Rob and Jacky Black
Fri 21 Aug 2009 13:06
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 there.