Into the Wind: the Expedition of the RGS Continued Along the Coasts of Brazil

На гостеприимной отмели с флагом РГО. Фото участников экспедиции

A strong headwind slowed down the progress to the south of the expedition of the Tomsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society "Following the paths of Russian explorers" for several days. However, on March 3, weather conditions allowed the brave travelers to go to sea again. The trimaran Russian Ocean Way headed for the city of Natal in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte.

“Today, March 3, woke up at 4:30. Had some sunny-side-up eggs. Tea, coffee. At 5:15–5:30 the sun rose, we began unmooring and filming with three cameras. At 6:00 we leave the bay and go from Areia Branca to Natal 200 miles,” the head of the expedition Evgeny Kovalevsky told the website of the Russian Geographical Society.


На заре - в путь. Фото участников экспедиции

The participants of the round-the-world voyage on a trimaran, after a difficult passage across the Atlantic, were preparing their vessel for some time to continue sailing in Fortaleza. On the night of February 23, the expedition moved south to Cabedelo. Evgeny Kovalevsky, Stanislav Berezkin and Aleksey Gaiduk had to sail 300 miles along the coast of South America. However, the head current and strong wind, with which they had to fight for three days, interfered with their plans. It became clear that before the weather changed, they should take shelter on the shore – it is simply impossible to overpower the air currents rushing at you at a speed of 30 knots.

Travelers were sheltered by a sandbank near the city of Areia Branca.  “We are recovering after three days of struggle with the headwind and head current. With oncoming waves, it is impossible to break through such a wind. Closed up the gaps between the lockers through which the ocean enters the tent,” Kovalevsky said then.

The Russians reported to the local police and studied the surroundings. It turned out that the sandy beach, on which the trimaran was pulled out, is a favorite vacation spot for residents of the surrounding towns. Every day after lunch, several ferries dock there.

"Cheerful groups of ‘brasileiros’ and ‘brasileiras’ come ashore with hustle and bustle, see our exotic vessel and come to get acquainted. We welcome everyone, give everyone a team calendar, tie bandanas. Learning that we are Russians, everyone is surprised and delighted. We are open, friendly, smiling, talkative. The Brazilians all want to be photographed with us. We do not refuse anyone. Men, women stand next to us, put their hands on our shoulders. We respond in kind. All together we are in real time – a real brotherhood of peoples. We are brothers and sisters. This is how the whole world should be,” Evgeny Kovalevsky noted in his travel notes.


Здесь многие, действительно, в белых штанах. Фото участников экспедиции

The Brazilians reacted with great interest to the expedition: they ask where from and where to the trimaran is going, ask how to help the travelers, admire the courage of the Russian sailors.

“We talk about Siberia, about our trip around the world, about Russian sailors, about the ocean, about the countries we visited, about the mission of peace and friendship that our crew carries,” Kovalevsky emphasized.

The immediate plans of the expedition are to get to the city of Natal. From there, Aleksey Gaiduk will return to Novosibirsk via Sao Paulo and Dubai. And Evgeny Kovalevsky and Stanislav Berezkin will go farther – to Cabedelo. On the way they have a lot of work to do, including "Lessons from the Ocean". The Biological Institute of Tomsk State University has recently joined this educational campaign of the Tomsk Branch of the Russian Geographical Society. Scientists, together with the participants of the expedition "Following the paths of Russian explorers" will tell schoolchildren about the ecology of the World Ocean, its flora and fauna, and many other interesting things.

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 Krusenstern’s (1803–1806), Yuri Lisyansky’s (1803–1806), Otto Kotzebue (1815–1818, 1823–1826), Vasily Golovnin’s (1817–1819), Fyodor Litke’s (1826–1829), Thaddeus 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.


Alexander Zhirnov