Today was a beautifully sunny and windy day as we crossed the Drake Passage on National Geographic Explorer. We had perfect conditions for watching seabirds, including albatrosses, shearwaters, and petrels. We had an opportunity to learn more about Antarctica during presentations and then finally, after lunch, we spotted land on the tip of South America. The seas calmed as we entered the Beagle Channel, and we enjoyed the views as we sailed into Ushuaia. The captain’s farewell cocktail hour was a wonderful cap to the trip, along with the guest slideshow. It was an amazing last day on board and an absolutely incredible trip to the White Continent.
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.