October 8

By Bryan Flow

Hello everybody. I’m Bryan from Alaska. I’d like to share a little my impressions of visiting the Russian north.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to abandon their holiday abroad, reconsider their plans and take up new hobbies. Like other travel lovers during the border closure period I got involved in reading articles and watching video blogs about interesting places, which prompted me to write about my trip to the other side of the Bering Strait, namely to the Magadan Region. This one of the young regions of Russia is famous for its rich reserves of gold and silver, beautiful northern nature with exciting hunting and fishing. The administrative center of the region is the city of Magadan.

Sometime in the 90s, I first visited this city. There was a direct flight between Anchorage and Magadan, which at that time became sister-cities. It all started with the exchange of school delegations, gradually establishing cooperation between institutions, creating joint ventures, opening public organizations that contribute to the development of US-Russian ties.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, I had a chance to visit Magadan again, which has changed in many ways since then. I traveled the region. The climate and nature of the Magadan region and Alaska are very similar. A real wild north, a riot of colors, sensations and feelings. Snow-capped mountain peaks are adjacent to endless forests. The pristine nature and the harsh climate attract and frighten at the same time.

Zavyalov Island is located in the Sea of Okhotsk at the entrance to the Tauiskaya Bay 60 kilometers south of the city of Magadan.

Zavyalov Island (almost 40 thousand hectares of territory) in the Sea of Okhotsk became uninhabited in the 1990s. Before that, a weather station, a lighthouse and a fish factory worked there.

Island area is 116 sq. km, it is the largest island in the Tauyskaya Bay. In the waters near the island there are spawning areas of white halibuts, sea ruff, several species of flounder, and crabs. The peculiarity of the island is the musk oxen living there.

In 2018, the first group of animals was moved to the island, the second – in the summer of 2020. And in May of this year, the first offspring appeared on the island. In addition, a group of bighorn sheep was brought to Zavyalov Island in 2020.

It is planned that the island will become a point of attraction for ecotourism lovers. A tourist and recreational complex is being created here, including: a hotel complex, recreation areas, tracks for trekking, ecological tourist routes. The complex will be able to receive at least a thousand people per season. In 2019, the construction of a tourist base began here. The complex will begin work in 2023.

Rest in this place will be interesting for those who love wildlife, fishing and just life away from the bustle of the city.

There is something to see here: bird colonies, sea lion rookeries. You can see killer whales. All this will be possible thanks to sea excursions.