|Major works on the north entrance to Lefkas Canal|
We were all geared to leave Cleopatra Marina this morning. Up early to fill tanks and wash the red dust off the decks – a high altitude present from Africa. I feel I now don’t need to visit the continent, it’s coming to see me! The shore power cable was stowed, outboard topped-up with petrol and we topped ourselves up with coffee. By leaving just before nine we’d have a gentle potter down to the Lefkas Canal in time for the 11 o’clock bridge. All we had to do was pay-and-go.
But the office remained closed…we thought it opened at 8.30am. A quick check revealed it does – but not on Wednesdays, on Wednesdays it opens at 9am. Things were getting a bit tight. At 9.15 the staff arrived and then there’s a problem with the card machine – it may have taken our mooring fees twice. More delay as the bank was contacted – but all’s well. We eventually got off and decided to give the 11am bridge a miss and aim for the noon bridge. However, with a bit of current flowing east we were doing a bit better than we imagined and so decided to make a sprint for the 11am bridge after all.
|Just about to have our bottom pinched.|
There are massive works underway on the entrance to the canal and we followed our usual route in – mistake. We touched the bottom and with minutes to go before the bridge opened we were aground. OK not hard and fast aground, not beached, not stuck until some tug pulled us off but keel was definitely in contact with the soft sand. We had definitely pinched the bottom. A bit of astern engine and a wriggle of the rudder and we eased free – and made it through the open bridge. Phew.
|New quay being constructed just north of the bridge. Big improvement and long overdue.|
We continued past Lefkas Town and into the canal. The dredging works which started last year are still going on and it’s not obvious until pretty close where the deep water lies as lighters and dredgers straddle the narrow canal.
|The new ‘J’ pontoon at Lefkas Marina creating around 50 extra berths following Sunsail taking over ‘H’ Pontton|
We are now at anchor in Vliho Bay – a place to rest and relax for a couple of days before heading for Spilia Bay and Ben and Jerry.