35 Knots?  Are You Kidding Me?

We are back in the beautiful anchorage at Kythnos Island. A place that we first visited with Joe & Michelle Hawkins last year. With them conditions were perfect, today/last night not so much!

We left Sounio yesterday under sunny skies and 2 knots of breeze. My forecast called for light winds all day and then nothing more than 15 knots for the next few days.  (Lesson #1 – never rely upon a single forecast!). 

The bay that we are in is U-shaped and fairly narrow, so most boats are lined up on an east/west axis. 

As we got ready to go to sleep last night the winds were in the high teens out of the East. That end of the bay is enclosed only by a low sandbar. So, no issues with sea state but no protection from the building winds. 

Still, no real concerns. We knew the holding was good and we do have our new last year super anchor so we set two independent anchor alarms and went to sleep. 

The winds overnight definitely exceeded the expected 15 knots and quickly climbed into the twenties. Ugh.

One of us would get up every couple of hours to check on things and all seemed well. 

Until 5am, when I climbed out of bed and the winds crossed the 30 knot line. Damn, we are still putting things back together. This was definitely not part of the plan. 

I stuck my head up and looked around and what did I see but a 48ft ketch dragging anchor and heading right towards us. Shit!!  What to do?  It’s blowing thirty plus and they are already over our anchor. No way to lift ours and move. I could cut our anchor line or maybe just let it run, but then I’d be motoring around in the dark with our spare anchors and rodes below. I grabbed a couple of fenders, and woke Deb up asking her to inflate a few more, but realistically the boat would be on us by the time more fenders were ready, and it’s really hard to protect the pointy end of your boat with fenders anyway!!

So, I grabbed our horn and started yelling!!  I yelled a lot!  Of course I was yelling upwind into thirty knots of wind so who knows if I did any good but with about two boat lengths before impact, I heard yelling back for the lady onboard the other boat and saw lights running around deck. Hurray!!  They got their engine started, raised anchor, motored upwind and re-anchored RIGHT IN FRONT OF US AGAIN!!!  More yelling into thirty knots of wind. They dragged again. Repeated the same steps two more times and then finally shifted north a bit and all seemed good!

So, since I was up anyway, I decided to check out some of the other sources of weather that we had used last year. Humm. Not good. It looks like our Southeastern winds will clock around to the North over the next 24 hours and then blow hard for two or three more days. 

Did I mention that our anchorage is open to the west??

So now I am stuck with the should I stay or should I go question. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. 

Why go?

We are on the western edge of “Meltami Alley”. Forty miles to the west is the island of Poros. One of our favorites and totally out of Meltami range. But to get there we need to sail much of those 40 miles in 25+ knots of wind. 

Why stay?

Yes, this harbor is open to the West. But it is super protected from the North. We know the holding is good. We know our anchor and rode are good. So, take our lumps for a few hours while the wind shifts through the west and then we are good for a day or two of strong northerly winds.  Plus – we all know that “if any things going to happen, it’s going to happen out there!”

So, can you guess which way I’m leaning??  What would you do??

– Jim

PS – Did I forget to mention that those winds last night blew one of our $1,000 solar panels right out of its zippers and off to sea somewhere??  

This sure is fun!!


  1. Stay put. I hate those nights, more on my boat less on Moroheus, but still more than enough to keep you awake. Glad to see Moroheus sailing the Med for her forth season.


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