While you read this I’ve loaded up on sea sickness meds, motion wrist bands, and I’m headed out to sea. I’m cruising on a small ice breaker ship, the Spirit of Enderby, to Wrangel Island, a territory of Russia. This will be my first time above the Arctic Circle!
Getting to make this trip is certainly a privilege, but this is not ‘big ship luxury’ cruising – The Spirit of Enderby is a Polar Research Vessel holding a maximum of 50 guests. I’ll be in a little bunk room sharing a bathroom/shower with the other guests. I’m imagining that we’ll all be good friends by the end of the trip!
Don’t worry, as I chase polar bears and walruses with my new Sigma 50-500mm lens and try my hand at being a wildlife photographer, you’ll still be entertained with plenty of travel articles that I’ve loaded up and scheduled on the site. As much as I hate preparing for being offline, I’m honestly thrilled to step away for 2 weeks from my inbox.
However if you still want the real-time me…then thanks to the miracle of satellites you can have me! I have a few new toys for this trip that I’m testing out and one of them is the Delorme inReach Satellite Communicator. The inReach allows me to to send and receive text messages, trigger an SOS for help, and track my GPS coordinates, wherever my trip takes me.
While I’m on the Spirit of Enderby cruising the Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea, waving at Sarah Palin, and passing through the Bering Straight (!) – I’ll be sending up signals, waypoints, and messages that will be beamed back down to my personalized map. I’ll also be able to send updates to Twitter and Facebook. There will be no pretty pictures (geez…the technology is good, but not THAT good), but the pictures will follow once I get back to Alaska at the end of the cruise.
The Delorme in Reach is a SOS device used for staying in touch in remote off the grid locations – think hiking, cruises, Central Asia. I’ll give you a full report on it, and my new Wildlife photography lens after the trip!
A little more about where I’m going via Brittanica:
Wrangel Island is in Chukotka autonomous okrug (district), far northeastern Russia, lying in the Arctic Ocean and separating the East Siberian Sea from the Chukchi Sea. The long, narrow island is about 78 miles (125 km) wide and occupies an area of some 2,800 square miles (7,300 square km). It is separated from the Siberian mainland by Long Strait. Wrangel Island is part of the region of Arctic tundra, much of it low-lying lichen. Although the highest part of the island reaches 3,596 feet (1,096 m) at Sovetskaya Mountain, discovered in 1938, there are no glaciers. Geologically, Wrangel Island consists of crystalline slates, granites, and gneisses together with alluvial sands. There are many small lakes, and the northern and southwestern coasts are characterized by numerous sandspits enclosing lagoons. The seas around the island are rarely free from pack ice. The climate is Arctic, with a mean July temperature of 36 °F (2.4 °C). In summer there is a large bird population, as well as lemmings, Arctic fox, and polar bears.
Follow my route to Wrangel Island on my Delorme MapLive Route Map