Jun 24, 2019 - National Geographic Orion
We sailed alongside two Aleutian Islands this morning.
We awoke to fog and increasing wind, enough to remind us that these islands often experience stormy weather even though the Bering Sea has blessed us with calm days so far. After breakfast, many of us crowded onto the ship’s bridge, and a few braved the outer decks for a passage through Kagalaska Strait. This channel runs between the islands of Kagalaska and Adak. In some places, it is only 900 feet wide, and the low cloud, which eventually brought rain, made the whole scene even more stark and beautiful. Waterfalls flow down to the sea, and despite the harsh winds, lush greenery carpets these small islands.
As modern explorers, once the passage ended we promptly returned to the observation lounge and drank hot chocolate.
We spent the remainder of the day aboard. National Geographic photographer Erika Larsen presented her current work as a National Geographic Fellow. Her investigation of ritual, as a connection to the natural world, brought us to many communities in North and South America.
After lunch we listened to naturalist Grace Winer give an introduction to the Bering Sea. This shallow sea, which separates Russia and the United States, has an ecology and geology all its own. Our final presentation of the day came from naturalist Adam Maire, who is also an expert in the World War II history of this region. Tomorrow, we will visit Kiska Island, which was a Japanese outpost during the Second World War.
After dinner, we crossed the 180th meridian, entering officially the Eastern Hemisphere!
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