Australian Cruising Yacht Tainui - from White Sea to Black Sea

Australian cruising yacht Tainui is shortly to depart Tromso in far northern Norway, destination Istanbul. Her route has been rarely travelled by foreign yachts. She will sail round Norway's North Cape into the Barents Sea and provision in Murmansk.

When the pack ice clears in the White Sea she will sail east to Archangel'sk. Tainui will enter the Russian inland waterway system at Belomorsk, for the 3,000 mile journey south through Russia. In the last hundred years Russia has only given permission for 3 foreign-flagged vessels to do this transit. The route includes the Volga and Don Rivers, via Kiev and Rostov, down to the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.

Australian doctor John Vallentine left Sydney 7 years ago in Tainui, in what he describes as the world's slowest circumnavigation.

Tainui (ex-Vela, ex-Huon Quest, ex-Mercedes 6) is a 40 year old Peterson F46, based at RANSA in Sydney. Tainui's journey to Tromso was by way of Macquarie Island, Campbell Island, Cook Strait and Patagonia. After 2 seasons in the Chilean Patagonia Tainui sailed north to Cuba, then via New York to Nova Scotia. Vallentine took Tainui from Labrador to Scotland via Iceland, Faroes, and Shetland Islands.

Last year Vallentine sailed to Svalbard after what he calls “a spring Baltic sojourn” which took in Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Baltic Russia, Finland and Sweden.

For more information: