Kolyuchin Island

Aug 27, 2019 - National Geographic Orion


On this day, on a little-known Russian island, in the far east of the Asiatic continent – adventure was had. Whereas many of us are here for the journey to Wrangel Island, today brought an unexpected surprise of swimming polar bears and hundreds of walruses swimming about our Zodiacs. This amidst a stunning array of seabirds dashing back and forth above our clicking cameras as they made their journey in and out from sea. The amount of wildlife was difficult to take in. It was a true sensory overload, and just when we thought we could relax and recount over cocktails, the sea exploded with whales. Humpbacks, gray whales, and most surprisingly a multitude of rare bowhead whales – a first for many of naturalists – were seen surrounding our ship.

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About the Author

Paul North

Undersea Specialist

For over a decade Paul North has been exploring the marine ecosystems of our planet. Whereas most think of diving as a warm water activity, he has chosen the road less traveled–specializing in polar diving. This has provided many rare opportunities to dive and explore from the Arctic to Antarctica and many wondrous places in between.

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