Alaska & Wrangel Island, Russia 2013

August 2013 it was time for another Exploration Cruise North.
This time to Wrangel Island, Russia with a few stops in Alaska on the way.
We were accompanied by our friends Mike and Nan Johnson.
(Some photos are a bit fuzzy, but you get the idea.)

8/1 - 1/2 day ride in Dome Car
from Fairbanks to the heart
of Denali Park provided
spectacular scenery

Mike heads for plane that
will fly us over and around
Mt. McKinely

Nan selected as co-pilot
On her birthday!!!

Took awhile to get to altitude


Denali summit

Just flying and looking

All quite majestic

Head of large glacier

Denali Park tour. Saw bear . . .

. . . and caribou

Denali from middle of Park

Even saw top of a moose

Train to take us on to Anchorage

Nome from Hotel room

Nome dog instructions . . .

Retired mining drege pump

Retired dredge. (Botting Co.
did work on hospital in background)

8/6 - Small plane flight from
Nome to Anadyr, Russia, 65 N

Airport on one side of bay
Anadyr on the other

So, public ferry boat to town

Newly built "old" Orthodox Church,
square office buildings

Contrasts. On right is museum
shaped to represent polar bear

WWII landing craft to our ship
the Professor Khromov

8/8 - 1st Zodiac landing
Preobrazheniya Bay

Neil off on an early Zodiac.
Michal will be in later one.

On beach at Preobrazheniya Bay

Michal guards Zodiacs

Too rough to land at
Whale Bone Alley - dang!

Gilmymyl Bay. Zodiacs made it
thru the cut - ship? no

Ivan the Chukchi's home. He was
not home but had relitives there on
the way home from a funeral. Frame
at L is covored with raindeer skins
to make tradidional shelter.

Nothing wasted. Old fuel tank now
a storage shed

& sometimes extra sleeping space

8/10 - A wind, wave and ice day
- slow going

Michal braces against storm

Intrepid arctic explorer on Herald
Isl. 71 N, no people

Zodiac, bergy, beach, boat & Botting

Zodiacs thru ice to finally reach
Wrangel Island

Visiting Russian Research Station
on Wrangel

Hearty flora

Cotton ball plants & nice 'scape/sky

Michal surveys station outskirts

Russian 6-wheeler. Some of our
group crossed Wrangle in this

Mike and Nan enjoy lunch

Ice came in while we were ashore
some Zodicas made it back, others
- not yet . . .

Ship had to break free of the ice
to make a trail for Zodiacs

Marooned Zodiac cannot see
Polar Bear and hiding cub

Last push through the ice to
give last Zodiacs access to ship

Zodiacs can now return

Michal waves as we head for base
camp of Karluk wreck survivors

In twilight LARGE Musk Ox came to
check us out

Closer and LOUD bellows

8/14 - Day of bird watching;
millions of nesting birds

Really should close your mouth
when looking up at birds

Best Puffin nest on the cliff

All huts are bear protected.
Bears try to use them when
rangers and scientests arn't

Day very foggy but got ashore at
Dreamhead Mtn and Nahodka Isl
for long walk

8/16 - Off for last visit on
Wrangel proper at Ushakovia,
the base camp for the Wrangel

Chukchi in traditional raindeer
furcoat welcomed us

Then he posed with remains of
earlier visitors

Dog (on the right)

Founded in 1926, this was once a
large village before all of
Wrangel became a Reserve

More bear discouragers

Down to the beach for our last steps
on Wrangel

Koluchin Isl. Lotsa walrus

Close enough, thank you

Walrus, cliff and yet more birds...

Nice sunset

More almost whales

Kids great us at Uelen Village,
largest village in the area. Kids
come here for school from a wide
area, including 50 who board at
the school.

Main street

Katya, who holds a PhD in Marine
Mammals & is 1 of our Russian
trip guides, translates for us
at the school

Traditional dancing

Michal joins the dancers
(I must have forgotten to click the

We made it to Whale Bone Alley on
the return leg! Before most fell down,
Bowhead bones formed a 0.3 mile
archway at this anchent harvest site

The traditional arch photo

Big vertebra

Big bones, small squirrel

After Polar bear meets seal

Last moment ashore before return
to Anadyr

Sunset at Whale Bone Alley
(Stolen from Katya photos)

8/21 - Ferry from ship to airport
Note hammer and sickle painted
over but still there

THE END. Back in Nome, same
spot the Iditarad race ends.