Ron and Susan's 2009 Black Sea Adventure travel blog


Bulgaria: Passage Bulgaria to Turkey

Sunday Afternoon, August 23, 2009

Light northerly winds but they build, so we manage a 2 hour sail!! Yeah!! Arrive in Balcheck, Bulgaria, at 1515. We are visited by the authorities and are now, checked into this country. We go ashore for a delicious fresh fish dinner.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Check out of marina at 0950. We motor sail to Varna, Bulgaria, arriving just at the beginning of the “Finn Championships” sailing races, hosted by the Varna Yacht Club. As we approached the entrance to the harbor, a friendly tug motioned us aside to make way for the racing sailboats - no problem. We watch about 50 of these “one design” sailboats race towards the weather mark. We decide not to go into the Yacht Club – hosting a championship race means crowded space. So we opt to go into Varna Lake, down a 1 mile channel. Winds about 16-19 knots from the north, and we anchor in 7 metres in front of another small yacht club at 1410. We are the only boat at anchor. We settle in, and discover we have now become the leeward mark of a small group of opti’s that are racing. They raced around between Gemini and some other mark, over and over. It was fun. Winds died down at night, and we enjoyed a quiet night.

Tuesday, august 25, 2009

Up anchor at 0520. Motored out of the channel into the Black Sea. Winds blowing on the bum. Motorsail, keeping up speed to 6 knots. After 9 hours, we are secured to Sozopol Marina at 1430. This is a really nice marina, with WiFi onboard, close to shopping and wonderful laundry!!

Wednesday, August 26 -Friday, August 28

Pick up 4 loads of laundry, and pay $18. Not only is that cheap, but the sheets are pressed!!!! As are all our shirts, etc!!! I am in love with this place. Ron works on replacing the SSB radio ground system. Cabin is torn up!!! We meet new friends from “Twist of Fate”, Bert and Lorraine, and join them for sundowners on their boat. For dinner, I took a chance on a sausage I bought at the local butcher shop. It was the most miserable excuse for sausage we’ve ever seen!!! When you can’t communicate with the clerk, all I can do is hope for the best!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ron’s Birthday!!!!! He worked all day finishing the ground system. So instead of going out to a restaurant, I made spaghetti for dinner. And of course, he had a fresh apple pie!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ron enjoys a well earned restful day. Catch up on emails. Dinner ashore.

Monday, August 31, 2009

We have been watching the weather for a window of opportunity for sailing down into Turkey. Looks like Tuesday – Friday is good. We go ashore to shop for provisions, and visit the liquor store to stock up on cheap spirits.

Tuesday, Sept 1, 2009

Picked up the last bag of laundry, and a few pork chops from the butcher. We stop at our favorite liquor store to spend the last of our Bulgarian money!!! Then we let go the lines at noon, and motored over to the fuel dock to top off the tanks. Took on 240 litres of fuel, at 2 leva/litre or $360. As we left the fuel dock, the winds were stronger than we’d anticipated. We only planned to go 17 miles to Tsaravo, where we will check out of Bulgaria. Ron put me at the wheel while he navigated below. We motored out into the open sea, and found 3-4 ft seas, 20+ winds from the north. Waves splashing over the bow. Even tho we were headed in a southerly direction, the winds would have been from the port quarter. We would have been miserable. So Capt. Ron decided to return to the marina for the night. We make a gradual about face, and tie up at our old spot at 1255. Winds are supposed to be lighter tomorrow, so we can re-start early tomorrow morning, and still make our schedule. When sailing, you must always be flexible.

Wednesday, Sept 2, 2009

Let go lines and underway at 0647. Waves and winds have died down, but we have big 3-4 meter swells. We motor to Tsarevo to check out of Bulgaria. Officials on the pier help us with tag line, and we are tied bow to the pier at 1015. We remain on board, and our documents are passed over to officials for processing. Thirty minutes later they are returned. We are officially checked out of Bulgaria. Let go lines at 1045, and wave good bye to Bulgaria.

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