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Old 24-10-2016, 03:44   #1
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Black Sea 2016

It is late October and we are sitting Canakkale waiting to head to Kusadasi for the winter. We made it all the way around the Black Sea and as we were told many times by the people who live there it is called Black on purpose and we agree with that. We saw only a couple of other boats, one from Istanbul to Georgia and back and a couple from Istanbul to Bulgaria and back.

But wow what a trip, but we would not recommend to just anyone. It was hard and you have to have patience and work with what you get. We sailed the Northern Turkish coast and used our early out early in and by in we mean by 12-1300 to miss the worst winds and seas. And the seas get up in a hurry and short steep and close - perhaps 2-4 sec intervals. But lots of great little ports and fishing harbors with wonderful people and sights and sounds and food.
Georgia was a bit surprising but agent David worked everything out for us and kept the boat safe when we travelled inland.
Russia was a real treat and Sochi is perhaps the most beautiful city in the world - at least in our opinion. The Russians were great and we got to participate in a boat parade in honor of the Russian navy and boy was that a hit there. The people were great and gracious and we made many friends there. We sailed all the way to Anapa before departing Russia.
Crimea was a different story. We wanted to go but the Russians warned us not to go for our sake as we could have problems in Odessa, Turkey, EU and the USA if we got a Crimea passport stamp. They told us they really wanted us to visit but advised against it. So sad politics got in the way.
Odessa has perhaps the best and by far the best look dock manager we have ever met. And yes we had to answer no 3 times when they asked if we went to Crimea and we actually took in our log book with 6 hours logging on our position for the 3 day sail around the Crimea. But Odessa is wonderful and a great stop as is Ukraine.
Romania was really different as we sailed up the Danube. You can spend a lot of time in the delta but not on your boat if you want to see it and we left SoulMates and took a tour. A couple of more stops in Romania before we wandered down to Bulgaria and what was suppose to be a couple of stops but the Black Sea Tall Ship Regatta was coming into Varna so we stayed and it really cost us in terms of weather change.
When it is advised to get out of the Black Sea by Sept 30 they mean it. We did not as we stayed for the regatta and the fronts started coming through and began to move farther south and we got caught and had to run between fronts on short days.
We wanted to be in Kusadasi by mid Oct but now in Canakkale for what looks like a week as the Med has winds of 20-40k for the next week so that little tall ship thing really cost but us the memories and friends we made there makes up for it.

We had perhaps the best summer ever and what we saw experienced and learned was beyond anything we could have imagined. But if you go remember one thing that we heard over and over from big boat captains in every country we visited - and these are guys are masters of 300+ foot boats - and have sailed all over the world and told us the Black Sea is by far the worst, so go prepared, go with the weather - we had got to Russia 3 days late on our visa and left 4 days early because of weather, and enjoy an unspoiled cruising destinations.
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Old 24-10-2016, 04:20   #2
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Hey Chuck n Patti.. glad to hear you guys had a fun time.. sounds like the Black Sea is a step up from the Marmaris in weather and sea's.. I remember similar weather heading East from the Canakalle to Pendik.. nasty NE'lys after midday and short sea's.
Enjoy your winter in Kusadasi..
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Old 24-10-2016, 04:46   #3
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Re: Black Sea 2016

Cannakkale? Did u take the ferry to ANZAC cove and see the World War 1 battlefields?

Great to hear about the Black Sea. Not on my priority list at all.

You guys are very intrepid!

Except the "Sail only in the correct season"!!!
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Old 24-10-2016, 10:28   #4
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Re: Black Sea 2016

We only sailed the north coast of Turkey, but what a wonderful area. Lots of small harbors and the people were incredibly friendly. We saw no other cruising boats.

But now I wish we had gone to Russia too!
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Old 24-10-2016, 12:40   #5
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Re: Black Sea 2016

What a great adventure, we thought about it when we were in Kusadasi but decided we didn't have the time but you guys did it, so good on ya. That's a voyage that very few people make and you both should give yourselves a pat on the back. R
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Old 24-10-2016, 13:53   #6
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Re: Black Sea 2016

What a fantastic and supremely cool adventure!! Nice write up, too. Can you post some pictures? Particularly the dock manager in Odessa
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Old 24-10-2016, 14:58   #7
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Re: Black Sea 2016

Thank's for sharing

Do you post pictures somewhere?
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Old 25-10-2016, 00:11   #8
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Hey Chuck n Patti.. glad to hear you guys had a fun time.. sounds like the Black Sea is a step up from the Marmaris in weather and sea's.. I remember similar weather heading East from the Canakalle to Pendik.. nasty NE'lys after midday and short sea's.
Enjoy your winter in Kusadasi..
Thanks Boatman -- the Black Sea is kinda like the Marmaris on steroids - you just have to be patient and work with what it gives you -- glad we are not like you and doing a delivery where time counts and we took our time - -

Hope to see you again in Kusadasi this winter
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Old 25-10-2016, 00:14   #9
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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Cannakkale? Did u take the ferry to ANZAC cove and see the World War 1 battlefields?

