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Caribbean Sea. From Cuba to Jamaica ● Jamaica, Marina Port Antonio  Atlantic again. From Jamaica to UK

Caribbean Sea. From Barbados to Cuba <<< ● >>> Cuba. Puerto de Chivirico and Santiago de Cuba

July 8th 2004

From Tatiana (ORS): The situation with Argos beacon described below brought to mind another case re Argos, which took place straight after the arrival of Pavel to Cuba. Pavel was informed by authorities that it's illegal for anybody  to use Satphone and GPS while on the island, and then "the comrades" told Pavel to switch off the Argos beacon as well. But Pavel rebelled and said, that speaking about THAT equipment, he would not follow their order. "The moment it stops sending signals, a helicopter of the US Coast Guard will  arrive on the spot." The guys shrunk away as if they were scalded, and the issue was closed.(I now wonder, really what would have happened if Pavel had activated the emergency switch on his Argos, just 30 miles from Guantanamo ?)


July 7th 2004
From Tatiana (ORS): Today we  got a message from CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites) Argos in Toulouse, who are still getting the positions from satellite beacon (ptt) installed onboard Marion-Lviv. The fact is, that because the boat was lifted on top of the containers, Pavel has no access to her so that to switch the beacon off. And being too busy with the arrangements of the shipping, we - alas! - failed to remind Pavel and to check if the beacon had been switched off before then.
The staff in the Operations’ Room in Toulouse are tracking the signals from all the beacons extremely vigilantly, because there is a human life on the other side of most of them. And in case when any sort of deflection occurs to any of them, the system alerts immediately, and puts the operators on alert. They, in turn, by having an advanced program ELSA at their disposal, can retrace heading and speed of the carrier of the beacon at any leg of the route.
And now, with reading the following message, the subject of which is "Marion Lviv strange behaviour", - just try to imagine what a puzzle it could be for the operators to get the recent data re Pavel's boat, provided by ELSA!

"Dear Kenneth", writes Fernand Cid from The UserOffice of CLS Argos. "As far as I know the boat "Marion Lviv" is a rowing boat but I can see on my Elsa that the speeds are between 17 and 22 knots which is a bit fast even for a former citizen of the USSR".

Having split our sides with laughter and appreciated good humour of Fernand, we apologized in reply, were forgiven, and the boat was removed from monitoring.
FYI: an average speed of an ocean rowboat is 2-3 knots (under condition of fair winds and currents)
July 6th 2004



21:23 "Everything's still going veeeeeery well, I am sleeping/eating, slothfully contemplating the ocean; and loaf my time away, doing absolutely nothing!"
If only Marion-Lviv could speak, wouldn't it be interesting to hear her impression of this voyage - what does the ocean look like from the point of view of an ocean rowboat, that is "flying" serenely across it on the summit of the mountain of containers?

ETA of "Prince of Tides" - July 14th 2004

July 4th 2004

14:55 Everything  is amazingly wonderful! Yesterday we left Haiti and now we are moving north-east - to Holland.

Today is Sunday, the first Sunday of July, and Philippine crew is celebrating "Krus ng Wawa" - on this day in Philippines there is a river festival "in honor of the miraculous Cross of Bocaue (Krus ng Wawa)". During the fluvial procession, devotees ride in the "pagoda" or swim next to it and douse each other with water. As for us, nobody went into water to swim next to the ship. But to celebrate the occasion a lamb was slaughtered and now we are enjoying barbeque and drinking beer. Buy the way, when the lamb was cut, somebody from the crew brought me lamb’s   tentacles and asked with a sly snigger, if I would eat them. Dear boys, they did not know that being a geologist, who had spent 20 years working in the mountains of the Central Asia,   I've learnt a few things about lambs. "Of course YES", was the answer, "This is a delicacy, thank you very much!" And they left quite content with it, I think.

River Festival on Bocaue

I made friends with all 16 members of the crew, and especially with the cook. His art of cooking is beyond praise - something I've never even dreamed about! And all in all my life here is most enjoyable - a lasting state of a festive mood...


July 2nd 2004

22:10 "We departed later in the afternoon. There was no problem with the boat - she was dashingly lifted up into the sky and carefuly put on the top of the containers' peak. I have a wonderful cabin with loo, and shower, and a sea view. The cheff onboard is very good, and in general - everything is just fantastic. Our next destination is Dominican Republic, then - Holland, and after then we are going straight to England. More later. Can't speak long - have to save time 'cause my satphone charger is  in the boat - somewhere over there, high above,  where I can't reach it..."

