Back to Russia


We flew to Moscow, ostensibly to spruik our book. For me Russia is becoming less unfamiliar territory now. The more so given my new, rudimentary understanding of Cyrillic. Conquering my fear of the sprawling Metro here was a major step forward. Madam’s comfortable apartment, a temple of Russian bling, is in the centre of town with galleries within easy walking distance. I ponder spending more time here writing the next book. Time will tell.


An hour outside Moscow the dacha is a cluster of lapstrake sheds on the shore, nestled in forest. Our little yacht sits bow in to the jetty and we swim from the stern. Bees buzz, the children play and sumptuous meals are laid on a rickety table among the trees. Endless coffees, fat splashes of vodka at unseemly hours, ceaseless chatter. I read, stroll, swim and dream.

196 195 194 193 192 191 190 189 188 187

And then we sail. Wonderful! Rich deciduous forest lines the water’s edge and a steady breeze cossets our boat. They tell me that autumn is just round the corner, but today the skies are cloudless and the water is warm.

As usual in Russia, our cockpit is jammed with people, so that tacking becomes an event of Wagnerian proportions. Maxine is at home here and, for the moment, so am I.

Only in Russia!

4 thoughts on “Back to Russia

  1. Jamie Abdy Collins
    October 20, 2016 at 19:34

    John, I have been enjoying reading all your posts. I am planning on going through the waterways and lakes from St Petersburg to North Norway via the White Sea. I have been advised to have a water maker, and I notice from your list of extras that you have one but you never refer to it and it is not in your list of your favourites. In your view is it necessary. I do not have much room to fit one. She is an old wooden yawl.

    1. October 20, 2016 at 23:42

      Hello Jamie. A great trip you are planning! We don’t have a watermaker and we didn’t need one. The water in Lake Onega is fresh and pristine – you can refill your tanks direct and unfiltered there. If your tankage is limited you can also get water easily in Archangel’sk.


  2. Granda Joan
    October 7, 2016 at 21:55

    CONGRATULATIONS to you and Maxine with the publication and amazon distribution. It is not available in Canada so I have a friend in Holland, acquiring it for me.
    Carl is off to university in our nation’s capitol, Ottawa and Adam, Kim and Elly are nearing Vava’u as i write. Any advise for crew searching for Adam?
    Cheers, Grandma Joan

    1. October 8, 2016 at 20:40

      Grandma Joan, how splendid to hear from you!

      We’re creeping down the NSW coast to Sydney, with changeable weather and an irritating absence of the NE breezes we are entitled to expect at this time of year. I know that Adam is en route Niue via Beveridge Reef and I am just a bit jealous. Once Grin gets to Vanuatu and New Caledonia he will have no trouble finding crew, I’m sure. Meanwhile, pass on my love to all of them, and keep a healthy bit for yourself.

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