Following our early morning wake up call, we left Kiato just after 7am, heading to the canal entrance. We wanted to arrive early as the pilot book advised it can take up to three hours to get permission to enter the canal and we still had a further three and a half hours to sail on the other side before we reached our destination Palaia Epidhavros. So with a super yacht just a head of us, we were lucky and only had to wait ten minutes before we got the go ahead to proceed through the canal.Now a bit of information and history on this amazing construction: The Corinth Canal was completed in 1893, it reduces the distance between the Ionian and the Aegean, the canal is 3.2 miles long, 25m wide and maximum draft that can access it is 6.5m, and the sides of the canal rise to 76m at the highest part.At each end of the canal they have road bridges that they lower into the sea to let you pass, which is a first for me. As we entered the canal it is a dramatic site, the rock faces rise at almost 90 degrees, bridges cross at the highest points over the canal and when you see the tiny trucks crossing above, you get a sense of the scale of it, amazing to think this was all dug by hand.Hudson’s thoughts of the canal “it’s all Greek to me”
It was fantastic to see, but I was a little disappointed (only a little) in the rock formation, I had an image of the side of the canals being more polished like a marble kitchen worktop, prettier in fact. It took us about 45 minutes to motor through. On reaching the Aegean side at Isthmia, you moor up at the canal authorities’ pontoon and process your paperwork and pay your money, for us it cost 234 euros for the privilege of experiencing the canal, something you must do at least once. The Aegean side definitely seems to have more wind, so we were able to sail most of the way to Palaia Epidhavros on our foresail with over 20 knots of wind on our stern.