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Sailing the Waterways of Russia's North

by Rachel Atkins 26 Sep 10:47 BST

Out now: a fascinating account of the Baltic Millennium Rally - a sailing adventure through the inland waterways of Russia's North.

Undertaken in the year 2000, the rally was organised by the Cruising Association to celebrate the turn of the millennium together with Russian sailors. In Sailing the Waterways of Russia's North, Irene Campbell-Grin details the journey from her homeport of Warmond, Holland, to St Petersburg, inland to Petrozavodsk, on to the White Sea, Barents Sea, North Cape and home via the west coast of Norway; a circumnavigation of Scandinavia.

In her unique day-by-day account, Irene describes the joys together with the many challenges that she and her husband Gordon faced on their boat Fereale during their five-month voyage; an expedition not many people have the courage to undertake. At a time when Russia was trying to open up to the world and the world to them, Sailing the Waterways of Russia's North gives a glimpse into the country's notorious bureaucracy, but also shows the kindness and generosity of the many Russians whom Irene and Gordon met on their way. Ultimately it proves how boating brings people together.

In the Preface, Irene expresses: "I would like to dedicate this log to my husband who had the courage to make the most difficult decision of all: to give up his job in the hope of getting it back at the end of our five months' travel, something one cannot take for granted. Not once did I lose my faith in him to somehow find a solution to the problems we experienced on our way. I have always known that we would come back safely."

Sailing the Waterways of Russia's North (16 October 2020; £16.99; paperback) is self-published by Irene Campbell-Grin. An eBook edition is publishing simultaneously. It is available to buy from all reputable book and eBook websites worldwide.

About the author

Irene Campbell-Grin originally wrote her diary of the Baltic Millennium Rally for just friends and family. Persuaded by a fellow participant of the voyage, in 2001 she entered it into the Cruising Association’s log competition and much to her surprise won The Hanson Cup, awarded for the best log of any cruise by a CA member. Twenty years later, after a lot of encouragement from those in the sailing community, she decided to publish her diary.

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