Skip to content

Latitude’s Mailbag

Seen here high and dry – well, almost – on Akutan Island, Cesura apparently suffered little damage when she was grounded. Note the American flag.

© 2012 Rimas Meleshyus

After 35 years of publishing the West Coast’s favorite sailing magazine, our network of news sources and acquaintances is far-reaching, to say the least. In fact it’s no exaggeration to say that sailing news regularly reaches the Latitude offices from every ocean on the planet. Nevertheless, we sometimes receive correspondence that inspires use to proclaim, "Wow! That’s a first."

A case in point was a hand-written letter we received a few weeks ago from Russian-born sailor Rimas Meleshyus. In it, he explains that he’s had a longtime dream of singlehanding around the world in his San Juan 24 pocket cruiser Cesura. And sure enough, last May he set out from his adopted home in Southeast Alaska, to do just that.

His plans may sound crazy, but you’ve got to admire Rimas’ spirit. If he’s currently in the middle of the ocean in his tiny boat, we hope Lady Luck is riding along with him.

© Rimas Meleshyus

He left from Port Alexander on Baranof Island and, after 34 days in the Gulf of Alaska, made landfall at Akutan Island in the Aleutians — a passage of 1,200 miles. "It was an extraordinary voyage," he says. No doubt! Rimas wrote us from Dutch Harbor explaining that he is eager to spread the word about his circumnavigation plans, which include not only crossing the Bering Strait, but also rounding Cape Horn — thus setting several world records.

"Back in Juneau," he says, "everybody thought I was joking. But I’m not. I’m going to do it 100% solo." And if we understand him correctly, he’ll be sailing under the American flag, apparently having immigrated here some years ago: "I am very, very proud to be doing this!"

As the top photo illustrates, Cesura had a minor setback in the Aleutians, but she was safely towed into Dutch Harbor by the U.S. Coast Guard. We have no idea where Rimas is now, but we hope he’s safe and cozy aboard his little sloop. As crazy as his plans may seem, we’ve heard crazier. Who knows, with a boatload of luck and his indomitable Russian spirit, he just might make it.

Leave a Comment

If you’re a diesel engine expert, we’d like your opinion as to whether or not an "average do-it yourselfer who is handy with tools" is likely to be capable of rebuilding a diesel engine.