Skadovsk & Dzharylgach Island: An unsettled night at anchor becomes a pleasant nighttime sail

Photo: port of Skadovsk, Ukraine. Credit: Lisa Borre.
We stopped long enough in Skadovsk to find out that yachts are definitely not welcome in Ukrainian commercial ports. Photo by Lisa Borre.

Black Sea Logbook Entry

Date: 8/14/2010
Distance: 59 nm
Sailed from: Chornomorske, Ukraine
Lat: 46° 00.9’N
Long: 33° 04.1’E

The weather was favorable for us to make a slight detour into the lagoon behind Dzharylgach Island to visit the summer resort of Skadovsk, and its commercial harbor which had a favorable write-up in the previous Black Sea cruising guide. To make a long story short, we spent several hours dealing with local officials scrutinizing our ship’s papers, approved crew list, transit log, etc. For some reason, it is always a female officer in high heels that gets bent out of shape. This one found a “big problem” with the way the officials in Yevpatoria processed our paperwork, so she confiscated our transit permit and issued us a new one after an hour-long wait. In doing so, she undid the permit we received to proceed to Odessa and changed it to Kherson, a port we might have visited if we had time and weather permitted, but this was unlikely.

To top it off, the harbormaster and a volunteer “interpreter” levied harbor charges for the night as if we were a supertanker full of crude oil. We said “no, thank you” and informed the officials we were departing immediately. The wind had died in the late afternoon, but we still had time to back track 10 miles to an anchorage at the eastern tip of the island. On the way, we crossed paths with Makani and called them on the radio to tell them about the unfriendly officials. They decided to turn around and follow us to the anchorage.

We both arrived and found enough shelter from the easterly wind as the sun was setting. Unfortunately, the wind shifted to the northeast during the night with the building seas, waking us from our sleep, but this created an opportunity for a pleasant nighttime sail.