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Old 26-10-2016, 15:56   #16
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Re: Black Sea 2016

Thanks for a great write up. I like your positive approach.
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Old 26-10-2016, 16:21   #17
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Re: Black Sea 2016

Was talking to a local recently, and he gave me another reason to skip Crimea: harsh rules, strictly enforced by the coast guard. Which is really a shame, as it's by far the best stretch of Black Sea coast.

Out of curiosity: have you visited Abkhazia (an unrecognized state between Georgia and Russia)?
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Old 26-10-2016, 16:40   #18
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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Originally Posted by poiu View Post
Thanks for a great write up. I like your positive approach.
Indeed; I second that.

Nice people, especially curious and outgoing ones, attract good experiences while travelling, like magnets, and I think that is the main thing we are seeing here

I know this region quite well myself. I've done some sailing in Turkish and Russian waters, but mostly from land. My Father (whom Poiu has met in real life) did spend a whole summer in the Black Sea years ago, on his friend's boat.

Nevertheless every country is different. Turkey is one of my favorite places in the world for travelling for no purpose other than to wander around; Turkish people are exceptionally friendly and hospitable and I love the vibe in Istanbul (the world's first and original megapolis), where everyone is so soft-spoken and polite, with none of the shouting and squabbling you hear everywhere in Middle Eastern cities, and unfortunately even in many European ones. I've visited Turkey probably 50 times during my lifetime; my Father was in Turkey for the first time in the 1950's before I was born.

It's a real shame that Chuck and Patty didn't manage to visit Georgia, as this is an incredibly fascinating place, much more exotic than Turkey because it was behind the iron curtain for so long, much less developed than Turkey, but really extremely interesting and pleasant, with great hospitality and amazingly delicious food. Georgia is a weird crossroads between the old Persian empire and the old Russian one, and you can't tell at all whether it is East or West. There is a lot to see and do there; it's a country I introduced to one friend of mine who has since spent cumulatively more than a year there -- can't get enough of it.

The coastal areas of Bulgaria I do not find all that attractive -- Bulgaria is a poor country despite the EU connection and to me it's an unpleasant poverty. The coast is being built up with very cheap resort housing, worse than the worst in Spain and is rapidly losing its natural beauty, I'm afraid. Much more interesting if you go inland.

I commend Chuck and Patty for penetrating impenetrable Russia -- notoriously difficult for sailors to get into (Black Sea coast of Russia; the Baltic coast is completely different). I can't really agree that Sochi is the most beautiful city on earth, but I think they meant the setting, which is indeed spectacular, with the dramatic ridge of the mighty Caucasus Mountains, the highest in Europe, coming right down to the sea, blocking North winds and creating a subtropical microclimate. It is of course a very interesting place; just difficult to enter from the sea. The Sochi Yacht Club guys are wonderfully hospitable; I'm guessing that Chuck and Patty must have fallen in with them, which will have smoothed a lot of rough roads. I've sailed with them on some of their club boats and had a great time.



Anyway, terrific writeup, and congratulations to Chuck and Patty on such a fascinating cruise!! You should put up all your photos somewhere where we can see them.
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Old 27-10-2016, 00:13   #19
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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Originally Posted by RedHerring View Post
Was talking to a local recently, and he gave me another reason to skip Crimea: harsh rules, strictly enforced by the coast guard. Which is really a shame, as it's by far the best stretch of Black Sea coast.

Out of curiosity: have you visited Abkhazia (an unrecognized state between Georgia and Russia)?
Redherring -- funny you should ask -- when we were in Georgia our agent and a couple of barge captains told us to stay at least 20nm off the coast. We had 2 different Russians, our agent and a boat captain, tell us to stay 25nm off the coast. All said the same thing, piracy and no law and order. It was kinda funny that folks who fought over this little piece of property both said the same thing - it is dangerous.
Our rhumb line took us a bit over 20nm off shore so we were ok but we did spend the night watching the radar for anything moving -

As for the Crimea - in our discussions with the Russians our visa would have worked just fine and no different than entering Russia itself. But it is a real shame that politics got in the way as people in Russia and Ukraine both said the same thing that it is one of the most beautiful parts of the Black Sea.

As for the Russian Coast Guard - we had problems communicating on channel 16 - we called and called and got garble back - as we approached Sochi they came out and when close in 16 worked but barely and we switched to channel 17 and it was clear as a bell - we told them we had a apt at the pilot station at 1200 - we sent our agent an ssb message that we would be early - at 1000 as we had a good night sailing - and he came back said no won't be as you are scheduled at 1200 so be there at 1200 - the CG wanted some info and we gave them our agents name and then they sat with us for over 2 hours as we just sat off Sochi until 1200 when we hit the pilot station and permitted to enter the port - nice guys and very courtesy

We told our agent about the channel 16 problem and the agent we used in St Petersburg for our invite and both said they had heard of similar problems -
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Old 27-10-2016, 00:15   #20
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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Very well done Chuck..
It's pitty that you had to skip the Crimea. My wife is from Sevastapol and had a chance to visit the coast by car, hopefully one day I'll do it on my boat
By the way, if you happen to pass by Marmaris, come and see us to share a beer or two..
Cheers


Yeloya
Yeloyal -- we will be wintering over in Kusadasi and will be sailing south in the spring so if your invite is still open look forward to see you then and maybe a bit of Raki - I do not dilute mine by the way
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Old 27-10-2016, 00:37   #21
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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Indeed; I second that.


