The Eider Book is here!!

Finally, it has been printed and delivered to Kandalaksha. Here we are after unloading nearly two tons of books (900 Russian ones and 500 English copies, over two kilos each):

The author (center), the typesetter (left), and I, the humble translator (right) in my home office, where the bulk of the books is presently stored

Actually, they arrived two or even three weeks ago but I was a bit busy with teaching English and then buying/registering a “new” car to make a timely announcement. 

See the book description at

The cost of the English version is 50 dollars/Euros plus shipping (another $35-40). Free (except for shipping) from those who sponsored the book while it was being written. If interested in purchasing it please write to

A few dozen of them stayed in St. Petersburg and some went to Moscow, and you can pick them up there if convenient. Please write to me for details.

Lighthouse Foundation collecting funds for the publication of the book on the history of eider ducks and people

Lighthouse Foundation, a German organization that effectively promotes sustainable development of the coastal areas around the world, has listed the collection of funds for the printing of my mate Alexandra’s book on the relationship between Eider ducks and Man throughout history among its projects.

Here is the beginning of their page on Alexandra’s Eider book:

This is the world’s first pop­u­lar sci­ence pub­lic­a­tion ded­ic­ated to the world-wide his­tory of the re­la­tion of Man (Homo sapi­ens) and the Com­mon ei­der (So­ma­teria mol­lis­sima): from the ei­ders in the ex­cav­a­tions of an­cient hu­man set­tle­ments to the ei­ders in art; from myths and le­gends to the latest sci­entific re­search; from the ei­ders as hunt­ing trophies to them in the mu­seum col­lec­tions.

Read more at the Lighthouse Foundation site >>

Those wishing to make a contribution towards the printing of the book will find banking information to the right of the Eider page on the Lighthouse Foundation site.

A car trouble sketch-of-life example from the same traveller

Another story from Jack from Poland (see the previous story) that may be worth sharing to show the spirit of the country. Reminds me of another couple of travellers who got a free tow from Petrozavodsk to St. Petersburg. So yes, I’d say the situation described below is “typical” for Russia.

While it wasn’t in your neightborhood, I would like to share with you a
story, what happened a week before.

As always, I prepared my car thoroughly for the trip. But it’s impossible to
predict every failure. At the Russian border, a leak started from the
cooling system. My repairs didn’t helped for long. Two days later, in the
middle of nowhere, a big diameter, long, rubber hose, has disintegrated
totally, due to it’s age. It was looking like a new from outside, while
being a garbage inside, at least at a section of it.

Without much effort, I stopped a man, who, using a rope, towed me to an
unpaved parking lot at a tire service at route M20. He drove to that place
only for me, and took money only for the fuel.

On this parking lot were two military trucks. Soldiers were taking a rest.
When I opened the hood of my car, they immediately came to me. We all saw,
that the fix is simple, but what can I do without new hose? They tried to
cut off hose from their pump (used for pumping oil, I think) to replace that
in my car, but diameter was different.

A man from tire service soon appeared. He gave us all what was necassary: a
short L-bend hose (from some car), a steel pipe and electric angle grinder.
Soldiers cutted out excessive lenght of the pipe, removed rotten part of my
hose and assembled everything, using their own hose-clamps. They even filled
the cooling system with water from their own portable tank and bleeded it.

Soldiers (like the tire-shop guy) didn’t wanted money. I tried to gave them
some jars and cans with food from EU, at least. They refused to take more
than 1 jar, and one of them gave me an emblem from shoulder of his uniform.

Contrary to this, in my country (and some others) it’s not easy to find free
help. And it’s a real rarity, when somebody offers help to you, because he
sees you need it. Russian soldiers repaired my car for free, they worked
over 30 minutes till my car was ready to go, wanted nothing in exchange, and
they did this before I asked them for help. Today, after 10,000 km, their
kludge is still working.

While, when visiting Russia, I’ve met many times with warm reception and
gifts, nothing can beat those four soldiers. And their emblem, a personal
gift, is my most valuable souvenir.


A night-time tour of Kandalaksha – am I still capable of staying up and active until 6am?

Motivated by greed, I’ve conceded to give an overview tour of Kandalaksha and area on the night from Saturday to Sunday, starting at 1am and ending at 6am. Now, as the day or, rather, night, approaches I’m starting to have doubts about the wisdom of my decision. Somehow staying up all night is something that no longer seems easy although I worked as a night watchman for a considerable time in Canada in my younger days. We’ll see if I’m still capable of pulling it off..


The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together

A popular science book by Alexandra Goryashko

Publication expected in 2019


The preparation of a popular science book on the world-wide history of the relationship between humans and the eiders – A Wild Bird and a Cultured Man (The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens: Fourteen Centuries Together) – for printing is nearing its end.

more >>

I’m ready for a new challenge

For the last few months, in addition to translating Alexandra’s book on the eiders (the end of the project is now in sight sometime in 2019) and teaching English (mostly to local kids), I’ve been looking where a motor yacht could fill up with quality diesel fuel between St. Petersburg and Murmansk. Now, with the yacht project over, 1/3 of my time and energy is freed up, and am ready to apply it to the benefit humanity and to help in paying our bills.

Examples of jobs done in the last three or four years, since our move to the Kola Peninsula: more >>