2 clueless day skippers with Patience

Kiota, through the Corinth Canal to the island of Aigina

27 April 2019
Donna Smith
Our trip from Galaxidhi to Kiota began with little optimism of having enough wind to sail. I was just moaning at how boring it was chugging along with the engine, as a mist hung over the steep hills either side of us, like a fine mosquito net, denying us much of a view, when suddenly Ricky spotted a pod of dolphins ahead of us. Not wishing to miss the opportunity to say hello, we veered off our course slightly,so that they actually had to pass under our boat. Sadly the Mediterranean is so heavily fished that most of the dolphins we see are on a mission, hunting for food, so don't hang about to play on the bow for very long. This was true of this pod, although a few did stop and play in the surf for a bit before joining the others. Our first dolphin sighting this year, so very exciting.

After our encounter, the sun shone, the mist lifted and there was enough of a breeze to turn off the engine and relax under sail. We wouldn't have won any speed racing events, but why hurry? Ok it took us over 7 hours (including dolphin stop) to travel 24 nautical miles, but whose counting? The quay at Kiota was an Ok overnight stop off. Apart from a handful of local fishermen who didn't appear to be having any more luck than the dolphins, it lacked the charm of many of the quays we have moored up to on our travels. Perhaps the fact that lots of yachties, like us, don't really give the town more than a second glance as the port is considered little more than a convenient boat park, due to its close proximity to the West entrance to the Corinth canal. The blooming great big tanker parked alongside, also didn't really add to the ambience of the place.

The following morning we headed the few miles to the canal entrance. Back in September 2016 we travelled the canal from East to West, Ricky helmed while Betty (who had crewed with us around the Pelopenese)and I enjoyed the view and wondered at the sheer magnitude of the canal which slices it's way through the limestone rock joining the Ionian and Aegean seas. This time I intended to helm, after all it may be sheer walls of rock either side rising to 79m above sea, have a current of up to 3 knots, be 3.2 miles long and only 25m wide, but it is single file, so all I have to do is play follow the leader.

Easier than driving in the multi storey car park at Ikea and far more exhilarating - we were safely through. Only 'ouch' moment was paying at the other side. One Hundred and Seventy One Euros!!! Yep Mike, still the most expensive canal per mile in the world, but now we are where we want to be in the Aegean sea.

We had an amazing sail all the way to the island of Aigina and found a favourite anchorage we had previously stayed in, Profitis Ilias Cove, just 3 miles south of the main port. This is a beautiful sheltered spot ,where we can relax and plan the next part of our journey, over to the Island of Evia.
Vessel Name: Patience
Vessel Make/Model: Moody376
Hailing Port: Haslar , Gosport , England
Crew: Ricky and Donna
About: 2023 Still clueless , but having fun !
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