Russia to Russia

Submitted by jono on 11 Dec 2018.

An update and clarification of intentions:

Now counting down the remaining miles of Greece.

At Keramoti a no-wind day and the option to stay another night on the boat. So a good opportunity to tick off some overdue 'proper' work of the type that pays expenses. Later a pleasant ponder and wander round the sand spit that protects this pretty port. Then, next day, with clear conscience and skies, a 17nm against the wind victory. Fresh and invigorating.

That evening under the sail I am 'discovered' by voices with torches - the Hellenic Rescue Team looking to help out in any way they can again. We agree to link up tomorrow but for now I'm fine here.

Next day is a paddle. But a beautiful one. I drink in the winter colours and distant horizons that in some ways transport me back to East Anglia, and am uplifted and joyful. Without the cold wind of yesterday, today's mild stillness would go unappreciated. How decaffeinated life would be without contrast. Another contrast is that when sailing upwind concentration is required to keep the nose climbing over or cleanly slicing the waves; but paddling on the flat the mind can wander. And today the thoughts roam...

The easily reached objective is Porto Lagos. Giorgos and HRT friends arrive to help out, and a local hotel provide a warm room. Thanks especially to Giorgos.

Next morning another easy paddle to Fanari. Nothing planned here but sure enough HRT are on the case... I'm overly pampered, I know! But struggles will return, so go with the flow now. Go with the ebb and flow.

Then it's on to Platonitis. A useful 15nm. And for most of these the wind forgets to blow in the wrong direction. Stop on the beach indicted by HRT member Nick, and am again under a proper roof. Now just 26nm from the border with Turkey. Pork chops on the menu, but not for much longer...

The following day possibly could have reached Turkey, but can't go crossing any borders until replacement sail is received. So instead, with Nick's help, have ticked off various jobs nice-to-get-done jobs: sleeping bag wash, e-visa, etc...

About that sail. Fedex tracking reports that a beautiful expedition build Severne Turbo 9.2 is being processed through customs. This will replace the current torn, split, taped, brittle-but-somehow-still-going sail that has been with me since north Spain (and requesting retirement since Italy). Thank you / Grazie for the donated repair materials!

Russia still a long way off...

Windsurf Round Europe is a bit vague in terms of concrete objective. The limits depend upon definition of Europe: political, geographical, economic area etc... So I've returned to the original idea - co-conceived with ex good friend Ian Leonard - of Russia to Russia by going round mainland Europe. Making the clear objective: the Russian mainland (or border of this) in the Black Sea. So, it's still a heck of a long way to go. The Black Sea - particularly in winter - looks quite tricky. And before that are the Dardenelles, Sea of Marmara and Bosphorus - to be negotiated against current and prevailing wind. My mental approach is to keep nibbling miles but to be in no hurry, to prioritise food and shelter over distance sailed, and look to simply get through the next couple of months healthy until longer and warmer days return. Current thinking is to go south in the Black Sea because the route steers clear of areas in open conflict. Potentially I could reach Sochi in the early Spring. That's currently about 1000nm to go.

And some pictures...

  • Keramoti sand spit island of Thassos in background
  • Keramoti
  • A nice sailing day, but cold!
  • No sailing pics of my own, so here's a nice one taken earlier by Paris Papalias of Thessaloniki
  • Easier to get paddling pics...
  • Sea as a mirror...
  • ...taking on the colours of the sky
  • boat checking a line of octopus traps. The buoys behind are floating lines of mussels
  • Spiky rock monster slumbers
  • hairy back of cormorants
  • Another picture from Paris, which I'm including as a massive group thank you to the Hellenic Rescue Team
Tagged with: Greece