After a sleepless night in Aegina we made a before dawn exit for the Corinth Canal. But the closer we got the more wind we had straight on the nose and the slower our progress. So we headed for a sheltered bay and waited for the weather to improve. Several days later we made another early morning dash. Again the wind came up, but not so much that we couldn't make the entrance.
Formalities completed we headed waited our turn. Thankfully less than an hour (it can be up to 3), until we were called to head the entrance, just us and an another yacht - and we get to go first! It's the most expensive canal in the world per mile, it is only 3.2 miles long and 25m wide.
The song goes on and Paul and Robyn (with a little help) dance there way into the canal.
We got 20 knots funneling through to slow us down, but still we managed to get through in good time. Once the bridge opened at the far end and the sea came barreling in we realised the real challenge was to come. A rough exit from the canal followed and everyone (not least the new crew) was glad to see Corinth town and a space for Hector in the yacht harbour. No other set of crew have had seen such rough weather and they have only been on board a few short days.
Aegina island is known to be one of Greece's busiest and when it is having the annual Pistachio (Fistiki) Festival, well it goes crazy. The harbour is not large but everyone wants in and getting a spot is very hard won. We waited our turn and saw numerous yachts tangled anchors, but eventually took our spot. This was lucky because we had new crew arriving..with bikes, so no anchoring off.
Above - Our eventual spot. Below the masts behind the line of tents for the festival.
When the new crew turn up after nearly 40 hours of travelling they are really pleased to see the stage set up next to the boat for an all night party... Oops!
By now this is getting to be a serious business, and of course Camille takes to whole new level. She doesn't go for quantity, but she is definitely after the richest most decadent cakes she can get for her 5 euro.
We are waiting on a spare part for the boat so spend a few days on the quay in Ermioni. A nice little town that gets super busy mid week with charter boats, otherwise it's pretty sleepy.
Thursday is market day and the place comes alive.
Our view Wednesday.
By Friday they are all gone.
The best thing about this place is the walk around the peninsula, greek windmills and wild cyclamen.
A visiting kingfisher caps a nice stop on the way.
It was a short hop over to Aegina island but with an uncomfortable swell it was difficult to find a sheltered spot for the night. We ended up in a bay with beautiful clear water and managed to snare a bike tyre.. very apt considering our imminent bike welding crew.
We heard that although it didn't have a particularly nice harbour, Navplio is a very pretty town. And this turned out to be the case, the harbour is full of large turtles (but very shy so no photos), but otherwise stinky. The town on the other hand, surrounded in no less than 6 castles is gorgeous.
It's nearly 900 step up to the top castle so we opted for the more modest climb to the middle castle and did a fly by of the castle out to sea. The other three will have to wait for another day...
From the top we get a view of Hector below and the other castles.
Feeling pretty happy with the decision not to tackle the 900 steps. A couple of hundred was more than enough in 34 deg!
Finally caught up with the super yachts - haven't seen a bay packed with this many large boats since Corfu.. but then it is a lovely spot... and after a while they all clear out and leave it to us.
After a rough night in Leraka (Yeraka ?) we left our anchorage in a resonably large swell, with a long day ahead heading up to the Island of Spetses we were a little discouraged... but not for long!
We're an ordinary family of 5 dreaming, planning and now beginning our adventure around the Mediterranean (and further afield), having an awesome time! Look out for our boat and come and say hi.