Heat, Rain, Remoras and Divine Sunsets: RGS Circumnavigation Continues

Тримаран Russian Ocean Way у берегов Бразилии. Фото участников экспедиции

A strong headwind again changes the plans of the round-the-world expedition of the Tomsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society. The crew of the trimaran Russian Ocean Way was forced to anchor in the bay of the small Brazilian town of Buzios on April 5, 200 miles short of the intermediate goal – the Port of Ubatuba. Tropical heat gives way to prolonged rains, but the Atlantic invariably pleases with beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The expedition leader Evgeny Kovalevsky shared another portion of his impressions with the readers of the Russian Geographical Society’s website.

Now on board the trimaran, along with Evgeny Kovalevsky and Stanislav Berezkin, is a Brazilian of Russian origin, Sergio Zotov. The crew steadfastly endures all the difficulties of the voyage. For some time after sailing from Salvador, the travelers were tormented by heat.

“Stanislav even had a heat stroke. He reacted in time – put on clothes, poured water over himself from a bucket, scooping it from the ocean. Then the wind blew on him,” said Kovalevsky.

Then there were communication problems. Travelers should call the expedition's coastal headquarters in Tomsk every day and provide up-to-date information about themselves.

“Because of the sanctions, we lost contact with the coastal center, since both satellite devices – the telephone and the terminal – do not work. We were far from the shore; there was no cell service either. The headquarters lost us and turned to the Russian embassy in Brazil, and they, in turn, to the Brazilian Navy – to look for and save us. Today we, on purpose, approached the shore and got the Internet using the Brazilian SIM card. Now everything is fine,” said the leader of the expedition.


Вдали видна полоска берега. Фото участников экспедиции

All this time, the trimaran was sailing about 15 miles from the coast. At the same time, the wind was blowing from the front, the side, would disappear altogether at times; the team had to set, then lower the sails, and sometimes start the engine. The circumnavigators usually rarely fish, but have recently appreciated the taste of the seafood of the Atlantic. Sergio turned out to have a fishing tackle, with which he managed to catch a suckerfish. This indicates a proximity to larger inhabitants of the depths.

“There were several remoras. They always accompany sharks. We fried the fish. In general, we eat modestly: rice, noodles, tea,” said Eugene.

There are many fishing boats and container ships in this area off the coast of Brazil. At night this creates problems as there is a risk of collision. The travelers have encountered oil platforms in the ocean, but did not come across pleasure yachts, however. In general, Neptune is still favoring the expedition members – hard oncoming waves do not hit so often. But the rains are tiring, especially at night on watch.

“We keep watch for four hours during the day and four hours in the evening. Since we don’t have a roof over our heads, watchmen in the rain, especially at night, are actively freezing,” said Kovalevsky.


Закат над Атлантикой. Фото участников экспедиции

In exchange, the Atlantic pampers the circumnavigators with bright colors of the morning and evening sky. The skies turn yellow, orange, green, red.

“The sunsets are divine,” Evgeny Kovalevsky admitted.

On April 5, the trimaran was forced to anchor in the bay of Buzios. A strong headwind of up to 25 knots did not allow moving forward. The crew decided to wait for favorable weather and only then move on. On fine evenings, the team has the opportunity to play the guitar.

“We have three of them. Stanislav and Sergio gravitate towards blues, I like Russian romances and bard songs. By the way, my friend Sasha Mezentsev from Tomsk made my guitar with his own hands; and Volodya Rassokhin from Novosibirsk converted Stas’s into an ocean version. Sergio has a tiny four-string cavaco. We are a musical crew,” Kovalevsky joked.


Евгений Ковалевский, Станислав Берёзкин и Сержио Зотов. Фото участников экспедиции.

The international team of the trimaran Russian Ocean Way is moving forward towards its intended goal, despite the problems, hardships and difficulties. Shares joys and sorrows.

“We continue to carry out the mission of friendship and kindness. A huge number of acquaintances, conversations on the shores. Brazilians and yachtsmen from different countries treat us warmly, we treat everyone with friendliness and kindness as well. Our crew is now almost always international; we take on the residents of cities for the stages along the route of our trimaran,” reminded Kovalevsky.

On July 1, 2021, Siberian travelers Evgeny Kovalevsky and Stanislav Berezkin set off along the route of the first Russian round-the-world expeditions of the 19th century: Ivan Kruzenshtern’s (1803-1806), Yuri Lisyansky’s (1803-1806), Otto Kotzebue’s (1815-1818, 1823-1826), Vasily Golovnin’s (1817-1819), Fedor Litke’s (1826-1829), Faddey Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev’s (1819-1921). The international project of the Tomsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society "Following the paths of Russian explorers" is dedicated to the 250th birthday anniversary of Krusenstern and the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by Russian sailors. These events for a long time determined Russia's leadership in the development of the oceans and the discovery of new lands. You can learn more about the project and provide all possible assistance in its implementation on the website of the expedition.