Tainui’s mast was lifted off the deck and swung across to cradles ashore both gently and efficiently by Ivan. This lovely bloke knows boats, cranes and the petty worries of a tired and elderly sailor. He and Andrey cossetted and coddled us and I wallowed in it. We marvelled at how much bigger Tainui had become without those cross frames and the confused stalactites of rigging paraphernalia.
After our anxious experience with Volga-Balt crane Number 83 in Vytegra I had been worried about getting the mast back up. But next day Ivan took control and everything went smoothly. Ridiculously so.
After it was all done there was much celebration and a fine rendang curry – Rosie’s of course.
Our only problem, a topping lift lost through the deck sheave, was dealt with expeditiously by Maxine. She clambered up the mast, sat rather cheekily at the top and fed a messenger down to me. Everything is now in its proper place and there remains only the mast wiring to be reconnected.
On day 3 at Obhukovka, Ivan brought us a batch of fresh farm eggs and a jar of the most excellent homemade apricot jam. He then drove us in to Rostov so we could visit passport control, fill a gas bottle and stock up at a supermarket. We got the gas and heaps of food but the passport control office did not want to know about us. Just go anywhere else but here, they seemed to say.