July 17th Wednesday day 29 on the water:We were on the Baikal at last and headed north and that is what we did by 6 in the morning. Wind now was the only factor I had to deal with and of course the monotony of paddling. When the weather is good about all I can do is 20 miles a day without being able to sail. That is about 8 hours on the water in the kayak with stopping 2 or 3 times. Now that leaves 16 hours of the day left, tough for the Energizer Guy to sit around like that day after day after day. I can read I have 20 kindle books on my notebook. I can keep the Journal updated and strive to. But if there isn’t any sun, then everything goes dead in a couple of days. I need the notebook to stay charged up so I can see my in Reach map.
It is challenging all the way around.
Headed north on Lake Baikal.
It has been very favorable weather, in fact if it stays like this most of the time, this is going to help. And it appears as though most of the time the wind comes out of the West/South West and that means I can sail a lot. It is hot, but I expected that.
A Baikal fishing trawler.
In the shade which on a hot day is a necessity.
We were sailing but the waves got to big behind me.
July 18th Thursday day 30 on the water:
The moon as I am packing up.
The sun coming up at the same time.
On our way and it looks to be another great day for a kayaker on Lake Baikal. The wind comes up out of the South/South West and we get to sail again.
It is a great break to not have to paddle for miles.
When I can sail, I can average 4 to 6 miles per hour. Once the wind gets better than that then the wind picks the waves up and it throws the front end of the kayak around and can even come up over the back and hit me in the back, so I just get off. If we start early, and we sail, by noon we can cover 25 to 30 miles easily.
This is a privately-owned pleasure boat.
As the day wears on it becomes more and more obvious to me, I am not going to have this lake to myself. There are literally hundreds of campers along the lake and I am not surprised at this point in time. That comes later.
July 19th Friday day 30 on the water:
The 2nd Hoover Craft I have seen on the lake.
We stop after making about 28 miles the wind is blowing somewhat, but I have had it for the day. A bunch of cars, 5 of them to be exact show up where I am camped. There are a couple of people camped out in the back.
It turns out, it is the family and friends of the man that stopped in his Hoover Craft when I was out of the delta headed to shore and had shown me the way to the grocery store. Amazing and he had turned up to have a lunch at this spot because he owns a hotel and a house not far away and there were tables set up and this is where they come.
He had a daughter who spoke great English, Russian and Chinese and lives in Beijing 9 months of the year and teaches young Chinese some classes in Kung Fu and Ju Jitsu of all things. What a sweetheart I can tell you that. But they were very, very gracious to me as the picture shows.
Having lunch with some of the locals.
Here dad is the guy in the blue shirt/shorts.
I told her dad I wished I was 45 years younger.
They invited me up to their house for dinner later. Turns out he is quite well off; he owns a large Gold Mine about 600 Kilometers into the Siberian interior. Great family. The women are very friendly. The guys act like you don’t exist. But so far that is how all the Russian men have treated me, except for the older ones. Turns out he owns both Hoover Craft.
A Cutie in any country.
July 20th Saturday day 31 on the water:
Somehow or another I have gotten screwed up on my days and dates but not going to worry about it. It just doesn’t make any difference. I spent the night, Friday night at a good spot.
More red ants than I have ever seen.
Doing something I am very good at.
At about 7 a small, young wolf came by and he was not happy I was in his walking path around the lake. He howled and barked and yipped long enough for him to realize I wasn’t going to move. Then he figured out all he had to do was just go around me. Why I didn’t get the camera out is beyond me but was more focused on him.
We took off at 4:45 on Saturday morning for a long 25 miles paddle to the next town where I had made the decision to in fact take a day off and let my body rest for a day or so. I knew it was a big tourist town but had no idea what I was in for. We arrived at the town/village about 2 in the afternoon.
100's and 100's of people on the beach.
I was absolutely shocked to see the amount of tourist/people on the beach. Crazy and I think it will be this was for another 100 miles or so because there is a main road that goes right along the lake to the next town. So much for having the lake all to myself. But it is summertime. Every Russian gets 30 days’ vacation. It is only about a 2/3 hours’ drive from Ulan Ede and that is a very big city.
I got lucky once again and got befriended by a lady who lives with her husband and 2 children in Montreal, Canada. They immigrated there years ago. Both her parents work here at this tourist camp and she came to help and brought her two boys. A great person once again and of course speaks perfect English.
She convinced the owner to let me stay in the compounds which is completely secure. The guy who works here helped me carry my gear up and the kayak and I have my tent sent up out by the fence. Everyone will probably leave today or most of them. I may just stay another day and relax.
I keep getting lucky and meet the right people.
Another great sunset over the Baikal.
July 21st Sunday day 32 on the water:I decided to take a day off and might even take 2 days off if I can’t get everything I want to get done. Mostly on the computer. I will go to the grocery store, which is a great one and try to find some duct tape, some new kind of water shoes and a new pillow the other one has worn out. I also sit on it in the kayak.
I have spent all morning long working on the Journals and have them caught up. Now I need to figure out how to get some more data on my phone so I can get things done on the computer. I think the guy who works here knows how to use the Russian’s cell company’s online store and might be able to do it on his phone for me, if not there might be somebody in town who can do it. If not, I hope to find somebody here that will let me use their hot spot and get things done that way.
Since it is already after noon and all I have been doing is working, I am thinking I just might take another day off and I will be very rested up, organized and consolidated and ready to go again.