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Cruising Report Bulgaria

By doina — last modified Nov 13, 2005 05:43 PM

Published: 2005-11-13 17:43:59
Countries: Bulgaria

We recently finished a season cruising the Black Sea, the following are some info re various countries and Corrections to "Cruise the Black Sea".


The west breakwater is currently being extended in a southerly direction. An estimated 300M has been added and work continues.

The yacht club is now on the East Breakwater between the light and the start of the wider dock. There are mooring buoys which the smaller local boats use but would be too close to the dock for any yacht over 8M. Go stern or bows to with an anchor off. We were shown where to go and helped by the locals. One of them wrote our boat name down in a very large ledger. This mooring position is subject to some swell which is exacerbated by the passing tugs and Pilot boats. Yachts need to be pulled well off but near enough to get ashore as the dock is too high to climb up to from a dinghy. There is a dinghy ramp near the light on the end of the breakwater which could be used. The dock is used as a boatyard where repairs and boat building is taking place. A crane is currently on the dock so a lift out should be possible. It looks like most repairs would be possible.

It is quite a long walk with little shade to the harbour entrance.

Formalities are still performed on Quay 6. There was no mention of any cruising permit or 30$ fee. Processing was very quick, less than 20 minutes most of which time was taken up by the walk to Customs and Immigration. Our ships papers were retained by the harbourmaster but we were allowed to keep our passports.

Checking out was done in the Port Control Office, the 8th. floor of the tower with the radar antenna. The lift only goes as far as the 4th. floor!! When we went to check out we were given the option of having a cruising permit for the whole of the coast or of checking in and out of each port along the way. In the case of the former we would have had to return to Bourgas to check out of the country. We chose the latter and checked out for Nesebar and were charged 4 Leva. We were charged €12 for 3 nights stay on the yacht club dock.


On approach we called on both VHF 16 and 11 but got no response.

There was little room in the marina but we were shown a short berth on the end of a dock. We were immediately visited by an official who wrote down our details on a plain sheet of paper and we kept all our documents. We were advised that when we wanted to leave we should call on VHF channel 8.

There is now a fuel station which serves the outside road and the marina with a fuel dock depth alongside not known. We used the dinghy and containers.

When we wanted to leave we called on channel 8 and 16 but got no reply. Eventually one of us walked to root of the cruise/ferry dock where we found a Border Policeman. We asked to be checked out but were told we did not need any official clearance and that we could proceed to Varna "no problem". We shall see. We were charged 10 leva for our marina berth. Water and electricity on the dock.


We went aground on a sandbank roughly where the depth is shown as 3.3M on sketch chart. The end of the breakwater should be left at least 50M to starboard on entering and depths carefully watched. We draw 0.8M. We also found a spot of just more than a metre a little to the north of the anchor symbol. We were directed to go stern to the main fishing boat dock where a local not in uniform looked at our passports and took our ship's registration document away and returned with it 10 minutes later. We were then told to leave the dock and anchor in the harbour. Later when we went ashore by dinghy we were met by a uniformed Border Policeman who asked us where we had come from and where we were going. No further questions and were were told everything was OK and that we could go ashore.


ATM 200M down the hill from Neza Visimost Square on the left. The other banks shown on the sketch map do not seem to exist!

It seems that the Harbourmaster in Bourgas was wrong when he told us that if we got a cruising permit there we would have to return to there to check out from the country. In spite of the fact that we had not obtained one did not affect our progress as the officials we encountered realised that some of their number were not up to date with the new regulations. It would seem to be that in the future cruising Bulgaria should be a largely stress free exercise with few of any restrictions.

Clive Probert, S/Y Sanyassa