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Which sailing venue here is best?

  • Somalia

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • North Korea

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Cape Horn (Cabo del Horno)

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • Syria

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lake Titicaca (Peru/Bolivia)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Aral Sea (Kazakstan/Uzbekistan)

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • Lake Manara, Sahara Desert, Libya

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Citarum River, Indonesia

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Glubokoye Lake, Chernobyl, Ukraine

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Point Barrow, Alaska, USA

    Votes: 1 33.3%
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

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Water Lover
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The previous poll on this topic seemed a bit parochial and dull.
So, I'd like to poll folks on some possibly more interesting sailing venues. If you can, please judge them on enjoyment, value/bang for the buck (or your preferred boat currency), safety, reliable winds, enjoyable climate, sailing infrastructure, uncrowdedness, year-round sailing enjoyment/length of season, consistently good experience, accessibility, usability and fun for different kinds of sailing, lack of hazards, etc.

To be inclusive, I've selected some interesting and challenging places from around the world, including some inland sites for lake and river sailors.

So, let's enjoy these ten, many of which seem sadly under-appreciated:

Somalia
North Korea
Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos)
Syria
Lake Titicaca
Aral Sea (Kazakstan/Uzbekistan)
Lake Manara, Sahara Desert, Libya
Citarum River, Indonesia
Glubokoye Lake, Chernobyl, Ukraine
Point Barrow, Alaska, USA
 

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Water Lover
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773 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Some also-ran alternate sites:
Lake Karachay, Russia
Oka River, Dzerzhinsk, Russia
Matanza-Riachuelo Basin, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arabian Sea Coast off Vapi/Daman, Gujarat, India
Lake Tai, People's Republic of China
 

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Water Lover
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773 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Who, little old me? Nah... just trying to broaden our outlook on sailing venues. After all, REAL blue-water sailors wouldn't mind a bit of challenge or inconvenience in finding exciting new places to sail away from the herd.


From wiki:
<<
Lake Karachay (Russian: Карача́й), sometimes spelled Karachai, is a small lake in the southern Ural mountains in western Russia. Starting in 1951 the Soviet Union used Karachay as a dumping site for radioactive waste from Mayak, the nearby nuclear waste storage and reprocessing facility, located near the town of Ozyorsk (then called Chelyabinsk-40)....

According to a report by the Washington, D.C.-based Worldwatch Institute on nuclear waste, Karachay is the most polluted spot on Earth.....

The sediment of the lake bed is estimated to be composed almost entirely of high level radioactive waste deposits to a depth of roughly 11 feet.

The radiation level in the region near where radioactive effluent is discharged into the lake was 600 röntgens per hour (approximately 6 Sv/h) in 1990, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Natural Resources Defense Council, sufficient to give a lethal dose to a human within an hour....
>>
 

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Who, little old me? Nah... just trying to broaden our outlook on sailing venues. After all, REAL blue-water sailors wouldn't mind a bit of challenge or inconvenience in finding exciting new places to sail away from the herd.


From wiki:
<<
Lake Karachay (Russian: Карача́й), sometimes spelled Karachai, is a small lake in the southern Ural mountains in western Russia. Starting in 1951 the Soviet Union used Karachay as a dumping site for radioactive waste from Mayak, the nearby nuclear waste storage and reprocessing facility, located near the town of Ozyorsk (then called Chelyabinsk-40)....

According to a report by the Washington, D.C.-based Worldwatch Institute on nuclear waste, Karachay is the most polluted spot on Earth.....

The sediment of the lake bed is estimated to be composed almost entirely of high level radioactive waste deposits to a depth of roughly 11 feet.

The radiation level in the region near where radioactive effluent is discharged into the lake was 600 röntgens per hour (approximately 6 Sv/h) in 1990, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Natural Resources Defense Council, sufficient to give a lethal dose to a human within an hour....
>>
That sounds wonderful. Are there any charter companies there?
 

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Water Lover
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Best bet for sailing the area would be to either look for a boat to buy or rent in Chelyabinsk or Yekaterinburg. If sailboats are hard to find, maybe bring a sailing kit with sails and leeboards and convert a rowboat, plus of course your portable geiger counters, rad-protective bunny suit, high-end respirators, your blood type and medical info translated into Russian, etc.

The entire region, including the million-plus population major city of Chelyabinsk, about 50 miles from Oshorsk (aka Chelyabinsk-40/-65), was closed to foreigners until 1992. Chelyabinsk mushroomed hugely in population and importance during WW2, when major industries were moved into the region out of the way of Hitler's Nazi armies; the city became known as "Tankograd" in honor of T-34 tank and Katyusha rocket production.

Ozhorsk is still a closed city, and the lake is no doubt restricted both because of safety and nearby sensitive facilities, so getting to Lake Karachay might be a wee challenge. Irtyash or one of the other nearby lakes might be easier to access, but still at least a bit in the "glowing" category. dunno. Of course, closed towns with industries still working on sensitive military equipment should add some extra spice in navigating bureaucracy. I think anyone who managed to sail there would have earned their "Dangerous Places" bumper sticker.

If a solo circumnavigation rates as a 9 on a scale topping off at 10, sailing Lake Karachai might be a 12. It might also be best done by folks who have no plans on having children.
 

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Water Lover
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
For Cape Horn, do you think a novice sailor on a budget might do best to trailer a West Wight Potter 19 down to Panama and then sail on down, because it looks much more "shippy" and seaworthy than a MacGregor X or M Powersailer? (Or put the towing vehicle, trailer, and boat on a barge to get past the Darien Isthmus?) On the other hand, a MacGregor with a big engine in power mode could maybe set the record for the number of times to circle around Isla Hornos in 24-hours, and that could be a very desirable new record for some sorts of people. Such a dilemma.

The other idea would be to bring a larger trailer with two or three WWPs, so folks could have a Cape Horn regatta.

And before people pooh-pooh the notion, remember the mantra that so many folks here say, "It's the sailor, not the boat!"
 

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Water Lover
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Yeah, that would work... a big trailer could haul a dozen or twenty or so Sunfish down to Punta Arenas, with a MacGregor Powersailor brought along on another trailer as the Mother Ship to tow them into final position from Puerto Williams to near the Horn. The 'fish could probably make it from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams as deck cargo; good sailors could probably get the Mac down to PW on her own power, especially if the rig is beefed up a wee bit. Wet or dry suits might be a good idea. There might be a few (hundred) days of the year when this wouldn't work so well, but other times when folks could get lucky.

As a bonus, some of the 'fish could be left at Titicaca so that folks could also do the high-altitude sailing thing... about 3,490' feet higher than Lake Dillon in Colorado, which currently claims the title of having the world's highest regatta.
 

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folks could also do the high-altitude sailing thing
Great spot for non-crowded anchorages, spectacular scenery and practicing light-air sailing:

 

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Water Lover
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well it does look kind of like some of the barren places in the US west where they have the sail karts. But the general problem with lunar sailing is like the universal complaint about the restaurant on the moon: The food is okay, but the place has a lousy atmosphere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Syria is under-appreciated as a cruising venue, despite having friendly people and a wealth of historic sites and scenery. Admittedly, there are some slight logistical and security issues, but surely there are cruisers manly and madly enough to take on a challenge.

Syria, Noonsite:
The current conflict in the country does not make this an advisable place to visit a present.

... Lattakia is Syria's main port and as its officials are used to dealing with foreign vessels, this is the best port to enter. (Call Lattakia Radio). Call at the 12 mile limit and again at 6 miles off. Approach the port at 90 degrees to the coast.

Since there are specific rules concerning the distance a yacht must stay off the Syrian coast and a yacht's approach to Lattakia Harbour, any yacht wanting to visit there on their own should fax ahead for the latest procedures to the Syrian Yacht Club....

It might also be necessary to produce a signed list of your last 5 ports of call and your logbook may be inspected....

from comments on Noonsite by Val Ellis, before the "troubles":
<<All ships from supertankers to kayaks have to approach Lattakia from the reporting point Sierra Charlie, twelve miles true west of the Syrian coast. And no cutting off that corner, as Syrian Navy patrol boats prowl up and down the corridor with a $4,000 fine to hand. This is the first sign of the official paranoia with which the Syrian government treats foreigners, and of which more later....

