Photo: Sailor's reflection in the Gulf of Corinth. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Corinth, Greece

Photo: Gyatso motoring in the Gulf of Corinth. Credit: Lisa Borre.
Gyatso motoring in haze and no wind the Gulf of Corinth. The sky and water appeared as one that day. Credit: Lisa Borre.

Logbook Entry

Dates: 09/14/09 – 09/16/09
Distance: 39 nm
Sailed from: Galaxidi
Lat: 37°56.5’N
Long: 22°56’E

Two nights we waited here for the Corinth Canal to re-open on Wednesday (closed on Tuesdays). Laundry is on the line and provisions are onboard.

On the first night, we took a berth along the fisherman’s quay because according to David, the friendly owner of Striding Edge, the British yacht next to us, “The fisherman say the boat that takes this spot is on the other side of the island for a few days.” He gave us his extra mooring line until we could get our own secured which was much easier than setting our anchor in the small, crowded harbor. We invited our neighbor aboard for a glass of wine or two, and then we all went out for Chinese food.  Although the food was rather ordinary, we all enjoyed the meal — Chinese food is something you don’t find very often in this part of the world!

Two of the four yachts occupying the official “visitor’s” berths left the next morning, so we decided to move off the fishing pier.  This precipitated one of the only nasty experiences we have encountered with another cruising boat. As we were making our way to the berth at the end of a pontoon which had been vacated by the Danish-flagged yacht, Firklover, they suddenly re-appeared at the entrance of the harbor, aggressively cut in front of us, forced us to yield to them in order to avoid a collision, and then tied up to the dock even though we were almost lying against it ourselves and had indicated that this is what we had intended to do. The skipper was extremely rude, snapping cross words at Lisa who was at the helm of Gyatso. We don’t tangle with angry skippers, so we backed off and took up another space alongside the wall in front of the Dutch-flagged yacht, Scarab, whose owners helped us find the deepest spot. We had just a few inches under our keel but it was enough. We figured that the other boat hadn’t realized that the canal was closed on Tuesdays, but someone else said they had been in the same slip for two weeks.

With only four berths for yachts waiting to transit the canal, it seemed a bit strange. When Lisa asked the skipper of the Danish boat for an explanation, he just barked, “I hate all Americans!” She just shrugged it off thinking, “What a pathetic, angry man.” (This, by they way, is the only time during our cruise that anyone has overtly expressed anger toward Americans.) It was certainly the opposite experience than when she visited Denmark for the first time in 1999. One of the first people she met had the same “Borre” family name and welcomed her as a long-lost cousin, telling her about a town with the same name which we later visited.