My Russian TV Appearance

Ok friends…I know it was back in April 2013 that I shared my whole journey of finding my Russian past love, Sergey and my search for him that had me go to Russia.

For those that did not get to read the original story it can be read by clicking here

The whole experience….it was so emotional, so daunting, so deep for me that it’s taken me a long time to sort through it all. This was one of the reasons I’ve been so quite. I’m still sorting through everything this journey meant to me and that time in my life.

I did get to spend a few hours with Sergey after the show. He told me a little about his life, his children and his estranged wife. He was beautiful, kind, he listened to everything I needed to tell him about all the things he did not know about me when I met him. He was stunned and deeply compassionate to hear of all I suffered when I met him and his influence upon my life. I will never forget Sergey nor the fact that I finally got to talk to him and see him again. It is still a deep pain inside of me that I’m healing from. Just when I think it doesn’t hurt anymore…something comes up to show me that it still does. It was that time in my life that hurts, not Sergey, he was and always will be very special to me.

But here is the video link and the written translation as promised.

Mikhail (host):

At the 16th of February 1986 at 10:40 PM a famous cruise liner “Mikhail Lermontov”, the pride of the Baltic steamship line, got a hole by hitting stones with its bottom near the New Zealand seashore.

(The video from archive about “Mikhail Lermontov”.)

The people on board – 408 passengers, 330 of crew and a New Zealand pilot – were saved: the ship sank in 20 minutes after evacuation at a depth of 33 meters and fell on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

And the occasion we want to tell you about took place a month later when “Mikhail Lermontov” entered the waters of Vanuatu – a pacific Melanesian state.

It was a regular cruise.

As usual, most of the passengers were rich senior persons from America, Canada, Western Europe… There were almost no young people. The youngest of them was this Australian girl Tahnja Wolter.

Your photo.

27 years later she sent a long, passionate and circumstantial letter to our program where she asked to find a young man she met that time… “On Titanic”, we long to say.

But, of course, not on Titanic – on the “Mikhail Lermontov”.

And this is what she tells about it.

(The video with me from Sydney.)
I remember the moment when I saw “Mikhail Lermontov” for the first time. I was looking at it with my mouth opened. That time I didn’t know yet that this cruise would change my life. I’ve had a fantastic time there.

The first time I met Sergey was when he was performing one night. We were sitting close to the stage, I remember him getting up on it. I’ve never seen anyone so handsome in my whole life. He was really stunning.

I’ve never seen an opera before and when he got up on stage and started singing “Nessun dorma” he looked at me. I got lost. I was just an ordinary young girl and he looked at me… He deeply touched my soul, he had something special about him. I remember how after he finished singing I went out to the corridor and ran straight into him. I got really confused. I kept my head down and was only thinking “oh, can he just go past me”. And he stopped! I raised my head and he asked my name and we started talking. Sergey asked me if I come to the concert, and I came.

He won my heart, he was just incredible. I was alone and afraid of everything in life. I wanted to run away from everything; and he gave a young girl a story I carried through all my life, a fairytale. And that’s why I want to find him.

Before the end of the cruise we met again on the deck. Sergey said he would be back in Sydney in couple of weeks and he’d have a last cruise to New Zealand. He asked me if I come to see him again, and I said I would. I was really waiting for this moment to see him. I was at home when “Mikhail Lermontov” sank and heard about it from the news. I remember being really-really stunned, it was horrible. I can’t even describe how upset I was. There was only one thought in my head: that I would never see Sergey any more.

Maria (host) (to me):

Today Tahnja has come to our studio to announce her searching. Good evening!

Mikhail (to me):

Good evening! So, you were to meet your new friend in Sydney after the liner’s returning from cruise?…

And exactly that cruise was the last for ”Lermontov”.

I’m afraid, you were right – you really had no chances to meet Sergey. The reason was not only the “iron curtain”, but also that the pride of the Baltic passenger fleet had sunk.

(Another video from archive about “Mikhail Lermontov”.)

5 bars, a restaurant, cinema, tennis court, winter garden, and- scared to say – casino right on the board… Notice that it all was in 80s. “Lermontov” was meant to amaze the imagination of rich capitalists, spoilt with material values, and to demonstrate the power and greatness of USSR…

And it really was demonstrating it, while it had hit that unfortunate reef. On 16th February 1986, 3:00 PM “Lermontov” had left the pier of New Zealand’s port Pickton right on time. It was raining. Like on the legendary “Titanic”, that evening the majority of passengers gathered in music saloon. At 5:38 PM because of pilot’s mistake, “Lermontov” got a shell-hole in the right board… At 6:01 PM SOS signal was given and the evacuation of passengers started.

They say, firstly the passengers didn’t realize the whole seriousness of this situation and considering it an entertaining adventure and even tried to take pictures in orange jackets with life-boats in the background.

But the careen was rising and lower deck was drowned. Soon everyone knew the situation was getting worse. The “Mikhail Lermontov” crew behaved bravely. All large number of elderly people was brought to ladder on arms. Lower decks were covered with canvas on order not to show people the level of water inside.

Captain tried to lead the ship to a shoal to beach, but, unfortunately, they didn’t reach it with only one kilometer left to overcome.

Mikhail (to me):
Tahnja, please look at the screen.

The video with Sergey – part 1 (in this part Sergey told about the “Mikhail Lermontov”: how it sank, how Sergey felt about it and so on ).

I remember that day very good. At 3:00 PM, when the ship was leaving, I noticed that it was doing some strange maneuvers – very active with that huge hull, like a captain was trying to show daring, to show how dashingly we could leave the waters of the port. When the catastrophe happened, when the ship hit very hard the rock that went beyond the water I ran out and saw that the ship was doing a return, lifting a lot of sand and something like mud… Of course, I understood that a terrible disaster happened.

Mikhail (to me):
It’s him, isn’t it?

The video with Sergey – part 2 ( in this part Sergey told about our meeting on “Mikhail Lermontov” and about his memories about it).

I think I was a rather romantic person, thoughtful and, maybe, very easily carried away and greedy for impressions. And, talking about Tahnja, I think I’m first of all amazed with the fact that she remembers me. And I couldn’t even count on such attitude towards me. Dear Tahnja, I’m happy and infinitely glad that after all these years you found me. And I hope that, maybe, we will meet again, I wish you to have everything you wish in your life and be happy.

Mikhail (to me:
Sergey is here!

Sergey: It’s an unbelievable story. I think a lot of men would like to be in my place. But I’m the the most lucky. I think that Tahnja has an outstanding heart and soul. I hardly can find so smooth explanations to express my emotions. I think that this one I’ll never forget, with those 3 months. I think that we’ll find each other in Australia.

Journal Comments

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