A little piece of Paradise
Russia is a mysterious place which makes Moneron Island just that more of a mystery. This “small and lifeless” island is the only island of the Kuril archipelago that is washed by the warm, narrow Tsusima Stream coming from the subtropical south. The history around this little paradise dates back to the 1700’s before this time it’s like it never existed. It was first discovered by a Japanese samurai by the name of Murakami Hironori who put Moneron Island on the navigation maps of Japan. Then again in the 1800’s it was rediscovered by by explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse who put it on the navigation maps of Europe. When Count de La Pérouse came across the desert island, in his ships the Astrolabe and the Boussole during a expedition for France, he named it after his officer Paul Moneron who was an engineer on-board. Moneron was given the task to map the island that named after him.
Getting to this small island is no small task, one must first reach Sakhalin Island. The trip from Moscow to the island is 3,918 miles, the eight and a half hour flight is only the beginning. If you are leaving from Los Angeles or New York add another eight hours at the least and from LA add ten and a half. Once you reach the island you must make your way to the small port town of Nevelsk, the boats that leave here are the only way to reach Moneron Island. This leg of the trip on a good day will take 3 hours if the weather is good. If not and considering one will be traveling through the Straits of Tatary, violent waves and traveling against the current can double the time to get there. The trip is not for the fainthearted, but the splendor and beauty of the island will make it all worth while.
Like no place on Earth
Coming into the cove that takes you to the small Eco-hotel is a sight that is truly rare, the waters are crystal clear, the air is pleasant, you’ve arrived at one of the most pristine islands in the Pacific, it’s like no place on Earth. It’s an island that is truly worthy to be on a postcard. But very few will ever receive this card because only a handful of visitors are ever allowed to stay at one time. The ecological guide Natalya Kruglova says, that large tour groups would upset the ecological balance of the island. In 2012 the island only had a thousand visitors come, this helps keep the flora and fauna from being damaged. If there was ever a place to film the series “Lost”, this would be it.
The wildlife and sea-life of the Island
There are a abundance of wildlife and sea-life in around the island, from the sea lions to large bird colonies that call Moneron Island home. The sea-life is absolutely a photographers dream, the visibility in the water is up to 30-40 meters. This is why the incredibly clean waters of Moneron teem with abalones, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and other kinds of exotic fauna. If this isn’t enough the island has a picturesque waterfall some 50 feet high, grasses that grow taller then a man, along with many other species of plants. If one is lucky enough they might even see the migration of the rare Pacific Right Whale breaching in the waters off of the island.
The following video will give just a bit of a taste of just how beautiful this island really is. Enjoy!