The Voyage of the poles and peaks




The United Nations recognized Fedor Konyukhova most unique traveler of the second millennium, because he promoted the limit of human capabilities. Konjuhov was the only one on the planet who have climbed the highest peaks on all continents, to reach both geographical poles, Everest — pole height and rounded Cape Horn — marine terminal, the same is not available, the other three.

— Fedor, I'm sorry for the frank question. All at least something noteworthy you've climbed the mountain, you are not trampled poles on this planet no more, 70 countries visited — the remaining 150 are secondary and boring, in all the oceans sank worn on yachts, catamarans, dog sledding … But in Once again going to cross the Atlantic. Immodest to wonder whether there is a medical card so unusual person record psychiatrist. But I believe that I have not the first question arises?

— Good question! I have a friend, a psychiatrist at a hospital in a secure fence. He once admitted: "Fyodor, I can at one moment you clap in his office with a diagnosis of" a tendency to wander. "

— Diagnosis — a veteran?

— Yes, with a decent 35 years. During this time — 40 expeditions.

— And what were the first symptoms?

— Passion for Jack London. As a young man read a lot, and that's wanted to fly on the Yukon sled dog. Grew up on the Sea of Azov, and when it floated on the boat, dreamed that around me raging ocean. He dreamed of the great discoveries … I just got lucky: children's dreams come true.

— But because the world had long been open.

— As if that. But no one bothers to come up with something else.

— You probably found an unfilled spot in the Guinness Book of Records?

— That's really what absolutely does not interest me, so it records. And opening too. I just want to swim under the stars one-on-one with the ocean. This in itself is happiness.

— It sounds romantic. But after your walk is associated with the risk that, perhaps, no insurance company will not contact with you?

— Thank God, while all evaded. Although my boat overturned in the open ocean, and found himself in the icy water, and tried to kill me twice, and remained without food for several days, and with a tiger in the forest met one-on-one …

— Where do you get the confidence that you can endure?

— There is never a certainty — there is hope that with God's help out. Success depends largely on training.

— And if in the ocean with the unexpected happens to you, helicopters, ships immediately come to the rescue?

— Well, that's the same stuff you're talking about! One hour of operation of the aircraft is 8,000 dollars, hire a yacht for a day — 1,000 dollars, helicopters, boats — even more expensive. When I went on a yacht around the world, the cost of emergency aircraft reaching is equal to 2 million dollars. Why do I have that kind of money?

In 1998, Hurricane turned my boat 300 miles from Miami. From under the upturned boat normally not selected. All hope was only on God. I have included a marking buoy, SOS and heard in Russia, and the United States and in Canada, but no aircraft, no aircraft carrier did not dare to approach — a hurricane destroys them. Three days later I was in the boat upside down and just prayed. By chance I came across on the Americans: we searched the wrecked fishing boat and saw my life raft, torn by the wind from the yacht. I was saved by a miracle. And outsiders think, included Grooms button — and to him with submarine Squadron race sweep.

— But if the mission is so dangerous, can not get away from asking for what? Your wife Irina admits that suffuse the pillow during your travels. Two children need a father, too. Glory you have plenty, for records you do not look forward to. For what, then, this crazy risk?

— I recently returned from Kalmykia, two months have passed 1,600 kilometers by camel along the Silk Road. This was the first stage of the expedition, next spring it will continue in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China. I offered to go through the five thousand miles by jeep, on bicycles. I refused. But the camel went. Truly, as before, with a sealed bale of silk in the saddle.

You go on a camel in the desert, the ancient winding path. From space, the path traced by the cluster of mounds: the merchants on the road died, they were buried right there near the road. It is not straight and not tied to the river. Then who is it paved? It turns out that the camels themselves. These intelligent animals are paving the road, where it is easier to go. They sense where the attraction of the earth is less. And that — along geological faults, on which the breath of the planet.

Why, you ask, take the risk? With us are Kalmyks — they are Buddhists. Cameleers — Muslims. We — Christians. So we come to our caravan to Mecca — let the Muslims will make the hajj, come to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital — even Buddhists worship the holy places, then come to Bethlehem, to the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

You go on a camel in the desert, and he reads your thoughts. He wanted to stop — do not even need to pull up a camel, he will stop. But if you think about it: "That's because the brute!" He turns and spits in your face.

