Here’s Hoping Russia Will Allow Cruising Sailors a Chance to Realize Their Sochi Dreams, Too

Photo: Gyatso on Black Sea. Credit: Lisa Borre.

The closest we were able to bring Gyatso to Russia was 30 miles offshore. Photo by Lisa Borre.

By Lisa Borre

Watching the Olympics this year, I envy the athletes, but not just for their incredible athletic achievements at the world’s premier international sporting event. My added envy is because they’ve done something else I haven’t. They’re in Sochi, a place my husband David and I were not allowed to visit just a few years ago.

This is a first world problem, I admit. But Russia isn’t a third world country either. And yet that’s what it felt like when we tried to visit Russia’s Black Sea coast aboard our American-flagged sailboat. Continue reading

Gyatso Catches a Ride Home from the Med

Photo: Tayana 37 Gyatso shipment from Med.

Gyatso being loaded onto the deck of the ship that will carry it from Palma de Mallorca, Spain to Palm Beach, Florida.

Yesterday, while everyone else was tuning in to watch the America’s Cup finals, David was on a flight somewhere over Newfoundland. Earlier in the day, he had tied up Gyatso alongside the ship that would carry our beloved boat home and was rushed to the airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain just in time to catch a flight home.

A last-minute delay prevented him from being there to watch Gyatso get hoisted up onto the deck of the freighter, along with about ten other boats and regular freight. Over the weekend we learned from Sevenstar Yacht Transport, the shipping company we’re using to ship Gyatso home from the Med, that the ship would not arrive until the evening of Tuesday the 24th. The new loading time would not be until 2:00 p.m. on the 25th, but David’s flight was booked for noon on the same day. Continue reading

The Black Sea Cruising Guide Gets a Good Review

The Black Sea book coverHappy 2013! We’ve been busy in the off-season with various writing projects, including another book, this one about Sierra Leone, edited by David, and contributions to a NatGeo blog on global lake topics written by Lisa.

See our updated Publications page for links to books, blogs, and articles about our sailing adventures aboard Gyatso and other topics of interest to us.

We’re also starting to see reviews of The Black Sea cruising guide and receive feedback from cruising sailors who have used it.

Continue reading

Final Leg for 2012: Southern Italy to Sicily

Photo: Sunset Siracusa Grand Harbor. Credit: L. Borre.

Sunset over the anchorage in Siracusa Grand Harbor

We sailed from Southern Italy to Sicily for the final leg of our 2012 cruise in the Mediterranean, arriving in Marina di Ragusa on 19 September. The voyage took us from Santa Maria de Leuca on the heel of Italy, across the Gulf of Taranto to Crotone, along the sole of the boot to Rocella Ionica, across the Gulf of Squilace to Riposto, Sicily and then south to Siracusa (see map).

We visited many of the same ports this year as when we were headed east in 2009 (see Logbook Archive for Southern Italy and Sicily). Siracusa was at the top of the list of places we wanted to visit again, so we were thrilled to have another week in scenic Grand Harbor. Late in the season, it’s a gathering place for migrating cruisers headed to their winter berths. We anchored in the company of several American-flagged boats and others passed through on their way to Malta, Tunisia, or like us, to Marina di Ragusa in Sicily. Continue reading

At anchor in Lakka, Paxos

Gyatso in Italia…Again

A southerly breeze carried us to the “heel of the boot” of Italy on Monday. We’re in Santa Maria de Leuca, a small summer resort town that is in the process of closing down for the season. A tall white lighthouse marking the Cape beams its light above the harbor at night. After sailing 160 miles in four days, we were ready for a lay day or two while waiting for the winds to become more favorable for crossing the Gulf of Taranto to the “sole of the boot.” Continue reading

“The Black Sea” cruising guide now available in North America

We have good news for those of you who have been asking where to buy The Black Sea cruising guide that we wrote. The guide is now available in North America from the following distributors: Landfall NavigationMaryland Nautical and The Nautical Mind.

The book was published in April 2012 as a joint venture between the RCC Pilotage Foundation and Imray (both based in the UK) and is also available for purchase through their websites.

A list of suggested reading is provided in The Black Sea. For anyone interested in further reading on the topic, you can find these titles and more in the Gyatso Bookstore hosted by Amazon Associates.

Aproaching Bari, Italy by ferry. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Back in Annapolis, Gyatso Awaits our Return to Greece

We arrived back in Annapolis just over a week ago after leaving Gyatso berthed in Preveza, Greece. We flew back to the states from Rome, so our journey home involved an overnight ferry ride to Italy, a brief stay in Bari and the fast train to Rome — a mini travel adventure in itself. We stayed a night at a hotel near the historic district in Bari and spent two days wandering the narrow alleyways, visiting the impressive cathedrals and getting our fill of the Puglia region’s culinary treats, including olives, seafood and pasta. Their gelato wasn’t too bad either! It was a nice way to break-up the long trip home. Continue reading