Lockdown

When we get up at 6:30 that Monday morning, the Greek lockdown has just started half an hour ago. From now on we must have a statement with us to be out on the street. Walking Jackie I quickly do illegally. While drinking our morning coffee on our sailing yacht Coco, we find out exactly how it all works. When I read the statement that goes with it, I imagine myself in a scene from Orwell’s famous book ‘1984’.

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Unreal

Perhaps there will be war with the Turks, the Greek fisherman whispers. We are having a drink with our neighbors, Ruud and Annette, and Yannis has also joined. Sometimes Turkish jets fly over Samos. Sometimes we see Greek soldiers driving around the island. Erdogan has opened the borders for refugees who want to go to Europe. The situation around the camps on Lesbos and Chios escalates almost immediately. The situation on Samos is also unsettled. It is forbidden to sail here. We are stuck on our sailing yacht Coco in what appears to be a war zone, but we don’t notice much of it here in Ormos Marathokampou. Sometimes there’s a silent witness on the beach: a disheveled life jacket. Empty. Lifeless. Unreal.

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Scared

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.

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Kees

While sailing you make friends. Our tiny boat ‘Coco’ is in a different place every day and we meet new people everywhere. Sometimes resulting in friendship for life, sometimes short and fleeting, but always special. While sailing you also say goodbye every time. You say goodbye to your brand new friends and acquaintances and you don’t know if you will ever see them again. Just like with Kees.

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Travel stress

“Well ma’am, it says ‘security’ behind your name”, the friendly Transavia lady at the check-in desk explains the reason why I could not check in online and even not now in person at her counter. “Did something happen on an earlier flight?” I react as ‘blondly’ as possible and seem to convince her. She assumes a mistaken identity. In the meantime, musing about a ‘security risk’, I imagine something completely different than a scared dog that cannot be put in a locked bag under an airplane seat, as happened to us on our first Transavia flight with Captain Jack.

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Ochi

While farmers and construction workers in the Netherlands are stirring up against the government’s nitrogen measures and the English are still amusing themselves with their ‘deal or no deal’ Brexit, Greece has totally different problems to worry about. Just recovering from a major economic crisis, dark clouds are gathering over the country again: those of war and more refugees.

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