July 19, 2015
Departing from Murmansk
We receive the clearance on July 19, and it is a matter of few hours to purchase everything not purchased yet, remember everything forgotten or left behind, send the unsent emails and have plenty of cell phone conversation. After we exit the Kola bay, the mobile coverage will be poor regardless of the mobile network operators. Novaya Zemlya, for instance, is a sanctuary from the mobile phones.
We start heading northwards the Kola Bay. Leaving a port is a complex multi-phase process; apart from all the clearances of the port authorities, border patrols and the military, we have to ask for a pilot to sail along a difficult navigation pass from the port to the end of the Kola Bay. The pilot helps us to navigate in narrow passes, clear off traffic; he also has all the necessary information on the waterway situation. The panorama of Murmansk is slowly receding astern; we navigate by the vessels anchored in the bay and slowly pass Severomorsk. Finally, we are out of the second elbow of the Kola Bay, and the pilot disembarks to a designated boat. An unending polar day is ahead; the night will not fall for the next several weeks. The weather is fine; foggy Kildin island that we visited last November can be seen off the starboard. Then we pass along Teriberka and Dalniye Zelentsy. From here it’s a short way to the first stop in Rynda.