Despite stopping and visiting with a family on the river for 2 hours, the boys paddled 57.9 miles today. As they were just taking off from a quick lunch on the beach, a family pulled up and asked West and Jeff about their boats. West and Jeff told them about the expedition. The woman and her son spoke English pretty well and were very interested.
West said there are a lot of pleasure boaters out now. Every day they experience more and more. Despite one boat that buzzed by the three different times, creating a wake and getting closer with every pass by, most folks were very friendly and gave waves as they passed. The woman on the beach told them of a marina outside of Saratov that they could see about staying. Looking at the spot tracker, it was on river left and is obvious in the direction they took. Unfortunately, that place did not work out (for several reasons) and they took a hard right in order to meet up our contact, Valery on river right. Valery and Sergei (translator) got West and Jeff to a hostel for the night. Everyone was very nice in helping our team get things they needed but, the stores were already closed and they will have to stop tomorrow in the city of Saratov to purchase some water before moving on. My new best friend, Stanislav (Rybinsk) continues to help me in finding anything and everything the guys need and has sent me the location of a store that should have what the boys need to resupply.
They are starting to paddle more miles each day. They are below the 800-mile mark, more than 2/3 of the way down river. Our next big stop will be the city of Volgagrad. I've already been contacted by the tourism group there as well as a kayaker interested in helping out where needed.