Having passed through the grand downhill locks at Gorodets we were met with a surprise – a 2-3 knot favourable current in the Volga. The 35 mile trip to Nizhniy took no time at all and we have anchored in a quiet byway behind a sand island, waiting for the rail bridge to open at 1130 pm. Thunderheads loom on all sides but it is peaceful. There is a 1.5 knot current here and the waters are turgid.
Nizhniy Novgorod, population around 1.5 million, has heaps of commercial shipping and several yacht clubs. But we cannot find any with space, depth and pen length to accommodate us. Maxine is phoning, negotiating and wheeler-dealing as I write. She is also talking about a swim but even Little Miss Perfect with her powerful olympic stroke could not stem the current here. While she is not put off by a bit of floating detritus in the water (someone other than this writer has unkindly nicknamed her “Turd Dodger”) the water here is is very far from pristine. Timidly I assert myself as ship’s master and refuse her permission to leave the vessel.
So instead we sit and admire the sunset, waiting for the bridge to open and safe haven for Tainui to declare itself in Nizhniy Novgorod. If we find a good spot we will give the dear girl (Tainui, not Maxine) a rest and go to Moscow for some R&R.