Evia – Waiting for the bridge

29 Apr

On our trip from the Ionian to Turkey there are a number of milestones to be endured or enjoyed, depending on how you perceive them. The transit through the Corinth Canal; a cruise through the Northern Sporades; the 65 mile passage across the windy North Aegean …and today, the transit through the bridge at Khalkis.

Evvia is an island, but only just.  It is linked to mainland Greece by a 39m bridge spanning the Euripus Strait.

Evvia is an island, but only just. It is linked to mainland Greece by a 39metre bridge spanning the Euripus Strait.

The bridge normally only opens to allow vessels to pass through once a day, but not at weekends. It is one of the very few places in the Med where there is any appreciable tide (it can run at up to 6 knots and the flow changes direction four times a day) so the opening takes place at slack water – this happens any time between 10pm and 2 am – so there can be quite a bit of hanging around.

We arrived here in Khalkis yesterday, knowing that we would have a wait a day to carry on northwards, but it was also a welcome break after covering 263 miles in the last week. We found ourselves a berth with laid moorings in Ormos Voukari, just south east of the bridge. In addition to a Port Authority pontoon, there are a couple of further pontoons belonging to local sailing clubs in the little bay. We were on the Khalkidas Sailing Club (ΙΟΧ) pontoon, where water was available and also electricity if we had wanted. The club members bent over backwards to help us and didn’t take a mooring fee, they simply asked for a donation to the Junior section funds.

Having visited the Port Police this afternoon to pay our transit fee of €18.77 and get instructions, we are now sitting at anchor about half a mile from the bridge enjoying a glass of wine and waiting for the summons which could happen any time after 9pm. The exact time of slack water is apparently unknown. The very nice policeman just said, “We can’t tell you when it will be, we will have to go and watch the current to see what it is doing.”

The view from the cockpit of the bridge.

The view from the cockpit of the bridge.

Backtracking a little, our last port of call before Khalkis was Karavos. It was a sleepy little place with a well-sheltered harbour. The only downside was that it was littered with laid moorings and several apparently abandoned boats. We managed to find a space on the inside of the west mole but also fouled our anchor with a mooring line. The good thing about Karavos is that it is only about a 15-minute walk from Aliveri which has a Lidl and a Carrefour. Simple things like this can take on SO much more significance when you’re on the move! 🙂



And finally, the wildlife corner…

Wildlife spottings have been thin on the ground over the past few days. We did, however have some cetacean visitors as we motor sailed from Porto Rafti to Karavos. It is always fantastic to watch dolphins swim under the bow, no matter how many times this happens. On this occasion they were too quick for me and had swum away to find something more exciting than us by the time I’d grabbed the camera… next time I’ll be ready 😆

A dolphin from a distance.

A dolphin from a distance.


2 Responses to “Evia – Waiting for the bridge”

  1. susie April 29, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Glad all’s well, we really miss you guys. Have lots of fun. Susie and Joe, xxx

    • peteandlu May 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

      Thanks, chaps 🙂 Hope all good with you two (& Big Nose!) too xx

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