Sochi is a beautiful resort city in the Krasnodar Region: the unfrozen Black Sea, the proximity of mountains with beautiful views, good hotels and restaurants, ideal roads and well-developed infrastructure, well «hailed» for the 2014 Olympics. Attractive place for inland tourism, including water tourism.
Typical January air temperature in Sochi is 12-18 degrees Celsius, the sea is often calm. And if the weather forecast does not promise anything good and the output even on a large boat promises to be not very comfortable, you can climb into the mountains, where tourists have at their disposal excellent slopes for skiing and snowboarding, baths for every taste and beautiful views.
In theory, Sochi looks like an excellent option for wintering owners of boats and yachts. But there are a number of practical questions.
How are the places for winter parking? What kind of documents will it take to sail a yacht or boat along the Black Sea coast? How much will it all cost?
To get answers to these questions, we went to the New Year holidays in Sochi.
Preparation of documents for ships by the Inspectorate of State Maritime Administration
The main thing in this matter is not to be naive, hoping to register your arrival for a couple of hours or three, but to have a few days of bureaucratic red tape. For new arrivals, registration at the Port Authority and obtaining permission to leave are mandatory procedures. Regardless of whether you arrived by water or trailer, this is the procedure:
- An application is made orally or in writing to the Sochi Grand Marina operator (tel. 8 (862) 260-98-80, 8 (988) 406-66-71) or the «Imereti Port» in Adler (tel. 8 (989) 756-33-67). Working schedule - weekly from 09:00 to 20:00 without weekends. In case you apply for a parish after 20:00, the application should be submitted directly to the IGPC (State Port Control Inspectorate). It is desirable to apply one day before the expected date of arrival.
- After arrival (arrival by trailer) to the Port, a package of documents is provided: application for the arrival of the vessel, copy of the ship's ticket, documents confirming the ownership rights, power of attorney for the right to manage the vessel, if necessary, documents for the right to manage the vessel.
- An application shall be submitted to the border guards.
- A contract for port dues is concluded with the Port's accounting department.
- In the Port Administration, a permission to sail in the waters of the seaport of Sochi is executed.
The whole territory of the Black Sea from Rostov-on-Don to Abkhazia is a border control zone, requiring all vessels to register, timely notification, mandatory watch on Channel 16 and - for those wishing to leave the port of Sochi - the presence of a transition plan.
Transition plan - a document detailing all the conditions of transition of the vessel from the berth of the port of departure to the berth of the port of arrival.
Factors such as ports of refuge, refuelling, depth, manoeuvring characteristics of the vessel, minimum depth under the keel in shallow water, safe speed near navigational hazards, method and frequency of location, points of no return and other characteristics necessary to ensure safe navigation and safety of human life at sea are taken into account when designing the planned voyage route.
Modern electronic nautical charts make life much easier when planning and navigating a voyage, but you have to be careful about calculating your route. This is a non-trivial task: for example, a plan for the transition from Sochi to Batumi takes ten sheets with all the points of turn, non-return and bypass. You can make the plan yourself, but it is easier to use the services of an agent who already has everything calculated, worked out and coordinated.
It is possible to order the big plan of transition through all Black Sea and to use it at any moves on water area, changing only dates and trajectories.
Parking at the Yacht Club
In order for the port to give permission for a guest call, he must be notified at least 12 hours in advance of his arrival and agree on a place with the yacht club.
Each port is guided by the orders of the Ministry of Transport, and it is better to get acquainted with them in advance to save time, nerves and money. All the information defining the rules of conduct in Sochi port can be found in 404 orders of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation dated October 3, 2017.
The epic of execution of documents for arriving to the port begins with signing a contract with the yacht club. There are two main yacht-clubs in Sochi, ready to accept yachts of any size. They are the historic Seaport of Sochi (hereinafter referred to as Sochi Grand Marina), where the branch of Burevestnik Group has settled, and the new port of Sochi «Imeretinsky» (hereinafter referred to as the Imeretinsky Port), which was converted from cargo after the 2014 Olympics.
