GYRE Expedition – Day 5- Bearing Witness; Witnessing Bears. Act 2 (Wednesday, June 12)

bear mom and cub

Originally posted on National Geographic 6/15/2013: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/06/15/gyre-expedition-day-5-bearing-witness-witnessing-bears-act-2-wednesday-june-12/ A mile down the beach and a mile out on the flat more-or-less, another mother trails three cubs from clam-hole to clam-hole. When she spots a big dark male headed her way from half a mile away, she moves off, in a hurry and a worry, frequently glancing […]

GYRE Expedition – Day 5- Bearing Witness; Witnessing Bears. Act 1 (Wednesday, June 12)

bear mom and cubs

Originally posted on National Geographic 6/14/2013: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/06/14/gyre-expedition-day-5-bearing-witness-witnessing-bears-act-1-wednesday-june-12/ In the “morning” of the never-ending daylight, as the sun has swung round to the east and climbs the sky once more, we awaken in our windowless cabins. We’ve spent the short night at anchor in Hallo Bay. We head shoreward, trying to beat a dropping tide. We […]

GYRE Expedition, Day 4 – Landing in Hallo Bay (Tuesday, June 11)

Landing Craft in Hallo Bay

Originally posted on National Geographic 6/11/2013: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/06/13/gyre-expedition-day-4-landing-in-hallo-bay-tuesday-june-11/ We spent several morning hours steaming west across Shelikof Strait to Hallo Bay in Katmai National Park, and landed the skiff on a rocky ledge at one end of a long bite of black beach backed spectacularly by the snow-peaked Alaska Range and Hallo Glacier. The highest peaks, […]

GYRE Expedition, Day 3- Late Afternoon (Monday, June 10)

Odile Madden and Carl Safina

Originally posted on  National Geographic 6/11/2013: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/06/11/gyre-expedition-day-3-monday-june-10-late-afternoon/  Odile Madden has brought two amazing pieces of equipment from the Smithsonian. One looks like a microscope stand without the microscope. The other looks like a little hand-held vacuum cleaner. Both fit on a desktop, and they’re incredible. The first shoots laser beams and the second generates x-rays. What […]

GYRE Expedition, Day 3 (Monday, June 10)

Wonder Bay with Mt. Douglas

Originally posted on National Geographic 6/11/2013: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/06/11/gyre-expedition-day-3-monday-june-10/ In late morning we head toward Wonder Bay on Shuyak Island. On the way we run across a huge, nearly blond Brown Bear foraging on the beach. The world’s largest Brown (Grizzly) Bears live in this area and nearby Kodiak. As we approach, it gets concerned enough to […]

GYRE Expedition, Day 2 – morning (Sunday, June 9)

Netting on Shuyak ocean trash

Originally posted on National Geographic 6/11/2013: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/06/11/gyre-expedition-day-2-part-i-sunday-june-9/  I wake to find us motoring off the Kenai Peninsula. We have passed the Chugash Islands, passed the Barren Islands. We are headed south toward Shuyak, which looms large far ahead. Islands are so high here that some are visible from distances of up to 100 miles. Afognak rises […]