Home Back Forward September 11, 1998: Leaving Kambalnoe




Sigh, no new pictures!


From Maureen:

Things are not too good here in Kamchatka. The economy is now very unstable and people are worrying about many things in the city of Petropavlovsk. Yesterday we received an E-mail from Tatiana saying that the city may have no heat or electricity this winter. The Committee for Conservation, who works with us, is closing its doors for two months as they have absolutely no money to operate. Nothing is coming through from Moscow for salaries anywhere now. People are hoarding gasoline as fuel shortages are in effect already. The bank that has the money for the helicopter to pick us up has closed. Tatiana's boss is hoping to contact the head of the bank and free up our money - likely in rubles. Things are pretty tense. I think it is time to come home!

We have friends in fisheries who are hoping to stop in here today or tomorrow to take all our stuff out of here and store it at the Kurilskoye Lakes Science station. They have use of the large MI-8 helicopter and will do this out of friendship. The Russian friends we have here are incredible and resourceful people. Needless to say we are disappointed to leave early. Charlie will fly the ultralite to Petropavlovsk and I will go up in the helicopter. If this all works out we will try to catch the Alaska Air flight out this Thursday rather than wait as currently booked.

However it is fogged in here today, Saturday morning. So who really knows how and when we will get out of here. This isn't too much fun.

We hadn't seen the cubs for 5 days until last night. They must have been down the river fishing as they appeared at the west end of the lake and circled the lake to the south, missing camp completely. We felt a bit left out, but are pleased to see them so independent and able to survive well on their own now. They were napping in a pile on a big rock when we first spotted them.

So wish us luck with the helicopter pick-up. Weather is likely our biggest concern now. We will send a message from Petropavlovsk in a day or two or again from here if we do not get out.

© Lenticular Productions Ltd. 1998