Sailing to Leningrad: A Voyage Through the Baltic

Roger Foxall, Author Sheridan House $14.95 (245p) ISBN 978-0-911378-98-6
Since the Revolution, Leningrad and the southern Baltic ports have been virtually closed to private sailing yachts (an exception was the 1980 Olympic sailing events at Tallinn, Estonia). Architect-sailor Foxall wanted to test glasnost by making a goodwill cruise to Russia, the Baltic States and Poland, and after a year of negotiations, he and his crew set out from Kerry, Ireland, in his 32-foot sloop, Canna . Their route was north to Scotland and the Caledonian Canal; across the North Sea to Norway, to Goteborg, Sweden, and the Gota Canal; thence to the Baltic, Helsinki and Leningrad. Returning, Canna hugged the southern coast, sailing into Estonia, Latvia and Poland. Foxall's account of this precedent-setting voyage follows the tradition of seafaring narratives: warm welcomes and generous hospitality in port; storms and rough seas; narrow channels and tricky navigation. But in addition, there were hostile patrol boats, Soviet submarines, giant tows in the North Sea. The socialist countries allowed passage only in defined shipping lanes; coastal information was limited. This is a fine travel-adventure-sailing story; fans of Tristan Jones especially will find it captivating. Photos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
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