Sochi Grand Marina
The port of Sochi Grand Marina is located in the historic city centre. The yacht club has a promenade area along the waterfront. Shops and restaurants are within walking distance. The Port Authority Zorko monitors everything that happens in the marina from the towering Sea Station building.
In order to access the yacht club by car, a pass must be obtained in advance by telephone. If you have signed a contract with Burevestnik Group, it is better to make a document of arrival at the port at once, because the inspector will ask you for it. With the request to wash, lower, repair the boat it is better to address directly to the club director. He will arrange everything even on a day off. As it often happens, without a word of the director, no one is in a hurry here. But they do it well: the boat is washed perfectly. There is parking on land, but the yacht club has few ground areas and they are used for service and urgent work.
But parking on water in Sochi Grand Marina is more than justified: the marina is officially a port of refuge, which means that it meets the highest safety requirements and will save the yacht in a storm.
Add to this the ease of access to restaurants and shops and the well-equipped berths, which are accessed strictly by cards, the price becomes less important.
Callsign to enter/exit the port:Sochi«traffic control»
Channel: 11 VHF
Port of Imeretinsk
The new one, built for the 2014 Olympics as a cargo terminal, was originally planned for a universal marina. The newest modern expensive forklifts are now rusting for nothing, which is certainly the reason for the frustration of the seaport administration.
Imeretinsky Yacht Club is young and hot: all its employees try to attract guests: from girls on the phone with pleasant voices to the administration.
Besides, it is very conveniently located for weekend arrivals: just ten minutes by taxi from the airport. For those wishing to walk in the mountains or ride in winter from the slopes about 40 minutes will take the road to Krasnaya Polyana.
The Adler region is positioned as a resort with a yacht club on its territory, so the infrastructure here is good. A new hotel with delicious breakfasts, restaurants, cafes and shops. The choice is not as big as in the centre, but everything is present.
There is a sailing club for both adults and children as well as a beach and regular activities for yachtsmen. It is possible to participate in a regatta, to dive with scuba diving, to learn on the captain of a small ship.
As for the infrastructure of the yacht club itself, all wishes and needs are taken into account here too: a large overland berth, descent/lift up to 135 tons, secure parking, electricity and water supply, service and complex repairs. If necessary, divers are organized.
However, there are not so many pontoons, and at the muringa often put the stern to the concrete. The territory is all under surveillance, strict pass system, which also pleases.
Artificial bucket-shaped fences, which do not make the marina a shelter port, making yacht owners worry in case of a storm, do not please; therefore the prices, compared to Burevestnik Group - berthing, descent / ascent, maintenance - are much cheaper.
Callsign of the marina watch service:« Marina Imeretinsky» or «Marina Watch.»
Channel: 17 VHF. Request permission to enter/exit the port
Call sign MDS: «Sochi traffic control»
Channel: Channel 11 VHF. Request to enter/exit the port after receiving approval from the watch.
When you arrive at the port and decide on the parking lot, the first thing to do is to notify the border guard.
The Sochi Grand Marina frontier post is located near the territory of Dagomys» sanatorium «(tel. 8 (862) 266-89-42). If you plan your visit in advance, the administration of the yacht club will prepare all the documents for supervisors and agree them for you. For those who have chosen Adler as their berth location, it is only five minutes by taxi to the border post (telephone 8 (862) 266-89-43). In any case, you should call in advance and make an appointment. Even if they do not make an appointment on the same day, they will make it fast and at the exact time.
From documents you will need: passport, rights, ship's ticket and contract with the yacht club. It is better to take care of copies of all documents in advance, so as not to look for a photocopier in the nearest village.
Notification to the Border Guard is valid for one year. However, by changing the port of registry, the procedure will have to be repeated in a new place.
In order to leave the port at least two hours in advance, it is necessary to request permission for a particular vessel to pass from point A to point B. Immediately before leaving, a second request is made. The answer to this request depends both on the weather and on the availability of guests at nearby residences. For example, Bocharov brook will be forced to walk 5-7 miles from the shore during the first person's stay.
