Today was our first full day at sea en route to the Antarctic Peninsula. Our time was spent in the Drake Passage, that tempestuous body of water notorious for high winds and turbulent seas. It lived up to its reputation today with a large swell, but National Geographic Explorer handled it well. We are on track for seeing landfall by tomorrow afternoon.
While at sea, especially in large swells, it is the job of our able-bodied seamen (ABs) to make sure everything remains secure around the vessel. When not lashing and tying things securely to the deck, the team of ABs is often found tending to and mending various items that would otherwise be overlooked. Darryl Dimapilis is the boatswain of our vessel and the de facto leader of the deck team due to his long experience at sea and his many years working aboard National Geographic Explorer. I found him and some of the other ABs tending to the aluminum plates strung around our mooring lines to ensure animal travelers don't board when we are docked in Ushuaia and other ports of call. Invasive species reproduce, which spells trouble for endemic animals, in this case sheathbills, Antarctic terns, and penguins.
During this bumpy crossing, I want to thank the officers and crew of National Geographic Explorer for helping us on our voyage south.