Friday, 17 October 2008

Wet and Wild!

It has been a wet and chilly couple of days on the Rio. Fortunately the Tropical Depression that has been heading toward us made landfall out in Honduras but its legacy has been a phenomenal amount of rain. The river rose by about 12 inches yesterday and has risen further this morning although it hasn't reached the top of the docks yet which means that we still have shore power on board!

The swollen, muddy waters are causing the local fisherman a great deal of grief. We watched as one pair in their dug out canoe struggled to free their nets early this morning. They had 'caught' a massive tree that was floating down river in the fast current. They finally got it clear but it was a couple of hours of wet and no doubt chilly work. With no fish at the end too....

The local village has heavy water flow coming through some of the properties and the road from Fronteras to the next town is flooded and impassable in places due to mud slides. All in all a really unpleasant time for the land dwellers.

For us though it has been a welcome change. Yesterday we battened down the hatches. Cooked a good meal. Settled down snug and safe with a book and thought about our forthcoming adventures. The sound of some good live flute music filtered below decks. There was a recital taking place in the bar and with the noise of the rain beating down on our suncover(!) it made a pleasant background...

The much chillier temperatures have set me to thinking about the return to higher latitude sailing and the different challenges that we will face. I am reading a book about Kamchatka, the region in Russia that is to be one of the destinations that we hope to include in our next voyage. It's a fascinating country. Part of the Pacific rim of 'ice and fire'.Roughly comparable in size to Japan, another of our intended destinations, it has over 300 volcanoes, 29 of which are active today!

Closed to outsiders until the late 1990's, now there is a small but growing tourist industry. The opening of Russia has allowed a few intrepid travelers to experience the complete wildness of the countryside. The worlds largest population of brown bears and previously unfished lakes and rivers... There is only one 'road' in the whole region and most access is limited to helicopters! I am making plans to visit the reindeer herders, stay in a yurt, visit the geysers and catch a salmon (or two)! All way in the future for now but great to think about.

Three indigenous tribes share the place with a Russian population brought in to service the Defence industry, most of which live in the one major town of Petropvlovsk. A typical ugly Soviet centre of featureless block buildings and unkempt surroundings from what I can see so far. The countryside is another story. Thousands of acres of World heritage Sites. Extra-ordinary geological features, glaciers, lakes of acid, boiling mud, marshes and mountains.

TBH's book is in its final stages and we are very excited about the upcoming roll out of the new venture.The current world financial crisis is just what we need to encourage the adoption of new and radical ideas. And that is just what he has created, clever chap! We are struggling with the very limited internet access here as we begin the next task of targeting potential reviewers and customers. The new limit of 30M a day downloads per computer is difficult to deal with. As we reconnect with our old world it is interesting to see who is doing what! Who has aged, and who hasn't! Mostly that seems to come down to how recently they have updated their photograph on their company profile websites!

So we are keeping busy here in the Jungle.

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