Log

Submitted by jono on 12 Jun 2019.

I've nothing really planned for Bulgaria. Summer conditions. Easy sailing. No scheduled stops before 'the end'. Enough experience to know I'll complete this last bit, and would do so Monty Python 'Black Knight' style if required... The final days will perhaps be uneventful; sailed with a sense of 'seen it all before'. Accumulated fatigue having numbed mind as well as body.

Submitted by jono on 10 Jun 2019.

I have reached Burgas, Bulgaria. The windsurf part of windsurf round Europe is completed. The last days have had added significance. Sharing here the last major headland of the journey - Cape Emine.

Body is tired. Arms and fingers say the time is right to hang up the harness, and stow the paddle, for a while. Feeling tearfully grateful to life, our planet, all the many many people who have supported this unsupported voyage.

Submitted by jono on 08 Jun 2019.

After 2 years sailing and tweaking, this is how my expedition gear is set up on the final days (sniff) of the maritime stage. Each section is followed by pictures that explain each point. Click on images for captions.

Submitted by jono on 04 Jun 2019.

Sulina to Danube Delta

A rough sail. Strong onshore wind. Very shallow water. First part going upwind and offshore but never deep enough water to be properly 'out back'. 2m+ waves increasingly breaking. As coast bends and course becomes more open decide to crash in and stay inshore until tip of 7nm long sand spit. Daggerboard creaking and jammed requires swim to retract. Very hectic. Take a few tumbles from white water sideswipes (a little explanation here).

Submitted by jono on 28 May 2019.

Thanks to lots of help from Max in Odessa, official clearance was received to sail up into the Danube delta to complete customs and immigration procedures at the port of Vylkove.

Odessa to Vylkove takes three approach days of 25nm, 20nm, 20nm (all into the wind). Long days, but enjoyable, and with a nice expedition feel because this is a very empty coastline indeed. Sensible decision making and adequate water supply is needed.

Submitted by jono on 22 May 2019.

Some extra days in Odessa whilst we find a resolution to the next border issue. The Ukraine-Romania border meets the Black Sea at the Danube delta and on the Ukrainian side there are (in theory) no "ports of entry/exit" anywhere near, so we are applying to Customs for a workaround.

Contacts Max (https://www.surflaguna.club/) and Alexandr are making the delay a real pleasure, and it is fascinating to be in this city: visiting the centre either by bike or public transport whilst residing in a more typical residential area.

Submitted by jono on 18 May 2019.

Guide to pictures

[pic 1] Fisherman Vaxo totally rescued me after an exhausting effort to reach Batumi: shower and bed on board, and the best tasting salami and butter I can remember.

The next day's ferry to Ukraine was "full", or at least a ticket wasn't going to be sold at "short" notice, so I had a few days in Batumi waiting for the next one. When Vaxo took leave from his boat I also left, not wanting to impose.

Submitted by jono on 13 May 2019.

Norway to Georgia by windsurfer: FINAL LEG of continuous track.
Sailed/paddled continuous, solo, unsupported.
Hopa: last port of exit in Turkey - to Batumi: port of entry in Georgia is 18nm.

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The wind is too light for upwind sailing to yield useful result. With continual pumping a marginally more respectable angle can be achieved, but it is exhausting and not a strategy for the long haul.

Submitted by jono on 10 May 2019.

Today I arrived at Hopa – last port of Turkey large enough to have a coastguard and customs presence. Tomorrow I sign out and set off for the border with Georgia, now 10 miles to the north-east. More near-zero headwinds and a messy sea meant that today’s 8nm were tough. Clawing away with the techniques and resolve developed over the last 2 years is at times painful but delivers miles and ultimately satisfaction. Each day a little battle. Strategy for a few days ahead.

Submitted by jono on 01 May 2019.

When the sun comes out it certainly has some heat now. Click to play this video update of the last few days...