From the White Sea to the Black Sea by Sail

fromwhite-to-blackseaIn the spring and summer of 2013 sailing yacht Tanui will sail through Russian internal waters. Tanui will be crewed by John Vallentine (Captain) and Maxine Mathers. This has been done before by only three other foreign-flagged yachts. As from 2012, Russia and the rest of Europe have opened their internal waterways to each other. Licenses are no long needed as before.

Photo-JVJohn Vallentine mentioned as to why he is doing this trip: “I am interested in Viking history and researching it”, he is also “looking at the possibility of a cruising guide for intrepid yachties who follow. Also, because I am here, and because you die.” Maxine Mathers said: “I never quite could stomach Russian tourism outside of Moscow but on a sailing boat it seems to lower the threshold.” As to potential problems, Maxine commented: “Obviously there are general bureaucratic problems. The license for foreign vessels to cruise the Russian inland waterways has been abolished recently. That knowledge probably won’t have filtered down yet to local levels. So I am sure we will get a few questions during the trip. And then play it by ear, I suppose? As we always do.”

IMG_5865proposed-routeThis trip is part of the 2013, Netherlands-Russia year programme. See:

Tanui will depart in Tromsø (Norway) in the middle of May. She will sail around the North Cape to enter Russian territorial waters. Entry formalities into the Russian Federation will be in Murmansk. After that the yacht will carry on around the Kola Peninsula as soon as the pack ice clears. She will stock up on provisions at Archangelsk before crossing to the Solovetsky Islands. Tanui will enter Russian internal waters at Belomorsk to sail from the White Sea all the way down to the Black Sea. Departure will be from Azov. The distance of this trip amounts to about 2,700 miles.

On board of a foreign vessel there must be one person who speaks Russian AND has ICC/CEVNI. (These are the sailing qualifications). Maxine commented that “it would be nice if we had some more people who just could provide that. And preferably some English too. And if other boats could join us for (parts of) the trip, that would be fun. We are inviting other yachts to join us for the whole or part of this trip.”

Planned arrival Murmansk: 1 June 2013
Planned departure Azov: 10 September 2013