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Old 13-04-2009, 17:20   #1
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Is Black Sea a 'Dead End' ?

So I have been looking at my charts every night planning my trip in a few years, and I have read stories of boats that have sailed the Black Sea and visited Istanbul and such.

So, once you sail past Istanbul from the Med into the Black Sea, is the only way out of the Black Sea the way you came in?

Does the Black Sea connect to the Caspian Sea?

S.
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Old 13-04-2009, 18:20   #2
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Black Sea connects to the Caspian Sea thru the Don River, Volga-Don Canal and Volga River. Volga-Don Canal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
According to Noonsite: The global site for cruising sailors there are very limited yacht facilites in that area.
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Old 14-04-2009, 15:36   #3
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So once you go in the Black Sea, the only way out is the way you came passing in the straight of Istanbul.
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Old 14-04-2009, 16:09   #4
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I bet there is a canal system clear through to the Baltic.But I dont know if they would allow a yacht and if it was safe.But it would be a hell of an adventure.
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Old 14-04-2009, 18:16   #5
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We met Rick and Shiela Nelson who wrote the Black Sea Cruising Guide which is now out of print. Details are below but my guess is that it will be difficult to find except through a specialist. If I were going, I would definitely try to find a copy as it is quite detailed and as far as I know, the only English guide to the Black Sea. There is also a short cruiser wiki at:Black Sea - CruiserlogWiki


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Old 18-04-2009, 03:50   #6
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Corrections to Rick & Sheila Nelson’s Black Sea Cruising Guide (1997 supplement):

http://www.eaubleue.com/DocPDF/Cruis...lack%20Sea.pdf
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Old 18-04-2009, 07:49   #7
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FWIW - I hope you keep up with the regional politics and stability prior to showing up The Black Sea region (particularly the Eastern part) is susceptible to an ever changing political climate. We - in the US - are rather handicapped in the "in depth" international news department. I believe this is one of those areas where the "internet" shines

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Old 18-04-2009, 13:58   #8
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I bet there is a canal system clear through to the Baltic.But I dont know if they would allow a yacht and if it was safe.But it would be a hell of an adventure.

Indeed there is. And indeed, you can do it in a yacht. And it is safe. A bit of a bureaucratic nightmare, however.

Have a look on Google Earth. Basically, working your way around teh Black Sea clockwise, you've got Bulgaria, Romana, Ukraine (including the fabled port of Odessa, and the Crimea), Russia (including Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, where palms and lemons grow), disputed Abkhazia (Sukhumi), Georgia (Poti in Adzharia), then Turkey again, inluding the ancient ports of Trabzon and Sinop.

If you want to get to the Caspian, you can go up the Don (one of Europe's greatest rivers) and thus enter the great Russian inland river system, the biggest interconnected inland waterway in the world. Through the Volga-Don Canal, as someone mentioned, down the Volga, and you're in the Caspian. Or you could go UP the Volga, on the other hand, which is Europe's greatest river, the Amazon of Europe, and you can go through a different canal system all the way up to Ladoga, Europe's biggest lake, from there through the Neva to St. Petersburg and on to the Baltic Sea. I don't believe you would have to step your mast; this route is navigated by quite big ships.

Like this you could theoretically make a Great Loop of Europe, but this would be much vaster than the American Great Loop. Yes -- a hell of an adventure.

If you decide to do it, I know the person, and can introduce you, who was the guide for the first Western yacht to do this route (except they started from the other direction, from St. Petersburg), in 1998 it was, I think.

If you don't feel like dealing with Russian bureaucrats on the Don; you could go up the Danube. That great river, which dumps into the Black Sea near the Ukrainian-Romanian border, would take you through the capital cities of four European countries -- Belgrade, Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna, and not far from a fifth -- Bucharest. I think you can probably get up as far as Regensburg, in Germany, without stepping your mast, a couple thousand km from the sea.
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Old 18-04-2009, 13:59   #9
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From the Black Sea you can get back to central Europe via the Danube river, it's navigable from the Black Sea to the North Sea. As already mentioned, the Caspian is reachable via the Don-Volga canal, however the last I heard the Russians do not let foreign flagged pleasure craft on in their inland waters.
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Old 18-04-2009, 14:07   #10
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Originally Posted by Sailndive345 View Post
FWIW - I hope you keep up with the regional politics and stability prior to showing up The Black Sea region (particularly the Eastern part) is susceptible to an ever changing political climate. We - in the US - are rather handicapped in the "in depth" international news department. I believe this is one of those areas where the "internet" shines

Fair winds!

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Right. Abkhazia, which forms most of the eastern shore of the Black Sea, seceded from Georgia in 1993. My wife, a teenager at the time, happened to be there on vacation when it happened, and barely escaped with her life. At present, Abkhazia is protected by Russia and stable, but of course you would want to check the news before sailing into Sukhumi.

Ukraine is a little shaky at the moment, having suffered a real economic meltdown. I don't think anything could happen there that would represent a threat to foreign yachtsmen, but again, check your news before sailing up into Odessa harbor with the Q flag out.

All these post-Soviet countries are pure hell with regard to bureaucracy. Have visas and thoroughly check all the requirements before setting out. Russia is the worst -- you can't even sail from one Russian port to another, as a foreign yacht, without checking out and checking back in again (which means you need a multientry visa). You'll encounter a mountain of red tape, but a really extremely friendly welcome from the local yachtsmen, if you sail in this part of the world.
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Old 18-04-2009, 14:36   #11
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Old 25-04-2009, 10:33   #12
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We've shared a drink with yacht skippers who sailed (or rather motored) Holland to Turkey via Rivers and canals into Black Sea then out past Istambul.
But going the other way with a yacht engine? Not to be recommended.
Looking via google is nice, but it does not show the strength of river flow experienced down most of these rivers. IMHO go east OK from Baltic to Black Sea, but go back west via Med and French Canals.
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Old 30-06-2009, 04:27   #13
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Reaching Iranian shore of Caspian Sea

When considering real estate the issue of having sailable waters nearby - by preference open to the world seas - always comes up.
Grace to this thread we now know for sure the Caspian Sea can be reached (at least 'geographically' maybe not politically) from e.g. the Mediterranean Sea.
We've had the opportunity to obtain some real estate in on the Iranian coast of the Caspian Sea some time ago so...

Has any one made it ever to the Iranian shore of the Caspian Sea?
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:22   #14
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A friend took a sailboat built in the Czech Republic down to the Med through France, and has pictures of it being towed by one of the big tug/barge combinations up one of the rivers where the current was too strong for the boat. It looked like they were doing about 9 knots.
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Old 03-08-2009, 15:29   #15
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The Rhine-Main-Danube Canal links, as the name implies, the Danube with the Rhine River. So you may in fact sail all the way to the North Sea. The main challenge, as I understand it, is the strong current in parts of the Danube, 6-8 knots in some places. So you'd need a strong engine and long waterline if attempting it with a sailboat. There have also been reports of piracy in some parts of Rumania, where boats are recommended not to stop for the night.
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