Even single entry visas are only valid for fifteen days, and this brings us back to the official paranoia about visitors..... Why then the official reticence? This is not the place to discuss our host's politics, but let's simply say a more striking example of a government not representing the people would be hard to find....

The berthing itself is not too expensive at around €20/night for a 12m yacht, with 20% discount available to various cruising clubs. The damage is done by all the extras: the Immigration entry and exit charges, 'Formalities', 'Expenses', and 'Tonnage' all appear on the charge sheet, so that a week for a 12m yacht will cost somewhere around €500....

Unfortunately the official paranoia makes it is impossible to cruise down the 110 mile coast to Lebanon if one is heading south; instead one has to exit by SC too, turn south and stay more than 12nm offshore. It's shame for yachtsmen and Syrians alike, as it would make a most fascinating cruising ground for the former and provide more opportunities for the enterprising latter.>>

US Dept. of State:
<<
No part of Syria should be considered immune from violence, and the potential exists throughout the country for hostile acts, including kidnappings and the use of chemical warfare against civilian populations. Indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment, including of densely populated urban areas across the country, have significantly increased the risk of death or serious injury. The destruction of infrastructure, housing, medical facilities, schools, power and water utilities has also exacerbated hardships inside the country.

There is also a threat from terrorism, including groups like the al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) affiliated al-Nusrah Front as well as other extremist groups. Tactics for these groups include the use of suicide bombers, kidnapping, use of small and heavy arms, and improvised explosive devices in major city centers, including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. Public places, such as government buildings, shopping areas, and open spaces, have been targeted.

Communications in Syria are difficult as phone and internet connections have become increasingly unreliable. The Department of State has received reports that U.S. citizens are experiencing difficulty and facing dangers traveling within the country and when trying to leave Syria via land borders, given the diminishing availability of commercial air travel out of Syria as fierce clashes between pro-government and opposition forces continue in the vicinity of the Damascus and Aleppo airports. Land border checkpoints held by opposition forces should not be considered safe, as they are targeted by regime attacks and some armed groups have sought to fund themselves through kidnap for ransom. Border areas are frequent targets of shelling and other armed conflict and clogged by internally-displaced refugees. Errant attacks will occasionally hit border towns just outside the borders as well.
>>

"Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

What contributions could you make to "The Cruising Guide to Hell"?
in the spirit of Dr. Johnson's, ""He who goes to sea for pleasure would go to hell to pass the time!"
 

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Water Lover
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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Torch, Somalia has a large coastline and is well known for its population of entrepreneurial sailors. Wiki, describes interesting historic background dating back millenia, "Ancient pyramidical structures, mausoleums, ruined cities and stone walls found in Somalia (such as the Wargaade Wall) are evidence of an old sophisticated civilization that once thrived in the Somali peninsula.", and also describes a significant history of maritime commerce going back into antiquity. Herodotus described the ancient Macrobians as ""Tallest and Handsomest of all men" and their warriors were apparently feared even by the Persian and Egyptian empires, as implied by the story of the unstrung bow and Cambyses.

True, the weather can be a bit challenging, Noonsite describes it as, "Hot all year round, humid in the rainy seasons. Summer temperatures can reach up to 108°F (42°C) from June to September in the northern coastal towns. At the height of the SW monsoon, May to October, winds often reach gale force. The current along the Somali coast can be very strong, particularly during the SW monsoon."

and Noonsite also says that "There is no information available on clearance procedures for private yachts." so it sounds like a relaxed atmosphere where you can come and go as you please.

Unfortunately, for US folks who believe in having guns on board, "firearms will be retained", as well as
"A permit is needed if a camera is taken ashore. Permits are issued by the National Censorship Office in Mogadishu.",
"Yellow fever and cholera vaccination is essential. Malaria prophylaxis is also recommended. A yellow fever vaccination certificate must be shown on entry, otherwise the vaccination will be done on the spot and not under very hygienic conditions.", and
"There are very high harbour charges."

Still, there is the bright side that any cruisers returning from Somalia might be in a good position to write marketable articles or books.

All in all, Somalia should fit right into "The Cruising Guide"; it seems to fit just fine into the "Dangerous Places" adventure travel ethic and "He who goes to sea for pleasure would go to hell to pass the time".
 
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