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The Rock-itt : September 2010
informal tour of the town including their homes. In the afternoon the party hooked up with the local biologist and he took them to see a huge colony of Northern Fur Seals, 1500 males and 5000 females. A spectacular sight and an even more spectacular smell! Before dinner they managed a Zodiac cruise across choppy waters to Ariy Kamen another small rocky island. This is a bird watchers delight. Thousands of Black and Red legged Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Tufted Puffins and a few rare sightings of Horned Puffins and Parakeet Auklets. They spent another great night in the ships bar discussing the day's activities after an enjoyable dinner. These trips are a great way to meet people from all walks of life and many different parts of the World. When I made my first Antarctic trip, incidentally on this exact same ship, the guests included a garbage man from Auckland and a husband and wife from Arizona who had been UN weapons inspectors in Iraq! They had just a couple of days left of the voyage and encountered a large measure of history on the penultimate day. They had an early Zodiac landing in Commander Bay on Bering Island. This was the place where Captain Vitus Bering and his crew got stranded in 1741. They were returning from America where they had made a landing in Alaska. The crew was very weak and suffering very badly from scurvy. Their ship, the St. Piotr had slipped its anchor and was blown on shore and wrecked. 15 men including Bering died on the island and today included a visit to pay respect at their graves. The graves turned out to be overgrown with beautiful wild flowers and the experience was a very moving one. The final day started with the Enderby at the mouth of the Zhubanova River. A last Zodiac cruise up the river was the plan but the weather was poor, rain and mist on land and a sea that grew and grew during the morning so that it eventually became too dangerous a proposition to launch the little rubber boats. The Spirit of Enderby was forced to start its journey to the disembarkation port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski and it docked around 6pm that evening. An exciting and stimulating voyage was over. Almost over really because Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski is a long way from anywhere and the journey home to America, Australia, Germany or the UK would be a voyage in itself! You can join this trip next June 12th 2011, the Heritage Suite will cost you $10,500 US or a berth in a triple cabin is $6,500 US plus your flights. These are lifetime experiences where very few others have travelled, go for it! Massed Guillemots on the face of Ariy Kamen Stanley Johnson, father of the Mayor of London Boris Johnson at Berings Grave