Sorry I haven’t written for a while, We couldn’t send anything after we left Vardo and then our first day in Murmansk was a bit busy. So, we left Vardo in thick fog and high winds, we managed to sail right until we turned south to go into Murmansk. We left at ten thirty so it was my watch, we had a lot of birds around, gulls, puffins and so on. The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful.
We saw land at half twelve at night the day after we left. The Russian countryside is far less extreme than that in Norway, while high it consisted of rolling hills rather than sheer cut cliff faces. We came into Murmansk while I was asleep so I can’t tell you anything about the approach. I woke up when the immigration people came on board. There’s something very unsettling about having four people who you don’t know, speaking a language you don’t understand, getting you to sign lots of bits of paper that will allow you to stay in their country. It didn’t help that one of them was in some kind of military uniform.
A bit later I went and had a shower in Davids hotel room. This meant a fifteen minute walk through Murmansk. Murmansk is a coal port so everything has a layer of soot, that can’t be helped. The buildings however, a lot of them are dilapidated. In the distance you could see the city’s housing sector. We went to dinner in a nice restaurant four stories up so you had a good view of the Murmansk skyline. When we got back to the boat I realised something. We’re the only yacht there. Murmansk doesn’t have a visitors pontoon, we’re tied up beside a set of tugs. It doesn’t get many visitors.
Constance and Barbara are here and we plan to leave within the next few days. I think. Annie John and Dave left this morning, they’re going home via Moscow so that should be an interesting trip. We were visited by some Russian reporters today and I did an interview with Nikolai acting as translator. That’s about it then, bye.