Great to hear about the Black Sea. Not on my priority list at all.

You guys are very intrepid!

Except the "Sail only in the correct season"!!!
Thanks Mark -- we did take the ferry across last May when we stopped here on the way north - incredible battle field and the stupidity and arrogance of some and the bravery of others - such carnage -
Oh and did Troy too -
we will be here about 3-4 days yet so looking to see what we have not seen - we really don't want to head into the Med with 25-35k winds - to old for that

As for the season absolutely Mark but gosh we had such great time and met so many great sailors from the tall ships and local sailors - but there is a cost and we are paying it now -

Had a tough time in what was to be lite winds on sunday getting into Canakkale as the winds funneled down the Dardanelles so 10k became 25k and the seas got up to 2-3' behind us on a very short interval - auto pilot had a hard time so tried to hand steer but it was very hazy and we could not see a 300' ship 1nm ahead of us so no reference to steer by and in close confines we went back to ap - it held - oh yea and we were doing between 7.5 and 9k - sometimes we were consistent between 8-9k - it was quite a ride --
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Old 25-10-2016, 00:19   #10
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Re: Black Sea 2016

[QUOTE=Jim Thomsen;2242180]We only sailed the north coast of Turkey, but what a wonderful area. Lots of small harbors and the people were incredibly friendly. We saw no other cruising boats.

But now I wish we had gone to Russia too![/QUOTE

Jim the tough part was getting the visa -- we worked on it for about 2-3 months to get it and get it right - the timing was the biggest hurdle - when would we get there? But wow the Russians were so great and we traveled inland to Volgograd (Stalingrad), Moscow and St Petersburg - had a incredible journey -

and when you show up flying that American flag and they find out you sailed there - you simply can't drink that much vodka in toasts to us (but we tried) - Oh and the toasts were to us sailing there and friendship between sailors and new friends -
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Old 25-10-2016, 00:36   #11
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Re: Black Sea 2016

to all who ask about pics we put a lot of them on facebook page - search on boat svsoulmates - name nikita mears - it a public page so anyone can see it - go back far enough like late may and you will see the pics - And as for Oksana -

She managed to find us some racor fuel filters that we could not find anywhere - we took 6 into the Black Sea and were on our last one and she worked miracles - in 50k winds she was out on the dock making sure boats were safe and adjusting dock lines - a simple incredible lady
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Old 25-10-2016, 12:13   #12
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
It is late October and we are sitting Canakkale waiting to head to Kusadasi for the winter. We made it all the way around the Black Sea and as we were told many times by the people who live there it is called Black on purpose and we agree with that. We saw only a couple of other boats, one from Istanbul to Georgia and back and a couple from Istanbul to Bulgaria and back.

But wow what a trip, but we would not recommend to just anyone. It was hard and you have to have patience and work with what you get. ...
That part is a bit puzzling can you explain?

I have the boat very near Turkey (Kavala) and had plans to sail till the Black Sea, mainly for doing the Dardanelos straight and go to Istambul. On Kavala and around there are lots of boats from countries that have Black Sea coats and they said to me that the Black sea suffered from pollution and from the lack of Anchorages. Can you comment on that?

I didn't go because I didn't like the political situation on Turkey neither in Russia/Ucrania but I have sailed in 2014 on the North Coast of Turkey, out of the touristic zones and I did not find the locals very welcoming. Mostly Muslims, on the radical side, with women fully dressed and going to the sea for a bath fully covered. On the last years fundamentalism has been growing on these parts and the old Turkey, the most ocidental of all Islamic countries is disappearing. The recent Political developments are according with those facts.
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Old 26-10-2016, 01:26   #13
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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That part is a bit puzzling can you explain?

I have the boat very near Turkey (Kavala) and had plans to sail till the Black Sea, mainly for doing the Dardanelos straight and go to Istambul. On Kavala and around there are lots of boats from countries that have Black Sea coats and they said to me that the Black sea suffered from pollution and from the lack of Anchorages. Can you comment on that?

