I started this expedition with the best intentions of writing regular blogs … it simply didn’t happen and I apologise but there simply hasn’t been time. We left Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy on the evening of the 27th after a hectic couple days, taking on fuel and food. Sea conditions were near perfect for our run to Zhupanova River. It was an early morning start to get up the river by zodiac. We were rewarded with some amazing views and observations (and hundreds of brilliant photos) of the Steller's Sea Eagles and other birds. We sailed from there to Commander Islands, this particular route has always been good for cetaceans but today it was INCREDIBLE!! We had reasonable views of a Northern Right Whale (one of the rarest species in the world), there were also good numbers Fin, Humpback, Sperm and a Blue Whale plus a couple pods of Orca and Dall’s porpoise …. The whale watching was so great all planned onboard activities were cancelled.
Our first day at the Commander Islands was exceptional, we had blue skies and calm seas. First stop was Nikolskoye village and then in the afternoon we trekked to NW Cape Seal Colony to see Northern Fur Seals and Steller Sealions. In the late afternoon we zodiac cruised Ariy Karmen Island, a spectacular seabird Island. This morning we visited Medney Island where we enjoyed some birding and botany .. the flowers are simply amazing at this time of the year. We finished the morning off with a coastal zodiac cruise .. and enjoyed many Otter sightings.
As I write this we are enroute to Commander Bay, where we will make a brief landing to visit Bering’s grave and monument.