stormy Skiathos town

39:09.89N 23:29.71E
 
Saturday 11th July 2009
 
We left Koukounaries bay and motored back to Skiathos town.  The wind was almost on the nose so we didn't bother with the sails.
 
We got back into Skiathos town late afternoon and were told we had to go to anchor as there was no room for us on the town quay, so we found a suitable spot and set the bow anchor.
 
We all decided we wanted an ice cream and a beer, and to stretch our legs so we took the rib ashore and did just that.
 
We headed back to the boat for showers and drinks before dinner, and while Kerrie & Lee were below, we watched angry black clouds appear over the hills to the North of the town, and a spectacular lightening display.
 
Very shortly afterwards we were treated to torrential rain, hailstones, sleet and 45 knots of wind, which is a scary thing at the best of times, but when the boat is at anchor and very close to other boats all sailing around their anchors, it was more than a bit worrying.  The kids stayed below and Steve took the helm to try to steer the boat away from any close encounters with other boats, and we just had to ride it out.  The rib was tied to the back of the boat and lifted itself off the sea a few times, but suffered no damage. 
 
The storm lasted maybe 15 minutes and then blew itself away to sea.  The boat settled itself back down and everyone heaved a sigh of relief.  A quick survey of the boat revealed no damage, other than to some stitching on the boom tent that we hadn't taken down in time.  It wasn't until later that Steve discovered we had lost the flagpole and ensign from the back of the boat.
 
It was an altogether unpleasant experience, but at least it didn't last long.  We waited  a while to ensure it really had passed over, and then went ashore to our favourite pizza place for dinner.  When we returned to the boat all was still calm, and we hoped the storm was the last of the bad weather.