First Russian-Ukrainian sailing polar expedition! По-русски
Captain's journal

Hello, Malta!

25 October, 2012

Leaving these shores a year ago, we had a slight idea about what we’ll encounter, how hard it will be and at some times - almost impossible to accomplish what we had conceived.

How painfully hard will be to fulfill a dream, accomplish this pilgrimage around two poles, visit those places, where a few have been before, pass through what not everyone is able to experience, and, finally, return here – alive and, as they say, with sense of fulfilled duty and with feel of victory – first of all, over ourselves.

Yes, much water has flown for this time, much of that water we have seen. When they say two thirds of our planet are covered by the ocean, that doesn’t give even a bit of realization how big and mighty that ocean is! How much unknown and majestically beautiful it hides in itself, how hard it is to pass it. Especially where a few managed to get to, where the ocean is studied less than a surface of the other side of the Moon; there, where kingdom of eternal ice, where endless cyclones with hurricane wind sweeping, where there’s no chance for survival and no way back too...


Of course, we returned as conquerors. But not conquerors of the ocean – it’s not possible to triumph over it, and even to challenge its outrageous nature is useless and arrogant. We returned, overcame ourselves, our own inertness and fears, doubts and pain, despair and horror. Of course, we are real men, as they say, thrill-seekers of all thrill-seekers, yachtsmen of all yachtsmen, but we still have come back mainly because we were lucky and the ocean let us to do that.

On Malta we take a short rest before the last dart to Sevastopol. As usual, shopping and workshop rush, spare parts, instruments, expendable materials, fuel, oils, supplies and many-many other things. All in all, as always, the crew and especially the captain are at their best: everything is done, bought, delivered and repaired rapidly and accurately.


So on the 19th of October at 9.30am we unanchor in the Marsamshit bay and head to Sevastopol As long as we don’t choose weather, but it chooses us, the wind is or 25-30 knots head, or there’s no wind on the route. Looks like we have to do impossible again and get to the Sevastopol bay – 1500 miles a week – at any cost, as always in our polar sailing expedition though. Actually we have two ways: or through the Corinth Canal, or 25-30 knots head. Without any special doubts we head to Corinth and in this race with time we win as much as a whole day. Finally, Corinth is interesting itself. Even if you win nothing in time, it’s worth seeing.


An interesting fact it that the city was built by three thousand Jews, two or three of whom got a contract and skimed the cream off, as we usually say. Others, armed with a mining peak and a shovel, dug a canal 5 miles long and about 30 meters wide a hundred years ago. In certain meaning the Corinth Canal is the most expensive in the world, if to take into account charges and the canal length. Thanks Gods, opposite to the Panama Canal, we were not offered an obtrusive service in person of a pilot. We passed the channel in the dark and moored in Corinth around nine in the evening, paying reward, owed to share-holders, and moved in direction of Athens. And further – passing Dor to the Dardanelles.

Sure, we cut the way significantly and avoided head wind. But still the last 300-400 miles it fell to our lot: 5-6-meter wave and 25-30-knot wind. It was especially intense in the Sea of Marmara – such a puddle. It swept towards us, and there was almost no space for tacking. Nevertheless, as always, we dealt successfully with the task, passed the Bosphorus and got into the operational space, the Black Sea and in a day and a half, on the 26th of October at 5.30am precisely we dropped the anchor in the Sevastopol Bay.


More kindly we were met by authorities. I mean customs and border check – watched without delays, passports stamped, pilot charge paid and precisely at 12am we moored at the very same pier, from which departed 13 months ago in the most unprecedented cruise in the world. We were met like heroes indeed: orchestra, a squadron of guards of honor, media, heads of the city, the Black Sea Fleet Command, friends and our dear ones, those, who have been with us all that time, remembered about us and supported on an uneasy way.

Huge thanks to my friends Telebei Grigorii Vasilievich, the Head of the Sevastopol Town Municipal Administration Yatsuba Vladimir Grigorievich, the deputy of the Head Savenkov Sergei Vladimirovich, the Commander-in-Chief of the Black Sea Fleet the Admiral Fedotenkov Aleksander Nikolaevich and to many-many citizens of Sevastopol for their attention and support.


“Slavyanka”, short meeting, fourchette with champagne, journalists with photocameras and videocameras, admirers with flowers and hundreds of citizens of Sevastopol, who came to welcome heroes-polar explorers with a smile. Our deeds are evaluated: the crew of the yacht “Scorpius” is put forward for high state decoration of Ukraine. Like in far Soviet times in 30s the heroes-polar explorers were honored, so we were met today.


Thank you, my friends, from all the crew members and from me, the captain of the very far cruise. Great thank you. 

 

25 October, 2012
Leaving these shores a year ago, we had a slight idea about what we’ll encounter, how hard it will be and at some times - almost impossible to accomplish what we had conceived.
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Sergei Nizovtsev
Life way of a human implies constant overcoming not only of external obstacles, but ageing forms of his own mind too, in order to resurrect on a higher level. This is the way of a human to maturity. THE Captain of the yacht "Scorpius" and leader of the first Russian-UKRAINIAN SAILING POLAR EXPEDITION Sergei Nizovtsev. Graduated Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO). Yachtsman. Qualified Yacht Master Ocean. Routes of his journeys – extremal sea tracks. Honoured Polar Explorer. Numerous times had been in Arctic and at the North Pole with skydiving and diving expeditions.
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The crew of “Scorpius”, depending on route, consists of 7-10 persons. Many of them have already had invaluable experience, necessary for this adventurous sailing. In front of others lays a hard way from novice to “sea wolf”.
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