Part 1: buying a boat and going to sea
Two factors played a decisive role in my successful journey: the quality of design and construction of Monsieur Amel and the preservation of this boat for 32 years in the impeccable condition of its owner, Mr. Uwe Malmus. Boat - two-masted ketch, "Euros-41", built in 1976, France. Bought by me in 2008, in Venezuela.
The owner said: "Excellent condition, even around the world." Looking ahead, I can say that this turned out to be true.
My journey across the Atlantic began in Frunze (now Bishkek) in 1962. Many no longer remember what happened to you in 1962, but I remember very well how my friend Vitya Trulyov slipped me books, at first harmless, like Journey on the Snark by J. London, and then Slocum, Tabarly, Kshishtov Baranovsky, etc. Then he went even further, began spreading a geographical map of the world on the floor, and we traveled through the seas and oceans by routes unknown to Slocum and Tabarly, and, I am sure, we learned the geography of all these seas and oceans better than the three of them, togethere taken. By the way, I, who was brought up in the Soviet Union, still do not understand how a citizen of socialist Poland could be released into the rest of the world so easily. Not otherwise than he had connections with the KGB, or how these bodies will be translated into Polish. However, then there was another polka, I don’t remember the name, but maybe someone else. Probably a lot of people served in the Polish KGB. We were 14 years old.
Year 2007. I am still working, but already a pensioner, a disabled person of the 2nd group. I feel fine, there are some troubles, but I'm not worried (correctly written in youth slang?).
Ahead is the prospect: like my neighbor, also a pensioner, sitting on a bench near the entrance, on one side a cat and on the other side a cat. All day!!! As I imagine, for me this prospect has no alternative. Thanks to Luzhkov and the entire Government of Moscow! My five-story building is being demolished and instead of a room in a communal apartment, I get an apartment in Medvedkovo (Moscow region). And why, tell me, does a pensioner need an apartment in Moscow, if he has an old mother in the city of Alushta, in the Crimea, and she really does not want to live alone in her two-room apartment? And at the sametime, this pensioner does not have a sailboat.
I quit my job, sell my apartment and, feeling like a millionaire, I start looking for a sailboat on the Internet. The most tempting offers are in the USA, in Florida two times cheaper than in Europe, and in California even cheaper and remains cheaper, taking into account delivery to the East Coast by road.
I run to the visa agencies. In two I was told that it is useless to ask for a visa for pensioners who do not have several trips to Schengen, in one they happily agreed to issue: money in advance with an unpredictable result. I started searching the Internet for other regions: Kenya, Malaysia, Australia - interesting, but the Caribbean is no less interesting. Of the total volume, I chose the country with the least problematic obtaining a visa - Venezuela. The cost of sailboats is one and a half times cheaper than in Europe. Four sailboats that interest me. Damn, here in the subconscious mind was the thought to controlit was possible to lie alone. 35-45 feet.
The year 2008 came smoothly.
Contacting a Caribbean sailboat broker, Monica. I am clarifying all the questions that interest me on all four sailboats. One has already been sold, the rest I get comprehensive information. I have never met Ms. Monica, I don't know if she is young or already a grandmother, I consider her the most informed broker in all the Caribbean, and I consider her one of my good friends (or girlfriends?). The fact is that, deliberately spitting on the rules for compiling business letters, I began to write to her somewhat informally: “Oh, what a wonderful, exotic for us, rssiyan, name. Oh, what an exotic island Martinique is for us (where she lives). And, I can imagine what an exotic tan the inhabitants of this Martinique have, including you.” It was interesting to see how the tone of her responses changed from email to email. Women are women everywhere. She wrote that, as the most satisfying option for me, apparently, there would be “Euros-41”.
I am aware that subconsciously I understood, despite the fact that sailboats are more expensive in Europe, in general, it would be easier for me to buy a sailboat here, considering all the costs, it would be cheaper, but after all, the dream of crossing the ocean and about distant countries, where I will not have the opportunity to visit. I convinced all my loved ones what an ideal choice it was and how economical I was.
I began to prepare myself for the role of the owner of the sailboat.
1) In 1987 or 1988, having received the necessary sailing qualification and passing the exams, I received a diploma of a sailboat captain instead of a helmsman of the 1st class (about my sailboating experience later) in the St. Petersburg sailboat club "Vodnik" (I think I just forgot where) . Throughout my life, I lost this certificate and went to St. Petersburg to restore it. "Vodnik" ordered to live long, the archives were not preserved, even in the Sports Committee. But the bison-sailboatsmen that I met there said something like this: “Why do you need a diploma? I have been a captain since 1968, during this time I was asked for a diploma only once,then the native St. Petersburg authorities are on the way out. I still don't have a degree!
