Wednesday 11 May 2016


We know when we come out to the set up week that it will be hard work but also great fun catching up with our friends in camp and this year is no different.

Taking supplies out of the new sklad
It has been made easier by not having to struggle through snow but equally certain things in the village have made it slightly harder than we would expect.

There is a fairly fixed routine as to how we go about setting up the various lodges and it involves months of planning in advance.  We send all of the items that we cannot source in Russia up to Murmansk and then ship down huge amounts of dry goods, wine, fridges, chairs etc etc from Murmansk to Varzuga village via huge trucks.  This is then stored in a vast storage shed (sklad) that houses everything that the village needs and we finally take out our kit under the watchful eye of Marina, the sklad overseer.

Taking supplies from the village to Lower Varzuga
This year we had a shock when we came to the sklad to reclaim our goods and the picture below shows the devastation but not the extent of the size of the building before it burned down.

The sklad after a huge fire
Whilst this has been horrendous for the village (years of supplies that have been hoarded have been lost) we were fortunate in that the trucks had not set off from Murmansk by the time it had burned down.  This means that our advanced purchases are all intact but the reserves from the village have been severely depleted.  As ever in Russia, they are at their best in a crisis and the whole community is now working to find out what has been lost and where they can source replacements.  It is extraordinary to see everyone pulling together and making the best of what they can.

Newly racked supplies - amazing how fast they have recovered
As a result, it seemed a bit insensitive to fish very much when there was so much work to do but Terry had a crack at the end of the day down by the boats for half an hour.  He hooked one but lost it, largely I think because he was too worried about looking at the camera!

In terms of the important things for those of you coming soon, the weather remains warm although it is overcast now and the water temperature is 7 degrees.

Terry about to lose a fish
The water level is dropping as we would expect and conditions look set fare.

More tomorrow after another day of unpacking, sorting and trying to find time to have a fish.

Bill Drury