The expedition started at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy Russia as we boarded the Soviet Era Heritage Expedition Professor Khromov / Spirit of Enderby. We sailed north to the Zhupanova River is search of Stellar Sea Eagles and we were not disappointed. We loaded up in the zodiacs and departed the ship around 8a. It didn't take long to find our first Eagle but that was just the beginning. We had some great close encounters with an Eagle flying passed us and so close that I couldn't fit the Eagle in my frame, but what an image. The morning was overcast so I had to up the ISO to 800 and had to open the aperture fully to f/4 so I could shoot at a high shutter speed of 1/1250s to reduce camera shake as well as the rocking of the zodiac.
Next we headed to the Commander Islands, which are the last Islands in the Aleutians. We made 2 landings but my favorite was a zodiac cruse around Ari Karmen Rock. The chef engineer, Konstantin Zograf, was one of the zodiac drivers and a photographer. During this cruise he was getting me close and even asked I he need to get closer at times. I was able to capture many great imaging thanks to Konstantin.
The next stop was to NikoIskoye on Bering Island. On the way we had a great sunset and I was able to capture a green flash after the sun went below the horizon. The next day we made 2 landings and we saw a Rock Sandpiper and many other birds. On Northwest Cape Island we were teased by a Pechora Pipit but I got lucky and was able to capture the birds when it landed right next to me for about 5 seconds. This was spring in the Russia Far East, so the wild flowers were all around.
Commander Island Lily, Narcissus Anemone (Anemone narcissiflora Commander subspecies), and Commander Island Common Violet (Viola odorata) (left to right), NW Cape Is, KAM (RU)
The last stop at the Commander Islands was to Medney Is and the Peschanaya Bay. The Bay was beautiful and again wild flowers everywhere with a nice encounter with Harlequin Ducks. Next is cruising north in search of the rare Spoonbill Sandpiper.
Rose Purple Orchid (Dactylorhiza aristata) and Meadow Cranesbill (Geranium pratense) (left to right), Peschanaya Bay, KAM (RU)
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