Moshkas and Komars, oh my!

Now, I'm sure I've mispelled the names of these insects that are attacking West and Jeff as they camp for the night, so forgive me. I'm waiting on the correct spelling so I can look them up and give myself a lesson on them.

Here is the information I received from Pavel:

"Moshka" is a small (2-3 mm) bloodsucking insect belong to the family "simulidae". (Photo attachment) Mass flight begins and ends at the same time with the completion of the spring flood. Pictures are posted under the photo gallery.

Thank goodness for the gifts these two received from Pavel. The netted jackets have come in extremely handy as these bugs are everywhere, including inside the tent. The boys will stay in the tent as much as possible to avoid these pesky insects. West said they have a different set of challenges south of Volgograd, bugs being some of them.

They left Volgograd around 11:45 a.m. Pavel and his brother, Max, safely delivered them back to the dam to start where they left off. Of course, as we expected, the wind was still swirling. In fact, once they decided to stop for the night, they were managing one mile per hour. Once they made the turn in the river, they were headed straight into the wind. According to the wind report, they should get some relief tomorrow. Pavel and Max gave West & Jeff some fresh strawberries sent by their mother from the farm. They had them for dinner along with experimenting with smoked chicken breasts and a combination of other stuff. West says "everyone" in Volgagrad has a farm. They also have an apartment in Volgograd.

I am predicting the boys to take about 5-6 days to reach Astrakhan and then a few more days through the Delta. So, all told, they should be finished in 2 weeks, worst case and 10 days, target.

--Barbara

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