The solemn ceremony on the occasion of launching the circumnavigation took place on Saturday, December 7. The ceremony was attended Deputy Minister of agriculture of Russia – the Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries Mr. Ilya Shestakov, the Governor of the Kaliningrad region Mr. Anton Alikhanov, Federal Chief inspector of the Kaliningrad region Mr. Sergey Eliseev, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Rosselkhozbank Mr. Alexei Zhdanov, rector of the Kaliningrad State Technical University Mr. Vladimir Volkogon, representatives of scientific and public organizations, veterans of the fishing industry, veterans of the Great Patriotic War Mr. Boris Pirozhkov, Mr.Boris Glybin, residents and guests of the city, members of the government of the Kaliningrad region and representatives of the city authorities.
There was generous rain and snow, but the crews and cadets bore them patiently and stoically. Marches played by the brass band livened up the atmosphere. By 10 am the cadets lined in front of the main tribune. The Anthem of Russia marked the beginning of the ceremony.
"I am glad to be here and I am proud to participate in the departure ceremony," greeted the audience Ilya Shestakov. In his opening speech Ilya Shestakov outlined that the expedition could be called a full-scale one as all the three ships would be sailing from then on. The head of the Agency added that the expedition was a unique project due to mileage of voyages. it is about 100 thousand miles or 4 lengths of the Equator. By order of the Government of the Russian Federation the round-the-world expedition received the status of an official state event...
"Having left your home port, remember your mission: you are under the "Sails of Peace": it means that you are carriers of universal values. Your task is to remind the world of great events of the Russian history, traditions of the Russian seafarers, fearlessness and discoveries, feats and heroism." Ilya Vasilyevich urged the cadets to remember that they embodied the state and the future of the Russian Fleet. "So, carry through the seas and countries the flag of Russia, the banner of Victory and the symbol of Rosrybolovstvo! And when you return to your native shores I hope to see true seafarers and true people," said Ilya Shestakov
Governor of Kaliningrad region Anton Andreevich Alikhanov wished the expedition good luck, a fair wind and a hand-width of water under the keel: "Without exaggeration, today is a historic day for our entire region. Today we are experiencing all vagaries of true Kaliningrad weather but our brave seafarers are not afraid of weather. The whole world will be watching this expedition. The participants should perform the mission with honor and dignity, fly the flag of our country proudly and remind the world of two great dates in the history of Russia and the whole world. I hope the cadets will get a new precious experience and broaden their mind. Let this voyage help you become real people."
Chairman of the Kaliningrad regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society Mr. Gennady Fedorov reminded the public that Bellingshausen was a valid member of the Russian Geographical Society, and Lazarev – an honorary one. He encouraged everyone to join the RGS. According to the plans of the RGS and in accordance with the itinerary, the expedition participants will meet with representatives of the society in all countries where the sailing ships of Rosrybolovstvo will come.
The Chairman of the Kaliningrad regional branch of the Russian Geographical society solemnly handed the flag of the organization to the Master of the Sedov Mr. Evgeny Romashkin. At the departure ceremony, the head of the organizational department of the Russian Olympic Committee Mr.Igor Stepanov and Olympic Champion, Russian skier Mr.Alexander Legkov handed the flag of the Committee to Sedov's cadet Daniil Soldatenko, candidate for master of sports in sambo and judo. The President of the Organization of support and development of the State historical Museum, the head of the National chamber of arts Alexey Bondarev handed over to the Master of the Kruzenshtern Mr Mikhail Eremchenko the Banner of the Great Victory and the Banner of the Immortal regiment. Representatives of the Kaliningrad eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church held parting prayers on both barques. After the service, the guests visited the ships and their museums.
Many departments and organizations contributed to the preparation of the barques for the expedition. So, the Deputy head of Roskachestvo Mr Alexander Belyaev handed to the Master of the Kruzenshtern samples of foodstuff produced in Russia and tested by Roskachestvo. Lots of spaghetti, vegetable oil, green peas and ketchup have already been purchased and loaded on board. They will be tasted by the participants of the expedition.
The Pallada has already sailed almost 5,000 miles and today she is to call at the first port located in the Southern Hemisphere – Apia. The Krusenstern has set course for the Spanish port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where she would arrive on 25 December. The Sedov will call at Spanish Las Palmas on December 31, where the crew and cadets will celebrate the New year.
The Sedov will spend 371 days at sea, Kruzenshtern and Pallada - 272 and 222 days, respectively. The vessels will call at more than 40 ports of foreign countries of North and South America, Africa, Europe and Oceania. The participants are going to have holidays, meetings, visits to historical sites and laying floral wreaths at memorials at the ports of call.
In the area between the ports of Ushuaia (Argentina) and Cape town (South Africa) the Sedov, the Kruzenshtern and the Pallada will carry out 200-mile sailing regatta which can be joined by other yachts and vessels.
We wish all participants of the expedition moral strength, motivation and enthusiasm to perform the state order. We urge all those who are waiting for our seafarers on the shore to be patient and use the information from the official sources.
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