Rimas ‘Round the World

by · September 20, 2012

Rimas Meleshyus was born on Russia’s Black Sea some 60 years ago. In 1988 he escaped the Soviet Union through the American Embassy in Moscow. Living in America he discovered sailing, and recently he’s set off on some very ambitious small-boat cruises.

In June 2012 Rimas crossed the challenging Gulf of Alaska in an old San Juan 24 (generally considered a near-shore weekender). The tumultuous voyage included striking a whale, a harrowing capsize, and his nearly being run down by a freighter.

As a result of the near collision, Rimas didn’t sleep for three days, trying to stay alert for shipping traffic. A month into his journey, 50 miles from Unalaksa, the groggy skipper struck a reef. After trying in vain for several hours to free the boat, he fell asleep. When we woke many hours later he was beach in remote Sarana Bay.

This many months later, that’s where his boat remains. Retrieval in the shallow tidal waters would be expensive, dangerous, and maybe impossible. Rimas was flown out by Coast Guard helicopter.

Meleshyus remains undeterred by these events and is determined to sail solo around the world on a San Juan 24. He hopes to sail next from Port Townsend to Japan, then around Cape Horn on his way to the UK.

He’s found another used San Juan 24 and is seeking donations of money and or equipment to help make his dream a reality. Look for an interview with Rimas in the print magazine soon. —Eds

To contact him: rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm@ymail.com

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Discussion7 Comments

  1. Kenny says:

    Met Rimas today at my church in Anacortes, just thirty or so miles from Port Townsend as the crow flies. We gave him a small donation to stay overnight here and ferry & bus fare to Port T. Also connected him to my old friend Scott at Anacortes Yacht Club. Seems they have been trying to rid themselves of a S.J. 24 for some time. So hope this works out for everyone. I’ll be scanning the sailing rags for stories. Blessings Rimas.

    Kenny H.

    • kris says:

      I also met Rimas today on the Anacortes bus, on his way to Port Townsend. I really hope he is able to continue his journey.

    • Rimas says:

      I would like to come to meet you again in church, and continue our disscussion about sailing around the world, but currently, I am currently working on finding a job, but I have hope because of my masters in language from moscow university, and because I am very tech savvy. Thank you for all of the encourageing words, please stop by my blog: Rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm.wordpress.com and also my cell phone : 360-461-9284 Also, the best regards to you and your wife, and please add me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rimas.meleshyus.

    • Lindy Combs says:

      So Kenny, Rimas was at your church. So he is a believer? Just wondering, since he is in such a gigantic adventure. I met Rimas on the 411W Island Transit bus last Saturday, the 27th. Enjoyed a nice conversation with him. I have posted (am on his friends list) on his FB page recently, so pm me please or friend_request me.


  2. Dusty says:

    Gave Rimas a ride into Astoria this morning (11ish PDT) He was hitchhiking in to visit a friend.

    We chatted on the way (about 5 miles) and I was impressed with his manner, determination and drive.

    I’m about 15 years his senior, and he was a delight to converse with and I wish him luck. The article says he found a ‘used 24’ but he kept saying a 26. I don’t know who’s right and I don’t care.

    I just wonder if a Kickstarter program would benefit him.

  3. Tesa says:

    I know Rimas and if you ask me, he’s a little hustler.

  4. Justin says:

    Hustler or not, he’s one of two that I know of to sail west coast to Hawaii in a sj24. Just made it into hilo a couple days ago.

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