Little did we know at the start of the year what we were in for; Covid-19, Nicos having to stay in the UK due to travel restrictions and underlying medical conditions, a late start to the season, a Medicane and sadly the sudden death of Dennis's mother.
Time lapse video recording of the Lady O being taken out of the water
In the face of challenge Dennis and Nicos without a doubt missed working together, but they managed to find a way to ensure that there was no disruption to the quality of service they have worked so hard to achieve and are proud of. They spoke several times a day and Nicos was able to complete tasks that lifted some of the burden.
When Nicos wasn't doing tasks for Dennis he was keeping himself busy doing jobs around the house and even built a pond!
Just as Pandemic guilt began to turn into gratitude and they’d got into the swing of working in a different way, in mid-September the warning came that a Medicane was on it's way. Dennis had the arduous job of protecting the Lady O. When the warning came, Dennis took the Lady O to the marina (opposite the bay) to get some shelter from the storm. He stayed on the boat for 36 hours without sleep, riding the storm and emptying the rain water that was gushing into the boat while also trying to protect her from crashing into the concrete mooring point. The winds were so fierce the fenders (balloons) were useless, so Dennis improvised by putting lorry tyres on her sides to cushion the blows.
For a few hours while the island suffered a power outage, Nicos sat helplessly not knowing if his partner was safe and feeling quite helpless and guilty he could not be there with him. The thought of Dennis being alone was very upsetting. Dimitra (Dennis’s wife) was also anxious for Dennis’s safety, as she sat in the dark with her daughter hearing the destructive sounds of the storm outside, unable to contact him and with no idea if he was okay. We were all very relieved when Dennis eventually made contact to say all was well. We were very happy to find out that Dennis was not completely alone. Makis Maroulis who joined the team this year, came to his aid when he realised as the storm was worsening (winds got up to 290km an hour) that Dennis may need help.
Luckily the Lady O suffered minor water damage that could have been catastrophic if it wasn’t for Dennis and Makis's bravery. Cruises stopped for a few days while she got cleaned up and once again it was business as usual.
As a team we have several affectionate names for Dennis – 'Duracell Dennis' being one of them as he just keeps going on and on and on! We all felt so proud of him. Keeping the Lady O safe was not easy and the very next day Dennis was out on his crane helping others less fortunate than ourselves (can you hear our clapping and cheers?!?!)
But one month later, almost to the day Dennis’s mum collapsed and died suddenly while in church of a heart attack.
There are no words to describe the shock and sadness that engulfed us all.
This year certainly has been a roller coaster of emotions for us all. Despite all, we know that in many ways we are the lucky ones, and yet it's been a tough ride for all of us. There’s been a lot of anxiety, frustration and tears… but through it all we have managed to stay optimistic, even have a few laughs and a successful summer.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of you who supported Kefalonia Cruise and the Lady O family this year.
We wish everyone a happy, healthy winter and all being well the Lady O family will be together once more in 2021.
Let's Cruise Together!...
Written by Eleni Nicolaou