Aurora arrives in Athens after passing through Corinth channel 12h before it collapses

Aurora arrives in Athens after passing through Corinth channel 12h before it collapses

Aurora and her crew though the channel of Corinth
When we entered in the Bay of Partas, we moved towards the southern side in order to pass via arch 3 and 4 of the bridge of Rion in order not to interfere with the  commercial traffic. It was not like there was much of it after Patras anyway. So finally after relaxed day of motoring surpassed only by high speed ferries  at the end of the day we could see the pillars of the Bridge of Rion.
Aurora in the Bay of Patras
Ferries quickly passing us

Five miles away from the bridge we have called the traffic control as stated in the navigation guide and as expected they told us to pass through the southern arch. Later turned out that from small boats no one was calling. I have stated our port of departure and arrival and crew number and we continued. Few miles after the bridge just as we were preparing to have dinner the border police had the their boat lights on us and in 15 minutes and they tied to us and boarded. After 2 hours checking all boat papers, passports, IDs, cabins and storage spaces we were free to continue. Somehow I was not hungry anymore and I went to bed. Later a wind appeared but with 25 miles remaining to the Corinth we were not in mood to open sails in the dark and continued with engine. At around 4 we moored in the town of Corinth port and had few hours sleep more until sunrise. Once we got up Georgi already had a bag of cheesepie. We called Corinth pilot control and we were told to go at the entrance. We drift there for 20 minutes and we were given permission to enter into the channel.

Aurora approaching the bridge of Rion
Aurora just before border police check
Aurora into the town of Corinth
Aurora drifting at the entrance of the channel
Aurora entering the channel

Once inside the channel there was no wind or noticeable current and within 30minutes we were on the other side. We were curious view for tourist groups on the bridge saluting us and occasionally we waved at them. We moored on the other side to pay the tax for the channel as this is probably the most expensive channel in the world per mile. For 3,5 miles we paid 108eur for 12 meters boat. That makes somewhere 30eur per mile. Never the less this channel needs a lot of maintenance and saves quite a distance so we were happy to pay the tax. We went back to the boat where Georgi already had found some local dog to play with and not the imaginary one. We released the mooring lines and find our way between the anchored tankers in front of the local oil refinery. According to our calculation in the early afternoon we would be in Alimos marina in Athens. We called Mirko to know we are coming and took small nap while Georgi was heading to the southern cape of Salamia.

Channel of Corinth
Aurora was a curious view alone in the channel
No wind or current noticed
Georgi with his real dog

Soon after lunch on the 20th day since we left Les Sables d'Olone we have entered into the Alimos marina. Mirko and Ani were waiting for us and we moored at Aurora new home port. In the afternoon we washed the sails and the boat and put all deck in order. Rado and Nikolay tested the dinghy out of the port just before sunset. Once we finished our activities was time to go out and celebrate the succesful  completion of our trip in a local tavern with live greek music. It was such a celebration that apart of Rado, Georgi and Nikolay  hardly got up to take the flight to Sofia on the next day.

Aurora trip successfully acomplished
Rado and Nikolay testing Masha
Both skippers Rado and Rado salute the crew for successful trip
All being saluted by the tavern singers

On the next day we got the news that the overnight storm was so strong that some stones collapse into the Corinth channel and now it is blocked for a month at least. Last 6 days since we left Capo di San Vito we were running in front of the big storm. We slept at sea and did not stop overnight in any port and we were quite exhausted at the end but now we were satisfied we did it in this way and we managed to sneak through all dangers and furies of the nature.

During the night Corinth got blocked for a month at least

Aurora is now in good and professional hands and is being prepared for the summer season. Apart of standard equipment , she will get generator, solar panels, air condition in salon and cabins and watermaker to ensure full boat autonomy. If anybody wants to sail with her is very welcome on board. She is being chartered with or without skipper. The area of sailing will be mostly the Saronic gulf and the Cyclades islands, however it is also possible to take her back through Corinth to Lefkada if someone wants to sail her there.

Aurora is now in good hands that take care of her in a professional manner

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