Japanese Winter Safari: In the Ice Pack with Steller’s Eagles

Wim Reports:

We were so very thankful for our extra warm clothing as we climbed onto our boat in the chilly morning sea air and headed out into the Sea of Okhotsk.

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The surface was calm and flat and the air crisp and clear as we sped along creating the only waves in the sea …

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… and in just a few minutes we reached the thick pack ice.

Our hope was to see the heaviest eagles in the world, the Steller’s Sea Eagles, and our luck was in. The birds were scattered all over the ice, giving us plenty of opportunity to capture the type of images we had set out to collect.

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We spent yet another wonderful day photographing the birds and the wonderful scenery …

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… until the setting sun reminded us that it was time to head back to the harbour at Rausu 

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And our routine convivial warm soak in the onsen when we returned from the chilly sea was as welcome as ever. It was only the thought of the delicious dinner waiting for us that tempted us out of those soothing waters.

Tomorrow the boat will leave with us again as soon as the sun rises …