Saturday, August 17, 2013

Northward and Across the Lake


After our last blog post we spent the night in a lovely cove further
north on Ol'khon Island. We were able to see more steppe and a
beautiful sunset—it was a "Sound of Music" moment. Lulled to sleep by
the strains of Russian heavy metal, we woke up this morning already on
the move across the lake. Around 10 o'clock this morning we got our
first glimpse of the fabled eastern shore of Baikal. Up until now we
haven't been able to see it due to haze caused by forest fires in
Yakutia. We reached the Ushkaniy Islands by lunchtime for some nerpa
viewing, only to discover that the nerpa were not keen on being viewed
by four boats full of tourists. We will try again on our return trip.
We continued into the North Basin past Svyatoy Nos (Holy Nose) Cape
and into Chivyrkuy Bay. There we found hot springs and the warmest
lake swimming we've had so far on this trip. After we emerged from the
water, we learned that the surrounding area is named for the snakes
that live there. Fortunately, we did not see any. We relaxed on shore
while the crew fished off the back of the cutter. Looks like grayling
for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next few days. Yum! We are
now on our way to a more secluded beach (with fewer Speedo-clad
Russian men, or so we've been told) where we will spend the night.
Spokoinoi Nochi!
Laura and Meg and Gabi

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