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Major Story Points

  • Everything hinged on my getting out of town without getting caught.
  • I thought no further than my arrival in Kiev. The most important thing was getting to Meg.
  • After two weeks in Kiev, my parents kidnapped me and stole my passport. Without Meg’s intervention, I would have been dragged back to Russia.
  • My passport had been stolen: no commercial carrier would allow me boarding. Even had I my passport, getting a tourist visa, to travel to Canada, would require my going back to Russia, and my parents (my attackers). Russian police would side with my parents, not me.
  • Meg and I fled to Canada, and not some other country, because Meg had a home there, and is a citizen of Canada.
  • We headed to sea from Marmaris, Turkey. It provided sailboats for purchase and I, a Russian citizen, could enter Turkey without traveling to a Turkish consulate in Russia to obtain a visa.
  • To purchase the sailboat that would carry us to Canada, Meg mortgaged her home in Victoria, British Columbia.
  • Only two months after fleeing Ukraine and landing in Turkey with nothing but the clothes on our backs, Meg and I took to the open sea with no way to turn back. It was Meg’s first time on open water. I had taken six one-hour sailing lessons in Turkey.

Elena and Meg, escape from Russia, map of the trip

  • Landing was forbidden by all en-route countries.
  • We were entirely unsupported. The ten months we’ve been at sea, nobody knew were out there.
  • Life threatening situations were a cause for concern; a SOS call would result in my arrest and deportation to Russia. Meg and I would be separated.
  • Meg repaired or jerry-rigged most equipment failures.
  • En-route, we survived an Atlantic hurricane, a storm-force outflow in the Mexican gulf of Tehuantepec, and multiple winter storms in the North Pacific.
  • Altogether, we covered 24,000 kilometers (15,000 miles) via sea.