While sailing along the Aleutian Islands, marvelled by their volcanic beauty, the presence of walruses, orcas, sea lions, albatros, grey and humpback whales, I started wondering how I would ever top such an experience.
And then we crossed over to Kamchatka. After six days on the open ocean, late in the evening, with a sun still shining bright on the Home Volcanoes which surround Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski and ushered by a pod of five or six dolphins, we entered, though unconsciously, into Russia’s territorial waters. All through the evening and the entire moonlit and becalmed night we could hear the breathing and burping of whales around us, though they were shy to show themselves.
The following morning, we were welcomed into Avacha Bay by some of the friendliest customs and immigration officers I’ve come accross, one of which rivalled in beauty with another who the previous year had welcomed me to Madagascar.
After all the formalities we were guided to a yacht club where again the welcome was formidable, with fish, crab, beers and vodka pouring from our neighbours on the slip.
Despite the many hangovers, we managed to meet a lot of wonderful people, do some gorgeous trekks, climb and ski down an active volcano and fall in love with this remote part of Russia.
And so two amazing weeks have passed and it is again time to say goodbye and sail on to another surprise: the Kuril Islands and Hokkaido. I will try to come back to what our last days in Alaska were like, including the details on the accidental gybe that severely fractured the boom, our losing an anchor while anchored at the base of Mount Cleveland in the Islands of the Four Mountains, taking shelter from the hurricane that struck Hawaii and sent high waves and strong wind towards us, killer whales confusing us with seals and other tales of fun and scary sailing in northern latitudes. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the last few weeks.
Worth pointing out is the S/V Infinity, then moored in Dutch Harbour and now bound for the North Pole and across the North West Passage, beautiful Mount Cleveland, old Cold War infrastructure on Adak, WWII relics and craters on Kiska, caviar and Tolbachik Volcano.