This expedition to Kamchatka will take place in early summer - the best time to see migrating and breeding birds, land and sea mammals and wild flowers before the mosquitoes become troublesome. We will start our journey from Petropavlovsk on a small newly refurbished ocean-going cutter and explore the southeast coast of the peninsula. This is an extremely remote and seldom visited part since no roads reach it and very few boats venture along its shores. It is a wild and spectacular coast with towering, snow-capped, volcanoes including Viluchinsky and Mutnovsky. There are small islands and sea stacks which are the home of thousands of breeding seabirds including puffins and auks. Steller's Sea Lions haul out on the ledges. In sheltered bays Sea Otters and seals swim and on the high cliffs the magnificent Steller's Sea Eagle breeds.
On the black volcanic sands we should see Brown Bears turning over the seaweed, washed up by winter storms, to look for dead fish. At the mouths of rivers and deltas there will be a mixture of migrant land birds, waterfowl and shore birds. Whilst sailing we should see Gray whales and dolphins including Orcas.
We will go ashore to explore the lakes, cliffs, beaches and rivers and possibly visit a hot spring area. We will combine this ship-based part of the expedition with a land-based visit to two mountainous areas of the peninsula including still active Mutnovsky volcano.
There will be plenty of time to follow your own interests whether they are ornithology, botany, geology, volcanology, photography or walking.
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