A short, well-marked passage through marshes and floating islands leads from March Fly Channel to White Lake. Suddenly the pesky flies and mosquitoes are gone, although in only 15 feet of water we are hardly at sea. I think this could be a dreadful bit of water in strong winds, but we are blessed. Again.
It is now only 120 miles to Cherepovets, where we pick up Dirk. Maxine is becoming visibly excited, like a child who can’t wait any longer for Christmas.
We tied up in the snug, narrow channel at Belozyorsk. As usual, it is not an approved port on our list but our excuse for stopping here – urgent need of fuel (ie vodka) – was accepted by the port captain, with Vladimir’s help. Konstantin will be starting to realise that this is Tainui’s way!
Belozyorsk is a pretty town. A Two Move town. We measure our ports by the number of times we are asked to re-anchor, change moorings or, in this case, run aground by believing the depths told us by the harbour authorities. A grumpy-looking thunderstorm is on the way but nothing can touch us here.
It is warm and sunny. Folk stop to ogle at our pristine, boat show vessel. We have just crossed 40 miles of White Lake – ovoid, calm, flat, 12 feet deep and truly white – and I feel as though we have rounded the Horn.
It is a relief to be out of that two day long meandering muddy stream. March Fly Canal, as we call it. During the brief window between march fly bedtime and the arrival of nocturnal mosquitoes however, there is a time to be treasured. Last night’s swim and carbonara pasta made it truly memorable.