Sunday, July 19, 2009

Trip to Zavialova and Koni

Finally, we have arranged the boat, the TV crew was ready (by the order of Irina they rushed to the town to get wading boots and repellent). Now the trick was that nobody, yes I mean, nobody goes away from the sea port of Magadan on Monday, especially the Monday, 13th. So the captain made a compromise. We had to leave the port at 11:45 pm. So we did. Well, we tried out best to cheat on the sea-port authorities, but we were not able to cheat on the local spirits. And the troubles came without delays.

The crossing from the Nagaevo Bay to the Zavyalova island was very rough. The TV crew was sea-sick, but we arrived and enhoyed sunrise at the "Rassvet" (Dawn) bay at the island. With Irina we made a short trip, and within an hour we found a new nest of the Steller's Sea Eagle. It was a newly built nest, the eagles did not lay, but the pair looked healthy. It was few hours later at this very nest when I had some troubles with my dry box. Wet cash and soaking passport was the price to the TSA (see earlier post).

During the first half of the day we surveyed the western part of the island, and found only one pair of Steller's (without a nest). From the southern tip of the island we took a course to the Taran point of the Koni peninsula.

The second half of the day we motorboated along the coast of the Koni peninsula. This section was partially surveyed by Irina earlier in June. We found 2 pairs with chicks there. The coast was full of bears. It was close to the Skalisty point when I realize that my front floorboard was badly damaged. The plywood did not hold the joint with the rest of the floorboards.

The boat was usable, but I had to reduce the loading, because if fully cracked the front floorboard can severely damage the boat.

At the end of the day I attempted to land at the Ploskiy cape ranger's station (bread delivery), but had to abort it, as the swell and shallow water made the landing very difficult (and damaging to bread). Lost one propeller at the swell in shallow waters.

In the evening we arrived to the Umara island. Initial plan was that the ship with the TV crew would leave for Magadan, and me and Irina will survey the Odyan Bay and come to the town 2 days later. However the cracked floorboards has forced us to abort the initial plan and we loaded the boat onto the ship setting course to Magadan…


  1. As my mother would have said:"Have fun, but be careful". Have you found any sites where bears have predated the nests this year?

  2. No. However one report (by A. Krechmar) says that one chick was taken by a bear at the Kava river.