Corinth Canal - Zea Marina Athens

S/V Monterey
Les Crane
Thu 10 May 2012 15:43
32:56.3n 023:38.9e

Thursday May 10

Corinth Canal - Zea Marina Athens

On returning to the boat from Acrocorinth, the breeze was up to 20+ from
the west. John Cooper offered to take a taxi to the canal and photograph us
as we passed through. We motored the 3 miles to the entrance and hovered for
about 15 minutes waiting for clearance. The sinking bridge at the entrance
disappeared into the sea and we entered the canal just before noon. We were
the only boat in the canal during the 40 minute passage. We went alongside
the canal office on the west side of the south entrance and paid our fee of
E328 - Corinth is rumoured to be the most expensive canal / mile in the
world. We had been in Panama in January and were told the passage fee there
was about $500.

After lunch on the Canal office quay, we departed for Athens with a breeze
that had now moved into the north. Approaching the city we sailed through
the mooring field which had about 40 freighters either anchored in 80 metres
or hovering under engine. Their status comes up on our AIS as does our
position on theirs which makes for clear passage.

We had made a booking in Zea Marina about 3 months ago to have us arrive
Friday. I called ahead and they agreed to accommodate us Thursday. It is
quite handy this sailing in May before the crowds are out. I am told getting
into Zea in season can be quite difficult. As it was, there did not appear
to be many transient spaces. Fee was E250 for 3 days. Water and electricity
cost another 35. The water in the harbour is dirty but you are in the centre
of Pireas and all its services. Cab to the airport is about E60, to the
Parthenon E20.

Dinner Thursday at Chatsis (an X is pronounced something between a guttural
H and the Ch of Chatsis). Dinner is OK, but only a few of the Greek dishes
were available and we did not get the impression that the lady serving us
was passionate about getting our business.

Dinner Friday at Vassilenas. We take taxis there and arrive to find a
smartly decorated modern restaurant with friendly staff, empty. The maitre
d' says this is normal and that the place will fill up around none, which,
sure enough, it does. The trio appetiser was particularly good including a
humus dish a caper and current compote. The grilled calamari was the best we
have had this year.

Dinner Saturday at Jimmy and the Fish in Mounikhias the next harbour to
Kea. It's a great neighbourhood of bars and restaurants surrounding the bay
with the Royal Hellenic Yacht Club at the end. We all shared a 2.2 kilo red
snapper which as expected was very expensive but good.

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