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The Navy’s First

Whilst visiting the Solovetsky Islands near the acrtic circle I witnessed the return of St Peter, a replica of an 18th century ship built here on the island. It was returning from its first major voyage retracing the original route made by Peter the Great in 1694. The ship took 10 years to build, mainly because all materials had to be shipped from the mainland and for many months of the year the weather is too harsh for any work to be carried out at all.  The island is dominated by the huge medeivel monastery. There is a small town but no proper roads, a handful of shops and some modest hotels for pilgrims. The other building of note on the island is the Maritime Museum, an unexpected find, full of interesting artefacts, and it was here that the St Peter was built, a labour of love by a group of enthusiasts from different corners of Russia. 

My photos and article were published by Russian Life in 2015.