WEEKEND HANGOUT – Gina Lusher, foreground right, and other Sitka Cirque aerialists rehearse Thursday night for this weekend’s show, Cirque Noir, at the 207 Smith Street studio. The show includes cage dancers, live music and champagne. Kids from first grade through high school will have a separate fundraiser showcase event Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Tickets for both shows are available online at sitkacirque.com. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Land Trust Protests Park Service Action
08 Dec 2023 16:01

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Staff Writer Ongoing construction of a stretch of Sitka’s sea walk a [ ... ]

Sitkans Give Opinions on Tourism Policy Details
08 Dec 2023 15:53

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer Sitka Tourism Task Force’s second open house drew more [ ... ]

Two STRs, Food Truck Approved by Planners
08 Dec 2023 15:51

By ARIADNE WILL Sentinel Staff Writer The Planning Commission unanimously approved three condition [ ... ]

Tillie Paul Manor Open House Sunday to Highlight H...
08 Dec 2023 15:49

By Sentinel Staff Sitkans can get a glimpse into a chapter of local history at an open house 1 to 3 [ ... ]

Feds May Back Tribal Suit on SE Fishing
08 Dec 2023 13:23

By NATHANIEL HERZ Northern Journal The Biden administration could jump into a high-profile lawsuit [ ... ]

December 8, 2023, Police Blotter
08 Dec 2023 13:20

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today: December 7 A woman asked police to help [ ... ]

December 8, 2023, Community Happenings
08 Dec 2023 13:19

Climate Connection: Outdoor and Indoor strong style="font-size: 12.16px; line-height: 1.3em;">Carbon Dioxide Carbon dioxide (CO2) is formed from burning  [ ... ]

'Sellers Market' Cited As Housing Problem
07 Dec 2023 14:49

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Staff Writer Two housing professionals –– a banker and a real esta [ ... ]

Fairbanks Vet is New Science Center Director
07 Dec 2023 14:48

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer Sitka Sound Science Center has announced that Arleigh Re [ ... ]

Outer Coast Students Join in Telling of Tales
07 Dec 2023 14:46

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer Students from Outer Coast will take the stage at Sitka T [ ... ]

Alaska Tribes Urge BLM to Protect Lands
07 Dec 2023 14:44

By JOAQLIN ESTUS Alaska Beacon The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will soon issue an Environmenta [ ... ]

December 7, 2023, Community Happenings
07 Dec 2023 14:39

Boat Parade Dates Listed Sitka’s annual boat parade is planned to go north on Sunday, Dec. 17, a [ ... ]

Best Tourism Limit New Town Hall Goal
06 Dec 2023 14:20

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer The Sitka Tourism Task Force and city staff are hoping T [ ... ]

Cirque Noir to Offer Champagne from Above
06 Dec 2023 14:19

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Staff Writer Aerial performances on silks, a champagne chandelier and  [ ... ]

SE Students Gather For DDF Tourney
06 Dec 2023 14:18

By Sentinel Staff The Sitka High drama, debate and forensics team invites the community to watch So [ ... ]

December 6, 2023, Police Blotter
06 Dec 2023 13:43

Police Blotter Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today: December 5 At 12:51 p.m [ ... ]

December 6, 2023, Community Happenings
06 Dec 2023 13:40

David Williams Jr. Dies in N. Carolina Sitka resident David Grayson Williams Jr., 61, passed away  [ ... ]

New Warming Shelter Aids Sitka's Homeless
05 Dec 2023 15:31

By SHANNON HAUGLAND Sentinel Staff Writer With winter weather on the way, the Sitka Homeless Coali [ ... ]

Wrestlers Compete, Prepare for Region V
05 Dec 2023 13:33

By GARLAND KENNEDY Sentinel Sports Editor With only days to go before the Region V wrestling tourn [ ... ]

Police Council Rejects Lowering Officer Age
05 Dec 2023 13:29

By CLAIRE STREMPLE Alaska Beacon The Alaska Police Standards Council voted down a regulation chang [ ... ]

Ethics Complaints Against Two Legislators Dismisse...
05 Dec 2023 13:28

By ANDREW KITCHENMAN Alaska Beacon The body charged with policing the ethics of members of the Ala [ ... ]

Data: Maternal Mortality Rate, DV Linked
05 Dec 2023 13:23

By CLAIRE STREMPLE Alaska Beacon Charlene Apok sat in front of multiple computer monitors in an An [ ... ]

December 5, 2023, Community Happenings
05 Dec 2023 13:20

Winter Tumbling Registration Open Registration is open for winter tumbling programming at recreati [ ... ]

December 5, 2023, Police Blotter
05 Dec 2023 11:16

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today: December 4 At 8:44 a.m. a two-car accid [ ... ]

Other Articles

Daily Sitka Sentinel

Russian Sailor Plans for Voyage Home

Sentinel Staff Writer

Two years ago, a Russian-flagged inflatable catamaran sailed into Sitka, concluding a multi-year voyage from central Russia, through the Siberian river network, across the Bering Sea and along the Alaskan coast.

The vessel’s Siberia-based crew now plans to repeat the voyage in reverse next spring and summer.

