Sea of Okhotsk
September 12, 2014

Friday, September 12th Basically a day at sea as we head away from the Sea of Okhotsk towards Korsakov where we cleared out of Russia. The expedition comes to an end and we celebrated with the rest of the ship with a cocktail party and a screening of the expedition video. We had a wonderful […]

Simushir Island
September 11, 2014

Thursday, September 11th Early that morning we arrived off Simushir (Симушир) Island and Brouton Bay (бухта Броутона) which is like Yankicha, also a caldera, the remnants of a collapsed volcano. Although there was a heavy swell at the ship, the zodiacs were lowered and we made landings inside the caldera in the morning. We were able […]

Yankicha Island
September 10, 2014

Wednesday, September 10th Yankicha, also known as Ushishir, is one of two connected islets in the center of the Kuril chain.The islets are the summit of a quiescent volcano which last erupted in 1884. One wall of Yankicha’s caldera has been breached by the sea, creating a crater bay. In the morning, from our balcony […]

Atlasova Island
September 9, 2014

Tuesday, September 9th Atlasova Island lies 64km / 40mi to the West of Cape Lapatka. It is the northern most in the Kuril Island chain and, at 2,339m / 7674ft it is the highest volcano in the archipelago. It is named for Vladimir Atlasov, a 17th century Russian Cossack explorer, credited with bringing Kamchatka under […]

September 8, 2014

Monday, September 8th The World arrived and anchored off Petropavlovsk late yesterday evening, all ready for us to go and explore the city in the morning. Founded by famed explorer Vitus Bering in 1740 and named for his two ships, St. Peter and St. Paul, the port of Petropavlovsk is today the capital of, and […]

Cape Kekurny and Tikhirka Bay
September 6, 2014

Saturday, September 6th In the morning of this ‘at-sea day’ we enjoyed yet another of Prof. Ludmilla Selezneva’s lectures: ‘The Opening of Siberia and Kamchatka’. That afternoon it was two photography workshops with Raul. That evening we had invited Ludmilla and Martin Enckell to dinner in our residence, which made for interesting and fun conversation. […]

Utkholok Cape and Kvachina River
September 4, 2014

Thursday, September 4th A sea day filled with lectures and workshops. In the morning we enjoyed a second lecture by Professor Ludmilla Selezna: ‘Russia 2014: People and Leaders’. In the afternoon we attended 2 photographic workshops by Raul Touzon.   Friday, September 5th The World anchored off Utkholok Cape and mid-morning we went zodiac cruising […]

City of Okhotsk
September 3, 2014

Wednesday, September 3rd Today Okhotsk is a village of fewer than 5000 residents, but for 200 years it was Russia’s most important settlement on the Pacific. Founded in the mid-1600’s, it was never a major seaport but rather a critical coastal link between the rich fur resources of Kamchatka and the Siberian river transport network. […]

Mal’Minskiy Islands and Fyodora Bay
September 2, 2014

Tuesday, September 2nd This small group of islets is part of the Dzygdzyrskiy Nature Preserve and we went zodiac cruising amongst them in the morning; we also hovered off mainland Russia to admire a couple of Steller’s eagles. The area is rich in wildlife, specially birds: puffins, murres, auklets, murrelets and again the Spectacled Guillemot. […]

Shantar Islands
September 1, 2014

Monday, September 1st At the western most edge of the Sea of Okhotsk lie the Shantar Islands. The surrounding water is cold and shallow and 300km / 186mi from the mouth of the Amur River. They were a center of New England whaling activity in the 1850’s and 1860’s when dozens of ships pursued Bowhead […]

Iony Island
August 31, 2014

Sunday, August 31st The tiny rocky outcropping that is Iony Island, about 124mi / 200km north of Sakhalin Island, has a reputation for being a magnet for wildlife. The plankton rich waters provide food for a variety of seabirds and seals. Out came the zodiacs and the island did not disappoint.         […]

Grey Whales and Piltun Lagoon
August 30, 2014

Saturday, August 30th This day we anchored off Piltun Lagoon, about midway up the east coast of Sakhalin Island. Immediately after dropping anchor the zodiacs were lowered into the water and the expedition team went looking for, and found, grey whales. So all 8 zodiacs were loaded up with participants and off we went to […]

Tyuleniy Island
August 29, 2014

Friday, August 29th The World anchored off Tyuleniy Island and we got our first chance to get out in the zodiacs to go a spot some seals. And seals we spotted… thousands of them: Northern fur seals and Northern, or Steller’s sea lions. In the afternoon we attended a very enlightening and passionately delivered lecture […]

August 28, 2014

Thursday, August 28th Upon debarking that morning we were entertained by a Military Brass Band on the pier. We also got a traditional Russian ‘bread and salt greeting’ to welcome us all to Korsakov. We got on board buses to visit Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, about a 1 hour drive north of Korsakov. We stopped at the Russian […]

Expedition Kick-off
August 26, 2014

Tuesday, August 26th In the morning we walked over to Hilde and Tricia’s hotel. After a little last minute shopping, mainly for shoes, and some sushi lunch, we took our friends to board The World. We all attended the ‘mandatory pre-departure safety briefing’, followed by the ‘face-to-face immigration inspection’ to be stamped out of Japan. […]