Day 81. 21st of May. St Petersburg central yacht club to Rybatskoye yacht club (just beyond the last St Petersburg bridge over the Neva). 26.0 km, 5.7 km/hr average speed.
After breakfast, final packing of boats and farewells, we were on the water about 1215.
The first hour we paddled through central St Petersburg, but parts of some canals were almost like wilderness all the same. Mostly in areas with closed down factories. Change is coming though, like in so many cities around the world, what was once industrial areas are turned into offices or apartments. In contrast to Vyborg, St Petersburg is an expanding city.
We eventually got to one of the main Neva channels, and the going got a bit tougher. Still with kayaks, we can go very close to the river banks where current is mostly less strong. So we managed to keep up average speed around 6 km/hr, only falling a little towards the end of the day when we had to pass some lengthy sections with strong currents.
All in all Stein’s theory was confirmed; paddling was quicker than feared and that was a positive experience.
We found a yacht club recommended by Vladimir, just after the last bridge over river Neva, before we leave St Petersburg.
A short distance. But we had a late start and we had to work hard at times. Also we have maybe gotten soft form slacking so long in St Petersburg, at least we can feel the 26 km quite well in our muscles and sinews.
Again we were received with great hospitality when we arrived unannounced at the Yacht club: Kayaks moored and we got a roof over our head in a sort of detached living room the staff at the Yacht club can use, mainly in winter we believe. Perfect for us.
Summer is still here and even at sunset as this is written, it is warm and comfortable outside.
Tomorrow we plan for another 25 km or so. We’ll stop at the site of the Battle of the River Neva in July 1240. Before we call it a day we also hope to be able to pass up the Ivanovskoye Rapids, the most difficult part of paddling the Neva.