At Sea towards Kiska

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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About the Author

Jennifer Kingsley

National Geographic Explorer

Jennifer Kingsley is a Canadian journalist, a National Geographic Explorer, and the Field Correspondent for Lindblad Expeditions. She has travelled extensively in the global Arctic and throughout the temperate rain forest of the Pacific Rim. After completing her biology degree, she worked in Canada's Rocky Mountain National Parks before moving to British Columbia to specialize in grizzly bear ecology. Jennifer spent several seasons sailing among the whales, bears, and wolves of the Great Bear Rainforest. 

About the Photographer

Eric Larsen

Global Perspectives Guest Speaker

Polar adventurer, expedition guide, and educator, Eric Larsen has spent the past 20 years traveling in some of the most remote and extreme environments on the planet. To date,  Eric has completed more polar expeditions than any other American in history. Included in that list are the first ever summer expedition to the North Pole as well as a world record expedition to the South Pole, North Pole and top of Mt. Everest all within a 365-day period.

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