Russian barque Sedov may alter its global voyage route over pandemic
The Russian barque Sedov that called at Vladivostok as part of the round-the-world expedition organized by Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishing is ready for the expedition’s second stage but may alter its route over the pandemic, Agency Deputy Head Pyotr Savchuk said at a press conference hosted by TASS.
The round-the-world expedition "Sails of the World 2020" is devoted to the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the Antarctica by Russian explorers and the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
The frigate Pallada and the barque Sedov taking part in the round-the-world voyage arrived at the Russian Far Eastern port of Vladivostok on Wednesday morning. The port became a final point for the Pallada to wrap up its round-the-world voyage while the Sedov will use its anchorage on Russia’s Pacific coast to replenish its supplies and change the group of cadets on its board and continue its expedition. The barque is expected to return to its home port of Kaliningrad in October.
"We had questions about which way the Sedov would sail. We even considered the Arctic transit. Nevertheless, considering that cadets had to be trained and they needed precisely the sail practice, a decision was made that the barque would sail across the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic. This is very important from the viewpoint of the efficiency of training cadets," Savchuk said at an online press conference devoted to the ceremony of welcoming the Russian sail ships Pallada, Sedov and Kruzenshtern at the ports of Vladivostok and Kaliningrad.
Since the start of the voyage, the Sedov has already covered over 23,000 nautical miles, made calls at six ports and received over 11,000 guests on its board, according to the ship command’s data.
"We believe that the barque Sedov’s route has been mapped out maximally safely. Yes, we may possibly exclude some ports of call where the coronavirus pandemic will be observed. We also believe that the barque Sedov will be fully ready to implement the second stage of the round-the-world expedition," he added.
The sail ships’ routes at the previous stages had to be adjusted over the coronavirus while some events were held online due to the pandemic, he specified.
Also, the crews had to stay aboard and replenish supplies without going ashore. This situation showed that the sail ships were setting new records in their autonomous voyages, the deputy head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishing said.
Despite the coronavirus, the cadets’ training continues and the operation of the Federal Fishing Agency’s ships will subsequently continue at sea, he said.
"Our plans envisage participation both in sea races and large events. Everything will depend on the coronavirus infection. That is why, some practices will be limited to the ports of call," Savchuk said.
According to the latest statistics, over 6,468,700 people have been infected worldwide and more than 382,000 deaths have been reported.
To date, a total of 432,277 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 195,957 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 5,215 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.
Three Russian sail training ships: the Pallada, the Kruzenshtern and the Sedov took part in the round-the-world voyage organized by Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishing and devoted to the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the sixth continent by the first Russian Antarctic expedition led by Faddey Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev and the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
The Pallada embarked on its voyage on November 1 from the port of Vladivostok while the Sedov and the Kruzenshtern set their sail from Kaliningrad on December 8.
The barque Sedov and the frigate Pallada were on their round-the-world voyages while the windjammer Kruzenshtern was performing a trans-Atlantic expedition. A total of 692 cadets of educational institutions of the Federal Agency for Fishing and 56 boy seamen were aboard the sail ships to undergo training during the voyages.
As a major event of the expedition’s first stage, the windjammers held a 200-mile memorial sailing race on February 20-21 to honor the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the sixth continent by the first Russian Antarctic expedition led by Faddey Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev.