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I lie awake for a while allready. Nightmares are ruining my sleep. I feel warm and I’m tossing and turning. In my dream I have lost Captain Jack and I am calling out to him constantly. Suddenly I wake up from a loud bang. Jack too. He is scared and crawls under our bed as far as possible. I have an indefinable premonition. The wind should be howling right now, but instead it is calm and dead silent. I lie in bed with baithed breath. It is half past two in the morning in the harbour of Ormos Marathokampou. All of a sudden the predicted storm and torrential rainfall do break through the ominous silence. A fierce katabatic windgust pushes Coco crooked over her fenders against the concrete quay. Things fly through the cabin. “I’m scared,” I say to Ron. “Me too,” he replies.

Coco hanging against the concrete quay

Close to each other we crawl away on the high side of the bed as if we think we can keep the boat straight this way. “Why didn’t I tie that mooring line yesterday?” springs to my mind. Just not thought of. The sun was shining and there was no wind. So you see again: you must always be ‘ready for the next storm’. Sleeping is no longer possible now so we get up at half past three. I put on all my clothes including a raincoat and go outside to look at the fenders and the mooring line. Jack sees his chance and even fancies a walk in this doglike weather. After we have returned as drowned kittens, I finally inspect the fenders and see if we can use the mooring line to keep Coco’s bow away from the concrete quay where we are moored alongside. The line is a bit short, but with united forces we get it done. Quickly we go back inside soaking wet and ice cold. Ron makes us our early morning coffee. Sleeping now definitely is a passed station. The adrenaline is popping out of our ears. Every time again we hear the sound of a fierce katabatic windgust rolling down from the high mountain next to us, howling louder and louder, closer and closer, SHIT! I cringe, my heart stops beating and ends up pounding in my throat. Hail and heavy rain add extra force to the storm. The darkness makes everything even more elusive. A frightening cacophony of sounds is the cherry on the pie. I feel so small and so vulnerable. Over and over again a gust pushes our Coco so crooked and hard against the quay that it makes me fear for her life. “What is the worst thing that can happen?” I wonder to ward off my unrestrained fear and come to the reassuring conclusion that the boat might get damaged, but we will survive this unscathed. In the meantime, we drink coffee in silence. We think and feel the same: hopefully this will all end soon.

When daylight dispels darkness a few hours later, it all feels a little lighter. I crawl back into bed and fall into a deep sleep. Two hours later I get up again. The wind slowly decreases, but every time we think it’s done, it suddenly returns to full power. Fortunately, the mooring line helps absorb the worst hits. Slowly we can relax a bit. Tomorrow will be quiet. And the day after tomorrow also. Then the next storm will arrive. A southerly this time. Winter in the Aegean is definitely not for the faint of heart…

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