It happened in August, 1997. 

And it was called "a missionary kayak expedition" down the river Yug, which flows through the north of the Kirov and Vologda regions. 

Why did they go there?

" I think we all realised, that we sought not to relax and get the best of it, but to show a particle of our faith to people who live in remote secluded spots, who have no chance to breathe that vibrant life which Orthodox people have in cities, particularly in Moscow. despite all our slips, we think it was not in vain, it was not wasted. We perceived that our work was needed. It should have been better thought-out. But the very opportunity which was impossible some ten years ago However we are witnessing a great time - the church is free to go to people. And young people (they are many) should do their utmost to come in handy, to be of avail. Our expedition proved it possible. It makes your life plethoric in its entirety. It makes you feel that all you do is with God's will, with God's protection. It makes you happy. 

Alexander Lavrukhin, the skipper of the flotilla