At 10 am this morning, just outside the entrance, we were chased down by a GIMS runabout with flashing blue light and siren. GIMS is the Volga version of Sydney Waterways or the MSB and this was only the second approach we have had from them in the last 2,000 miles.
This was not the sort of expensive and frightening bullying I had been warned to expect from officialdom on the southern Volga. The officer was reserved but respectful. He even showed us his ID badge. Maxine started weaving her magic while I put on the kettle. Soon it was all laughter and good cheer. He said “I have no idea what to do with you but perhaps you’d better show me some official-looking papers”. I did so, he was satisfied and departed with a big smile, a friendly wave and wishes of safe voyage.
We are still following the sedimentary cliffs on the western shore. To the east, the cost is barely visible in the hard morning light.
It is just 20 miles to Volzhskiy, where we will park Tainui for a week and go off to do our respective things. For Maxine that means Dirk, and for me, leaving Russia to get a new Russian visa, probably in Riga.