— This is not an artistic exaggeration — in fact, the camel reads minds?

— And not just a camel. I was crossing from Alaska south to north with a dog team. 16 dogs run a train, the leader could barely see ahead. But talking to him mentally: left, slow down, ten kilometers rest stop … It just takes all the mental command.

— Out of the mouth of another person, not so credible, it would have sounded like the most perfect mystic. But once you witness the incredible phenomena, perhaps, ever seen a UFO?

— Ever, not once. And it is not alone, but together with the team, so that arbitrary fudge is completely eliminated.

Copper on the island, one of the Commander Islands, just something people live thirty guards. They are often passed over the radio on arrivals of UFOs, and they answered, you all, guys gone crazy from idleness.

Our boat went to the Bronze and moor we could not risen because of the wind. Steel anchor rope thrown to the shore. And suddenly I was attacked by some kind of animal fear. The guys screaming at the sky: "Comet!" Flying low over the horizon, bright pink ball, heading straight to the boat, then suddenly changes trajectory and out of the way. Comet so dramatically change the trajectory can not, and it looks quite different.

In Chukotka during the White Night Captain asked me to polish the fish. Suddenly, for no reason, all of a sudden I was attacked by a terrible irrational fear. I looked at the sea, the ball hanging over him, with which the droplets are broken lights, but do not reach the water, go out.

And one day in the forest shining balloon behaved quite sensibly: advanced the thin beams of themselves, which groped for the county, as if searching for something, and then drew them back.

— Do you have any own versions explaining what is happening?

— Do not release, and the conviction that the world is a lot unknown. Three hundred years ago the conventional lightning produced by certain people as depressing and caused no less fabulous assumptions than today UFOs. But with the development of the knowledge of the nature of lightning cleared. Over time, explain and present the mysterious phenomena.

And such as I encountered in the Sargasso Sea. It's all very scary: no livestock, silent undercurrent, which publishes from time to time some rumblings. Suddenly, not far from the boat appeared glowing pillars — a bluish-white, similar to a gas nozzle diameter, probably, a few meters (to determine the size was difficult not to compare). These pillars seemed alive: when they appear there were whistles, squeaks, pops. Twister is not to blame: no clouds, no rain was not. Just sent a boat to such a post, he immediately arose and disappeared elsewhere. As if playing with me in a cat-and-mouse. If this post has been generated by the tornado, he would be the only one. However, several columns, and they do not interfere with each other.

— Fedor, on your courage shoot TV special, and in our conversation you have repeatedly admitted, I am afraid, irrational fear. Well, my colleagues exaggerate, portraying you a hero?

— People — a weak and dependent. Without the support of God and the light of heavenly forces people generally helpless. It is not surprising, therefore, that he was scared.

Probably flattering to represent himself as a hero. But the truth is quite different. When the summit of Everest we were the last few meters, a strong wind blew, he stabbed a person snow pellets and would not let go. We knelt down and literally crawled on all fours on Everest. That's really not at all heroic, right? But Everest deserve to go back to him. Thank you all let me. Even though I was 434th, climb the world's highest peak, this figure does not belittle me for my achievements: because I somehow got there first! It is no coincidence, every third, who stormed Everest, died.
His fourth circumnavigation I deliberately broke after a boat overturned. The sail came off and the yacht returned to the upright position. It would seem that all is well, float on. I went back to the cabin and felt it the smell of death. Exactly the same as the coffin when you kiss the dead. And then I realized that I must go from here. It's a shame: spent a lot of money, and months of preparation, hundreds of sleepless nights (for when the boat is in a hollow between two crests of waves, we have night and day to make sure that neither the front nor rear wave you are not covered — that's not sleeping). But if at that time I did not find the contact with the ocean, it was necessary to interrupt the journey. Without contact with the ocean still does not work.

— Still, it is strange that such a brave man so unsure of himself.

— Only a fool is always sure of himself. And I'm sure it all depends on God's will. And when absolutely hopeless situation seems all is not getting out, I start to pray. Incidentally, this is the most difficult. When got into the boat overturned around which spilled 120 liters of fuel, heat, breathe, diesel oil corroded body, turned to God. And soon it's feeling: survive. But then as pleasing paint dawn, the taste of bread, a call to his wife. What happiness — to live.

Daniel Countryman

On the face of impossible 22.2004

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