This is the first descent of Europe’s longest river by kayak from the source in the Valdai Hills northwest of Moscow to the river’s delta at the Caspian Sea. The Volga traverses 2300 miles (3700 km) through western Russia’s most beautiful countryside with some of the richest history known to man.
TOTAL MILES TO DATE: 2130.09
TOTAL DAYS: 59
MILES COUNTDOWN: 0.00
April 24, 2014
At the beginning of their paddle today, then wind was behind them and they were pumped for a great day. The approached the hydroelectric dam just after the 1st hour. West described it as HUGE. I also read online that this is the only road that connects both sides of Dubna, population 73, 357.
Dubna is 390 feet above sea level and is about 78 miles north of Moscow. It boasts a large international nuclear physics research center defense aerospace company specializing in design and production of missile systems, according to Wikipedia. Jeff and West saw lots and lots of barges, small ships, and tugboats. He said it was very impressive to be so far inland and have all the big ships/boats there.
After crossing the hydroelectric dam, the winds were fierce. The waves were about 3 feet high and constant. If they stopped paddling, they would go backwards and, at times, were only moving forward 1-2 mph. It continues to be cold but not uncomfortably so. The are wet all the time but the wind helps to dry them off quickly. They are starting to see small towns every 6-5 miles or so and the river traffic has picked up. Since the day they started, once paddling, they have not stopped until they stop for the night. Every time I speak with them, they sound good, but very tired. West said they are sleeping incredibly well since they paddle so hard during the day. I can sense, and they concur, that they are frustrated because they are not making the progress that they had anticipated. I'm keeping them updated on the weather. Saturday, the winds are expected to die down after 17 mph ones tomorrow. In addition, once they reach Rybinsk, snow showers are predicted.
Tomorrow, they will cross another dam in Uglich. They will also go into town to pick up some water. It is very difficult to pump water in the windy conditions and they want to make as much progress as possible.