Four gulfs in five days

26 Apr
The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

We’re on a bit of a whistle-stop tour at the moment, four gulfs visited in five days. Monday was the Gulf of Patras, Tuesday the Gulf of Corinth, Thursday into the Saronic Gulf and today we rounded Cape Sounion eastwards into the Petalioi Gulf.

We usually try not to rush things and just go with the flow. But this summer is already punctuated by deadlines, so we are having to put in the miles now in order that we can spend more time meandering in places new to us later on.

On Thursday, en route from Kiato to Aigina, we transited the Corinth Canal. It’s the third time we’ve done this but it is still awe-inspiring to consider the amazing feat of engineering involved. The Romans made an attempt at opening up a navigable passage from the Gulf of Corinth to the Saronic Gulf (and nearby Athens) in the 1st century AD but abandoned the plan when war and revolt got in the way. It was only in the 19th century that a serious plan was put in place to build the canal and it was finally completed in 1893. I think they must still be trying to recoup the building costs, because, at a hefty whack of €225 for our 13.45 metre boat for a 4 mile one-way transit, it must be the most expensive maritime toll charge in the world!

The Corinth Canal

TheCorinth Canal

After a quick overnight stop on the island of Aigina, we set off bright and early this morning for a 37 nautical mile sail to Lavrion on the east coast of Attica. This didn’t happen on two counts. First of all, it wasn’t a sail at all, but yet another bloomin’ motor sail! And secondly, we arrived in the huge harbour of Lavrion after an 8-hour passage to find that all the available berths have been commandeered by charter companies, nothing at all available for visiting yachts 😡 . Nothing for it but to make tracks. Thank goodness it wasn’t blowing a hooley.
No room at the inn in Lavrion.

No room at the inn in Lavrion.

Plan B involved heading a further 12 miles north to Porto Rafti where we’re now peacefully anchored in a huge bay. At least it means a shorter day tomorrow 🙂




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