38 22.2N 22 04.4E
We set off from Mesalonghi on Thursday 21st August
at 0700 with a forecast of north-easterly winds increasing during the day.
We had hoped to beat the worst of the wind but this proved to be wrong and we
almost turned back when we were only making 3 knots against an adverse current
and wind! However we persevered and eventually passed under the Rion suspension
bridge which joins the peninsula of the Peloponnese to mainland Greece. This
bridge was completed in 2004 and is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the
world. After contacting the bridge at 5 miles out we were told to take the south
channel and call again at 1 mile off which we duly did and were given permission
to pass. The bridge seemed much too low for us to go under but as usual when we
were actually underneath the span there was plenty of height above our mast! On
the southern side there was an ancient fort visible from the bay. We were quite
surprised that the coast line on both sides had towns and villages almost
non-stop all the way along to Trazonia. We did sail close into the south coast
at one point looking for a bay to shelter in but there was nothing that seemed
suitable so we plugged on into the short choppy sea which provided us with the
occasional mist of spray - we even had to put the bimini away and use the spray
hood and close the central window in it - a first since leaving Gibraltar.
Top apparent wind speed recorded was 33 knots.
The Bay of Corinth is lined with steep sided hills
- some as high as 1500metres so plenty of scope for fierce downdrafts of wind
but it provides an attractive backdrop to sailing along with the deep blue
water in the centre and paler turquoise on the shallower edges.
We were pleased to get into the lee of Trazonia
island at around 1500 and from there had a reasonable motor to the harbour on
the north side - however on arrival we found the wind was blowing hard straight
into the bay
and anchoring didn't look an option. We motored
into the harbour and eventually found a spot on the furthest mole where we could
fit alongside. However it was a difficult maneuver as the wind was setting us
off and still gusting at 25 - 28 knots. We made it eventually although I'm
afraid I managed to scratch both the port bow and stern and dent the engine
exhaust again! Hopefully these will all polish out in the winter!
Trazonia is a delightful quiet place with just a
few tavernas and one mini shop. It is a very green island and on strolling
around the little lanes between the houses one can see a wide variety of produce
growing in the gardens of the islanders plus of course the usual lemon, orange,
pomegranate and grape vines.There are several holiday homes and a couple of
small hotels but no foreign tourist. There is a ferry that runs from the taverna
bay to the mainland about once an hour and I took it today to explore the
village across the channel. It too was a fairly low key place with a few
tavernas and a couple of bigger supermarkets but not really worth the effort of
catching the ferry at 1 euro per journey.
We discovered that you need to order bread the day
before from the minimarket and that ice is available from several of the
tavernas but you need to get it early or it is sold out. There are a couple of
WIFI hotspot cafes and one (Poseidon) which enables you to buy 24 hours of wifi
for 5 Euros which is what I have done to get this connection. It is so nice to
be able to sit on the boat and browse the internet again.
We are not sure when we are leaving or where we are
going next as it is weather dependent - the gales are still blowing in the
Aegean and time marches on - we need to be in Kos for 21st September. So fingers
crossed the winds will abate a bit to let us get