Looking at the weather forecast, it became clear that a ‘Medicane’ was swirling towards us. This is a warm air cyclone and measures up as a Category 1 Hurricane. The size of this twirling depression is massive. Currently, gathering sand and speed north of the Libyan coast it was due to enter the Aegean and fly between the Peloponnese and Crete. Initial forecasts predicated that it would follow the north coast of Crete and then head off to the east making landfall around Kos and Turkey. Kos was probably not the best place to be in a boat.
We decided to leave. We sailed very fast to Astipaliea, an island between the Cyclades and the Dodecanese. (We had a couple of dolphins playing on the bow for about thirty minutes as we rounded the southern tip of Kos which was a great bonus.)
We anchored in an enclosed bay (Vathi Bay) on the NE side of Astipaliea. The next day, we re-checked the forecast and the Medicane was now predicted to track more to the north and west of us. We decided to stay put as the bay we are in offers great all round protection. We expect that we will be whipped by the tail of the depression as it spins past.
So, we prepared for the storm to arrive. We laid all our anchor chain (85m) and put on a double rope snubber to help absorb shock on the chain. We removed any items that might catch the wind, (bimini, sprayhood, etc.) and lashed down the sail bag. The dinghy was placed in the water with its engine removed. We had plenty of food and water and another four yachts for company.
The only taverna in the tiny hamlet ashore was closed as the owner had to go to a Baptism in Athens. Since there were no ferries running due to the weather forecast, it seems likely that it will remain closed all weekend. There was only one other resident as far as we could see. He seemed unperturbed.
The rest of the place was occupied by goats and even their bells went quiet…did they sense the approaching storm?
In the mean time we enjoyed a walk up to the church on the hill and a chat with a German tourist.