Bering Sea Bound

Tomorrow I board the first of three flights out of Boston that will take me to Otaru, Japan on the west coast of Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.  From here I’ll begin the first of three voyages to explore the Russian Far East, the Bering Sea and Alaska.

The initial expedition will explore the Sea of Okhotsk including Sakhalin Island, the eastern Siberian Coast, the western coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, and the Kuril Islands. The ship will end up back in Otaru after 19 days cruising around the Sea of Okhotsk. Along the way, I hope to see smoking volcanoes, remote Russian and indigenous cultures, and wildlife like the massive Steller’s Sea Eagle, Arctic foxes, and sea otters.

The first of three voyages I will undertake circumnavigates the Sea of Okhotsk visiting eastern Siberia, the Kuril Islands and the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The first of three voyages I will undertake circumnavigates the Sea of Okhotsk visiting eastern Siberia, the Kuril Islands and the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The second voyage will take us back up through the Kuril Islands and then outside the Kamchatka Peninsula to begin island hopping across the Bering Sea through the Aleutian island chain. We will visit Attu, the western most point in the United States, Dutch Harbor (well-known to fans of the “Deadliest Catch” TV show), and finally the stunning Katmai National Park. This second voyage ends in Seward, Alaska.

The second of three expeditions crosses the Bering Sea while exploring the Aleutian Islands and the Central Alaskan Coast.

The second of three expeditions crosses the Bering Sea while exploring the Aleutian Islands and the Central Alaskan Coast.

The final two weeks in the North Pacific Ocean will take me even farther up the Alaskan coast, almost all the way to the Arctic Circle, and into the Chukchi Sea.  This expedition should reveal calving glaciers, bears scavenging the shoreline at low tide, and thousands of seabirds. The ship will also call in at Big Diomede Island where Russia and the US are separated by about one mile of open ocean, and by the International Date Line. I’ll literally be able to look into yesterday on Little Diomede Island – one mile to the west and 23 hours behind. But right now, this is making my head hurt to think about…

Voyage #3 heads north up the Alaskan coast and into the Chukchi Sea.  I'll fly home at the end of July from Nome, Alaska.

Voyage #3 heads north up the Alaskan coast and into the Chukchi Sea. I’ll fly home from Nome, Alaska.

Meanwhile, my camera batteries are charged up, memory cards are formatted, and the lenses are cleaned and ready to go. I’m itching to get out into the Zodiacs and look for rivers full of salmon, whales, wolves, ptarmigan, bears, sea lions, puffins, auklets, and albatross.  And unlike Antarctica, where I spent my winter months, these lands are home to both indigenous and modern people who live off the land by herding reindeer, foraging, and fishing for salmon.

I expect to go in with eyes wide open and to learn all I can from the fascinating people and the wild, remote places soon to come.

Join me!

4 thoughts on “Bering Sea Bound

  1. Beth

    Have a fantastic journey Kit! It was great seeing you at reunion and passing you running today. Let me know when you’re back in Wolfe City so we can catch up.
    Looking forward to sharing your adventures with my school age kids. Keep the photos coming.
    Beth

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  2. Kristine Hannon

    Enjoy, Kit!! Fabulous itinerary which we will more or less do in the opposite way. Diomede Islands are weird and wonderfull; Russia and US just a few mile apart with the date line inbetween and thousands of Walrus on Big Diomede’s shores!!! Done that when coming down from the Northwest Passage last year. Breathtaking!!!
    Hugs xxx Kristine

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