The weather at the end of the week was predicted to become very windy, twenty and thirty knots, with gusts of up to fifty. On Monday we took the decision to stay here, where we had a nice town in walking distance and were tethered to a pontoon, rather than try to outrun the weather and end up on a lazy line in the back of beyond. When the wind started up in earnest we considered this an excellent decision. The wind came up suddenly, howling through the amassed rigging, beating a tattoo of halyards thrashing masts. Lyra listed to port, leaning on her fenders, squashing them against the pontoon. Even in a sailing yacht you tend to take having a horizontal floor for granted in harbour. From this basic lean we rocked as the wind shuddered along the starboard side. There were creaks and tapping worthy of a Hammer House of Horror. It made for a couple of sleep deprived nights as we took turns to wake and worry. During the day we went and sat in the library or the clubhouse, to evade the noise as much as anything else.
The wind was strangely warm and there were interludes of total calm, so we had one lunch outside on the veranda. We were the only people eating outside, just the two of us sharing a salad and plate of calamari at one table and a large group of men drinking at another, but then I am ever a fan of an arctic picnic. The wind returned as quickly as it had dropped. John fielded the empty breadbasket, as it flew off to join the drinkers and we decided to go inside for our coffees. The staff asked if we liked the new furniture, which we did. The club had just that morning taken delivery of shiny white tables and chairs and set them out outside, asking for trouble. The waiters kept going out into the weather and wiping them down assiduously. Turns out the wind carries fine red dust, which forms a film on surfaces. The waiter showed us the scum on his cloth after just one swipe. John was thrilled at the prospect of all the cleaning we had done going to waste. The winds are now over and John is out with the hose, swabbing the decks. The hatches are battened down and I am in the furthest reach of the cabin. He still manages to spray me.