While at sea, the vessel is obliged to keep watch on the 16 VHF channel (border guards). To go out to sea it is obligatory to have a marine radio on board. Night crossing is possible only if there is a registered AIS system on board. There is no need to report every time you cross the border zones, a message at the exit of the marina is enough. In contrast to the Crimea, where the radio is not out of hand, and the report to the border guards goes to each cape and protrusion of the peninsula.
Making a contract with the port
The owner of any yacht longer than three meters needs to sign a contract with the port. And for those who arrive by land with a boat on a trailer, registration in the port must be done to be able to go out to sea. Without a contract (permit) number, your possibilities are limited to sitting on a boat moored at the berth. Sports sailing boats, which length does not exceed nine meters, without engines and equipped places for rest, do not need to register.
The seaport administration is located near the cargo terminal Sochi Grand Marina, on Cruise Harbour Street. In Rosmorport, you need to find an inspector and an accountant who appears on a free schedule. You'll have to catch them, which is called a live one. In fact, the inspectors' schedule is conditioned by their heavy workload: their responsibilities are much wider than allowed for the normal operation of the services. But they are coping. However, you will have to wait, perhaps, a day, two, or even three, if your appearance coincides with some kind of emergency.
The result of the visit should be a contract, which is concluded for the duration of the documents of a small ship. And this, as you know, is five years from the date of examination.
However, if the yacht leaves the port for more than three days, the procedure will have to be repeated again. Provided you've arranged the exit, not left in silence on the trailer.
The agreement is accompanied by a permit, the number of which must be learned by heart. Originals and copies of the ship's ticket, port arrival document, rights and captain's passport are provided for registration. If the captain and the owner are not the same person, an additional power of attorney for yacht management is required.
According to the contract you are obliged to pay for each exit from the port. The sums are ridiculous. For example, the cost of leaving the port for a boat eight meters long is 13 rubles. Even «Sberbank Online» refuses to accept such amounts. You must open a deposit at a Sberbank cash desk on a receipt issued by an accountant of the port.
After submission of documents, the inspector will introduce you to the base, determine the area of permitted swimming depending on the size of your vessel, wave and characteristics specified in the ship ticket. The calculation is based on how long a particular vessel needs to reach the nearest port of refuge after being notified of an impending storm. In order to get out of the area assigned to you, a crossing plan must be drawn up and permission must be requested from the GIMS for a one-off crossing.
The Seaport's website gives you the option to send documents by e-mail and sign a contract in advance, but this rule does not apply to small vessels yet. As it turned out, they are not particularly remembered and the law does not fully understand who and what should do with them.
Morport inspectors, once they are the extremes, take responsibility and resolve issues.
«Do you see a gopher? No? And he is," says the port inspector of Sochi. - We have more than 200 small vessels registered in the port, and what to do with them in fact - no law does not specify».
And if you amend the 404 order and transfer small vessels to the care of the Inspectorate or under the responsibility of the Yacht Club, life will be easier, easier and faster for everyone.
As long as laws are written by those who have not been at sea, bureaucracy remains a big problem.
Fortunately, there are always specialists in love with their work, not fast, but confidently changing lives for the better.
Fuelling is a vivid example of the delirium of Russian reality. And if on the main highways of central Russia this question is solved in millimeter steps, but in Sochi the beast of bureaucracy zealously protects inviolability of absurd foundations.
«Fuel bunkering is a very important part of the port's existence. As well as the availability of special vessels and waste water collection facilities. Before the Olympics, these operations were carried out from a special berth allowed for these operations. At the moment there is no»full-fledged infrastructure in place," explains a Port officer.
For diesel owners, there is a floating gas station in Sochi Grand Marina. It still belongs to the same Morport. All you have to do is sign a contract with the port for the supply of fuel, order the fuel in 24 hours, specify the required volume and stand in line waiting for a personal invitation to the refueling. You can try to send the documents by e-mail and, having calculated the volume, order fuel in advance. If it works, it will save you a day or two waiting.
