After a quick scan of the multitude of tourists, we spotted the group of Russians (well, tiny Russian specs) on the other side of the loch.
We watched in amazement as they swam their way across in nothing but brightly coloured speedos and resort-worthy tanned skin.
We were surprised by how cavalier they all seemed, what with the potential for impending doom from what lied beneath the surface (not to mention the giant eels Graham had told us about). But after training in perilous Siberian waters, I guess this was their version of giving Loch Ness the fi nger.
I t was obvious they didn’t believe in the monster. Or if they did, they had some sort of secret Russian hall pass that ensured a safe passage.
Apparently, the swim was to mark the anniversary of
a Russian nuclear submarine accident, the K19 back in 1961.
Among the swimmers, brave members of a winter swimming club, was a big, brawny Russian who chatted away to us in broken English about his unusual ‘church boat’ back in the motherland. There was even a picture of it on the back of his business card. Before we knew it, he whipped out his guitar and began singing Russian folk songs (still in his speedo). We had no idea what he was singing about but it was lovely. And suddenly, we all craved a shot of vodka.
After all the international aquatic excitement, we headed to the south shore to Dores, where you can fi nd the loch’s
only beach and full time Nessie Hunter, Steve. We’d read about him, heard about him from the locals, and couldn’t wait to meet him. We knocked on the door of the converted mobile library / home / research unit behind the Dores Inn, but Steve wasn’t around. So lunch it was.
Somewhat bummed to have missed Steve, we thought we’d spend the day hunting for Highland cows – for photographs, not dinner. But, the rain wasn’t stopping anytime soon. The pretty cows with the big eyes and the generous toupees would have to wait.