From ORS: Two more ports are added to Pavel's adventure list thanks to the following: the owners / managers of the vessel are Seatrade Reefer Chartering in Groningen / the Netherlands.
Being loaded on M/V Prince of Tides Click on the image to see 4 more pics 

The service in which the vessel is operating, includes calls to Costa Rica, Jamaica and Dominican Republic.
Jamaica Producers is as such one of the many different (part) charterers of the vessel. JP has set up a complete operation in Jamaica, including an agents office in Kingston and Port Antonio.

                          That is how the Ocean Rowing Society  came in contact with Jamaica Producers.


June 30th 2004
London, ORS HQ.  From Kenneth F.Crutchlow:
In recent days Tatiana and I have been in touch with "Jamaica Producer's Shipping Co" and "Jamaica Freight & Shipping Company" in UK and Jamaica. We explained to them about Pavel, that he was hoping to row to Miami, but because of winds, currents and other circumstances he could not make it from Cuba and had to change his destination for Jamaica. Being a 65 year old Ukrainian pensioner and having no sponsors' support in his native country, Pavel is not in a position to pay to ship his boat back to UK, so that to deliver “Marion Lviv” to her owners - Peter Haining and David Riches from the “Westminster Rowing Club” in London, - who loaned the ocean rowboat to Pavel for this voyage.

"JP Shipping Company" and "Jamaica Freight & Shipping Company" have very generously agreed and got permission from Michiel Borghgraef  of Seatrade Reefer Chartering in Antwerp, who  is responsible for all daily operational matters related to the Liner service in which this vessel is running,  to transport both the ocean rowboat and Pavel gratis from Jamaica, arriving Portsmouth July 12th. 

Pavel has just now been given instructions to present himself in Port Antonio alongside "Prince Of Tides" at 14.00hrs July 1st. Then the crew will lift  "Marion Lviv" onto the deck.
I feel I must say that the conversations I have had with all those at JP Fruit, including Christine Johnston in Jamaica, David Harris and Rob Smith in UK, and all the help Pavel has got from them and even from shipping broker and customs in Jamaica – has given me the chance to realise that there really still is a certain special spirit among seamen. Clearly, those at JP
Shipping Company have that spirit and they recognize what Pavel has done: since January 20th he has rowed solo from Le Gomera to Barbados, then - to Cuba, and was then towed to Jamaica, living almost ALL that time on the ocean rowboat (tonight will be his last night), and now he is for all intents and purposes stuck, no where he can row to..........
I also want to acknowledge John Louis at the Marina Port Antonio and Port Agent Chris Magnus
for their help, and Tobi Cohen of Le Shark in London who is paying Pavel’s expenses in Jamaica and airfare to return to Ukraine from London.

Well done Pavel, your oceanrowing voyage is over, you had the adventure of a lifetime you longed for, now its time to go home.
I am sure I speak for ORS members and trustees when I say "congratulations, you are an inspiration to us all".

I invite you, the reader, to join me in raising your class for the traditional Russian 3rd toast

"To those at sea".


June 27th 2004

From Tatiana (ORS): Today is one week since Pavel arrived to Jamaica. Hospitable Marina Port Antonio appeared to be a really ideal spot to come to, not only because of its undoubtful comfort, safety and even cost of being here (13.00US a day) , - pretty soon Pavel found out that exactly here, to Port Antonio, once a week there comes a banana carrier, that after taking a cargo of tropical fruits onboard, proceeds back across the ocean to homeport of Portsmouth in UK.

Among people that Pavel got to know in marina there is a guy with a broken leg - a local of German origin. So he told Pavel, that these ships are able to lift a yacht out from the water with their own cranes.

Banana carrier "Prince of Tides"

 It means that if only we can dream to negotiate with the shipping company re taking Marion-Lviv on deck of the ship, it would take away all the headache of delivering the boat to Kingston, all thinkable and unthinkable but - alas! - inevitable problems, that would arise in such a situation. And it would solve the major problem - the money, that nobody has...
And even more - according to the information, its possible to ask them to take Pavel onboard... into the bargain.
We contacted Christine Johnston from the Jamaica Freight & Shipping Company, and she immidiately understood the situation and promised to do her best to help Pavel. Lets


June 25th 2004

Having looked round The Marina I went on to explore the rest of the island, first of all - Port Antonio itself. The town is lovely, with a lot of nice buildings with traces of former charm of colonial style.
Here it becomes easily understood why it is so cosy and quiet inside the marina. The answer lies in an endless invisible fence that surrounds the marina all the way arround, and a very good security. Once you get Outside, you are sure to be straight away accosted by beggars, vagrants and salesmen of everything and nothing, who - as everywhere in this part of the world - consider any foreigner to be a source of earning money. But to be honest, even local beggars are different to those in Cuba, I mean - for better.

