This post is also available in: Български (Bulgarian)

In Cuba, there are plaques in honour of two Bulgarians – Vasil Levski /read here/  and Georgi Georgiev. Many of you would ask who is the latter one… Well, it is namely G. Georgiev that I will tell you about in this material.

Georgi Georgiev The Captain. The Seaman Who Started and Ended His World Tour in Cuba

Georgi Georgiev was born in the town of Kyrdzhali, Bulgaria in 1940. His father is an army officer who serves in the sea capital of Bulgaria – the city of Varna. There Georgi gets to see the sea for the first time in his life… Later in his life, he sends a postcard from Havanа to a little Bulgarian girl: “To Maya with wishes to fall in love with the sea, as I did”.

After the end of the war in 1952 Georgi Georgiev travels to the Bulgarian capital Sofia to his sister and her husband. There the Captain founds the first Sofia Yacht Club “Akademik”. Later he gets married then divorced, his son is born and finally he returns to Varna where he graduates from the Evening High School and Ship Building and Navigation College. The latter decides his fate – to be a sailor…

Georgi also gets involved in the activity of the Varna Port Yacht Club, which receives the name “Georgi Dimitrov” after his death. The first major project of the Captain is his tour around the Black Sea.

In his search for oneself in 1975 Georgi takes part in a yacht navigation competition with a single-man crew popular back then as OSTAR. He receives his first taste of gunpowder, however, towards the middle of the following year during the OSTAR-76 competition, which is thought to be “the loudest, most challenging, the most popular, and the hardest edition of all. The Captain takes part in it with his historic Cor Caroli Yacht, custom-built in Poland thanks to Varna Yachtclub. 125 out of total 197 applicants sail away at the beginning of June from Plymouth.

Georgi Georgiev’s Cor Caroli sails through the ocean for a little over 36 days in maybe the harshest climate situations in the history of the OSTAR Competition. The Communist government, however, notices the Captain’s stunning results and perpetuates the event with a postcard. This is the first big achievement of Georgi in the world yachting. His second one assigns him a spot in history and according to many – foresees the end of the Captain’s life.

On the 20th of December 1976 the Captain embarks on a world tour on his own. He chooses as a starting and ending point of his tour the Bay of Havana close to El Templete: Columbus Memorial Chapel, where 500 years ago the Cuban capital is founded by Spain. In 2018 I was fortunate enough to be the guide of one of Georgi Georgiev’s Welcome witnesses – Mr. Stoicho Stoev. Mr. Stoev’s family along with the then Bulgarian ambassador Boncho Mitev welcome the Captain on the 21st of December 1977.


Georgi Georgiev embarks on his tour around the world on the 20th of December 1976. His route starts from Havana, passes from Panama, Fiji, and Australia. He almost dies near the Cape of Good Hope after three days of storms, but he survives and heads north to the Equator and Brazil. On the 21st of December 1977 in a year, he finishes his feat in front of an awaiting crowd of people, including students of the Bulgarian School Hristo Botev в Havanа.

On his arrival, he gives a special postcard to a little girl born in Havana, who now lives in Sofia: “To Maya with wishes to fall in love with the sea, as I did”. 

The welcome point of the Captain after his tour around the world

Material and photographs: Stoicho Stoev from Varna, Wikipedia and

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