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
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
harbors with wonderful people and sights and sounds and food
was a bit surprising but agent David worked everything out for us and kept the boat
safe when we travelled inland.
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
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.