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Canal Passage

by smitbet Online Now Feb 11, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Last year I was denied passage through the Corinthian Canal. I was told I needed a motor and a speed of at least 5Km/hr. I paddle a kayak. No motor and a speed of about 3Km/hr. Does anyone know how I can get around these restrictions? Is there a prearraged time when a group of kayaks or a single kayak can transit? The office was no help. Who can I call?
Thanks!

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10 Answers
  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo

    Re: Canal Passage

    by travelgourmet Online Now Feb 11, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    I sailed through the Corinth Canal and I feel the reason for the "no paddlers" is due to the fact that so many cruise ships and cargo ships ply the canal, that you would get in the way. There is no getting out of the canal to step aside for a large ship, forget it, even a smaller motorboat must keep their fingers crossed going through, as those ships that can pass through, squeeze their way through the canal at a good clip, they don't want to slow down or they might get the current to push them to the walls. Six inches was all the clearance between the starboard and port sides to the wall of the canal on the ship I was on. I would not want to paddle here, even if I could.

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  • janetanne's Profile Photo

    Re: Canal Passage

    by janetanne Online Now Feb 11, 2008 at 2:35 PM

    There is a nice 'path' that you would 'forge' your kayak on. Have a look at my tips on Corinth to see photos of this path. Travelgourmet is very correct in what he has said. I have been walking along the top of the canal on many occasions and have seen those huge ferry boats come through and have wondered in amazement at how close they actually are to the sides of the canal! I would not want to row through the canal either. Perhaps another option would be to 'hitchhike' on board another ship???

    Your best bet is to call the PORT POLICE at the canal in Isthmia or visit them at Isthmia on the canal itself. To get these numbers: (0030-country code for Greece if calling from abroad)+ (27410,code for local area of Isthmia)+ 37555, I called the GREEK TOURIST POLICE in ATHENS at 171 (when in Greece). Again, the number for the PORT POLICE IN CORINTH/ISTHMIA is: 0030-27410-37555.

    The Greek Tourist Police number in CORINTH may also have further details about this question and their number is:(0030) 27410- 77260.

    The Greek Tourist Police,(In Athens-171) by the way, can be called 24 hours a day for an unbelievable amount of information and they are very polite and speak most European languages. Hope this is of some help.

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  • Re: Canal Passage

    by smitbet Online Now Feb 12, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    Again thanks for your input and the numbers I can call. A path doesn't help too much because I don't allow myself more than 2Km of portage when crossing a country. Thanks again!

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  • Re: Canal Passage

    by smitbet Online Now Feb 12, 2008 at 12:54 PM

    Thanks, but I know how narrow the canal is. I looked down it last year. I was hoping to transit at a time when there was no traffic. I was denied passage even in the middle of the night. But thanks!

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  • janetanne's Profile Photo

    Re: Canal Passage

    by janetanne Online Now Feb 12, 2008 at 3:08 PM

    since you only allow yourself 2km of portage in every country you cross, it doesn't look like you will be crossing Saudi Arabia! hehe...unless you go by Kamelkyak...I hear that is quite an adventure not to be missed.

    Anyway, maybe you could try camouflage and try sneaking through at night! The guards would probably be asleep anyway...or try going through any night when there is a big Greek Football match...especially if it is between Olympiakos and Panathaniakos...or any final world Cup match...The last time there was a big final football match, a big passenger ship sunk off the island of Paros...so, why shouldn't a little, silent kayak be able to float through unnoticed???

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  • StefanosS's Profile Photo

    Re: Canal Passage

    by StefanosS Online Now May 5, 2008 at 10:55 PM

    One more reason is that sometimes there are strong currents along the canal. But:

    a. If you can consider your kayak crossing as a "sports event", it is possible that you can have some kind of help from a "rowing club" or other sea-sport club and even from the authorities.

    b. Can you accept a tug-boat to tow one or more kayaks (caravan) along the channel ? I think this can be allowed.

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  • Re: Canal Passage

    by smitbet Online Now Aug 2, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you Stephanos. I've had several e-mail communications with the canal people and now, finally they will allow me through. I will be going on 9 Sept. in the morning. Its a day of maintenance for the canal so they are closed, essentially. It only means I'll have to plan my whole trip around the morning of 9 Sept. Thanks again for your imput.
    Beth

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  • janetanne's Profile Photo

    Re: Canal Passage

    by janetanne Online Now Aug 2, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Congratulations on your 'Pass-to-Go.' From which side will you be entering the canal? Maybe we could arrange a VT member cheering group to give you some support. What day of the week is the 9th of Sept.? I don't have a calendar here in front of me..the canal is only an hour's drive from my house...I'd love to take some photos of you going through. What time will you begin? I would be glad to get a few interested members together if they are free to go. Of course most people are working during the week, but I am a teacher so I won't be back to my regular classes until probably after the 12th of Sept...so I will be free.

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  • Re: Canal Passage

    by smitbet Online Now Aug 2, 2008 at 5:56 PM

    Thanks again, Janetanne and others! I don't have a firm schedule for Tuesday, 9 September but I would like to start at the Corinth side at 9:00AM and end at 11:00AM at Isthmia, weather permitting. If the wind is too strong against me it will take longer or I can't go. The canal people will firm up the date and time with their next e-mail, I hope. Thanks for the encouragement and I'll keep you posted!

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  • janetanne's Profile Photo

    Re: Canal Passage

    by janetanne Online Now Aug 2, 2008 at 11:21 PM

    thanks for your response...I have often walked and jogged down that side of the canal from Corinth and it is a very advantageous position for photo ops! Yes, do keep me informed and I may very well come to give you some cheers and take some photos of your passing through the canal! By the way, are you traveling solo? Where will you be staying the night before you go through the canal and afterwards? let me know if there is any other info I can help you out with. Janet

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