Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tracking "Ametist"

Tracking "Ametist" along the inland waterway system, May-June 2015
In 2012, Almaz Shipyard (St Petersburg) was awarded a contract for the construction of the shipyard's fifth Rubin-class (Project 22460) patrol ship "Ametist". The unit rolled out of the shipyard in March 2014, and began sea trials in August. The ship was officially handed over the Russian Coast Guard in October and transferred to Kronshtadt, where it remained until May of this year.

"Ametist" could not transfer to the Black Sea in late 2014 as the inland waterway system would close during its transit, forcing it to winter somewhere along its journey. This is exactly what happened to "Izumrud" the year before: it departed St. Petersburg on October 4, 2014, arrived in Volgograd on December 1, and eventually transferred to the Caspian Sea to winter over. It remained there until resuming its transit on April 7 and arriving in Balaklava on May 1, making this a 210-day transfer.

So, how long does it take to transfer from St. Petersburg to Balaklava during the summer? The below chart and Google Earth plots depict the ship's transit along the Neva, Volga, and Don Rivers during its May 12-June 30 (50-day) transit.

May 12 Day 1 St. Petersburg
May 13 Day 2 Svir River Entrance Buoy
May 14 Day 3 Upper Svir River Lock
May 15 Day 4 Vytegra Lock
May 16 Day 5 Kovzha River Estuary
May 21 Day 10 Yaroslavl
May 22 Day 11 Gorodets
May 23 Day 12 Nizhniy Novgorod
May 25 Day 14 Novocheboksarsk
May 26 Day 15 Kazan
May 28 Day 17 Tolyatti
May 30 Day 19 Balakovo
June 7 Day 27 Saratov
June 11 Day 31 Volga-Don Canal Lock 1
June 12 Day 32 Volga-Don Canal Lock 11
June 14 Day 34 Nikolayevskaya Hydroelectric Plant
June 16 Day 36 Koluzayevo
June 30 Day 50 Balaklava

"Ametist" arriving in Balaklava - June 30, 2015