Port Antonio

Together with Luke we have visited Kingston. Unfortunately the city has utterly dissapointed me - an innormoursly huge port, flowing into disorderly network of dull dusty streets, mostly with no trees at all.

To my knowledge several other cities of the island took over and for now have become quite recognized ports. Such as Port Antonio, for example. This city is deffinately for business and not for tourists. With a feeling of an acomplished task and great relief Luke and I returned to our pieceful marina.

Today I bid my fairwell to the crew of Trenelly. They have sorted out the problem with the engine and are ready to depart tomorrow. As for me, I have some plans for tomorrow as well - I am going into the mountains and will stay there over night. I'll take a sleeping bag, some food and my gas-stove, and there's nothing else I might need. Ready for new adventure!



Time is GMT (local in brackets)
June 22nd 2004

Click on the image to enlarge it

02:00 (22:00 June 21st) Both in Cuba and here in Jamaica, with pleasure and gratitude to my sole sponsor - Tobi Cohen, the Chairman of Le Shark Casual Wear, - wherever I am going, I am always wearing T-shirts with logo of Le Shark.
In Santiago de Cuba, as far as my pictures appeared in various newspapers, and program re press-conference was shown on all central TV-channels, - people in the streets started to recognize me immediately because of two things: Le Shark on my chest and  beard on my face.

It was interesting to watch how the eyes of passer-byes were first attracted by Le Shark on the T-shirt, and then, as if they needed some more confirmation of the guess, were automatically moving to my beard.
Looking at Le Shark logo people use to ask if I was trying to catch any shark, and then "what is this Le Shark about?". And I take any and each chance to praise really good sports wear that Le Shark is selling. So, you may take it for granted that I have sincerely advertised my small green Shark all around Cuba - from south to north, and even - well may be - among the seamen from various countries, who are berthing their yachts in The Marina Port Antonio here in Jamaica.

On the photo: A fisherman on a bamboo raft rows around the Marina, fishing for hours. When finally he approaches the shore, five huge dogs submerge from under the mango thicket, jump into the water, swim towards the raft and follow it up to the beach. And there a merry bustle with barking and yelping begins.

This fisherman presents a living exotics of the marina, so in order to prolong my advertising campaign I decided to present him with the  T-shirt that I am wearing on the picture above. Especially as he is attracted by the shark subject-matter - "Well, he says, I shouldn't wonder if sometimes there could be a few sharks nearby, and I am a fisherman..."
When I leave, my little shark-Le Shark will row on, and on, and on around The Marina San Antonio for, I guess, quite a long time.
June 21st 2004
03:00 ( 23:00 June 20th) Today I afforded myself a great pleasure of swimming and diving to my heart's content, and when I returned to the boat, there was a crowd of 20 waiting for me - they were seamen from different yachts, that has sailed Jamaica from all around the world - from UK, Holland, from the States... (A man from California, who is on route 'around the world alone', appeared to be of Ukrainian origin). The team from Trenelly was present there as well. I offered the party a bottle of rum, that some natural way has developed into a kind of press-conference, accompanied by slow drinking. I've got invitations to visit so many yachts, that I wonder if I have time enough to go and see all of them. It was a really very warm party.
And then the crew from Trenelly asked me to come to visit them tonight. So I took another bottle of rum and some pack
ets of "Mountain House" with me, to cook for our supper - and everybody seemed to like it. By the way it was Luke's birthday today.

I am back to my boat again. The night is fresh - in contrast to Cuba.
It's very calm in the marina - a very small islet at the entrance to the harbour protects it from the winds. It's tidy and clean here, and no foul smell. Everything is A-class, and everybody is so polite...
To-morrow I am expecting the Immigration to come, but they say it's a mere formality.

And I keep saying - what a striking difference to Cuba!

