Cruising Ukraine

Published 19 years ago, updated 6 years ago


When 1 NM from the Port we called up Port Control on VHF ch 16 but received no response.

We moored alongside the most downstream dock. The other two docks had hydrofoils moored on them. Called customs on VHF still no response. I walked along to the ferry terminal and met the Border Police. They managed to find one young woman who spoke some English. After much discussion among themselves and some telephone conversations, I was informed that I could not check in but should go to Odessa our next port. I enquired as to the reason and was told that it was because we did not have an agent. When I said I did not understand they said I should go back to Sanyassa and wait there. This I did. After 15 minutes a man arrived who introduced himself as an agent. He explained that the regulations were that it was only possible to check in in Izmail with the use of an agent. I asked for the costs and after taking details of Sanyassa’s dimensions he went away and eventually came back with a list of charges which were as follows:-

Harbourmaster US$25.00, Berthage/day US$6.50, Doctor US$25.00, Agent US$125.00, Petties?? US$15.00, Total US$203.00(for 2 days stay).

This left us no choice but to forgo exploring Izmail and spending some money with local businesses. We left and as it was too late to reach the Black Sea by nightfall we found a nice anchorage at the entrance to a creek at 45 22.65N 29 04.12E in 3.5M.


We arrived into open waters and were met with a confusion of mooring buoys and conical buoys. Sanyassa is a catamaran and draws less than 1M but we went around 3 times while searching for the channel. Eventually, we returned to the barge moored to port as one emerges from the river and found a female border police official who spoke a little English and a man from the barge. We eventually got from them a sketch map indicating the Channel.

It is important to turn immediately to port between the end of the barge and the first large mooring buoy. The row of mooring buoys should be followed and left to port, there is also a green conical buoy near the third buoy which should also be left to port. The course should continue in this direction until 50M from the shore when a turn to starboard should be made and the shore paralleled until one can turn onto a course of 30 degrees M and pass between a bush growing on a shallow patch and the nearest mooring buoy to port. The channel can then be followed on this course following green and red conical buoys. Note there are other conical buoys of various colours in the bay which should be ignored.


There is a new large European standard supermarket. To find it walk west along Deribasov Skaya. Turn left just past the Spartak Hotel. The large oval building is a new mall, the supermarket is in the basement. The entrance is on the west side and there is an ATM just inside.

The TCF yacht club offers a free internet service.


The navigation mark shown in the sketch marking the rocks off the lighthouse was not there. Having said that we came in with a fresh northerly wind and a large swell and saw no sign of breaking water.

On entering the inner harbour there is a north cardinal mark in the Southern part, ahead is a wreck. The first pontoon to starboard is a ruin. Just before the wreck is a large metal floating pontoon with some local yachts moored on the far side. Moor either side of this. There is another wreck lying just off the East side so use the end of the pontoon only. The local yachting fraternity was very helpful. We were charged 25 Hrivna per night. We were met by a local soldier who after inspecting our papers asked the captain to go ashore with him. The walk into town is long and hot with little shade. Make sure to wear good walking shoes as the ground is quite rough in places. The Officer who eventually dealt with our papers was very friendly and stamped them both in and out.

We had called upon VHF Ch 16 on arriving and received replies only the Ukraine or Russian language.


There are now 3 new pontoons at right angles to the main dock, where one can tie up alongside. Electricity is being installed but not yet water which can be obtained from the main dock.

On approach, we called on VHF Ch 16 and received replies only in Ukraine or Russian.

The harbourmaster, Sergei came along with a Lebed officer who merely inspected our clearance papers from Odessa and Chornomors’ke.

We received reports of a German yacht who on arriving at Yalta from Turkey have turned away and then again at Balaclava and had to go to Sevastopol to check in.

From Balaclava, one can get a bus or minibus to Sevastopol but have to change buses after 5km. Take a number 9 from outside the harbour entrance. After 5km when all other passengers disembark get off and continue to walk 50 metres to the junction ahead. There are some shops and a market in this area. Turn right and walk a further 50 metres and get on a number 12 trolleybus or minibus into central Sevastopol. Ask for Nakhimova Square.

Getting to Yalta is less easy and it is best to get a car and driver, Sergei will arrange. Cost at present 1.8 hrivna/km and 30 hrivnas per hour waiting time.

We were told on arrival that we would be able to check out for Turkey from Balaclava. On the morning we wished to leave after keeping us waiting for nearly two hours they suddenly decided we would have to go to Sevastopol or Yalta.

Clive Probert, S/Y Sanyassa

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