04-Jun-2004 -- While visiting Saint Petersburg in business, I got a chance to take the Friday afternoon off. Of course I had this in mind already when I planned the Petersburg visit. I followed the instructions given by Burkhard and Bernd and went by the subway to Black Creek (Chornaya Riechka, 8 RUR), then by the minibus K-417 to Cape Fox (Lisiy Nos, 28 RUR). I walked the 1.8 km to the shore and took an overview picture. There was an unpleasant smell of sewage, and on a tree was a sign stating: NOTE SWIMMING FORBIDDEN BEACH CLOSED. I found a couple tanning themselves and asked why the beach was closed. They told the water was polluted, but it was OK to use the beach for tanning. Since Ukraine 45Nx35E I am prone to take green warning signs with white text in Russian seriously. I decided to give up 60Nx30N and go back to Petersburg. But, while strolling around, I saw a few boats behind the fence at the house to the west of the beach. A pensioned couple was working there, putting plants into the soil. I asked them if I could borrow a boat for a one hour tour on the sea. No, they said, to much storm. It was blowing about 8 m/s. I explained, in my poor Russian, that I had gone canoeing on the Atlantic Ocean (Ofotfjorden in Norway, that is), in calm weather, but rather big swells. I also offered them 100 RUR, which is about a day's salary for a Russian worker, but they denied. Then I explained the purpose of the visit, showed the GPS and the coordinates of my destination, and that it was 300 m from the shoreline. I explained that the GPS worked using signals from satellites (sputniki). They asked me what my name was, and I showed them my passport. The man said his name was Vladimir. Then, suddenly, it was OK to borrow the boat, but I must not go further than 300 meters from the shore. I got a rescue vest and oars, and we put the boat into the sea. Then it was a bit tricky to manoeuvre out to free water, because the water was shallow and there were reinforced concrete barriers in the sea. I don't know if those were wave breakers or something that had fallen down from the house. The degree of maintenance of the building was pretty low.
I rowed out to the confluence, laughing all the way, took my pictures, tried ten times or so to get all zeroes on a picture of the GPS, but didn't succeed. However I got a waypoint with all zeroes without taking a picture. Elevation on the site is of course zero, but water depth at the moment was something between 1 and 1.2 meters. Still laughing of joy, I rowed back. Vladimir remembered my name, and we carried the boat onto the shore. I thanked him, and offered him the 100 RUR, but he denied to accept any payment. He asked when I was to leave. I said Saturday, by aircraft. I think if I had time to stay, he would offer a dinner.
I the walked to Lisiy Nos and looked around in the village. Several buildings were in a late stage of deterioration, while others, especially datchas (Russian summer houses) were newly built or under construction.
I took the train at 15:41 to Old Village (Staraya Derevnya, paid 15 RUR for a ticket all the way to Finlandskiy Voksal). From there I walked and rode a tramway (7 RUR), walked again to the Marina, where the 18th century replica ship Jacobstads Wapen was in harbour. There I waited for my business friends, who were stuck in the Friday traffic jam in Petersburg and got delayed more than two hours.