Sunday, August 4, 2013

Museum, diver, and freshwater seals...

Today was the first day that we woke up to sunny skies. It also marked
the first (but by no means the last) day of our travels on the cutter
Kozhov, named for the founder of the biological field station in our
town of Bol'shie Koty. We made our way down to Listvyanka, a town that
seemed to stretch forever along the shore of the lake. There we
visited yet another museum about Baikal. This one included a
Disney-esque journey to the bottom of the lake via "submarine," and
two playful nerpa. We then continued on to Tolstoy Cove further down
the lake, where we dropped off a Russian diver. The water was so cold
that he had to wear a dry-suit and four layers of clothing! He went 40
meters down an underwater cliff and brought us back samples of the
life found down at that depth. We then examined all the different
species in buckets on the deck of the Kozhov, and found sponges,
gammarids, snails, and even a small fish! We took a slightly warmer
boat ride back to Bol'shie Koty, and spotted some more wild nerpa on
the way. But our day isn't over yet! This evening we will be watching
the Warner Hertzog documentary "Happy People," about life in a small
Siberian village.
Gabi and Meg

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