Port Antonio, Islet Pelou



June 20th 2004

01:00 (21:00 June 19th There are 8 miles left to San Antonio Jamaica. The whole day long we were sailing at  about 5 knots, but it is now dark, and neither Luke nor I have any idea which way to enter the harbour. We have rather a strong wind from southwest and I can see no way for us to hide ourselves and overstay the night behind the cape. So it makes both of us a little anxious: a yacht with not a working engine, and a oceanrowing boat in tow – if to loose the tow now I would be blown back to Cuba…...

02:00 (22:00 June 19th) Luke is sailing in a circle and intends do it the whole night long. We have still at least 7 hours to wait before the dawn breaks. Hopefully Luke doesn't fall asleep, but there is four of them onboard "Trenelly", so somebody will be on watch. It's a shame I am of no help to them, but I am on board Marion Lviv - I thought it best to stay aboard just in case the tow rope broke. It means I am ready at any moment, if something unexpected happens. To loose my boat now would be to much to bear.

11:00 (07:00) Good morning! And it looks like the morning is really good, though the weather is not completely perfect. "Trenelly" has spent the entire night sailing hither and thither, looping the loops, not approaching the shore and still trying not to move too far away. I don't think Luke managed to even have a nap. The day is breaking, now everything has changed and became clear - what a difference! - and we are off, straight to the island. The wind is moderate, though the sea is choppy a bit.
It has been an uneasy night - I was anxious that the tow warp could break, and though I knew I would drop the sea anchors and handle the situation, but my arrival to Jamaica would be postponed for an unknown period of time...I didn't fancy it. And I think for the guys on the yacht it would be worrying either.
In three hours we hope to land in Jamaica - keep fingers crossed!

At 16:50GMT (12:50) s/v "Trenelly" sailed into The Marina San Antonio of Jamaica, and shortly afterwards an ocean  rowboat "Marion - Lviv" rowed in and made fast at a pier.

18:00 (14:00) For a long, quite a long time the guys ["Trenelly"'s crew] were circling around not daring to enter the marina, until at last they called the Coast Guard. The cutter arrived pretty soon and showed them the way in. After that I got loose and each of us proceeded into the marina, doing it our own way - the yacht sailed and I rowed in.
Oh dear, what a Paradise! It's soooo nice here... You can swim right next to your boat and take a shower; there is a big hall with an abundance of PCs and an air conditioner. Beautiful yachts and friendly people... What a relief to find yourself back to normal world.
It's amazing how much estranged I've become to the 'Socialist regime', now it would be totally impossible for me to go back into the period of "the first department" ( KGB section) - I would rebel immediately . For a short time Cuba brought me back into my Past, which from nowadays seems to be even more terrible .


The Marina San Antonio, Jamaica

And how much the Brits are happy! - it seems to me that they are just silently taking delight...

The paperwork at the Customs has been done in no time and with no problem.

Well, my incredible adventure is over. It lasted, by a mere coincidence, exactly 5 months - I left La Gomera on January 20th,
 arrived to Jamaica on June 20th...
And  I have no intention to row anywhere from here


The Marina San Antonio, Jamaica



June 19th 2004

14:13 (10:30) We are sailing south, and made already 45 miles . The weather is magnifecent (though windy), I had a relaxed breakfast, enjoying beauty and tranquility of the morning. I feel happy to have left Cuba.
At this point, I think, the rowing part of my adventure has come to an end. As far as it turned out the way that Captain Luke Windle of “Trenelly” doesn't mind to tow me up to Jamaica, it's not worth it to tempt fate any more, and I took the chance. I was reminded, that now it's not the best time to stay at sea
for longer - the hurricane season did officialy start almost three weeks ago and a seriously bad weather may be behind the horizon. I have reached my goal and did what I wanted to do - I have rowed from Barbados to Cuba. And that's enough...for now. Kingston Jamaica [according to the official shipper of ORS Andrew Morris] is an ideal port for shipping my boat back to UK. So now, as Kenneth said, I can relax, drinking my rum and doing nothing. Well, if this is the advice of the Director of the Ocean Rowing Society, I should follow it without any further delay.

 "Trenelly". Photo by  Jason and Fiona.com

                                                            Mountains of Sierra Maestro are about to disappear behind the horizon...


June 18th 2004

01:18 (21:18 June 17th) The engine parts for “Trenelly” (the British yacht) have arrived, but that's not what they ordered. So Captain Luke Windle decided to give it up as lost cause and sail to Jamaica straight away. So they are getting ready to depart tomorrow. I suggested that our two vessels be towed out together, as far as it appeared that I am given a tug free of charge, and they would have to pay a fortune.

