After visiting a couple of anchorages on Alonnissos we sailed to Skopelos and then on to Skiathos (Mama Mia fame) before entering the Gulf of Volos on our last couple weeks of our trip this year.
During our stay in Skiathos we anchored in Karifi Amos and went on the hunt for some more water for washing. We found a local fisherman and asked him if there was anywhere we could get some water. He directed us to the beach but we had already tried those taps and they had been switched off for the winter. Then, after a short walk we passed a couple of firemen in their “fire station”, a rickety shed with a very old fire engine next to it, they were obviously there as first responders to any wildfire in the forest. We asked them if there was any water nearby. At first they said no, but then thought for a bit and took us round the back of the fire engine and allowed us to draw water from the tank, making sure we new it was not drinking water. Another unique experience in Greece.
After all the strong headwinds we have battled with all summer, the wind has now disappeared to nothing, but what little there is, is still against us. One day we will go down wind. Motoring everywhere feels very strange. We did get an unexpected sail from the Gulf of Volos to Karvomylos but the prevailing wind should have been NE, N, instead we had SW, so we found ourselves beating through Stenon Oreon channel, at least the sea state was slight. We also have to deal with these things called tides and currents, now we are between Evia and the mainland. The tides are not big, but when you are used to anchoring in 3 - 4 of water with a 2m keel, you have to be a bit careful.
After a couple of stops on our way down the north gulf of Evia, we eventually arrived at Khalkis ready to transit the old town bridge. This is a sliding road bridge between the Island of Evia and the mainland. There is a new road bridge a few miles south of the town, that has a 75m height over the gulf, but unless you want to sail down the east coast and back up the south gulf of Evia to reach our boatyard for the winter, the old bridge is worth the €35.60 to transit. The main problem with this bridge is that it only opens between the hours of 2130 and 0400 in the morning (to minimise road traffic congestion) and in the winter it only opens on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. There is a 75% surcharge on a Sunday. This is a very narrow stretch of water so the current that runs though the bridge is very strong and not very predictable, therefore we have to wait from 2130 onwards, listening on CH12 for the Port Authority to tell us when it is safe to transit the bridge. So from 2100 we listened on CH12 and finally at 0240 we got the call to transit the bridge. We had to wait for a coastal tanker to go first then, we and another yacht then made our way through the very narrow gap between the sides of the bridge. There was bit of tide running so concentration was needed to steer Muskrat through, but we made it without incident. Then we made our way to the nearest anchorage just SW of the bridge, under the old Fort to get some sleep.
A photo during the day of the tide ripping under Khalkis bridge
Canoe’s enjoying the tide and shooting the rapids.
Approaching the bridge to transit. It looks calm but once right up to the bridge there is some turbulence.
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