Author Archives: John Vallentine

Priozersk

Since St Petersburg we have encountered just 2 yachts. Both small Russian boats with small outboard motors. So Priozersk came as a surprise. Entering through a narrow but well-marked channel there are 3 small marinas here in the river, with … Continue reading

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Valaam

On the far north of Lake Ladoga lies Valaam Island, home to one of the holiest of Russian Orthodox monasteries. A rich collection of churches, sketes and shrines dating from the 14th century dot the island in primeval conifer forest. … Continue reading

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Konovets monastery

Talk about contrasts! We had not expected to find such a delightful anchorage and wondered how the monastery island of Konovets, our next destination and one of the goals of our Ladoga cruise, could surpass it. After an idyllic sail … Continue reading

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Dalyokaya Bukhta

On the western side of Lake Ladoga, Dalyokaya Bukhta (60 deg 34.33N/30 deg 40.88E) is a peaceful, forested bay, guarded by two spectacular cardinal marks. The water was glassy and the bay deserted but for two immobile fishermen and some … Continue reading

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Out onto the lake at last

Such a relief to leave the Neva headwaters at Schlisselburg, out into Lake Ladoga. Schlisselburg itself has almost nothing to offer cruising yachts but we found the cosy little retreat recommended to us by our Danish friend Asgar and spent … Continue reading

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River Yacht Club St Petersburg

The River Yacht Club in St Petersburg, housed in an ugly soviet brutalist building, used to offer snug berths inside its huge stone moles. Now the yacht harbour is closed to foreign yachts, which now must tie up outside on … Continue reading

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Apostol Andrei

We first met Russian yacht Apostol Andrei at Barentsburg (Svalbard) in 2012. A surprise and a delight to come across Nikolai Litau and his robust ice breaker yacht again here in SPB. Such a contrast with Dutch yacht Mulligan – … Continue reading

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Towards Ladoga

The 30 mile trip from St Petersburg to beginning of the Neva River at Lake Ladoga is a slow one, with a relentless contrary current, varying between 2 and 4.5 knots. We anchored half way to catch up on sleep. … Continue reading

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It couldn’t end better

Sometimes a day could not end better. After that long trip up from St Petersburg we have anchored off the densely forested shore in 5 m of water, Blue Dove held steady by a 1 knot current. Maxine has gone … Continue reading

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Sailing through St Petersburg

Our journey upriver through St Petersburg was spectacular. We had rafted alongside a huge river barge and took on our pilot at 2 am. Blue Dove, the only yacht, joined a procession of commercial behemoths heading up the Neva. There … Continue reading

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