I didn't go because I didn't like the political situation on Turkey neither in Russia/Ucrania but I have sailed in 2014 on the North Coast of Turkey, out of the touristic zones and I did not find the locals very welcoming. Mostly Muslims, on the radical side, with women fully dressed and going to the sea for a bath fully covered. On the last years fundamentalism has been growing on these parts and the old Turkey, the most ocidental of all Islamic countries is disappearing. The recent Political developments are according with those facts.
HUM -- 1st on the pollution - we saw less garbage in the Black Sea than anywhere and we saw more dolphins than anywhere we have been - the dolphins were so numerous except on the southbound part when it got cold.
as for anchorages - there are very few and what are there are fair weather only but there are fishing harbors everywhere and the people were more than welcoming - the fishermen actually waved us in and told us where to tie up - and I think we only paid in a couple of spots in Turkey -
in this pic we went into Trabzon and a fisherman lead us in and we had been stopped by the Turkish CG who suggested we get a new flag so we asked some guys sitting in cay house and asked for a chandlery - 1 guy asked in English where we were from and we said USA and asked what we wanted - we told him and he said sit and said something to a guy who disappeared and then ordered us something to drink and it was Ramadan and they insisted we drink and the guy brought us back a flag as a gift to us
in the next pic I went to take a pic of SoulMates across the harbor and guys were drinking cay - still Ramadan - and invited me to cay - a bit of broken English/Turkish and we had a good talk and they gave me a china tea cup -
we went into Triebolu and the winds kicked up and we had 25k and seas 3'+ seas on a 2-4 sec interval - it was ugly and we pounded our way in and had to turn 180 deg to get in past the breakwater - it was a bit scary but when we dock the boat a guy drove up and said he had watched us come in gave us some bread and cherries and welcomed us -
and in Rize we went to the tourist information and met the young lady who gave us a lot of hints on what to see and how to get there - she was funny as well as beautiful -
As for Russia - perhaps the nicest people who were incredible helpful and very funny - we would go back again
Ukraine was simply wonderful and the people especially Oksana and a cab driver who knew the city like the back of his hand and helped us find some parts we needed in places we would have never found
and on and on -
we spent last winter in Kusadasi and will do so again - to us it was simply an incredible voyage would we do it again - YEP
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Old 26-10-2016, 04:54   #14
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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HUM -- 1st on the pollution - we saw less garbage in the Black Sea than anywhere and we saw more dolphins than anywhere we have been - the dolphins were so numerous except on the southbound part when it got cold.
as for anchorages - there are very few and what are there are fair weather only but there are fishing harbors everywhere and the people were more than welcoming - the fishermen actually waved us in and told us where to tie up - and I think we only paid in a couple of spots in Turkey -
in this pic we went into Trabzon and a fisherman lead us in and we had been stopped by the Turkish CG who suggested we get a new flag so we asked some guys sitting in cay house and asked for a chandlery - 1 guy asked in English where we were from and we said USA and asked what we wanted - we told him and he said sit and said something to a guy who disappeared and then ordered us something to drink and it was Ramadan and they insisted we drink and the guy brought us back a flag as a gift to us
in the next pic I went to take a pic of SoulMates across the harbor and guys were drinking cay - still Ramadan - and invited me to cay - a bit of broken English/Turkish and we had a good talk and they gave me a china tea cup -
we went into Triebolu and the winds kicked up and we had 25k and seas 3'+ seas on a 2-4 sec interval - it was ugly and we pounded our way in and had to turn 180 deg to get in past the breakwater - it was a bit scary but when we dock the boat a guy drove up and said he had watched us come in gave us some bread and cherries and welcomed us -
and in Rize we went to the tourist information and met the young lady who gave us a lot of hints on what to see and how to get there - she was funny as well as beautiful -
As for Russia - perhaps the nicest people who were incredible helpful and very funny - we would go back again
Ukraine was simply wonderful and the people especially Oksana and a cab driver who knew the city like the back of his hand and helped us find some parts we needed in places we would have never found
and on and on -
we spent last winter in Kusadasi and will do so again - to us it was simply an incredible voyage would we do it again - YEP
It seems really very nice. What you are describing is about what you get on most places where tourists are rare and the old hospitality is not yet a lost thing.

We use to look for those places cruising by car. This year we have done that at the end of the season on Macedonia and Thracia, cruising by car. And yes tourism was so rare that people offered us things they like just for the pleasure of sharing.

Regarding cruising on a boat we really like to be on anchor and being on a port or marina spoils most of the fun for us but I understand why you found cruising those parts so refreshing. Maybe I will have ago at those parts next year, at the end of the sailing season, but by car.

Perhaps we can meet next year for a cup of wine. I intend to go South in April/May to the South Sporades, Cyclades and Dodecanese Islands before the wind gets too strong. I have been there already and loved the region and I saw on the facebook that you have not been there yet.
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Old 26-10-2016, 13:54   #15
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Re: Black Sea 2016

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


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