The final day of the trip found National Geographic Endurance sailing into the Beagle Channel. As the sun rose, we could see land to the south–it was Staten Island! Shortly after sunrise, killer whales visited us. As we sailed on up the channel, we had views of humpback whales, black-browed albatrosses, and dolphins. We began to see signs of civilization in the afternoon, and then Ushuaia came into view. After 30 days of exploration at sea, our journey came to an end in this picturesque town at the southern end of the world.
National Geographic Endurance
Capitan Canepa Bay, Isla de los Estados
This morning’s destination was Capitan Canepa Bay, located on the southern end of Isla de los Estados. The entrance to the bay is covered with impressive, rugged cliffs. Southern swells have slowly eroded the cliffs, creating several large sea caves. As the ship proceeded to the end of the fiord, it passed several small bays that were later explored via Zodiac. At the end of one bay, a small waterfall spilled its watershed from a hidden lake sitting above the rocky cliffs and out of our sight. As guests explored the small lagoons and hidden caves, seal pups were often found tucked away in the rocky outcroppings by their worried mothers who were far out to sea. Guests returned to the ship for lunch, and we began our transit to Franklin Bay in pursuit of rockhopper penguins. Upon arrival, a few penguins were spotted in the water. We observed at least a dozen invasive red deer in the surrounding hills and valleys. A small herd of feral goats was discovered in the intertidal zone, evidence of poorly understood introductions in the past. After a ship cruise of Franklin Bay, we departed for Ushuaia to arrive in time for guest disembarkation. The evening closed with presentations by the naturalist staff, the guest slideshow, and the captain’s farewell. After an amazing experience in Southern Patagonia, the trip came to a happy ending.