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Diving with sea lions. Russian Bay. June'15

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Kurilskoye Lake

Kurilskoye Lake is situated on the territory of Yuzhno-Kamchatsky Natural Park, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is the 3-d largest lake of Kamchatka. The lake has a volcanic origin. It occupies the volcanic caldera. The surface of the lake is 76 sq. km. The depth is 330 m. Two impressive volcano cones (Kambalny and Ilinsky) that frame the Lake create a captivating view. Fanciful capes and scenic islands make it even more beautiful. One of the islands is called Alaid's Heart. There is a legend about the origin of Kurilskoye Lake, written down by a great Russian explorer Stepan Krasheninnikov (1711 - 1755). This legend coincides with modern hypothesis of the lake origin.

"Once upon a time there was a Great Mountain. It was so tall that the Neighbor Mountains could not see the sun. The Great Mountain made them angry. At last she was tired and she went away to Okhotsk Sea leaving a lake of tears at that place. She also left her heart there. Over the track left by the Great Mountain river Ozernaya flew over to the Sea.

A small rocky island in the southern part of the lake is called Alaid's Heart, because it bears strong resemblance to the real human heart."

 The lake was formed according to different estimations 8-50 thousands years ago. It fills the giant volcanic caldera 9х12 km, the depth over 300 m.

Kurilskoe Lake is famous for being one of the largest salmon spawning area in Kamchatka. Earlier amount of the fish coming to the Lake for spawning reached 6 million species.

 Spawning lasts from August till November and reaches its highest point in October. During this period one can see a lot of small & big animals appearing along the lakeshore. Fish also attracts Kamchatka's huge brown bears. Nearby the Lake special safe viewing tower is built for tourists to observe the astonishing scenes of bears fishing in their natural habitat.