Kiska Harbor

Jun 25, 2019 - National Geographic Orion


The fog was drifting through the hills as National Geographic Orion slipped into Kiska Harbor early in the morning. This historical island was once home to the largest occupying enemy force on United States ground in North America during the Second World War. Kiska Island held a garrison of just under 8,000 Japanese soldiers at its peak. For just over one year the Japanese occupied Kiska until on August 15th, 1943, 34,400 American and Canadian troops stormed the beaches of Kiska to take it back. To their surprise the 5,300 Japanese troops that were still on the island just a few weeks before had vanished, carried away by the Japanese Navy under the cover of fog.

For the guests of the ship, this meant many relics of the war left behind for exploration. There were hikes and Zodiac tours around the harbor and the divers even explored a Japanese shipwreck. After the morning adventures the ship set off to sea again. Everyone was amazed to see thousands of sea birds surrounding the cliffs of Sirius Point. At the end of the day a large male sperm whale proceeded to wave goodbye as we continued on our journey west.

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About the Author

Adam Maire

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Naturalist, underwater videographer, captain, and historian, Adam Maire is dedicated to exploring around the globe with a goal of researching, documenting, and teaching others about the beauty, the power and the importance of the earth’s wild places. With degrees in animal science, history and a Scuba Diving Instructor certification, he is passionate about finding extraordinary ways to help others understand the links between the worlds that exist both above and below the surface of the ocean. As a temperate and cold-water diver, he is able to capture video and images of rarely seen marine life to create real connections with the underwater world.

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