Voyage: St. George Is., Pribilof Islands
Trip Start Apr 07, 2008
54Trip End Oct 12, 2008
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The Pribilofs are a group of flat-topped rocky islands located in the middle of the Bering Sea. Often windy and cold, they were uninhabited until the Russians discovered that the beaches on St. George and St. Paul Islands were the pupping grounds for thousands of Alaskan Fur Seals every summer. Recognizing the
wealth to be had here and knowing that in order to harvest as many pelts as possible they would need more men, the Russians enslaved some Aleuts, forced them from their homes and relocated them to the barren Pribilofs. These men, women and
children would play an integral role in the Russian fur trade. After the Russians left, the Aleuts continued to prosper and to manage the rookeries on the island, now only for subsistence and sharing with visitors their history and the beauty of their islands.
Today on seldom-visited St. George Island, you will step ashore by inflatable excursion craft to seek up-close views of fur seals and cliff-side seabird rookeries. We will also take time to tour the town. Conditions permitting, there may also be a more rigorous walk available that will appeal to birders. Locals will accompany
you to the seal rookery, telling stories along the way. You will likely see thousands of seals on the beach, led by the bellowing beachmasters. Take time to explore the town with its Russian Orthodox Church and general store - it is amazing what things
cost here, but of course the shipping is very expensive. Your Exploration Leaders will set up a scope for you to see up-close the thousands of birds perched on the hillsides. By the end of the day you will understand why the Pribilof Islands are considered a birder's paradise."
This is a birders paradise:
Where I stayed
Spirit of Oceanus