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> August 17, 2006 - Paramushir, Day One, ...We're staying in a house? Wow.
post Aug 25 2006, 04:45 PM
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August 17, 2006 - Paramushir, Day One

NOTE: The eight days of journal entries from August 17-24 were written while I was camping ashore at Pernatoye Lake, along Vasil’ev Bay on southern Paramushir Island. I am typing them in mostly verbatim from my handwritten journal from the field – with just minor editing/additions for content and clarity – now that I am back on the Gipanis.

August 17 - 5 pm

Today, we arrived at Pernatoye Lake on the south eastern end of Paramushir Island. Early in the morning, Tolya (Anatoly Lozhkin), Pasha (Pavel Minyuk) and Sasha (Alexander Pakhamov) set out from Gipanis to check out the access to the lake and landing on shore. We had steamed before dinner last night and had arrived at about 8 pm. This was good because the crossing from Onekotan to Paramushir was very rolly and I spent the majority of it in a bunk, horizontal. After dinner, I spent time with Bre and Mike, because I will miss them most. We spend a lot of time talking and playing cards and generally enjoying each other’s company. After breakfast, today, I quickly packed the clothes and gear that I had piled in my room the night before. Getting ready to go made me very anxious and nutsy – trying to decide whether or not to bring the computer, etc. I tried to send email before we left, but the connection to the satellite was very bad and it was raining, so I decided to leave it. Simplified the packing a bit.

Mike, Jesse, James, Colby and Matt went ashore to help carry gear the about ˝ km from the landing site to the campsite. This took from about an hour or so. Then it was my turn to tell everyone good-bye for a week and head to shore with one of the last loads gear.

It was a moderately wet zodiac ride, rainy and a bit of spray. When we got to shore, Mike, James, Matt and Colby and Pasha were there to meet the zodiac as we surfed in on the swell and breaking waves. They were all very wet and very tried from carrying gear – but there was still a lot to be carried. I helped to carry lighter items and we trudged back and forth through the sand, over a stream and up a road to . . . a house! It turns out that we have a very nice building – an abandoned Russian Border Patrol barracks – to stay in. This is very nice because it is really yucky and raining. We would be quite miserable in tents. It still took us about 2 hours to bring everything up from the beach. Then I made my good-byes for a 8 days and helped get the “house” – and our home for the next week – set up. (See pictures below)

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On the left: James Taylor, Katya Kravchunovskaya, Mike Etnier, Matt Walsh, Jesse Einhorn, Pavel “Pasha” Minyuk and Alexander “Sasha” Pakhamov greet Dr. Shubin and Vladimir “Volodya” Golobtsov on the final zodiac run to the beach at Vasil’ev Bay on Paramushir Island. Also aboard the zodiac, but not visible in the picture are Pat Anderson and Tanya Pinegina.

On the right: Me working to carry gear up the beach from Vasil’ev Bay to our field site near Pernatoye Lake on Paramushir Island.

After we got the individual rooms cleaned up – cleared of garbage and the floor swept a bit – and organized the gear (personal and group), we started working on making things more comfortable. Jesse and I were sent to scrounge furniture – chairs and tables (i.e. empty wooden drawers and big metal boxes t that we could carry) we found in some of the abandoned outer buildings. We hung up lines to dry clothes and changed into drier clothes, set up cots and personal spaces and prepared lunch. Lunch consisted of bread, jam (yum!), tea and various meat products in cans – fish, beef, and kielbasa – plus canned white beans, canned corn and condiments – mustard, ketchup, butter, mayonnaise, lemon pepper, and hot sauce. It was very delicious. We just used our spoons and ate right from the cans. The best meal in quite some time.

After lunch, we worked some more on making things livable in the house – Pasha and Jesse found a larger table and bench, we hung more lines to make a drying room with the kerosene stove/heater, connected the generator and strung a light using salvaged wiring and bulbs to the “dining room” for light. Pasha even found a framed picture of Vladimir Putin to hang over the table. Very nice.

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On the left: The abandoned Russian Border Patrol barrack where we made our home while we worked in the field on Paramushir Island. This building was just a part of an entire complex of buildings that encircled Lake Pernatoye.

On the right: Pavel “Pasha” Minyuk and Jody Bourgeois admire the framed picture of Vladimir Putin that we hung on a shelf above the “dining room” table of the house that we lived in for 7 days while working in the field on Paramushir Island.

I’m pretty sure that my gloves and hat will get dry by tomorrow - then I’ll be a lot warmer. So far – a bit cold. Tomorrow we will get to work. Today we’ve made things fairly comfortable for ourselves for the next week.

August 17 - 10 pm

Things are going well. Hopefully, my clothes in the drying room with be dry tomorrow. My tummy is very full of yummy food. My feet are finally warm. I’m headed to bed soon – early! I’m sure that I’ll be up with the sun, since there are no curtains in our room, so no need for an alarm. So far so good. We’re warm, we’re full-tummied, and we have light and shelter from the rain. All good.
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