Four Mountain Islands, Alaska

Jul 26, 2019 - National Geographic Orion


Dawn found National Geographic Orion nearing Kagamil Island in the Four Mountain Island subgroup in the Aleutians. Fog and mist slowly lifted to reveal the beautiful tundra that covers this roughly six-mile long by three-mile wide island, dominated by the Kagamil volcano, which covers the southern half of the island. There is no doubt at all that we find ourselves before the famous Ring of Fire, surrounded by volcanos all around us!

Our morning quickly slipped away as we hiked and explored this remote yet surprisingly lush area. The wildflowers were in abundance and mostly in bloom! Monkshood, wild geraniums, yellow monkey flower, paintbrush, Nootka lupine, and Arctic cotton grass all vied to lure us to their beauty. To walk, and even lay down, in this profusion of growth left us all with a child-like sense of wonder!

Upon weighing anchor and leaving Kagamil Island we spotted two additional volcanoes on the horizon; Cleveland stratovolcano and right across a narrow pass the impressive Carlisle volcano. A small pod of killer whales surfaced alongside the ship and accompanied us for a bit on our journey along this Ring of Fire!

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About the Author

Michael Nolan

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez.

About the Videographer

Eric Wehrmeister

Video Chronicler

Eric began his life on the far western edge of Chicago, where the concrete meets the cornfields.  His inspiration has always drawn from the expansive beauty of the natural world, as well as the endless forms that populate it.

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