27 Aug 2019

Exploring Bering Island, Commander Islands

Jewel of the Russian Far East

Making our way to the Commander Islands, we take the opportunity to learn more about this archipelago with an introduction from Yulia and entertaining lecture from Samuel on the legacy of German zoologist, botanist, physician and explorer Georg Steller. It was fascinating to learn about Steller who served as a naturalist in the Vitus Bering expedition to North America in 1741-42 and how he packed so much into his 37 years, including discovering thousands of new species and the now extinct Steller's sea cow.

This afternoon Spirit of Enderby pulls up at Bering Island, named after Commander Bering who had the misfortune of discovering this land when his ship was wrecked here in 1741. Exploring Commander Bay, we walk alongside the graves of Bering and some of his crew who lost their lives during the long cold winter on this remote land and stand at the entrance of the cave where Bering and his crew stayed and somberly reflect on what their struggle for survival must have been after their long, harsh journey to this place.

Image from file (c) A.Breniere, Heritage Expeditions

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