The sun rose slowly over tabular icebergs as we entered the Weddell Sea. Not long after, we were introduced to the most entertaining of Antarctic penguins, the Adelie penguin. The colony at Brown Bluff is in full swing. Most of the chicks are quite large now and require a considerable amount of food each day. We watched as penguin after penguin darted out to sea for their chick’s next meal. As we continued south in the Weddell Sea, we saw a male elephant seal resting on an ice floe and countless snow petrels. Between snow flurries, we got a glimpse of killer whales. The blowing snow shrouded their next move, and we will have to wait until tomorrow to try and find them again.
National Geographic Resolution
The huge distances we have covered on this journey meant that our last full day was spent almost completely at sea on our return leg from Antarctica. After a merciful lie-in, we crowded the decks as we sailed past Cape Horn, the majestic headland at the bottom tip of Hornos Island, the southernmost point of Tierra del Fuego and the entire South American continent. Despite its fearsome reputation, pleasant seas allowed for an enjoyable brunch before we plunged into our presentation schedule for the morning and afternoon. Naturalist Gail Ashton related her experience of living on the Antarctica continent for 18 months, Jonny Reid discussed marine mammal acoustics and the underwater soundscapes of this region, and Jess Farrer explained how the study of whale and seal poop can tell us so much about these animals. As we entered the Beagle Channel, the stunning mountains of Tierra del Fuego lined our passage to Ushuaia. Gathering in the Ice Lounge for the captain’s farewell party, we toasted a hugely enjoyable trip and the new friends we have made.