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

Dear admirers...

30 September, 2012

Dear admirers, men and, of course, women, well-wishers and not very well – all, sympathizing to our expedition or peeking into the site being bored, everyone sharing our achievements, plain and secret enviers and especially statisticians of our home records! I want to report you that we’re moving by bounds, heading to the Labrador Sea to our sacramental point on the south of Greenland in order to finish finally our polar epic. It’s still cold here, icebergs, dark at night and, of course, ceaseless storms.

Quickly, without adventures and quite in time we got to the capital of Greenland named Godthåb (or Nuuk in the local dialect). On the 23rd of September already in twilight we dropped in the bay with an idea to anchor. The bay turned out to be not very big, say the least, and stuffed with all kinds of fishermen.


So, discovering a couple of buoys, we moored gladly and celebrated another “success”. But in the morning it had started.  The second time in our polar sailing expedition we confronted such a “blizzard” in a bay: 40-45-knot wind, water boiling, mooring lines creaking, the boat swinging as if in open sea. Of course, the sea started to pull our frail buoys, and we had to cut ends emergently and escape under side of a fisherman, as fourth in a row. Scared, we belayed on it as many as six ropes, dead. Then were sitting in a cabin, intelligently splitting a bullet, not forgetting about remise. In dismay we were looking at a wind indicator and praying we wouldn’t be torn from a pier together with our three other neighbors. But everything worked out well – in the middle of the next day it had started to calm down.


We had quickly arranged refill, shopping, and at 23.00 we left. That was already the Labrador Sea: there were 1200 miles and 15 days from the Lancaster strait to the southernmost Greenland – we had never been so slow and, God grants, will never be again. On way to Nanortalik we had to wait one night out, hiding from a head wave. All in all, we accomplished our heroic Arctic epic.  Striking a balance of what had been done, I report that in the Arctic we were good again, as always. Not in a shy way I claim that no one ever made the Arctic circumnavigation faster that we had done. Precisely two months, 360˚ east, 24 time belts – and heroes of Jules Verne’s “Around the world in 80 days” are left behind. Moreover, the biggest part of the Arctic – as much as 270˚ from 360˚ – we passed beyond 78˚N, through the corridor of 78˚-82˚, if to be precise. If someone can do that faster and more northwardly – welcome. I’ll take my hat off, if you do.


That proves on practice an possibility of organizing a high-latitude northern sea way without icebreaker assistance and, as a consequence, without paying charges of share-holders of the Northern Sea route. Moreover, such a variant could give the second life to senescent Barentsburg – our northernmost port, my dear Russians. And, perhaps, Ukrainians would be also pleased to know that 80 percent of local population are citizens of Ukraine, our close neighbors, even relatives, brothers Slavs, which whom we are able not only to agree but be real friends.


Take cue from the crew of “Scorpius”: not a scuffle for 12 months. Indeed, “cursed moskali” can live in friendship with “honest khokhly”, especially when they wish and when it’s peril without each other. Another our record has proved – we can live, work and, of course, break records together. That’s example for you, big guys in Kremlin and Kiev! If you want us to share experience – we’ll share. Briefly speaking, hey Slavs, Russians and Kievans!


So, my dear friends, striking the balance of our achievements, I want to mark out: whatever spitpoisons say, this year we, Russian-Ukrainian crew of the yacht “Scorpius”, have done what no one ever had done before. What’s that – read the captain’s journal and the ship log-book. For those who are lazy I repeat: two polar circumnavigations in one year, 50 000 miles through bitterly cold storms, ice, icebergs, pitch black March (on the south) and September (on the north) nights, through cold and icing, through despair and pain, through doubts and delights, through almost unexplored routes, where ocean bottom is studied less than a reverse side of the Moon. Across five oceans and thirty seas we carried Russian and Ukrainian flags; we proved to everyone and ourselves among the number that we are able to do a lot together – what others don’t even dream about! So the next time, raising the third glass for those who are in sea, remember the heroic crew of the yacht “Scorpius” and don’t forget the captain, of course.


Although, if without joking, there was a dream, and now, alas, there’s none anymore! It’s a bit sad, my friends! Don’t be in a hurry to fulfill dreams, as no one knows if others appear on their place. Life without dream, as without hope, is death.


If leave philosophy behind, I have to report you, my friends, that we got to Nanortalik safely, moored and quickly solved all formalities with police and harbor-master. Tomorrow, on the 29th of September, we wait over a head storm in the Labrador Sea, hopefully the last for us, get acquainted with local flavor and on the 30th in the morning we are leaving. This time – away from the cold Arctic seas – south, south.

As we planned, on the 30th of September, seeing off our sailing “guru” from Omsk Sergei Scherbakov, we put out to sea, still unquiet after the 9-ball storm. Fortunately, the wind turned fair and we’re full of hope and determination to pass 2500 miles to Gibraltar in 10-12 days, and then cover the rest of 2500 miles from Gibraltar to Sevastopol in couple of weeks. So there’s chance that at the end of October we’ll be back to Sevastopol to the point of intermediate finish or, maybe, even final. Life will show – maybe, a dream or dreams will appear – we’ll see.

 

 

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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