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Continuing Black Sea Voyage from Sochi to Ukraine

By Val Ellis last modified Jan 07, 2011 09:31 AM

Published: 2011-01-07 09:31:54
Countries: Ukraine

For previous reports by Snow White of her Black Sea Voyage and time spent in Georgia see here and for the attempt to cruise the Russian coast, see Russia


On July, 18. 2009 we reach port of Yalta. The same situation as occured in Russia is repeated. I am not allowed to enter the port until an agent does our documents. Only then we can move closer to the customs pier. Here we are guarded by a border guard as we are not allowed to go ashore, while our agent continuously keeps running between our yacht and the Customs with some documents. A rough total of 50 papers need to be signed. The most important requirement for yachts to enter Ukraine is a shipping stamp. There is no way to get into the country without one.

After two hours of paperwork, I follow the agent to the Customs which is divided into four different departments such as the Customs, the Coast Guard, a doctor and hygiene . I need to go and sign yet another 30 documents in each of them. After another hour we are finally done, however it is Saturday, therefore I will get all the documents certified by the stamp by Monday.

Since we have to wait for two days, we decide to go on a tour to Yalta. It is a really beautiful place with many interesting places. On the Monday our agent finalised all formalities and charged me $250 USD. Finally we are leaving the port,which costs 50 USD per night including water and electricity. Every single time we sail from the port it must be reported to the traffic control on VHF 14 as well as call sign for the Coast Guard, Lebed, has to be called. Every departure, arrival, standing at anchor, even departure from the berth must be notified.

During the cruise along the coast the Guards continuosly monitor each yacht on the radar and check their positions. The truth is, that they don´t speak very good English so if you don´t respond to calls in Russian they usually ignore you. Only occasionally someone calls in English, then it is best to answer. Another specialty is that for each trip from port to port you must have a special permission. Eg. In Yalta you can get a permit to enter the city of Sevastopol. Here you must visit the Coast Guard and apply for another permission for the next port. It only takes one stamp on the crew list. It all seems very complicated, but it´s not a big problem.

Ukraine is very beautiful. The Crimean peninsula has high cliffs and interesting tourists spots. East Coast is flat ‘steppe’ with interesting long sandy islands. Odessa is a beautiful town in the French style. Prices are very reasonable, Beer 0.50 euro, diesel 0.50 euro, dinner 4 euro. Odessa Port 30 euro, Balaklava 20 euro.

Cap. Miro
s/y Snow White