Chirpoy, Kuril Islands, Russia.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Click on pics to enlarge.
This afternoon was my unexpected, somewhat frightening, Zodiac experience. It's funny when I look back at the pics Paula was able to take. Later, when I receive a copy of the expedition DVD and can actually watch the video a crew member shot of the afternoon wild ride..........I'll be laughing even more.
A lovely afternoon, slight swell, sunshiny, breezy and
thousands of seabirds nesting and flying overhead.
Magnificent rock formations........this water,
the Snou Strait separating the
two Chirpoy Islands, being a caldera
surrounded by three overlapping stratovolcanoes.
Lianna, expedition Zodiac driver; Edwin, ship's wine
steward; Adorely, waiter; and Marilou, bartender....
met us on the water with smiles and warming hot chocolate spiked
with Baileys - if you wanted, and who wouldn't!
Raising his glass in the background, Tim Soper our expedition leader, son of Tony Soper whom the British readers here will know as the writer/broadcaster/wildlife cameraman/expedition leader
who co-founded the famous BBC's Natural History Unit
and became its first producer.
Jamie, our afternoon Zodiac driver/Naturalist expedition
team member....fighting with the kelp which kept
invading our outboard motor.........
Off in the distance our lovely home away from home,
ship of our dreams.
ship of our dreams.
Formerly the plaything of an Arabian prince (truly!),
now the base from which we jumped into Zodiacs to
experience the treasures of the oceans, wildlife and
.....making the return to the ship was a little difficult
when the weather changed and the water became quite choppy.............
.....Paula and others managed to exit the Zodiac, Sheila, a delightful, adventuresome 80 year old lady from England, and I were still waiting when a huge wave hit us just as I was being helped out. One rope gave way, the boat was tossed sideways and fortunately I fell flat on my stomach into the bottom rather than over the edge into the sea! Completely saturated, I was concerned more for what was happening to Sheila - she was hanging on to the ropes for dear life but was a real trouper and fine! The guys had to cut us free from the ship, and driver Jamie managed to get us away from the waves churning about the loading deck. Somehow, one of the two crew on the deck fell into the Zodiac with us during all the commotion, so we ended up four slightly stunned passengers. Luckily I didn't have my big SLR camera with me that afternoon, just my point and shoot in my pocket - it was wet like everything I was wearing, but still worked thankfully.
Paula's pics above..................
................and how did we eventually get on board again?
The ship hoisted the anchor and had to sail away without us.......eventually repositioning in calmer waters!
Here we were chasing the Caledonian Sky................
...and here I am (Sheila too) being assisted back on board, wet through but grateful all ended up well.
As you can imagine, our afternoon boating experience
was the talk of the evening recap that day!