From the Baku of Beyond: Bulletin No 1

As you will all know, our own JohnO and ShonaO are at present camping in the Azerbaijani desert near Baku (a nomadic outpost on the shores of the Caspian Sea). Life is tough, and the weather much like that at home, by all accounts.

Without more ado, here is John's missive from the Baku of Beyond.

Dear LBSC 

We’re still in the grip of a windy and cold winter here on the shores of the mighty Caspian. We await the balmy weather - expected mid March whereupon most locals will disappear for 2 weeks leaving us foreign chaps to pick up the slack. 

Such is the lot of an ex-pat, so mustn’t grumble. 

It’s a strange life, if you let it. It is a crazy mix of full on city life with an old and interesting Baku interwoven. There were huge numbers of oil wells around the edge of the city, and new ones drilled in last 10 years and even new fields planned. 

Here is a photo of just over half of John.
I attach a photo of me with the earliest commercial well in the world (1846) which is in the city next to Olympic pool ! Back then Baku pumped out 1/2 of the worlds oil production. The Nobel brothers (of prize and dynamite fame) were key players. Everyone is very friendly and all feels safe. 

Food and drink are of top quality and not expensive with huge range of eastern cuisine to tempt the palate. Sadly there is, so far, little in the way of water sports. This is for a number of reasons; fear of uncontrolled traffic, pollution and old Russian detritus. There is a local yacht club, but it would take Donald's commodorial skills to get an invite. 

Those with fluent Azerbaijani will note that the John and Shona's new yacht  has been renamed Twister. Note the LBSC influence in the fendering
So far I’ve had a number of knock backs from the gate man. I attach photo of a more likely craft for my exploits. It would be great to start a skiff club here. Old photos show huge numbers of small craft in and around the city. Maybe I’ll bring out a set of plans ! 

Back end of March so hope to see all then. 

Cheers, and ... Salamat qalin (take care)

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