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The Canal has likely been called lots of things, but exotic might never have been used.  But I would argue that it is just exactly that.

Thanks to Peggy Huckel for the top three photos here, six more or less anachronistic rowers of an 18th-century bateau (bah TOW) on a mission.  If you look closely at the second rower from the bow, red shirt and white 21st-century hat, he’s the person who typically takes most photos on this blog.  Our mission?

. . .  To meet this lodya, Pilgrim,  built on the shores of the Onega Sea. It sailed here from the White Sea Canal!  You saw photos of it before in this post from last month, and I won’t duplicate all the info from there. Here you can follow Pilgrim‘s own website in English.

Our mission failed in that Pilgrim‘s arrival happened after our bateau returned to its 18th century port.  But . . .

to me it was important to wait for them.

 

 

Lock E-8 seemed a good place.

If you’re reading this today and find yourself west of lock E-17 . . . you may see them.  And if your Russian is better than mine, you might say “добро пожаловать на наш канал,”  which sounds like “dobro pozhalovat’ na nash kanal.”  In our current toxic political state of affairs, creative anachronists doing a global circumnavigation like this re-enacting another time, they have my respect.  In fact, I’d love to know what reception US re-enactment sailors would get in the White Sea Canal.

 

 

First three photos, thanks to Peggy Huckel. The last ones by yours truly, the second rower from the bow, red shirt and white 21st-century hat, trying unsuccessfully to pass himself off in that outfit as a time traveling bosloper.

Other exotic vessels through the Canal have included the following:  Bounty, a solar Ra, Draken Harald “Fairhair,” the current Oliver Hazard Perry, Hōkūle‘a, Sequoia, Royaliste, Wards Island,  . . .  please help me add to this list.  Some more photos are here.

If you’re reading this while traveling through the canal, check out my virtual guide.

White, blue, and red comes in different contexts, and

this one along with the name on the trailboard does give pause.

Glenn Raymo took these photos in Poughkeepsie Sunday, and they were my introduction to an ambitious sailing project.   The best I can tell this project began in Petrozavodsk, a city on the western shore of Lake Onega, in northwest Russia, a few hundred miles east of access to the Baltic at St. Petersburg.  Lake Onega is connected to both the Baltic and the Arctic Ocean via the White Sea Canal. As a person who fancies himself somewhat well-versed in canals, I was ignorant of the White Sea Canal until now:  mostly hand-dug by prisoners of the USSR in the 1930s

Pilgrim is a lodya, a traditional sailing vessel of this area.  Along with the koch, the lodya is an ancient Rusian polar exploration vessel.

If you follow along on the “news” link, you see their step-by-step voyage from Russia.  Exactly two years ago, eg, they had just crossed the Bay of Biscay!   News articles go all the way back to 2006.

To my friends along the Erie Canal, once the waterway is open, keep your eyes peeled.

Many thanks to Glenn Raymo for this catch.  Previous posts with attribution to him can be seen here.

It reminds me of all the memorable vessels that have transited the Erie Canal:  Bounty*, Draken Harold Fairhair, Pinta, Sequoia**,  Hokule’a, Ra, When and If, Amarah Zee, the future Oliver Hazard Perry, Lois McClure . . . I have no doubt left some out.

*I have photos but I’ve not posted them on tugster.   **One of the planned but not realized posted is a review of Capt. Giles M. Kelly‘s book;  any volunteer to write a review?  You’ll get a free book.

And to the crew of Pilgrim,    попутный ветер, друзья мои      I hope I spelled that right.

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