The Australian immigration department fined Russian traveller Yevgeny Gvozdyov 3,000 Australian dollars.
Australian media reported that the foreigner was fined immediately after meeting with the department's staff. They explained that Gvozdyov arrived in Australia without a visa or a valid passport.
The man is on a solo round-the-world voyage on a self-made yacht.
The 68-years-old adventurer, previously a sea engineer, started his voyage in Makhachkala (in the North Caucasus) where he made his yacht, the Sahid, of glass fiber. The yacht, 3.7 metres long, was born on the balcony of Yevgeny's own flat.
Since the beginning of the voyage, Gvozdyov crossed the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and then reached Brazil. He proceeded to pass around South America and cross the Pacific, calling at Tahiti and Samoa. Gvozdyov reached Australia's Darwin on July 29.
The adventurer was given a 10-days visa (to last until August 10) for stocking up with water, food and medicines, but ten days was definitely not enough for preparing for the last, and the most difficult, part of the voyage. Besides, Gvozdyov's passport expired on July 14, and it would take five months to have a new one made in Russian consulate in Sydney.
In spite of the fine, the immigration department reassured the unwelcome Russian visitor that he would be allowed to stay in Darwin until he is fully prepared for the voyage. Gvozdyov's Australian friend said the fine was a sheer formality so authorities are not supposed to insist on actual payment. Failure to pay the fine would mean Gvozdyov would be denied entrance to Australia in the future.
Now the traveler intends to spend three more weeks in Darwin and stay until August 25. Then he will set out for his four months' way to South Africa. Gvozdyov plans to be home only in the next year.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969