The latest update to our cruising guide to the Black Sea was published in May. Supplement No 5 for the 1st Edition (2012) of The Black Sea is now available on the RCC Pilotage Foundation (RCCPF) and Imray websites.
From the RCCPF website:
Despite the security situation making the area more problematic for yachts, it remains a very interesting destination. Lisa Borre and David Read Barker have produced a comprehensive supplement giving details of the many changes that have taken place in this area since the publication of the book.
We understand from our sailing friend Zafer Türkmen in Istanbul that there will be a rally along the Turkish coast of the Black Sea this summer to Samsun, Turkey from the 3rd to the 29th of July 2017. For more information or to follow the DADD RALLI 2017, visit their Facebook page. Continue reading New Supplement to Black Sea Cruising Guide→
When hauling out Gyatso two weeks ago, the reality finally sank in: our 8 1/2 year voyage had come to an end. I was grateful and relieved that we had completed the journey safely and sad because it meant the end of long-distance cruising for us.
We’ve been busy since our last logbook update, which was about loading Gyatso on a freighter for the trip back from Europe. I wrote about our experience with “Shipping Home” in the December 2013 issue of SpinSheet magazine.
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.
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 Gyatso Catches a Ride Home from the Med→
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 Final Leg for 2012: Southern Italy to Sicily→
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 Gyatso in Italia…Again→
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 Back in Annapolis, Gyatso Awaits our Return to Greece→
An easterly wind carried us through the Corinth Canal to Galaxidhi, the same port we visited three years ago. The wind shifted to the west the following day, so we waited for it to drop before continuing westward to pass under the Rion bridge and into the Gulf of Patras.We spent five days catching up on some work we brought along, taking leisurely strolls through town and enjoying seafood dinners in the local taverna.
We had a surprise visitor to Gyatso after dinner last night: an endangered marine mammal rarely seen in the Aegean Sea. We had just returned from one of the local tavernas ashore: cuttlefish in wine sauce for David and a hearty vegetable soup for me. It was already dark, the only light coming from the street lamps on the quay where we were rafted off the British yacht, Stratagem. Luckily, I had only a sip of ouzo to drink before dinner with neighbors Sandra and Ray, or I might not have believed my eyes. Continue reading Mediterranean Monk Seal Pays a Visit in Kithnos→
We’ve been underway for just over a week and completed four passages as we island-hop our way through Greece. Although we are not in our usual leisurely cruising mode, we are quickly getting back into a routine of moving when the wind and weather allow.
Our days of open-ended cruising have come to an end, and the main purpose of this trip is to move Gyatso from point A (Marmaris, Turkey) to point B (Corfu, Greece). This requires a different mind set than when we were cruising full-time, one that has an end date looming in a matter of weeks, not months and years. We’re adjusting, but this early in the season, it is a real test in patience. Twice we’ve set out in hopes of making a passage but turned back when the conditions proved uncomfortable. We decided that we were pushing the schedule too hard and have settled back into our tried-and-true approach of letting the weather dictate our movements.