CNN PRODUCER NOTEkonacraig, an avid world traveler and wildlife photographer, joined 80 other thrill-seekers on an expedition to the remote Arctic islands of Franz Joseph Land. The group experienced the sights and sounds of the Arctic, seeing hundreds of walruses, witnessing bloodied polar bears eating carcasses, and enduring extreme, below-freezing temperatures. "We sailed through dense fog, large swells and heavy winds," he says. "It was an expedition of like minded people who care about the environment and seek new adventures."
- stein0726, CNN iReport producer
In July, 2012 myself and 80 fellow travelers boarded a Russian Icebreaker in the port city of Murmansk to explore the remote islands for Franz Joseph Land located above the Arctic Circle.
Leaving at midnight we passed by the Russian Naval installations which guard Murmansk and sailed through the Barents Sea arriving in the the islands 2 days later.
The weather was great. Air temperature 0 degrees F, water temperature just above freezing.
The ship readied its helicopters which we would use to shuttle to land, explore the sea ice and serve as a method to scouting ways through the polar ice pack.
For the next 10 days we visited abandoned polar research stations, camps where early explorers wintered in and places where explorers survived until help came and saved them when their ships were caught in the ice pack.
We were fortunate to have some great sightings of polar bears, walruses, arctic flowers, glaciers and icebergs.
Attached are some of the photos from this expedition.