2) I went to Yalta to the customs officers with a bunch of questions (I know that I will come here). Managed to say the letter "A". I was rudely interrupted and informed that all questions to the customs agent, who was kindly immediately called on the phone, and he gave me all the not frail prices for registration of arrival. He did not listen to my questions, there was only one answer to everything: “Don't worry, money decides everything, and much less money than you think. By the way, if you do not want the customs officer's foot to step on board your sailboat, you need to pay $ 40 in excess of the agent's rate. Tariff - 350UR.
3) I went to Sevastopol. A good agent, cool, knows everyone and, most importantly, they know him too. The price is 350, but already $. $40 over - remains. I learned the procedure for submitting documents, contacts before entering. (Perhaps someone does not know and it will be interesting. I quote from memory the Law of Ukraine on the procedure for crossing the border: “The captain of the vessel is obliged to inform the harbor master about the time of approach to the berth and provide copies of the documents for registration of entry. The captain of the vessel informs about the time and place approach border, customs and sanitary services. "I ask for an answer gskilled sailboatsmen. How can you inform and provide a day before the approach? Some do not have satellite phones and fax machines.
(Digression on the topic. We are going from Sinop to Yalta. October 2009. I contacted the agent from Sinop. I suppose to be in Yalta in 2 days, well, with a margin, at 11 o’clock in the morning. I arrive at 8 o’clock, request to enter the port "No, you have an application for 11 o'clock." "But there is fog, heavy seas, we are tired and cold and the engine is not working!". "I allow entry to the port only at 10-30")
4) The only valuable thing out of all the preparation came in handy. I bought a chartplotter! Color, with a large enough screen, Russian-speaking, with GPS. There are built-in maps of the whole world, but approximate. One of the cheapest, 1000 EU, comes with a CD with detailed maps of the Black Sea, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles for 246 EU. The seller liked me and he, together with the Black Sea, downloaded all the maps of the Mediterranean and adjacent seas for me for thanks. Without this device, I would not have walked a mile, well, at least two.
Monica connected me virtually with all the sailboat sellers in Venezuela and by correspondence with the seller "Euros 41", I managed to bring the price down from the original $60,000 to $45,000. He offered me right now to transfer money for the sailboat to one of the German banks. Yeah, you can’t fool me, a Russian, at MMM. So I thought. It turned out in vain. Herr Uwe Malmus wanted to make life easier for me and for himself, but I, like a fool, did not listen to him. More on this later.
Nothing else prevented me from visiting an exotic country as a millionaire. I received a Venezuelan visa without any problems (now it is not needed), processed the documents for a visa for my son, who flew there a week later, and on February 21, 2008, left for Caracas via Madrid, having lost one of my 4 credit cards at Domodedovo, which he immediately blocked.
Arrived in Caracas . Nothing unusual, except that it's not the broker who meets me (Monica doesn't do everything herself, but through brokers in other countries. What a pity!), but I do it. My broker, Carlos, was out of the country on business and flew in early just to meet me. I knew this back in Moscow and therefore walked around the Caracas airport with a printed sign “I am Igor Sharygin”. The locals looked at me like I was a celebrity!
The broker was very lucky with me, because immediately after our spiritual meeting he was taken away by an ambulance with a heart attack and I did not see him until we left Venezuela. Do I make such a lasting impression on people? And he was lucky because, thanks to me, he received his attack near his relatives and friends, and they had the opportunity to visit him in the hospital all the time until I left Venezuela. He is a good person and I am glad that everything is fine with him now, or at least he writes that he is. I was lucky with him that heThe family is one of the few who speak English in Venezuela.
By the way, about the family. He entrusted all the affairs of the sale of the sailboat to his son Jan, who knew nothing about brokerage, but oh-hoo in commerce ... This Jan has a store selling fishing and all kinds of extreme equipment, and subsequently he convinced me to buy almost half of his assortment, Naturally, at the best prices, and even with discounts. In general, rubbish, but so far two of his synthetic blankets warm me affectionately, thin and light, do not take moisture and dry easily, they warm better than woolen ones, and even a knife for cutting fish, whichIt still stays sharp even though I use it all the time. Due to these two positions, my costs were justified!