It's a real shame that Chuck and Patty didn't manage to visit Georgia, as this is an incredibly fascinating place, much more exotic than Turkey because it was behind the iron curtain for so long, much less developed than Turkey, but really extremely interesting and pleasant, with great hospitality and amazingly delicious food. Georgia is a weird crossroads between the old Persian empire and the old Russian one, and you can't tell at all whether it is East or West. There is a lot to see and do there; it's a country I introduced to one friend of mine who has since spent cumulatively more than a year there -- can't get enough of it.

DockHead -- thanks for that as from you that means a lot -- We did make Georgia - 2 stops and sorry it sounded like we did not. We stopped in Batumi and Poti - Batumi dockage was interesting and we had bit of an issue with the local kids wanting to use our boat as a diving platform but our agent David took care of that in short order - and we travelled inland to Tbilisi and on to Armenia - all by rail so we got to meet people and see the country side - a fascinating countries - both - In Poti we had to sit to wait weather and met some fascinating folks who spoke a bit of English at a local watering hole and one was a widow who drove a taxi and she took Patty out for a day - but I think Poti was bombed during short war with Russia and a lot of the port was in a small state of unkept - but the people were great - I went down to check on the shower (gone) and got invited by some guys there for a bit of cold vodka (how can you turn that down) they did look after us a bit and when we were going to leave one day they insisted that we stay - it was a bit rough - nice folks

The coastal areas of Bulgaria I do not find all that attractive -- Bulgaria is a poor country despite the EU connection and to me it's an unpleasant poverty. The coast is being built up with very cheap resort housing, worse than the worst in Spain and is rapidly losing its natural beauty, I'm afraid. Much more interesting if you go inland.

We loved Varna and wow what a beautiful place - we wandered all over and it is simply great and the people could not have been nicer - made some nice friends there - we did travel inland but last year from Albania - and yes it is a beautiful

We travelled a lot through most of the old Soviet block countries that have a Med or Black Sea coast and what we have observed or surmise is that the breakup of the Soviet Union left these countries bankrupt in terms of leadership, economy and an inner desire to achieve something on their own - we heard more than once how much better things were when the gov't gave me a house and a job and took care of me but that was from the older set while the younger set enjoyed the freedom to create new business and grow and experiment with capitalism - it will be interesting to watch what happens in the future




Anyway, terrific writeup, and congratulations to Chuck and Patty on such a fascinating cruise!! You should put up all your photos somewhere where we can see them.

Give me some suggestions as where to put pics and I will post them
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:18   #22
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Re: Black Sea 2016

When the ancient Greeks entered the Black Sea, they called it Pontos Aksenos which means inhospitable sea. After some years and the settlement of some colonies they changed the name to Pontos Euxinus, which means hospitable sea.

On my opinion, visiting the Danube Delta is a must - the largest natural wetland in Europe, with a fascinating biodiversity. Of course, you should leave the sailboat and rent a shallow draft motorboat from the locals. Also, I would not miss Vama Veche - a village close to Mangalia where the hippie lifestyle is still genuine.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:04   #23
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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When the ancient Greeks entered the Black Sea, they called it Pontos Aksenos which means inhospitable sea. After some years and the settlement of some colonies they changed the name to Pontos Euxinus, which means hospitable sea.

On my opinion, visiting the Danube Delta is a must - the largest natural wetland in Europe, with a fascinating biodiversity. Of course, you should leave the sailboat and rent a shallow draft motorboat from the locals. Also, I would not miss Vama Veche - a village close to Mangalia where the hippie lifestyle is still genuine.
We actually sailed up the Danube to Sulina which is at the end of the Delta and tied up there for a few days. yea we did not take the boat into the Delta but got a guide and boat for a day and wow is it amazing. we went a lot of places and saw a lot and the guide did a great job showing us the vast diversity of the Delta.

But when you leave you want to do it with lite winds and almost no east winds as the current down the channel with the wind against it can cause standing waves that can be quite big.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:29   #24
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Re: Black Sea 2016

Thanks Chuck, clear and to the point. We're in West Spain and intend doing the Med and have thought too of the Black Sea. We've a 43' Ketch and have lots of time. Maybe I'll contact again as we close the eastern med. Thanks again. Bob
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