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Kerkira (Corfu)
39deg/37min N 19deg/56min E

Sixth Fleet vessels anchor in Potamos Bay, where Fleet Landing is generally established on the dock at Mandouki, a 10-minute walk west of the Old Port and the Old Town. When a carrier is visiting, Fleet Landing is located at the Old Port.

Sixth Fleet ports of call are also located throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Ship visits ensure continued access to essential bases and infrastructure. Engagement capitalizes on naval strengths of mobility and sustainability, using the inherent prestige of U.S. flagged warships. Formative engagement is further enhanced by incorporating the full range of naval assets -- including Seabees, the chaplaincy, the Judge Advocate General corps, and civil affairs units -- during port visits.

Corfu town is situated mid-way down the east coast of the island. The island capital is divided into two sections: the northern part contains the lively Old Town shopping and dining quarter close to the Old Port on Potamos Bay, and flanked by the twin forts; the leafy suburb of Garitsa is laid out to the south. Both are within walking distance of Fleet Landing. Further south again (2.5 miles) is Kanoni with its smart beach hotels and the airport.

The Port is situated on the eastern side of Kerkira Island just slightly north of the center of the north-south extent of the Island. Kerkira Island is about 36 miles long and about 17 miles wide at its widest portion near the northern end. The island terrain is composed of hills or low mountains with maximum elevations ranging from near 600 ft in the south portion to a maximum of 2989 ft in the northeast sector. The mainland terrain is mountainous with elevations over 4000 ft within a few miles of the coast. The Corfu Channel separates the Island from the mainland to the east. The Channel width varies from about 1 n mi at its northern entrance to about 12 n mi at its widest point in the vicinity of the Port. The southern entrance is about 4 n mi wide. Open channel depths range from a minimum of about 26 fathoms in the northern entrance area to greater than 30 fathoms elsewhere.

The Port of Kerkira (Corfu) is located on the north side of Cape Sidhero (Akra Sidhero). A small island (Nisis Vidhon) is located about 1/2 n mi offshore north of the Port and a smaller island (Nisis Lazaretton) is located about 2 n mi to the northwest of the Port. A number of rocks and shoals exist between and around the two islands. The Port is entered from the east via the roadstead between Cape Sidhero and Vidhon Island. The city of Kerkira extends across the Cape and along both the north and east facing coastlines. The Port facilities are located along the north facing coast.

The Port has no berthing for large ships. A 240-ft quay (26 ft alongside depth) located in the eastern portion of the Port, and an inner harbor formed by a detached breakwater that extends about 2100 ft westward from the quay area comprise the mooring and docking facilities. Small ships can moor stern on to the breakwater, but depths are not stated. A second detached breakwater is located to the west of the first one with a third planned by 1992 yet further to the west.

Anchorage can be made between the harbor and Vidhon Island at depths of approximately 98 ft with a stiff mud and clay bottom. Carriers typically anchor eastward of a north-south line from Cape Sidhero to Vidhon Island in 130 to 140 ft depths. This area has a mud bottom which provides poor holding. Caution is advised relative to anchor dragging when southerly winds of 22 to 33 kt or greater are expected. Secondary anchorages are located south of Cape Sidhero and north-northwest of Lazaretton Island. The anchorage south of Cape Sidhero in, and offshore from, Garitsa Bay provides protection from strong north-northwest winds. Depths are in excess of 66 ft at about 1/2 n mi offshore. The anchorage north-northwest of Lazaretton Island provides protection from the strong southerly winds occasionally experienced during winter. Depths range from 60 to 95 ft.

Within sight of Albania, green and luxuriant Corfu (Kerkira in Greek) is the most northerly of the Ionian Islands off the west coast of the Greek mainland. Its beaned has been celebrated in the writlogs of the Greek poet Homer, whose hero Odysseus enjoyed a brief but beguiling spot of liberty here on his voyage home from the wars. A few centuries later, playwright William Shakespeare adopted Corfu as the magical island setting for The Tempest. Today, Corfu's main rival for the position of top tourist destination in Greece is the island of Rhodes. It's a great favorite with the British, and modern-day visitors are sure to find Corfu and its people as delightful and welcoming as Odysseus ever did. Corfu's key position at the mouth of the Adriatic Sea assured the island of a turbulent and complex history. The first Corfoits (as the islanders are known) probably arrived in the 8th Century BC, and built a settlement on the Kanoni peninsula south of the present island capital (which is also called Corfu). Corinthians, Romans and Greeks fought over the strategic island for centuries before the Venetians finally took control in 1386. In medieval times, all the citizens of Corfu town used to live within the confines of the Old Fort citadel jutting into the sea. But as the population grew, the Venetians expanded west, towards the New Fort. The result was the picturesque Old Town, a charming maze of narrow streets, tall houses and small squares, now bursting at the seams with crafts shops, jewelry stores and hoards of sunburned visitors on the look out for bargains.

An important feature of the town is the fine Esplanade, one of the largest public squares in Europe. It's divided into two parts with gardens and a bandstand at one end, and a cricket pitch at the other - a very English memento of the brief period of 19th-Century British rule (1815 64). The Georgian-style Palace of St. Michael and St. George at the northern end is also a British leftover, while the French donated the elegant cafe-packed arcades of the Liston.

Aside from the main town, Corfu has plenty to offer the interested visitor. For sun worshippers there are beaches of all sizes and descriptions from pebble coves to generous sweeps of golden sand (mostly on the west coast). Or escape into the hills for a glimpse of the real Greece - Corfu's timeless mountain villages in the hilly northern part of the island, where traditional dress and donkey transport have survived despite the modern-day Babylon on the coast.

Corfu is just 33 miles long by 15 miles wide (at its broadest point), but traveling times are slow and the roads cover more than twice that distance as they meander around the hills and valleys of the interior. Northern Corfu is mountainous, with the highest peak, Pantokrator (2,972 feet), in the northeast. Much of- the inland region is densely wooded and phased with olive groves. Life here is very simple and slow, in complete contrast to the vacationers' playground down on the coast. To ensure you get to enjoy a slice of the action during your liberty, shuttle bus transportation will be available to ferry you to the popular resort of Ipsos (15 km/9 miles north), a mile-long strip of pubs, bars, pizzerias and discos facing the beach.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:46:23 ZULU