Yes, I can see the sailboats, but it’s bad luck, dad is in the hospital, and one sailboat is 200 km to the north, the other is also to the north, but 450 km, and the third is 330 km to the south. Of course, there are no problems, we'll see them all, but one weekend one, the next - the second, and, God willing, then the third. Please note, all movements are by my car and free of charge! Do not think that these promises cost him dearly. Gasoline in Venezuela is free! Well, maybe not quite, translated into Russian 50 kopecks / liter, into Ukrainian - 10. So that private gas stations do not close, the Government shouldpays 30 percent of the proceeds. As a result, the construction of railways, almost completed, has stopped, everything is transported by cars. On boats, I have not seen motors less than 150 hp and have not seen 150 hp motors not paired.
I spent the first night at Carlos' house. It was comfortable and good. Except for me and Carlos' charming wife - nobody, Carlos is in the hospital. In the morning, the ambiguity of the situation became clear to everyone, and they began to look for a hotel for me. I asked for something simpler and cheaper, Carlos's wife and her son Jan, given my status as a millionaire, couldn't find anything cheaper than $150/day. Well, there are no cheaper hotels in Caracas! But for when my son arrives, he will be able to live with me for the same money. Apparently, Mrs. Carlos did not like my indecisiveness.
In gratitude that I moved out of his parents' house, Jan took me to the airport to meet his son, Maxim, and the next day took me to see the first sailboat offered for sale. 200 km from Caracas , near the city of Valencia , the lagoon of the Maracay National Park ( Henri Pittier National Park ). And here she is beautiful. First look.
I know cars for 10 years, I know cars for 20 years. This sailboat was 32 years old. There are women who are beautiful in their 20s and 30s, and not at all interesting at 50. I know women who were not interested in men in their 20s, but at 50 they were the center of attraction. " WACAWA " belonged to the latter. I knew what I wanted, " WACAWA " answered all my wishes. This is love at first sight. I told the broker that I would not look at other sailboats. Guys, don't do this, look at everything that is offered to you and choose the best. For those who understand me, I will tell. Of all the cars II love the Volvo 840 for its individuality, all modern cars look the same. Neither I nor you can distinguish Toyota from ... (list any models below). I know for sure, Yacht, like a woman, you need to love her and she will answer you three times. And guys, don't give me away, until now I told everyone that I carefully examined all the sailboats.
Plan of the sailboat (click on the image to see it in full)
|Type of shell:||Fin keel, rudder on skeg||Sailing armament:||Top ketch|
|Total length:||41.00" / 12.50 m||Waterline length:||35.00" / 10.67 m|
|Width:||11.00" / 3.35 m||Sail area:||860 ft2 / 79.89 m2|
|Draft (max.)||5.25" / 1.60 m||Draft (min.)|
|Displacement:||22046 lbs. / 10000 kg.||Ballast:||5511 lbs. / 2500 kg.|
|Sailing area / Displacement:||17.57||Ballast / Displacement:||25.00%||Displacement / Length:||229.55|
|Building the first:||1966||Last building:||1972||# Built:||35|
|Water:||124 gal. / 469 liters||Fuel:||66 gal. / 250 l.|
|Mast height from waterline:||43.34" / 13.21 m|
|More about the designer:||HenriAmel|
The owner was a German 76 years old. He says he would never sell the sailboat, but he suffered from sciatica. They checked everything together with him, only the lining of the shroud fastening on the mizzen required repair. In all other respects the condition is perfect. Two sets of sails, except for a spinnaker, a spare drain pump, a spare toilet bleeder, spare parts for the engine, cables for shrouds and stays, a bunch of all kinds of new ends, blocks, earlobes, lanyards ... The German said that the sailboat has everything! Once or twice I bought something, and then I found it on the sailboat. He left me everything up to5 bottles of wonderful Venezuelan rum and my underpants. He said that nothing could be taken away from the sailboat, it was a bad omen. How about from the cemetery? Parking in the marina paid for the month of May. The owner allowed Maxim and me to live on the sailboat while the clearance is going on, thereby saving us 150 bucks a day. We were delighted and bought more rum. Rum in the evening, and in the afternoon we went out to sea, set sails, mastered the boat. Maxim had never sailed at all before, but in a month he became a fully qualified helmsman of the 2nd class.
