Day 111 – We will miss the comfort, seamanship, cooking and most of all the company of Chris and Oleg on Silvertärna – 20 June

Update day 111. 20th of June. From lock 14 to just before the last lock (19).

No paddling, just lock after lock after bridge in persistent, insistent rain, but spent in good company.

After lock 18 we thought we were clear to go through lock 19 and into the salt water of the White Sea.

But not so fast, the lock was closed the lights were red. Between lock 18 and 19 is the border control/hand over from the interior water ways to the offshore authorities.

So we had to do a 180 degree turn, moor the boats and kayaks and find the relevant office.

After two visits and numerous copies, we thought it was OK and Oleg got us a taxi to town, to do shopping and eat dinner at the Pomorskoje restaurant.

Oleg helped us order and then insisted on going back with the groceries and fix some diesel for Silvertärna along the way.

When he came back he explained that necessary paperwork for hand over of the kayakers from the interior waterways to the open sea authorities had not been done, and that they (FSB) were waiting for us.

It took some time, herring, one glass of vodka and some really delicious halibut, before we understood that they were waiting for us, not at the office, but in the foyer of the restaurant.

We went out without further delay.

After polite greetings and photographing of the relevant pages in our passports, the issue was settled and they wished us good onward journey.

Soon after we called it a day in town and went back to the boat for one last night.

Tomorrow we will part ways after lock 19. Silvertärna will continue to Silovetskij, we will paddle into Belomorsk and stay another two nights resupplying and waiting on safe paddling weather.

We will miss the comfort, seamanship, cooking and most of all the company of Chris and Oleg on Silvertärna.

Long may their big jib draw!

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