Owner and captain of the Iskatel, Anatoly Kazakevich, told the Sentinel he had planned to begin the return trip in the summer of 2020, but the pandemic threw a wrench in his plans.

The Iskatel – which translates to English as “The Seeker” – arrived here in August 2019, after retracing the route taken by Russians in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Once in Sitka, Kazakevich arranged to have his 40-foot inflatable stored here until he had the chance to put it to sea again.

In a Zoom call with the Sentinel on Friday, Kazakevich said he and his crew plan to return in the spring to make repairs on Iskatel and begin the long voyage back to Siberia.

“Two years ago, we finished Baikal-Alaska in Sitka, and now we wait on two questions. First of all is COVID, questions with COVID, but I hope after winter in spring the situation will be better,” Kazakevich said in the call from Irkutsk. “And the second situation is a visa. Russia and the USA have a political problem with visas and we have a way to make a visa for next year, and I hope in the winter time we will do this. And in May or June we will come next year and prepare boat for organization expedition.”

Bill Foster checks out the 40-foot Russian-flagged catamaran that’s been hauled out near the UAS parking lot for the past two years. The pandemic put a halt to the international sailing trip, but the skipper is hopeful about resuming the adventure in the spring. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

He and his crew made the initial voyage over several years, and in 2022 Kazakevich hopes to sail about 2,500 kilometers to Kodiak or Homer. But first, the boat needs some repairs after years on shore exposed to the elements. The vessel is propelled by four sails and twin outboard engines. A large tent on the deck offers shelter to the crew.

He said the initial leg of the return voyage will be a good test to ensure the boat is ready for the Bering Sea.

“We have to prepare the catamaran, we have to buy new masts and do a lot of things. We have a big shadow for this. And after we replace and fix all problems we have to test a way for 3,000 kilometers is a good test, because across the Bering Sea and across the Bering Strait is a difficult way and the catamaran has to be prepared excellently,” Kazakevich said.

Last week, Iskatel crew member Andrey Gridnev was in Sitka to check on the state of the vessel and make preliminary preparations for the summer. He was happy to say the vessel remains in decent condition.

“When I came down and checked out our boat, the floating boat, in spite of all those years it looks great. It’s in great shape,” Gridnev said.

Back in 2019, Gridnev crewed the catamaran from Whittier to Sitka on the final leg of the voyage.

“This is his (Kazakevich’s) life and stuff,” he said. “We were just joined to the expedition, to the crews on some certain parts of the trip. My part was there in 2019 from Whittier right down to Sitka,” Gridnev said.

He especially appreciated the help of Greg George, operations supervisor for the University of Alaska Southeast.

“We were in a worry, what’s happening? And Greg George, he works for Alaska University (UAS). Really, really great thanks and appreciation for him and his help. He was taking care about the boat all these years,” Gridnev reported.

The boat remains today where it was pulled up onto land in 2019, not far from the UAS boat ramp.

Tensions between the United States and Russia are high, and Kazakevich compared the political dynamic to a “glass wall” that separates neighbors.

“This wall is just in our mind, but we are neighbors and all people are interested and all people who live in Alaska are interested in how people live in Siberia,” he said. “And people in Siberia are very interested in how people live in Alaska, they can communicate. We can exchange experiences and we can try to do something together.”

He hopes that Alaskans will join him on his expedition next year.

“Next year, it’s our plan in June and we will start and we hope maybe some people from Alaska will come into our crew and we will do an international crew, it will be more interesting,” he said.

Looking back on his 2019 voyage, he most misses the people he encountered along the way, comparing them to a family.

“First of all I think is the people and the people who live in this territory in the coastline, in the rivers are a people who live with nature and they are a very open people and friendship of all people is good,” he said.

After his return to Russia two years ago, he said, he made a number of presentations about his voyage and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kazakevich extended an invitation to anyone interested in the expedition.

“The Alaskan people are very friendly and it’s very important that we know that Americans and people from Russia can trust each other and are friendly to each other. Come down to our place and we’ll host you,” he said.

More information on Kazakevich’s adventures is available on https://en.baikal-alaska.ru/.


You have no rights to post comments

Login Form




At a Glance

(updated 9-12-2023)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 8:57 a.m. Tuesday, September 12.

New cases as of Tuesday: 278

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 301,513

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,485

Case Rate per 100,000 – 38.14

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "Low.'' Case statistics are as of Tuesday.

Case Rate/100,000 – 152.50

Cases in last 7 days – 13

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,575

Deceased (cumulative) – 10

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






December 2003

The Sawmill Cove Industrial Park board of directors endorsed a final contract tuesday for the city to sell a minimum of 40 million gallons of reservoir water per year to an export company based in New York City. ... under the contract Quest would have the right to purchase up to 1 billion gallons of water per year at 1 cent per gallon



December 1973

 The City and Borough of Sitka conducted a community public opinion poll evaluating municipal services and facilities. ... The overall results gave this priority order: 1. roads and highways; 2. water and sewer; 3. downtown parking; 4. garbage collection and disposal; 5. hospital and medical facilities; 6. planning and zoning; 7. boat harbors.


Local Events


Daily Sitka Sentinel on Instagram!


Daily Sitka Sentinel on Facebook!