In late August 2007, in order to be true to the Silk road overland plan, I caught a cargo ferry across the Caspian Sea. The journey across the ancient Caucasus glacial melt took about 24 hours from embarkment at Baku in Azerbajian to disembarkment at Turkmenistan’s port of Turkmenbashi. The ride cost about US$55.

On the way, i met some of the crew and the 3rd engineer agreed to show me a slice of life on the boat. The crew live on this boat for 9 months every year, with little time on land to see family and friends.

The Capsian Sea vista is dotted with off shore oil rigs, and other ferries/cargo ships on their way to other ports in Russia, Iran and Kazakstan. In rough weather (thankfully not this time), the salty sea can swell to 10 metres and can be quite a dangerous bronco ride for the sea tanks.

My travelling companion (who makes a short but memorable appearance) is Rishi Watson, a brave Irish lad on his way overland to Kathmandu.

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