Sadly, today was our final in Russia. Before departing, though, we traveled south to Provideniya, the administrative center of Chukotka, to pass through customs and to experience this unique community. Provideniya was formerly a bustling military port of the Soviet era that in recent decades has declined in population, leaving many of the buildings vacant. We were warmly welcomed with performances held in their cultural center.
National Geographic Orion
It is a busy day this last day of our trip. However, just like every other morning of this trip, Helga our talented receptionist and musician serenaded us with her beautiful piano playing, drawing many of us to the lounge. We enjoyed a fabulous breakfast, once again. Our rental gear was collected just prior to Alex giving the disembarkation briefing, which brings the reality of our departure into clear relief. Outside the fog came and went revealing a vast sea then not much beyond the rails of our ship. Glaucous gulls and short-tailed shearwaters continue to be our travelling companions. This crossing of the Bering Sea could not have been any more smooth. A presentation about marine invasives and Pacific Ocean currents got minds engaged with the very waters we transit. Our photo team gave individual feedback to interested photographers. Soon everyone was sharing images and selecting their chosen few for the guest slide show. After lunch we set our clocks ahead an hour. Keeping track of the day and the time has been a challenge this trip. We have two September 15ths and lose two hours before the day is done. Tracey the hotel manager returned our passports and the hotel team provided an ice cream social which delighted everyone. Corey Arnold, our National Geographic photographer, presented images of Kivalina, an Alaskan whaling village, we saw with new understanding. This remote village continues to survive with strong family ties even when whaling has been scarce. All too soon it was cocktail hour and time for our slide show. WOW, we have some spectacular photographers on this trip but even more importantly, we have some stunning memories.