Perdika & Korinthos Canal

Trip Start Mar 27, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Greece  , Peloponnese,
Thursday, July 11, 2013

There was barely a ripple in the bay where we had decided to stay the night, just thirty minutes out of Poros. The two catamarans that we had anchored quite close to late in the afternoon showed no signs of the German occupants on their decks. I checked that our position had not changed from the night before. We had long lined to the shore, only the second time we had done so tying up to rocks on the rugged shore.

We had decided the previous night that if the conditions were right we would head for the southern port of Perdika on the island of Aegina, a trip of three hours or so. As we headed out into the open sea the sea breeze freshened and soon we were making six and a half knots in a sea that was close to a meter swell. Kathie took the helm in an effort to take her mind off seasickness that is always quick to appear in these conditions. As we got closer to the island the wind dropped to around ten knots giving a much calmer sea, much to Kathie's relief.

The Simrad navigation showed the harbor just around the corner, both Kathie and I were searching for the entrance, it had to be here surely. Then we saw it, this was a tiny harbor in a small bay. A breakwater of large boulders protruding out some fifty meters and another stone jetty paralleling it, this one being made of concrete laid on a base of boulders. We preferred the latter to tie up to but there was only one small empty place that we could fit and that was on the end. We backed in laying the anchor as we did and tossed the stern ropes to an elderly man waiting on the jetty. Then as we got closer I saw the rocks protruding out from the concrete and I slammed Orca’s engine into forward to avoid smashing the long fin like rudder. The old man gestured to me that there was plenty of depth for our boat. I was not so sure so after securing the stern lines I donned my snorkel and flippers and dived down to check. Our rudder was only about half a meter from touching, but as long as the anchor held us off the jetty we would be ok.

In the late evening about 10pm the wind changed direction and became very robust and it was now pushing us back onto the jetty. It was obvious that we could not stay in this spot. With the engine pushing us slowly away from danger and Kathie on the remote anchor capstan we dropped the stern lines and wound in the anchor. Then Kathie had a problem, our anchor had caught an old chain that had been laid by the Germans during the Second World War. We were prepared and had purchased an "Anchor Buddy" a device that is half moon shaped with two holes to attach ropes. The idea is to catch the fouling chain with this device then loosen our anchor then pull on the second rope on the anchor buddy and drop the chain. I lowered the device over the side and after many tries in the dark and blustering wind conditions I finally caught the old chain. Pulling with all my strength I slowly lifted it off our anchor, then near tragedy, the ropes I was pulling on had wrapped around my little finger on my left hand and I could no longer hold the weight of the very heavy old chain. Somehow I managed to untangle the rope from my finger but could no longer hold on to it. Our brand new “Anchor Buddy” and ropes disappeared along with the rusty old chain under the water.

A Frenchman had been watching us from his yacht on the opposite side of the small harbor, beckoning us to tie up alongside him, so after relaying the anchor we backed in and secured a line to him. The Frenchman took our stern ropes and tied them, one to a steel post and the other to the small jetty. We were now safe but I remained uneasy with Orca being so close to the rocks.

The next morning we were happy to depart this port but minus our anchor buddy that had cost us 45 Euros. I had tried to dive and find it which I did, after thirty minutes or so looking but it was so deep that I could not get near to it as my ears gave me great pain at only half the depth it was lying in. On the plus side I still had all my fingers, and we did no damage to Orca.

After an overnight stop at the very hospitable small town of Korfos on the mainland where we refilled with water and some provisions and I received a wasp sting, we sailed for four hours in calm conditions heading for the Korinthos Canal that we would travel through into the gulf of Korinthos. We tied alongside the jetty and went to the control tower to pay the fee. 219 Euros for 3.2 kms, Wow expensive! But not as much as we had been told by a few people. The Canal had been cut through solid granite and was only 25 meters wide with the walls towering a hundred feet above us in places. The wind blew through the narrow channel along with a very strong current that required me to use 2200 RPM to keep us moving at a reasonable speed. Soon the other end was in sight and we motored through into the bay. We found a small nondescript marina and tied up alongside. We would stay here for a few days and investigate the town of Korinth.

To be continued…..

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