Cruising The Caspian

11 Aug 2010, by Brian in Uncategorized

I’m sitting on a rusty old cargo ship on the east coast of the Caspian Sea, waiting for a spot to open up at port for us to dock, watching the sun set. After a few technical difficulties I’ve finally got the sat-modem working.

We’re rationing the data, so I’m keeping this short…

Tom’s description of Azerbaijan pretty much echos the feelings I was having… but we did have a much better time in Baku, having dinner with a helpful family friend of Justin’s who also helped us arrange our ferry departure yesterday. The whole procedure was a little hectic but the boat finally did leave at about 7:30pm… and sure enough about 12 hours later we arrived just off the coast of Turkmenbashi.

As they were venting sea water over the deck just outside our room, and bathing themselves in it, I took up a conversation with the crew and found out there are 25 students on board from the maritime academy, and I talked to their teacher a bit. The crew told me we would dock “maybe tonight”… but that was hours ago. The port is “busy”. I strolled around the boat taking photos, and some crew took interest in the photos. I took their picture and showed it to them, and they asked me to give them a copy on their laptop… I also showed them our Turkey pictures, the guy I was talking to, Vadim, said he wanted to got to Turkey and took copies of several of our photos. We exchanged email addresses so I could send him pictures of “Amreeka”. They speak English pretty well, but it’s been a good opportunity to practice Russian more as well.

It’s been really hot, over 100 degrees, and we’re all tired, can’t wait to be off the boat and make our way to Turkmenbashi and then on to the gates of hell. I don’t have cell service on the boat, but a few of the Just A Steppe Away team do, and they’ve been getting facebook/email updates… apparently they know somebody in the Microsoft Office group, and a pool has been started taking bets on when we’ll be off the boat… whoever placed their bet for 1 hour was throwing their money away… whoever said 5 days has a cruel sense of humor. To all MS peeps out there Tom says “Hi” and there better be a Media Devices pool bigger than the Office group’s pool (we’ll gladly take a percentage of the winnings!).

Going on 26 hours since we boarded…