The beginning of a day that became an instant highlight for the trip started for some in the wee hours of the morning. The pack ice was drifting through the completely calm water and the mountains in the distance were beautifully illuminated by the low flying sun. It was a stunning setting as the National Geographic Endurance navigated to the shores of Cape Adare. We were gifted with an exceptional morning that we enjoyed to the fullest. Starting early, guests came ashore in groups to explore the hut left behind Carsten Borchgrevink’s Southern Cross Expedition (1898-1900), which was the first group to ever winter over in Antarctica. We also witnessed the leftovers from a hut left by Robert Falcon Scott’s Northern Party that spent time there during the Terra Nova Expedition.
Even better, the area of Cape Adare is covered with over 750,000 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins. The chicks were beginning to molt and gain their adult plumage. It was a joy to watch the adults feeding their chicks and the chicks chasing their parents around for food. It was a very entertaining morning. In the afternoon, we began our passage north to cross the Southern Ocean and received a wonderful presentation from naturalist Gabriela Roldan about the Southern Cross Expedition.