Day 95 – We both agreed it was the strongest winds we ever paddled in – 4 June

Day 95. 4th of June. Vosnesnje to Rybreka. 43.1 km, 6.8 km/hr average speed.

Weather forecast this morning was 7 m/s tail winds. But it was hardly more than 4 m/s when we started at 0945.

This was the pattern throughout the day as well as yesterday; winds were much lighter than forecast. Good for us. Flat water allowed us to paddle straight across some bays, saving us a couple of kilometers. We also had good average speed of 7.1 km/hr.

Along the way we crossed from Leningrad Oblast (County / Fylke) to the Republic of Karelia. Sooner than expected we had today’s destination, Rybreka, in sight. Just one last half hour crossing. We saw a big dark and imposing Cumulunimbus weather system behind Rybreka, we hoped we could get there before it got to us. Basically this is a “miniature” hurricane system with strong winds driven by condensation heat.

With one kilometer to go it was clear that we lost that one, and soon we were engulfed in gale force winds and horizontal rain.

We’d experienced a smaller version earlier in the day, and knew that there was no time or space for serious waves to build. So it was a matter of turning the bow against the wind and toward shore and sit it out for 30 minutes trying to move a couple of meters forward. Without much success. The rain was painful when it hit us in the face, and because it came horizontally it also hit the eyes impairing visibility. We both agreed it was the strongest winds we ever paddled in.

But half an hour was all it took, everything calmed down and we got to shore just in time to pitch and get into the tent before the next mini hurricane hit.

After that one had passed things cleared up and we went for a walk along the main street of Rybreka.

Rybreka is a village, but a sizable village. Along the main road the houses are organized with the shorter wall toward the road and the attached barn facing away from the road. Almost all old timber constructions. Some derelict and tilting with rotting timber at the base, but that is the exception. Most were well kept and/or under renovation. People invest here so they believe in a future here. The school is relatively new, but not as new as the kids playground.

Rybreka has one economic cornerstone; a big quarry that produces quartzite blocks that are shipped out from Rybreka’s harbor. The second such facility we saw today.

Anyway the key point is that Rybreka is a village that experience progress and has some confidence in the future. Many other places we have passed have appeared in the same way.

Progress is not what we plan for tomorrow. We expect heavy rains followed by persistent gale force northerly winds. We brace for a day in the tent, and will continue the day after tomorrow.

Wifi trouble. Update with photos tomorrow – hopefully… UPDATED June 5th, 1435

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