Baikal, Day Off, Day 7
Saturday, April 5 2014
There is no wind today so they called a day off to rest. We have some yacht repairs and adjustments to do, as well as sharpening the runners. I don’t have a grinder here so I’m trying to repair the cuts on the blades with a grinding stone. It’s a tedious work, but it’s working. The others are also fixing what they have broken.
But the greatest experience of the day is a ride in a hovercraft. We go to a city called “Piesčinky”, 70 km from here. A picturesque bay with a large sandy beach. The oldest meteorological station on Baikal is situated here. They also built a new tourist destination here, in a slightly cheesy Hollywood style. There’s a wonderful silence here, interrupted only by the bloody tourists on the hovercraft.
When we arrive, Kosťa, our hovercraft driver, sits me behind the steering wheel and asks me to try it. I don’t know why he picked me, but I definitely want to try it. The bay is large so hopefully I won’t cause any problems. It’s an amazing experience. A lever to speed up, like in an aircraft. The hovercraft rises in the air more, the friction drops so the hovercraft starts going faster. The steering wheel controls a large propeller at the back, it looks like a helm. It needs some practise, but it wouldn’t be difficult..
Even on our journey back from “Piesčanky” to our base I can’t stop feeling panicky every time the hovercraft crosses a crack above the water surface. I grasp the seat every time, expecting us to end up under the ice. But the hovercraft keeps going forward without any issues. We would need this on our ice yacht. I think Roman Roček would really like it.
The official ceremony with Asia Cup results announcement takes place in the evening. At the same time we register for the next race, the Russia Championship.
We will see what tomorrow holds for us.