Since St Petersburg we have encountered just 2 yachts. Both of them small Russian boats with modest outboards. It is quite extraordinary that such wonderful cruising grounds are so empty of yachts.

So Priozersk came as a surprise. Entering through a narrow but well-marked channel we found 3 small marinas here in the river, with a number of small local yachts. We stopped at the first marina on the left, said to be the best of them. A decrepit timber mill looms large on the opposite shore and in Priozersk there is a medieval fortress worth exploring.

Our marina has pontoon berths, shore power and rudimentary facilities (no water or fuel, though). Staff are friendly and there is an excellent restaurant nearby. A welcome change.

North from here there are myriad islands, sounds and byways begging exploration en route our northernmost destination, Valaam.

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