Viktor - The Russion explorer
Mittelandkanal, June 27th, 28th and 29th
This little tenderboat we saw and passed on Mittelland kanal on June 27th, June 28th and again on June 29th when it entered the harbour just as we had moored.
The captain onboard, 63 year old Viktor, uses a rather cosy way of enjoying the European canals!
Viktor lives i Tula, 220 kilometers south of Moscow in Russia. Works at home, fixing electric and electronic things for companies and friends during six winter-months and spends six summer months on his little tenderboat.
He is cripled. Has a bad back and has lost one leg. But somehow he manages to handle his boat and get much longer to see much more than most us. He has a wheelchair onboard, but so far we have not seen him use it on shore.
This summer he started in the town Bydgoszcz in Belarussia on May 9th. Rowing his little rubberboat on the Bydgoszcz canal and Bug river towards Warzaw in Poland.
When he had been stopped by the river-police a couple of times, telling him that he was not allowed to row a boat on the canal and the rivers, a kind man helped him. This man went to Warzaw, bought a small outboard engine and handed it over to Viktor.
Since then he has visited Warzaw, Berlin and Hamburg.
From Hamburg he's now got to the Mittelland canal where we have seen and passed him three days. So he is actually as fast as we are!
Viktor is now on his way to Amsterdam, I guess we'll see him there too!
From Amsterdam he's going to Brussels, Paris, Strassbourg, Marseille and finally to Bordeaux, where he will be picked up by a big Russian freight ship and transported back to St Petersburg in Russia. From there he will somehow get back to his home town Tula.
Having in mind how kind and helpful most people around the European canals are, we are sure that Viktor will succeed.
We wish him all luck.
Viktor choosed to go to Amsterdam and then to Brussels.
We went south via Maas to Liege and Givet in France were we turned around to start our trip home. When in the Brussels Royal Yacht Club's harbour we met Viktor again.
I had a chat with him and, as in Minden, I wished him a happy journey.
Viktor in his boat on the Mittelland kanal, and in the yachtharbor in Minden.
Viktor and his boat in the BRYC harbour in Brussels on July 27th.