Friday, October 7, 2016

Bad Weather -> Aborted Landings -> Shipboard Lectures

Day 8 2016-09-19

We had to abort our visit to Karaginsky Island as the seas were rough and the storm did not abate. We traveled the entire day 8 on the ship along the Kamchatka coast to find refuge in the evening in a protected area, a port called Uts-Kamchatsky which is a small settlement with a road that terminates there coming from the south. It is a fishing and supply village; however we were not allowed to go to shore because we did not have a permit. The Russians are difficult about giving permits to land, often taking 2 to 3 weeks according to the expedition leader Rodney Russ; but luckily we had permission to anchor in the harbor. During the day we had an excellent lecture about Vitus Bering from Samuel, a lecture about the Commander Islands (where Bering was shipwrecked) by Olga, and another one about cetaceans (whales) by Katya, and a movie "Blackfish" about the SeaWorld debacle capturing and poorly treating orcas who caused the death of several trainers, resulting in the closing of the Florida Sea World.  

Day 9 2016-09-20

After a good night's sleep as the sea had turned calm, we had a briefing from Rodney Russ about whether we could depart for the Commander Islands. The weather forecast was such that we could leave at the end of the day to be assured good weather to land there. So during the day we were in port and had another day of lectures including an excellent one by Samuel on Steller (the naturalist on Bering's second expedition), by Katya on sea otters, Elke on plate tectonics and the ring of fire, and finally one on eared seals which include fur seals and sea lions by Olga.  

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