First up this morning we will visit the site where the great Swedish explorer Adolf Nordenskiold wintered over on the first ever successful transit of the North East Passage in 1878. The ice edge should not be too far north of our current position. This is a good place to look for wildlife including Polar bears, walrus and seals. We will cruise the ice edge and go amongst the ice floes to search for these animals. If the ice edge has already retreated further north (it is a little hard to predict), we will make some expedition landings along the coast.
Days 10 - 11
This afternoon in the Bering Strait we visit Ratmanov (or Little Diomede) Island. The border guards based on the island sometimes allow us to zodiac cruise the spectacular bird cliffs here. Less than one mile away from here and across the International Date Line is Big Diomede Island which is US territory.
This afternoon we visit the village of Lavrentiya on the shores of Lavrentiya Bay. The bay was named by captain James Cook who visited on St. Laurence's day in 1778. Our visit is timed to coincide with the annual Beringia Regatta and Festival which includes whaleboat and baidara races as well as cultural group performances. It is one of the most colourful festivals in Chukotka and attracts people from all around the region. We are privileged to be invited to join in this annual celebration that will immerse us in the local culture. We stay at anchor overnight to enjoy all the action over two days of this multi day event.
Late this afternoon after leaving Lavrentiya we make a landing at a well known archaeological site on Mechigmen Spit. This is a very significant ancient Inuit settlement founded 2,000 years ago and active for around 1,500 years. Artefacts found at this site have helped define Inuit culture of that time.