For owners of yachts with gasoline engines the official legislation in the territory of Sochi offers to refuel with manna heaven. There are no official refueling, refueling from canisters is prohibited, and Morport gasoline does not provide, despite the availability of the necessary tank.
«Thanks to the need to refuel port ships, we have barely been able to defend the diesel engine. In theory, we are not allowed to refuel private boats. And we could not defend the gasoline: the need for it is small, the laws are written by unknown persons, and the environmental prosecutor's office slows down the process», - comments the port captain.
Attempts to carry gasoline in a can carefully through binoculars are being followed by the administration from the historic building's spire, which towers over the water area. You can carry a couple of soft 50 litre jerry cans at your own risk, but you only have to refuel when you go out to sea.
«We've been fighting for the opening of an official gas station, separate from the port. But for now the bureaucratic car slows down any movement in a positive direction»- says Maxim Yurtaev, the director of branch Burevestnik Group.
Five kilometres towards Adler, in the Sailing Centre, Mrs Ekaterina has settled down. If you are lucky and her mood coincides with your need, there will be a chance to get a portion of gasoline from an incomprehensibly designed source.
It takes a long and hard time to call Aunt Kathy. But at the moment it's the only source of gasoline in the water in the nearest water area. That's why Her Majesty appears there on a whim and mood.
It is little known to anyone, but the territory of the Sailing Centre is not the jurisdiction of the port of Sochi. Therefore, you can stand there without permits, notifying only the border guards of your departure. The territory of their parking is very small, but quite protected.
In the port of Imeretinsky all-seeing eye is absent, so quietly and with the help of a gas station and taxi you can organize a light meal for your floating friend.
The issue of refueling is acute throughout Russia. The water area of the Black Sea, the most interesting both for inland tourism and for attracting foreign yachts, is especially affected.
The trip abroad of the Russian Federation by the ship of the State Maritime Inspectorate.
It is not necessary to be naive, planning on a yacht with the registration of the State Migration Service to go to Georgia for a couple of days, being in Sochi on a week holiday.
«I don't have the legal framework to let the SMIRS ship out of the Russian Federation," says the Captain of Morport. - Vessels supervised by the Inspectorate for Hydrometeorology and Navigation are classified in class 1 to 5 for navigation in coastal and inland water basins. The new Order (Order of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation from 24.06.2016 № 340 on the rules of registration of ships in the State Maritime Inspectorate) does not mention "for the territory of the Russian Federation". As soon as this phrase appears in any amendment of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, a couple of hours to collect a commission and give you permission to leave the port».
Captain of the port of Sochi Lukavit: Annex 3 to the technical regulations of the Customs Union «on the safety of small size vessels», which is guided by the State Maritime Inspectorate for the issuance of ship tickets to owners of boats and yachts, lists among the possible areas of navigation small size «marine basins» with different wave height and distance from the shore. There are indeed five categories, each of which includes a «sea basin or inland water basin». Smaller vessels of category 0 have no restrictions at all «on conditions of navigation according to design and operational documentation».
In contrast to the Port of Sochi, the ports of Novorossiysk, Anapa and St. Petersburg are free to release small vessels for the territory of the Russian Federation. The captains of the ports promised to spend only a couple of hours by phone on all the papers and inspection in the presence of the inspection by the State Inspectorate for Navigation on a single passage.
But in Sevastopol - the same trouble with the impossibility of free passage abroad.
As it turned out later, you can still get out without re-registering to the sea register.
The official inquiry of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia is answered: «...The Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia is not authorized to establish requirements for the exit of small size vessels from the Russian seaports <...> If the declared area for the navigation of small size vessel is higher than allowed (category of complexity noted in the ship's ticket), the captain of the seaport has the right to prohibit the exit of small size vessel to such area.
Accordingly, there is no entry abroad for yachts with GIMS registration FORBIDDEN.
