- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
210

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
210
was the comparatively great number of women
among them, and the free way they associated
with the men, like comrades on an equal footing.
All ages were here, and several young loving
couples, who may well have been on their
honeymoon.
The water wc steamed through is quite shallow,
mostly under ten metres deep, like the whole,
northern part of the Caspian. Next morning
(i2th of July) wc came to the still shallower part
off the Volga delta, where wc shifted over into a
paddle-boat, for the channel through the delta has
only about 2 metres depth. The sea was here quite
covered by the golden-brown muddy water of the
river, which spreads over the salt water. As wc
steamed up wc passed many small lightships, and
saw many great barges, like islands with a house
on them. Often there was a line of them, one
behind the other, drawn by a tug ; on some of the
barges a square yard-sail was set to help the tug
as they went north. Wc also passed some two-masted
sailers ; with a fair wind they were såiling the same
course as ours, some laden with dried vobla,
which lay in great heaps on the deck. It reminded
me of the Norland coasters years ago which sailed
to Bergen with dried fish piled up high among the
bulwarks. Vobla or roach is the fish which is
most caught here, and the whole peasantry lives
on it. It is a variety {Rutilus rutilus caspicus) of our
common freshwater roach [Leuciscus rutilus, L.),
from which it is distinguished by being a salt
water and migratory fish. It is found throughout the

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