After a pleasant run across the Gulf of Corinth, where we actually managed to get some sailing for awhile, we made it to Corinth. We had intended to stay overnight in Corinth, but upon reading the “Greek Waters Pilot” discovered that the canal is closed Tuesdays for maintenance and dredging. So through we go.
It’s a fairly busy stretch. I called them on the radio about a mile from the entrance and was told to await further instructions at the breakwater. I did so, and about a half hour later, two tour boats came through from the other end, turned around, and I was told to follow them.
Initially I let the boat go on autopilot, sort of cruise control for boats, but the further we got into the canal, the harder time it had finding satellites. At least, that’s what I think the problem was; it started beeping at me, so I turned it off and steered manually. Problem solved.
About half-way through, the canal staff asked me to speed up. (Me of all people. Can you imagine!?). I put some more power on and got to 6.6kts, as fast as we’ve ever been under power alone. Out of respect for the engine that was all I was going to do, and still the tour boats pulled away.
Made it to the other end (3.2nm) and stopped at the canal office…. thank you €150.25. Not cheap, but hey, it chops 150nm off the trip from Patras to Athens.
As I rejoined the boat a freighter went past….. BIG. Not a super tanker or anything, but I could understand why they wanted us to hurry. Busy!
We left the canal and turned the corner into a pleasant bay, Kalamaki, right by the entrance where we had a peaceful night at anchor.
Yeah, yeah. I know. Photos. Videos. Watch this space, coming soon.