Thursday 9 May 2013

Victory Day

An important National holiday in Russia today, Victory Day, celebrating the defeat of Fascism albeit with huge sacrifice. Sasha said last night “A day of celebration with a tear in the eye”. Most of the Russian team will be in the village today so we will have a chance to tidy up, take stock and have a bit of a breather after three very full on days.

Moving the last of the boats to the river
Nothing seems easy up here sometimes; we lost the mobile connection to Lower Camp for 24 hours and had to post the blog with our back up satellite system. The best place for the tiny portable satellite dish was on an ice berg with yours truly kneeing in the mud fiddling with a lap top in a light drizzle. Much mirth amongst the rest of the team!

Blogging Varzuga style
In Lower Camp we continue the drying out process of the ‘office’ and the containers and sorting the last of the kit to go out to the other camps. The main lodge and guest rooms are fully functional and better than ever; today we can re-occupy the office, get the floor back down and I think that by the end of the day we will be pretty much set up for the season.

Sasha, Tiffy and Maryke sorting medical supplies
Hugh and Jemima took a boat and more kit (including the long overdue new dining room chairs!) up river to Middle Camp yesterday and returned late in the evening really pleased with the camp. Jemima was thrilled to find 2 brand new large fridges, until it was explained that the bear that Hugh had photographed so close to camp in our last week of last season had apparently broken into the kitchen after we had left and demolished the old fridges. I guess that’s one way of persuading the boss to provide new kit – I’d love to see the insurance claim form. 

The photo you really logged in to see - Heli Pool this morning at perfect spring height
Enough of the admin stuff, and on to the reason you are reading this - fishing. The water height is steady; there is a large ice wall camped on top of our normal river height reference point known as Keith’s Nail so I can only explain it by saying that the river is on the edge of the Withy bushes in Heli Pool and not right up into them. Just about perfect really. The water temperature this morning is 4⁰C - we had a hard frost last night and the puddles are well frozen over. After supper yesterday, Hugh and Jamie popped down to Heli Pool and had a fish each before the air temperature dropped below freezing. Floating or intermediate lines with a medium sinking tip are the current recommendation.

Christopher Robinson