Our travel to the Shantarsky archipelago will begin in Khabarovsk — the administrative capital of Khabarovsk Krai. Khabarovsk — the city with the population over 600 thousand people. It is founded in 1858 on the abrupt river bank Amur — one of the largest rivers of the planet. Khabarovsk welcomes guests with ancient architecture of the center and wide prospectuses of city new buildings.
In Khabarovsk from local airfield the group goes to a fascinating travel to far islands. Here last time we check equipment and the list of necessary things. The road to the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk is very interesting, our way will pass practically through all territory of Khabarovsk Krai.
The helicopter comes off the earth and promptly gathers the course. From a window Khabarovsk and its residential areas is visible. Very soon the landscape will change — around on how much there is enough look only the woods, fields and the rivers will stretch.
It is difficult to talk in flight, noise of screws muffles voices. Through some time when the first emotions settled, we take a contemplate position at a window and simply we observe. Below the earth rushes, trees seem tiny, the mountain rivers and snow-covered tops of hills are visible. At such moment you understand, Russia is how extensive.
Intermediate landing in the settlement of Briakan is necessary for refueling of the helicopter. Even the rotary-wing aircraft doesn’t manage to reach Shantar directly. The archipelago is located at distance more than 800 kilometers from the made habitable southern districts of the region.
On the server of Khabarovsk Krai the monsoonal climate and frequent change of winds here not a rarity dominates. After the direction of wind overcast on the coast also promptly can change. Our main ally on the way to Shantar Islands — weather. The following stage of a travel will depend on it directly.
While there is a gas station specify a weather forecast on a route Briakan — Ongachan. Also we are guided by time of day. Safety above all.
If the departure on metaconditions or time of day is impossible, we accommodate on spending the night in the special car equipped with berths. Local for extraordinary comfort and a cosiness of the place for fun nicknamed its Hilton.
In the morning guides estimate weather conditions and if weather allows, the group takes off by helicopter to Shantar Islands. If metaconditions are adverse, then we remain in the settlement of Briakan until weather becomes flight.
Highly above the ground
Air in flight becomes much colder — we approach the coast of the northern Sea of Okhotsk. Under helicopter the Far East taiga rushes — fir-trees, pines, a cedar flash. Here seldom the leg of the person went.
There where we move – even less people. On Shantar Islands only 3 persons — employees of a local meteorological station constantly live. Much more often there it is possible to meet a bear or a seal
We landed on the helipad near well-equipped base in a bay Ongachan. Salty sea air invigorates and refreshes. Noise of a surf, shouts of birds is heard.
On stationary base in a bay there is all necessary for comfortable accommodation — warm lodges, a bath. We are met as dear visitors. The cook cooked fresh fish soup and is ready to set the table.
Very soon we will go to explore Shantar Islands, gulfs and bays of the archipelago. Let’s see seals, killer whales, whales, a great number of sea birds and the bears walking on the coast.