was not going to bypass us.
By 4pm, the sky was ‘bible black'. The darkest I have ever seen. This storm did not look like it was going to skirt around us. It was heading straight for us. Then, in the distance we saw lightening. I immediately scooped up our phones, my tablet, kindle and Andrea's lap top and put them in the oven.
Foolishly, we did not take down our two canvas sun shades. Why ? Because we were expecting rain, not wind. And because we were not thinking straight, we stupidly thought we would stay dry with the covers up.
WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.
For goodness sake – how stupid !
By 5.30, all hell broke loose. Claps of thunder that made the boat vibrate. Fork lightning. Rain drops that were soooo big they hurt your face and eyes, and wind. Unrelenting. We saw 48 knots. The main coach roof sun cover shed all its ties and thankfully did not get blown over the side but got stuck on deck. The cockpit cover was by now acting like a sail and there was no way we could take it down so we just hung on to it so tightly it hurt our hands and fingers.
The violence of this storm was horrendous. The rain so hard we could not see the front of Stiletto. I have to confess that for the first time in all my years of sailing I was very scared.
After one enormous gust that I thought was going to turn the boat over, we realised that our anchor had dragged.
We managed to get the cockpit cover down ( goodness knows how – pure adrenaline!!!) got the engine on ready to get the anchor up but realised that Rocky the Rocna had actually reset itself so we stayed put.
By 7pm the rain had stopped and visibility was resumed. We had dragged about 100m and we were now very close to a Catermeran. By 8pm the wind had subsided and the dark skies had moved on to over Kranidi and they were getting hit with both thunder and lightning.
Once things were relatively calm we got the anchor up and I realised that Rocky hadn't reset itself. It had caught a horrendous lump of cable that was attached to the sea bed and that had stopped us dead. It took a few goes to get free of it and although it was a pain it had actually saved us from having to re-anchor in dreadful conditions.
The most bizarre thing? Despite the heat of the day we were freezing cold and it took several whiskies to get us warmed up. The rain, hail at times, had lowered our temperatures significantly but within a couple of hours normal service was resumed.

I'm not good at genealogy so I may need some help with this.
Aunt Koula is the sister of my Andrea's late mother, Vassoliki.
Aunt Koula had two children – a daughter Joyce and a son Andreas. (There are four Andreas in Andrea's family!!) So Joyce and Andreas are my Andrea's cousins.
Cousin Andreas had a daughter called Melina so I think that makes her my Andrea's second cousin.
Melina has an 18 month old son called Avi who I think is my Andrea's third cousin.
Melina, her husband Mike and baby Avi live in Washington DC and they were coming to Porto Khelli to visit Koula and Joyce with the added bonus that we are (still) here. We last saw Melina 9 years ago at my Andrea's 60th birthday party.
We met up with them for a lovely family lunch at Koulas villa and also enjoyed an afternoon on our little beach.

We also took the opportunity of visiting Aunt Mechtild in Avlida. It was a long 3 ½ hour drive to her lovely villa and we were rewarded with good coffee and a delicious freshly baked apple and walnut cake. A late lunch by the beach completed the day. Aunt Mechthild is German and divides her time between Avlida and Nuremberg. Her late husband, Kosta, was the brother to Koula and Vassoliki.

It has been lovely spending time with family, catching up and reminiscing.

And today, when we went to the laundry we saw a couple that wintered with us on the island of Samos in 2020 and then through the madness of lockdown, and two French guys who were moored next to us on the quay in Kolimvari on Crete last year. The cruising world is a small, small world.

My thought for the day:
The one thing Andreas and I cannot control is the weather. But, there are people out there who are and I wish they would stop. They are causing havoc.



Kiladhia - Weather, Friends and Family

18 July 2024
Jane Paulson
Yes, it was as bad as it looks when it finally arrived -about 20 minutes after I took the picture

Kiladhia - Weather, Friends and Family

18 July 2024
Jane Paulson
The North Bar. We are now regulars and are always welcomed so warmly

Kiladhia - Weather, Friends and Family

18 July 2024
Jane Paulson
Our new friends, who have been so very kind to us .
Apostolia, her mum Vasso and dad Theo. Truly lovely people.

Kiladhia - Weather, Friends and Family

18 July 2024
Jane Paulson
Janita and Andreas came first overall in the Spetses Regatta. Both extremely competitive and Janita a determined skipper.

Kiladhia - Weather, Friends and Family

18 July 2024
Jane Paulson
Cocktails aboard Mayflower, with Stiletto in the background.
Vessel Name: Stiletto
Vessel Make/Model: Bavaria 33 Cruiser
Hailing Port: Gosport, UK
Crew: Andreas Giles & Jane Paulson
About:
We have been sailing together for 18 years and have owned Stiletto for 16 of them. We have exhausted the Solent and the UK South Coast and all the other usual passages: West Country, France, Channel Islands etc. that are available from our home port of Gosport. [...]