10:40 (06:40) A tug is expected at 7am, so now the marina around me is completely motionless. Buy the way, yesterday we spent evening at a variety show.

15:00 (11:00) A tug has arrived - a dirty old tub - and I was told, that they would tow me no more than 2 miles out of the harbour and then leave me on my own. But with this S-W wind I wouldn't be able to cross the belt of strong offshore current, that flows East. So I refused - I will wait for Brits to get ready and then let the tug tow both of us out. The British are in a rush to process their documents and are paying, and paying, and paying... There is a complete extortion everywhere. (Thank you, Manolita ! - I didn’t have to go through all this).

Castillocampa, Santiago de Cuba

21:23 An insane wind from southwest.
 Poor Brits have been trying for already an hour to sail out of the harbour ( no working engine!) - with no result so far. I took a rope from the yacht and lead it around the buoy, so that they can pull and turn their yacht around.
They were not provided with a tug - "may be in a week" was the answer...A Cuban motor boat was circling around “Trenelly” all the way long, for the only reason to see if she breaks some rule or regulation. The port authority forbade the yacht to take me under a tow while in the harbour, so right now I tied the boat to a buoy, watching the helpless efforts of the yacht fighting the wind. I will wait here for a favourable wind and then row out at sea. I will not go back ashore - this country doesn't fit me.

22:51 (18:51) “Trenelly” has taken me under a tow. If only you knew what a heroic effort was displayed by our vessels - both together - in desperate desire to break away. I was rowing out fighting a terrible headwind - close to the shore, between piles, straining every nerve to the limit - only to leave! The Brits did manage to leave the port in a brilliant masterly fashion, and then maneuvered to hook my boat up...


We are at the open sea, “Trenelly” is sailing 4-5 knots heading south, - south to Jamaica!




01:00 (21:00 June 16th) At last there came Signora Manolita with a person from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and some Russians as interpreters (Manolita used to be always accompanied by Adela Akosta - a Cuban, who had studied in the Odessa Hydrometheorological Institute in Ukraine). I was informed that hard as they had tried, the departure documents would be ready only the day after to-morrow -on Friday, June 18th - at best. I asked them, if they do understand what it may end up with for me - now, when the hurricane season has already begun; and if I get into a trouble with a bad cyclone and something happens to me - would they be ready to take the blame upon themselves. Of course they are aware and they are concerned, but not everything depends on them in this country of blown up officialdom, where everybody prefers to do nothing more than to do anything, i.e. - to make a decision and be

responsible for it.

My hosts presented me with a box of water and a box of beer - I appreciated and accepted it with great pleasure.

By a lucky chance there appeared two Canadian / Russians from Toronto - quite a lovely mother and her son, - and straight away started to treat me to beer and chicken (the last is considered  a top delicacy here). To-morrow they will come and pick me up for a drive around - they have hired a car with a driver. Good service! - the driver is at their disposal, readily awaiting them for as long as they need. Though this place is nothing more than a few historical buildings surrounded by slum, I have a good company to spend a day  with.

How am I? - Hot, uncomfortable and a little worried...



18:00 21:00 00:00

Feels Like 96°F-35°C

Feels Like 95°F-35°C 

Feels Like 90°F-32°C

Feels Like 85°F-29°C 

17:23 As always everything is happening simultaneously! The harbour master has come and brought all the documents ready for departure, and at about the same time we have received the following letter from the Consul General of Ukraine in the Republic of Cuba Vladislav Bogorad, explaining the delay in processing Pavel’s departure documents, that was thought to be caused by mere bureaucracy or even conspiracy of “red tape” – SORRY!!! 

Attention of Mrs. Crutchlow

Dear Tatiana,

I talked to Manolita. She explained, that according to their jurisdiction, they must provide the boat with a safe exit to open sea with the assistance of a powerboat, which should obtain permission from the Boarder Patrol . Besides, the delay was caused by the fact, that they were processing Pavel’s departure documents free of charge (the actual cost of this service is 100USD),  and this had to be approved by appropriate authorities.

Manolita said, that according to weather forecast no cyclone is expected in the foreseeable   future and they will do everything that depends on them to help Pavel to leave Cuba tomorrow morning

 With respect
Vladislav Bogorad


Cuba. Puerto de Chivirico and Santiago de Cuba. June 10th - June 16th


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