June 1, 2013
Gentle N breeze
Leaving the small, remote Kuril Islands, we headed to Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. The islands provide a transition from the temperate to sub-antarctic zone, the northern and central Kurils being icebound in Winter, while the southernmost islands closest to Japan support dense stands of forest and bamboo.
The 1000 km long KAMCHATKA PENINSULA, dangling across from Alaska between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, is often referred to as the 'land of smoking volcanoes'. some 300 volcanoes can be found on this peninsula known as Russia's Far East Region. About the size of England, Scotland and Wales together, Kamchatka's unbelievable landscape is made up of two parallel volcanic mountain ranges.............
......8:00 AM and Caledonian Sky approaches its anchorage
off Listvenichaya Bay.
BEARS: Mother bear with two cubs silently crossing the snowy mountainside...............Kamchatka is best known for abundance and size of its brown bears, also wolf, arctic fox, lynx, wolverine, sable, ermine and river otter.
SALMON: Kamchatka contains the world's greatest diversity of salmon and it is estimated a quarter of all Pacific salmon originates here. In response to pressure from poaching and the worldwide decrease in salmon stocks, some 9,300 sq mi along nine of the more productive salmon rivers, are in the process of being set aside as nature preserves....thank you Russian Federation.
Just in case you're sweltering in these early Summer days in your area, and perhaps need a little respite from blazing sunshine ..................I know you'll enjoy seeing our cool, misty landings, surrounded by the snow-capped (some active) volcanoes.
This small river flowed out into the sea from the lake below...
We were permitted to walk along a small portion of the shore but the printed warning on the Daily Program stated............
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THIS IS AN AREA WHERE BEARS MAY BE PRESENT, SO IT IS IMPORTANT TO STAY WITH YOUR GROUP AND NOT WALK ALONE!
One of our Zodiac drivers was able to enter the river and
cruise on the lake............
....the remainder waited offshore, and I was able to
get some shots along the beach.
A perfect beach morning even though swimming and sunbathing were not part of it! Just the scenery was enough. Constant earthquakes occur daily in this area.....we didn't feel them. Back on the ship it was nice enough to enjoy lunch on the deck with the beautiful scenery surrounding us still.
Next time, afternoon cruising Cape Kekyrnyi - awesome sea lions, and we get closer to bears!