If the distance to the nearest port of refuge does not exceed the class indicators, then prepare a transition plan. And if the permitted distance according to the documents is critically low, then take care to get the examination of the State Maritime Administration for a single crossing of a particular vessel to the crossing plan. Then the question will disappear on its own. It is better to make the survey in your GIMS in advance. In Sochi at the moment it will take from three days to one week.
But the issue with the captain's license is still on the agenda.
The blue crust of the GIMS is valid up to the Russian border, and the port captain should not care how you will manage after it is passed. In particular, this is the case at the port of Novorossiysk. And in Sochi, it is required to present a more serious level.
To go abroad from the documents you will need: a captain's license, a ship's ticket, foreign passports for all crew members and passengers with visas, if necessary, a transition plan, inspection by the State Maritime Inspectorate for a one-time crossing, the ship's role and an inventory of all property up to personal belongings and fuel reserves on the yacht (customs declaration). If the captain is invited, the original notarial power of attorney for the management of the yacht and for going abroad is required.
It took three weeks of constant calls, questions and clarifications and study of the legislative framework to clarify the situation. The problem is that the responsible persons on the spot cannot answer direct questions by constantly redirecting them to each other.
Therefore, it is often easier to turn to an agent who has already prepared the agreed forms of many necessary documents and who knows the shortest way to overcome the confusing bureaucratic system, as well as where de jure diverges from de facto.
When passing the procedure of inspection at the border and customs control, do not forget to prepare bahila, because taking off your shoes, stepping on your light carpets, customs officers are not entitled to instructions.
You need to be ready to go to another country, having studied its peculiarities of reception. Everywhere, you will definitely need to raise the flag of the country you are asking to visit, and the yellow flag of Quebec, which explains that there are no patients on board.
When planning a visit to an overseas country, you must familiarize yourself with its requirements, including those for skipper licences.
There is no single international right for all in fact.
Countries can be divided into three types. Those who do not care whether you have a piece of paper or not, and those who have drawn it. Countries that only recognize certain types of licenses for certain types of boats, classified by size, power and remoteness. And those who recognize our national document.
Almost everywhere (except Israel) there is a 12-mile territorial waters zone, upon reaching which it is necessary to contact the local border guards and request a port of entry to pass the border. The international border communication channel is 16 VHF.
The procedure at foreign ports usually takes several hours without nerves, provided that the rules are followed and the necessary documents are provided.
A drop of stone sharpens
Sochi is a city where the sea does not freeze in winter and meets mountains with excellent slopes. This is an interesting route for owners of small vessels, which are registered in Russia an impressive number. But until there is no simplified way of registration in ports, operational work of customs, there is not enough equipped shelter ports and filling stations, visiting the native coast of the Black Sea is an adventure to overcome the bureaucratic absurdity. As long as employees of the services do not know the procedures, it is difficult to talk about the development of tourism, how many new hotels are not built.
The situation in Crimea is not better. The absurdity of inconsistency of the legislative base of this most beautiful peninsula with the rich history in reality comes to marasmus. Even port boats fall under the fines for illegal refueling, the only phone of border guards does not allow you to call on time. As a result, the yachts go out without permission if they don't give a damn about the fine. And the customs, having refused to accept a Russian yacht from Turkey in the evening, leave her till morning at the raid in the storm. Regattas break down after communicating with border guards, and the patriotism of yachtsmen does not stand up to the tests of the harsh homeland. Problems and opportunities of the beautiful coast of Crimea require a separate extensive article. But one thing is clear: the infrastructure is idle, yachts go to Turkey for quiet rest, order and respect. The lack of legal amendments, organization of even the most necessary berths, refueling and competent management leads to a huge outflow of yachts - and therefore money - outside the Russian Federation.
It is possible to change the situation only by deed and persistent public influence.
Not by indignation and irritation at all understandable difficulties, not by silent observation while waiting for everything to change, but by active actions. After all, even a drop of stone sharpens.