Why a month, you ask? Buying and selling business in Venezuela is simple, half an hour at the notary. But before that, you had to give the seller the money. And this is a very complicated matter. Deja vu, Soviet order. The official rate of strong bolivar is 3-4 times higher than black. Officially, you can only pay through a bank. And who needs it? Fly to about. Bonaire, it's only half an hour flight, but I need a Dutch visa, where can I get it? And this is a dangerous business: in Venezuela you cannot walk around with dollars or tugriks. The declaration on arrival does not provide for an item on imported currencyThat is, import as much as you want, but it turns out that you have to immediately go to the bank and change all your hard-earned money for strong Bolivar candy wrappers. When departing - the reverse procedure with a certificate. On departure, for some reason, not customs officers, but the military, they say that the Cubans. During my stay in Venezuela, they cleared a flight to China - tens of thousands of dollars. I went to the Russian consul: advise how to pay for the sailboat, or how I can take real money out of this country. And I have 15,000 cash and 35,000 American Express checks. The answer is only officialpath. Found the fool! I'm smart, but I don't know what to do. Mr. Malmus knew, apparently through criminal or business circles. But, I guess, this operation was not cheap for my seller, which is why he was playing for time, which is why he offered me to transfer money to a German bank from Moscow. I gave the checks without a signature, they were taken to the USA, they checked their authenticity, after which I signed them and gave the rest in cash. Half an hour later I became the owner of the sailboat! Maybe someone will find this information useful. For the first meeting on the sailboat with the seller and the notary, Il with a Russian translator, I received a list of them at the Consulate of the Russian Federation. For 50 bucks a day, she not only translated, but also talked a lot about the country and gave a lot of useful advice. In general, Venezuela is a wonderful country, if not for the Government. Something I could add from my impressions, but this is a topic from other forums.
Can you raise sails? Yeah... I wanted to keep the Venezuelan sailboat registration. No problem, the broker starts the paperwork, we fly home and after about a year on a call we fly back for a transfer. To hell with it, with the flag, deregister the sailboat and I'm off. No problem, but the procedure is the same, after a year you will take the sailboat. No, you can keep within 3-4 months, but for 4 thousand dollars. While these issues were being clarified, a month passed.
The Russian consulate looked at me strangely when I asked them to issue a temporary permit for the Russian flag. They were not taught such a procedure at MGIMO. But then I was not preparing for the session as a student, I referred to the Law on the Flag of the Russian Federation and after 2 days I received permission for 6 months. Regarding the timing of the paperwork by the Venezuelan authorities, the consul gave an example from his own life: “I bought a car here 2 years ago, and received the registration documents only the other day.” To my question about the consequences of an illegal exit, he replied that, perhaps, we are not a 5-year-old son.allowed into Venezuela. And it will not affect calls to other countries. Well, you understand what decision I made. You would do the same.
(the starting point was chosen arbitrarily within 80 miles from the island of Bonaire - as the author wrote. Alas, it is impossible to determine exactly where the boat was bought without additional information from the author)
On March 30, 2008, my son and I raised sails and a pirate flag. Course on about. Bonaire , in the Caribbean, a group of the Netherlands Lesser Antilles, past the Venezuelan about. Sombrero ( editor's note: did not find such an island in Venezuela in that area ). An excuse for the border guards: we, they say, while waiting for the paperwork, decided to relax on the Sombrero. That's why they didn't raise the Russian flag. The border boat was right there. He came up to us and, frightened, did not ask us where, where and why, but ordered us to remove the pirate flag. On my pzone remark that I can hang anything under the spreader, he agreed with me, but noted that in this case there should be some other flag. Oh, I took down the Venezuelan flag early! After parting with the border guards, they went on without flags at all. They didn't mind.
About the pirate flag. It so happened that my son, Maxim, lived all his life without me. And when I suggested that he take part in the adventure of crossing the Atlantic, he immediately agreed, his wife, a smart girl, did not mind being left alone with 2 small children for 2-3 months. And Max told me that when he was also little, he dreamed of sailing and with a pirate flag in the Caribbean. Can you guess what I gave him on DR March 13th? It's nice to feel like a little God and contribute to the fulfillment of another person's dream. But the dream was notfrom simple!
The wind was what it takes for a pleasant walk, from 10 to 15 knots, but oncoming and waves of 2 meters . To Bonaire 80 miles . The next morning we approached the marina in the very center of the only small town on the island. There were no adventures, thank God. The motor was still running.