Today was another beautiful day on the Bering Sea with the sun shining and relatively calm seas. It is another transit day so we are moving quickly northward to our first sampling stations which we should reach by Wednesday afternoon. With St. Lawrence Island behind us in the early morning, we continued to cruise observing birds and seeing lots of whales and a walrus! Very cool.
King Island in the Distance next to a snow squall
In the late afternoon, in the distance loomed the Diomede Islands, marking the middle of the Bering Strait. Ever since I can remember, I had wanted to see the Bering Strait and here it was right in front of me with Russia to the west and Alaska to the east. We had perfect weather to see far into the distance with a few snow squalls dotting the horizon. As we came upon the Diomedes, it became hard to imagine how people can live in this super harsh remote environment, but there are small communities living on both islands. With Fairway Rock glinting in the sunlight, we passed the Diomedes and through the Bering Strait with the occasional bird and whale cruising by. It was a beautiful afternoon and hard to imagine that I am actually here.
Fairway Rock in the Sunshine with Little Diomede Behind
Shortly after, we crossed the Arctic Circle officially entering the Arctic and are that much closer to our study site. The day ended with a beautiful sunset over Russia and a sky filled with stars and an orange half moon. It is getting colder and colder as we head north. I am very excited to get the science started tomorrow!
The sun setting over Russia as we pass through the Bering Strait