Today was our first day at sea since leaving Ascension Island, and the sun was shining! It was a calm morning on the South Atlantic. Long, slow, low rolling swells made for a very pleasant and relaxed sail north towards the equator and our next destination, the Cape Verde Islands. It had been days since we had any significant wildlife sightings, which is not unexpected as we sail through the deep waters over the Atlantic Ridge!

A sea day schedule allows for a little lie-in, as breakfast starts later than on the days we go ashore. Following breakfast, morning programs began with naturalist Jim Kelley’s interesting presentation on equatorial circulation. This was followed by Sævör – our resident undersea specialist and our resident Viking – who shared her presentation, “Crazy Critters of the Benthic Communities in the Atlantic Ocean.”

Following lunch, Anders and executive chef Ivan led guests down into the bowels of National Geographic Explorer on a very interesting tour through the galley and provisions area of the ship. It was wonderful to hear from Ivan about the epicurean magic that takes place; the team creates all menus and meals on board. He and the entire kitchen team are true artists!

And then, all of a sudden, the ship began to turn, and we heard the call from expedition leader Andy: sperm whales had been sighted and we were going in for a look! FINALLY…some whales! Captain Yuri turned the ship, and we found a small pod of five or six whales spouting and logging. We drifted nearby, and to our delight, one of these marvelous sea creatures went for a deep dive, showing off her flukes! It was a rare experience indeed! We spent about 30 minutes with the pod.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with more presentations, including David Cothran’s second photo workshop, which included a “ship shoot” around National Geographic Explorer. This was followed by Eduardo’s tall tales of his early life at sea.

The evening was capped off with a dance party in the lounge with The Spice Boys & Girls, rocking classing rock and disco hits that got everyone on the dance floor!

Today was another incredible day on the Atlantic Ocean!