Ruda’s arrival in Lithuania was greeted by 72 knots of hurricane force winds which caused havoc in Lithuania’s main port, Klaipeda. Ruda emerged safe and sound, but others didn’t fare so well. Ruda hurried away and into the Curonian Lagoon, a brackish 95km long stretch of water separated from the Baltic Sea by a spit of land composed entirely of sand dunes.
These dunes attain heights of up to 60m and can move laterally up to 15m a year! Ruda dropped anchor and spent a pleasant afternoon enjoying the view. The Curonian Lagoon is partly in Lithuania and partly in Russian Kaliningrad, so Ruda only explored as far south as the holiday town of Nida on the Lithuanian side of the border. Here she encountered a little fleet of traditional shallow draft Curonian Lagoon boats with their characteristic weather vanes. After some very pleasant days spent enjoying sun and sand the crew started up Ruda’s engines and headed out into the Baltic to do what for her is a long passage; 115 nautical miles (215km) of navigating in order to pass around Kaliningrad.