We awake to a dense fog and are informed that we have had to moor most of the night due to dense fog. Our mooring spot is off Cherepovets. The ship eases very slowly towards today’s destination. There is no way we will get to Goritsy by 10:00am so when the fog lifts, we full steam towards Kizhi. We are north of the 60th parallel. It is common for the first fall of snow in Russia to be on the 13th of October each year – we hope that it is not going to happen near us or we may never get to St Petersburg. Today, it is freezing. To go on the top deck, we must ‘rug-up’ for it is only 4 degrees and with the wind chill factor, it must be around zero.
To fill in the morning, the Matryoshka Painting Class is brought forward. Lyn paints the little doll as is displayed in the pictures (not bad for the first attempt) while I have a kip in the cabin when not looking at the view ahead. One guy, we think is an artist, doesn’t like painting clothes so he painted the dolls as nudes – he reckons. Then follows a ‘bloody mary’ tasting session (We don’t join in on that one.)
Lunch is the normal four-course buffet meal. I have decided to do my best not to have more than 3 courses in a meal. I hope that decision pays dividends. We have free time in the afternoon to enjoy the passing scenery on this great waterway and on into Lake Beloye. The sunset is another ‘northern stunner’. Our cabin faces to the forward and left hand side of the ship and so we have time to get the cameras ready for taking photos of the waterway scenes along the way. The Volga Baltic Waterway is a canal from the Volga River to the Baltic Sea. The Volga River flows into the Caspian Sea to water the farmlands of southern Russia and on into the southern states of the former USSR.
Prior to our ‘what are we doing tomorrow’ session with the cruise director, there is a lecture on how vodka is made, what it can be made of and how to drink it. One demonstration has the glass placed on the elbow and is drunk for that difficult position. Another idea is to drink from two glasses at the one time – with a wide-open mouth.
Dinner tonight is with some interesting folk from Coonabarabran NSW. Dell specializes in golf tours around the word and Colin has the small motors shop next door to Dell’s travel agency. Dell’s clients come from all over the world – a niche market indeed.
The evening entertainment is performed by the two photographers on board who are also accomplished musicians, one on a button accordion, and the second, a 4 stringed balalaika. Dressed in national dress with red knee-high boots they pump out their music at a very fast Russian pace.
We retire at 10:30pm but are woken at 12:00 midnight with the ship dropping anchor, as the fog has come on very heavy and we cannot move until it has lifted.