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GULF OF CORINTH AND CANAL

 

Approaching the Rion Bridge

Approaching the Rion Bridge

Longest Cable Stayed Bridge in World

Longest Cable Stayed Bridge in World

On May 7th we passed through the narrow Strait of Rion and under what is reported to be the longest cable stayed bridge in the world at 2,252 meters with three navigable channels each 560 meters wide.  The straits mark the transition between the Gulfs of Patras and Corinth and the bridge is quite impressive.  Yachts must call Rion Traffic 5 NM from the bridge to request permission to transit.

After several days working our way East through the Gulf of Corinth including stops at the island of Trizonia, Galaxidhi (mentioned in the Delphi post), we left Andikiron on May 11th enroute to Corinth and the Corinth Canal.

Harbor at Andikiron

Harbor at Andikiron

The commercial harbor in Corinth is very busy with freighters coming and going, but there is often space to tie to the quay overnight when transiting the canal.

Corinth is a busy commercial port on Gulf side of canal

Corinth is a busy commercial port on Gulf side of canal

Berthed at Corinth with Excalibur & Glass Slipper

Berthed at Corinth with Excalibur & Glass Slipper

Dusk at Port of Corinth

Dusk at Port of Corinth

After laying along side the quay in the commercial harbor at Corinth at the west end of the Canal with Excalibur and Glass Slipper, we left early the next morning to position at the entrance of the canal for our passage through.

 

Following Excalibur and Freighter into Canal

Following Excalibur and Freighter into Canal

Glass Slipper entering canal

Glass Slipper entering canal

Glass Slipper at west end of Canal

Glass Slipper at west end of Canal

Canal is about 259 ft. above sea level at highest point

Canal is about 259 ft. above sea level at highest point

 

Capt. Kent pilots Destiny through Canal

Capt. Kent pilots Destiny through Canal

The canal is approx. 3.2 mi. long and 82 ft. wide--not everyone fits

The canal is approx. 3.2 mi. long and 82 ft. wide--not everyone fits

View West from East end of Canal

View West from East end of Canal

The transit through the canal was expensive—230 euros ($287 US at current rates) but saved about 150 NM in getting to the Athens area.  It is also quite an experience to follow a large freighter, which from a distance appears to barely clear go through ahead of you.

At the east end of the Canal you tie along side and go ashore to pay.  An interesting aspect of the current Greek financial crisis is that credit cards (which according to our pilot guide were being accepted to pay transit fees) were no longer being accepted.  As each boat reported to canal control for clearance they were asked “do you have cash?”—we heard this refrain so often it was amusing.

At the east end you pay up

At the east end you pay up

 

Carol had called in advance to determine whether they would take credit cards, because routinely they are being refused and was told by the canal authorities  “we haven’t taken credit cards for the last ten days—we have a problem with our bank”—that is also a standard response even at establishments that prominently display credit card symbols.

 

So now we have arrived in the Aegean and are off on the next part of our adventure.  More to follow.

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