The River Yacht Club in St Petersburg, housed in an ugly soviet brutalist building, used to offer snug berths inside its huge stone moles. Now the yacht harbour is closed to foreign yachts, which now must tie up outside on fragile pontoons in the river. A steady 2 knot current and heavy wash from relentless jet skis and motor vessels make for unpleasant layover. There is room for just 3 yachts and, to cap it all off, a dreadful nightclub sits immediately adjacent to the pontoon. Leggy, bling-raddled young women, self-important males wearing white shoes – that sort of thing. Our hull vibrates with electro-thump every night. Current Baltic cruising guide advice notwithstanding, I must say the River Yacht Club should be avoided at all costs. Krestovskiy Marina opposite is much more expensive but can only be better.
We are now ready to sail up the Neva River through central St Petersburg, on to Lake Ladoga. First though, a side trip to Moscow to catch up with old friends and get Maxine’s nails and hair done. All very familiar.