Saturday, August 17, 2013

Survivor: Lake Baikal


Last night, we pulled up at Ongonkonskii Cove, off Chivyrkui Bay.
The translators and PJ started a campfire for all of us to enjoy on
the beach. It was a night of campfire stories and sing alongs,
including several songs from The Sound of Music. Captain Sergei of the
Vershina roasted chicken and smoked freshly caught omul over the
campfire. Some students went into the forest to forage for wild
Siberian raspberries, which they devoured on site. The raspberries
were delicious!
This morning, we started our journey back to Bol'shie Koty. Before
heading back to the Southern basin of Lake Baikal, we stopped at the
Ushkan'i Islands, known for its large population of nerpas, the
freshwater seals of Lake Baikal. The boats were unable to dock onto
the islands themselves, so the park rangers took us to the islands via
small watercraft. Once we landed, we hiked across the small island to
the nerpas' favorite site for sunbathing. The park rangers warned us
to be very quiet or else we would startle the creatures. The nerpas
did not seem to notice us. We were able to get amazing pictures of
them in their natural habitat.
Diana and Gabi

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