From Riga to Riga

I sat in the café of the yacht club “Ouda” on the outskirts of Riga.

I sat down to write a note. I postponed the start of a couple of days. June 3, and we are back in Riga. Flew here on May 31, on June 2 the inclusive regatta “Sails of the Spirit” was held. On June 2 at 16:00 we left the central yacht club in Riga. We lifted the flag of the “Sails of the Spirit” and “Rosatom” on the catamaran “Lover”, left towards the island of Saaremaa, and at night, about four, on a light night, warm weather in a small wind suddenly loosened rigging. Because of this, the mast swung, it had to be removed. I was in the right building – I was preparing tea. On board were Vlad and Misha, two blind young people from Riga, me, the blind person, and 8 sighted people. Vlad Khmelevskaya has the first crossing, Misha Olekhov has the second. They laugh a lot, discuss projects, drink tea.

Now in the cafe, Tatyana Dzhemileva has sprinkled me from mosquitoes. Behind the left, geese cry. Yacht club “Ouda” is located on the Daugava River, at the entrance to the Gulf of Riga.

I write and I calm down. Somehow all the same wildly passed the last time.

We flew, we passed the border along with Boris Khokhonov, Lena Polymova and Lena Kovaleva. We met Uldis – our captain, breakfasted with a view of Riga on the 12th floor of the hotel “Ibis”. We settled on the “Lover” in “Ouda”.

Rainis, brother of Uldis, and another captain tested the technique of “Lover”. Nearby a large catamaran “Wild cat” stood, we’re often met in previous expeditions. Uldis tells me they’ve dropped the mast yesterday. The catamaran is on the shore and we were discussing the fall of the mast with a light smile.

In the morning of June 1, we leave with Uldis on “Lover” in the Daugava and directly on the catamaran we go to the port, where the ferry from Stockholm approaches. From the ferry to the “Lover” moved Johannes Marseille – teacher of labour from the school of disabled people from Sweden. Johannes goes with us almost the whole route. This year we go through the Baltic sea from Riga to Kaliningrad through Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania.

Now it is clear that we will not enter Estonia. There's not enough time for repairs.

From the port with Johannes we go to the Riga’s sailing center, where Tatyana Dzhemileva comes from the airport, this year Tatyana is the operator. Edgar Zakis – the first captain of this season, Janis Krumins and Janis Aires, the second – from Liepaja come. I wrote the name of Elders and smiled, remembered the meeting – Janis leaned his head against my stomach and at farewells.

At “Lover” everything is familiar and unusual. The fifth expedition on this catamaran.

Only last year there was a catamaran “Kanikele”. I have confused spaces where, with whom, where the kitchen, winches, entrances, steps, etc. “Canekele” in my head mingled with “Lover”. I spend the night in the cabin with Boris.

A Latvian girl plays in the cafe. I print on the additional keyboard with the Latvian letters. The keyboard of my laptop was flooded. The laptop is less than a week. After I filled it, I could not think about it for a long time. It pulled stronger from the right side, somewhere near the fish shop, judging by the smell – in the fishing industry there are also waste.

On June 2, in the Sailing Center, we conduct a regatta, the first inclusive event in Riga.

Yes, by the way, about the alarms. On June 1, when buying food from Lena, the amounts are written off from the cards, and the payments do not pass. On the first day of the summer, a glitch in the Visa card system in Europe.

But we hold on – we took cash from Edgar.

In the morning of the regatta Uldis comes and brings bouquets for ladies, strawberries and fresh eel for breakfast. Johannes professionally cuts fish-snake, puts it on the board. We come up and take a piece. What is it like in our approaches to the board with eel?

At some ceremony, I can’t remember now, the brains are starting to relax.

Tatiana sits across the table and draws something.

I wonder what?

On June 2, after breakfast, participants of the regatta gather. The new friend – Valery Rakov – head of the organization “Modus Vita” in translation – movement is life. Valera on the rise, the organization employs mainly people with disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Four people in wheelchairs – the most interesting people, one woman is in a wheelchair, Lolita works as a judge in Riga. Everyone’s sailing for the first time.

The regatta involved three yachts, “Lover” – judges boat. Old friends from the society of the blind Liepaja came, Andrei Kirin came-a blind rower from Daugavpils. Many of us went on previous expeditions to the Baltic sea. With Uldis, it was counted as the sixth expedition here.

The regatta was won by the boat of Misha Olehov and Vlad Chmielewska. And we’re going on an expedition with the winners.

We went yesterday and returned today. Walked 50 miles and the rigging fell apart. Adventure at the beginning of the expedition. Back came on the engine with the mast on board.

Tatiana finishes drawing and goes to “Lover”.

There is a silver lining. We talked to Vlada, her voice and behaviour have changed a lot since our first meetings. We met Vlada on her first visit to Riga. I think it was in 2012. After the workshop “Multi-Mobility” Vlada went to Riga with a cane. Today we have planned a session of the simulation of movement with a cane for tomorrow. We called old and new blind friends. Nastya Proskuryakova will come, she also started walking with a cane after the meetings on “Multi-Mobility” and after the passes under sail in the Baltic sea, the same applies to Misha Olekhov. It’s nice to see the results. Vlada says that in Riga things with self-promotion of the blind, as in many places of the former countries of the Union – not very much.

Vlad wants to master the structure and teach others. We’ll model tomorrow.

The main thing is not the technique of movement, the main thing is the state, the main thing is that you enjoy the independent movement with a cane.

Vlada promises to teach me how to quickly print on my phone using Braille.

I want to write about everyone I met in Riga, but it will not work. It will not be possible to embrace the immense. The main thing, all the same, will be shown. While there is a lot of chaos. Probably, it always was at the beginning of the “Sails of the Spirit” events and in other projects.

It is a pity that I will not see on Saaremaa with Malle Elvet and Yuri Heinlayt. Mallet called a couple of hours ago, she had already on the island and she brought food and gifts. We will not be able to go there. Malle will try to join us in Liepaja in three weeks, and while, certainly, it is sad.

The waiter came up and said: “Do you have internet from there?” And apparently somewhere shows. I say that I have my own internet. On the table of an inclusive traveller are a laptop with a flooded keyboard, a keyboard is connected to it, on which are Latvian letters, a wi-fi router and an iPhone.

The mosquitoes bite again. The time is 20:53, in 7 minutes the Skype connection with Yerevan, Peter and Petrozavodsk is preparing an inclusive rock festival “The Sail of the Spirit” in Yerevan. The festival will be held on September 28. Tomorrow we are moving around Riga.

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