Komander Bay on Bering Island

Jul 03, 2019 - National Geographic Orion


Today was one of the major highlights of our expedition to the Russian Far East with a morning landing at the Bering Memorial at Komander Bay. It was here on Bering Island that Vitrus Bering and his men were shipwrecked during a storm in the fall of 1741. In poor health from starvation and scurvy, Bering and 15 of his men died at this very spot. The naturalist Georg Steller was the hero of the expedition, helping to save the remaining men by identifying the right plants and animals to eat to ensure their survival over the winter. We made Zodiac landing at this remote site then explored the trails that led to the memorial, venturing further afield to explore the river valley and to climb the high ridge for a spectacular view. The major surprise of the morning was not the lady slipper orchid, but a curious Arctic fox scavenging for food on the beach that stole the show. What an amazing morning!

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About the Author

Ralph Lee Hopkins

National Geographic Photographer

National Geographic photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins is the founder and director of the Expedition Photography program for the Lindblad-National Geographic alliance. For more than 20 years he has lead expeditions from the Arctic to Antarctica and points in between.

About the Videographer

James Napoli

Video Chronicler

Jim was born in rural New England where he quickly developed an appreciation for the outdoors and a love of exploration.  Four years with the U.S. Navy further enhanced his appetite for travel. Always interested in the visual arts, he studied Television at Boston University and Northeast College of Communications, landing his first job in the industry working as an editor at a Boston television station. His wanderlust drew him to a job with two major cruise lines; installing and managing broadcast centers onboard a total of over a dozen ships. He has since moved on to specialize in expedition travel and wildlife productions.  

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