Our friends came prepared for typical May weather, with shorts, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. But Aeolus, the Greek god of winds, sent the fierce and fickle meltemi wind, which characterizes Aegean sailing in June, July, and August, unseasonably early. We left Athens in a Force 7 gale and were soon broad-reaching under double-reefed jib, the knotmeter pegged at 12 knots. Instead of beachwear, the crew was swaddled in full foul-weather gear. As we passed Cape Sounion and altered course for Kea, we felt the meltemis full force. Out of the lee of the mainland, the steep and confused Aegean seas built into three-yard-high mountains, then crashed together and thundered into the cockpit with the force of small waterfalls.