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We were lucky enough to have great weather (ie no storms) the first half of our journey but often we heard stories about the Chum. It is a great tepee-type tent which you can open in 5 minutes and in stormy weather it keeps you warm and dry as you can put the stove inside as well. So when the first storm hit I was very excited that finally we too could experience the famous chum in all its splendour and not only as a rolled, packed tube which made for an uncomfortable seat on the catamaran. As it was the first time we used it it took 40 minutes and a struggle to assemble, But finally it was up! Time to start the fire, make tea and enjoy stories in the chum.

But as soon as Misha started the fire a thick cloud of smoke filled the chum and quickly creeped lower and lower, closer to the ground. My nose started running, my eyes burning, my throat quickly drying. Less than 180 seconds later I had to run out in the rain to breathe. To survive the chum I tried wearing my diving mask to protect eyes and nose. It made me last 300 seconds. Misha's advice to stay low didn't help either so I resolved lying down wearing the diving mask and sticking my head outside through the zip of the tent. Meanwhile, Olesya was happily making plusky, Misha drinking away and Barbora enjoying the relaxing day. They chatted and munched away happily. For me, the chum soon became the f***ing chum!


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