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Russians Sailing on Historical Boat Replica Say Alaskans Helped Them Keep Warm

© Sputnik / Mikhail Turgiev / Go to the mediabankHistorical boat replica Pilgrim in Washington
Historical boat replica Pilgrim in Washington - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.11.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States and Russia may be experiencing tensions in their bilateral relations, but ordinary Americans and Russians are treating each other with respect, Russian sailor and voyager Sergey Sinelnik told Sputnik after his recent trip from Alaska to Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula on the wooden boat Pilgrim.
“We began preparing our boat for the trip at a big dock in the US city of Homer, where the Pilgrim was stationed during winter. All the people who were near us treated us very well. Alaskans are hard workers and they have no time to think about politics: everyone needs to catch the summer season that feeds them during the entire year,” Sinelnik said.
A dock guard, who had previously served in the US military, asked the Russian crew not to come back to Russia out of concern for their well-being.
“Do not go there, it is dangerous, I am worried about you,” the guard said.
However, Sinelnik said he was determined to follow his plan to return to Russia.
“How is that possible? Russia is my motherland and I will go there,” Sinelnik answered.
The guard then said he would pray about the Pilgrim team’s safety and for peace in the region.
“I am praying for you and for peace,” he said.
Sinelnik noted the guard was so determined to help that he even stopped cutting the electricity supply during his night shifts so that the crew of the Pilgrim could sleep in warmer conditions and other guards also began doing so.
The Pilgrim team experienced numerous other examples of hospitality by ordinary Americans. The Russian old believers, who have lived in the United States for decades, invited the Pilgrim crew to their school. The local administration provided water, while others shared fish, fishing rods and additional supplies.
“Although nature there is harsh, the locals’ attitude was the warmest and this is very important. If, after the current events in the world, people were also evil, then it would be three times harder for us,” Sinelnik said.
Sinelnik also recalled how warmly the crew was treated when they stopped near a small village on the island of Kodiak.
“All the locals were very welcoming, and even invited us to the bathhouse. However, this bathhouse was cold and opened to all winds, but probably it is the norm for Alaska,” Sinelnik said.
The Pilgrim, a 40-foot sailboat, started its voyage around the world in 2017 from the city of Petrozavodsk in Russia’s Karelia region. En route to the United States, the vessel visited multiple European countries, the Canary and Caribbean islands and Cape Verde.
This year, the Pilgrim completed the route from the city of Homer in Alaska to the Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy.
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