Monday, September 3, 2012

Transiting the Corinth Canal - Piraeus to Galaxidi

2012 09 03
Galaxidi, Corinth, Greece
Looking Back from the Cockpit on Meredith
Midway through the Canal
Our furling replaced in Piraeus we then wanted to visit Lefkas and Corfu, islands in the Ionian sea before we made our way back to Sicily for the winter.  From Piraeus to Corfu there are only two routes: south around the east coast of the Peloponnese and then beating up the west coast to Corfu or transit the Corinth Canal and sail the Corinthian Sea.  

The Corinth Canal, joining the Aegean with the Ionian Sea, was an interesting if expensive (€5 per minute) transit.  Steve Jobs did it with his family so in doing so we were in the ranks of the infamous conscience free upper classes.

We decided to anchor outside the east entrance to the canal overnight and do an early morning transit.  There is a large anchorage at Kalamaki Bay right at the terminus of the canal which offers good holding and good protection from prevailing summer winds.  Depths are less than 20 feet which is a pleasant surprise in Greece.

Connie Talking to the Quartermaster of Jungle
registered in the Marshall Islands
IN the morning it was an easy hop to the intake dock at the canal where a nice new concrete pier has been built complete with permanent rubrails and built in staircases.  Staff helped with the tie up.

The Canal Office is in the base
of this tower
Jumping off the boat we headed for the Canal office with our Certificate of Ownership, Insurance, Transit Log and passports.  And of course money.  

Cost to use the canal is €80 plus €23 times the length of your boat minus 9 metres.  Our boat is 10.73 meters so we paid 80 plus 23 x 1.73.

It is all a piece of cake at this point, right?
The Government of Greece which provides the service also charges you VAT.  Our total cost was €148.  The canal is only 3.2 miles long.  I figured by the time we got out the west end we had paid €5 a minute for the privilege.

Midway the sides looked daunting

The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Passing this we are in the Sea of Corinth
The Corinth Sea is a fabulous sailing ground offering unparalleled scenery and great anchorages although with few islands.  It is well worth visiting.  

Galaxidi, where we are now, is alone worth the visit.  This is also the closest harbour to Delphi and tomorrow we catch an early bus to consult the Oracle.  

As always the trick is to arrive early before all those nasty tourists get there.


No comments:

Post a Comment