After successful launch of SIGO 50 Explorer last May we began vast test-drive of her.
Preparations for the campaign began long before. All systems and equipment were carefully checked, detected problems immediately were eliminated. A shirt sea trials had been carried out, during which promo film about the "Explorer" was shot. Everything was OK; all crew was happy and confident that voyage will take place normally and without bad surprises.
At last everything was ready to departure date the 12-th of August. At last night before the departure we have purchased and loaded on board food and water. All crew is ready and everything is prepared. The journey could be started.
I did not mention the following: our test drive will not be easy. It will not be a routine journey along the Gulf of Odessa coast for one or two days. This should be a serious voyage. We will go to Bosporus, then to the Greek islands, to Italy, then to France, to the Rhone estuary and up the Rhone and Saone to the Rhone-Rhine canal. The gateways and bridges on Rhone-Rhine canal have not enough dimensions "Explorer" to fit in, because she is not a "canal yacht". So, we will return to the mouth of the Rhone and go to Cannes. No, no! We have already missed last year film festival. Our goal - another festival: Yacht Festival Cannes 2014. There is our "Napoleonic plans". «Napoleonic» is not told in vain, but let it be explained little bit later… This voyage should prove the ability of our motor yacht to be a house on the water for a family or a group of like-minded people who wish to spend much of their lifetime in the sea or river trips. The crew was made up of shipbuilding specialists with sea skills and knowledge and some experience of the sea voyages. They also will serve as captain, mechanic, electrician, sailor, steward and anyone else, if necessary.
So the day came. We started from our home yacht marina "Pine Beach", made a short passage to a main Odessa yacht club for custom and passport formalities. Odessa welcomed us with a sunny weather and calm seas. The orthodromy way to Bosporus leads us along the Odessa coast to Cape Big Fountain. Wonderful views, beautiful native landscapes. When we will see it again?
Having gone so far off the coast that it has not been seen we did not felt loneliness owing to the company of cheerful dolphins. It was nice and very pleasant to look at their beautiful graceful bodies, suddenly appearing out of the water before the bulb and racing with the boat and themselves. They jumped out of the water as though they showed their beauty and perfection of hydrodynamic qualities of their bodies.
All day long the weather was good, but after sunset the sea reminded us that it is called Black and is not always tender and kind. The waves were growing. When it reached four points, the ship turned into a real ocean wanderer overcoming the vast expanses of the ocean. Her beautiful, powerful bow has pierced through the rolling waves turning them into a myriad of spays which falls on the deck, superstructure and from time to time even on the wheelhouse roof forcing us to close the roof hatch... These feelings are not for land living human. In spite of the fact that any rolling and high seas does not give a sense of comfort we clearly felt the ship’s reliability. Any doubt concerning the ship’s hull strength aroused in our minds. We felt certain that these jumping over the waves and violent knocks at the hull could cause no harm to vessel and crew. We admired this feeling of vessel’s reliability and power so much. It is very important for the expedition yacht which designed for long voyages by the open sea to make a sense of reliability and stability. The engines worked like a clock, despite the fact that from time to time the bow and then the aft have jumped out of the water. The yacht’s movement was stable and continuous, in spite of the fact that the bow sometimes completely buried in the huge wave. The hull’s hydrodynamics appeared be very good. In spite of the deck is rather "wet" in such cruising conditions. But it could be referred as nice "shortcomings" of sea travel.
To cut long story short, we were bound to Constanta, Pomania. The trip have taken near 20 hours. The first night in the sea was hard owing to the strong wind and heavy seas. But the yacht successfully did her best.
We arrived to Roman yacht club at the morning with the sun shining brightly and nearly no waves. The first leg was finished like a house on fire.