Today was the first full day of our voyage, and we made good progress through the Drake Passage towards “The White Continent.” For most of us, the expedition began several days ago when we journeyed across broad distances to gather in Santiago de Chile. We had a brief respite (very brief for some) prior to boarding the charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina, the self-proclaimed end of the earth and certainly the southernmost city on the globe. We enjoyed a chance for short excursions in Santiago and Ushuaia. We could feel the transition from weeks and even months of planning to the actualization of our embarkation aboard National Geographic Resolution last night as we made our departure from the South American continent through the Beagle Channel and towards the wild Southern Ocean.
National Geographic Resolution
The sea calmed down over night, and we enjoyed breakfast together. David kicked off the day with a presentation about ocean acidification in the Ice Lounge. It was slightly disconcerting to see the predictions about what might happen to our world’s oceans in the near future if we don’t manage to get a grip on global warming. Next in line, Tiffany gave a presentation about her home, the Falkland Islands. It was really interesting to hear details about this remote corner of the world, and all of us are surely tempted to visit these remote islands one day. Just as Tiffany finished her presentation, the first dolphins were spotted outside the vessel. We headed to the outside decks before making our way to lunch. As the ship continued sailing north during the afternoon, we soon saw our first glimpse of land on the horizon. The coast of Argentina and the Beagle Channel came into sight. Fitting to the occasion, we watched the black and white movie Around Cape Horn before we headed to Tupaia for a special “Welcome to Argentina” afternoon tea. As we entered the Beagle Channel and approached the pilot station, Captain Martin came down to the Ice Lounge to tell us all there is to know about National Geographic Resolution . What a beast of a ship, tailor-made for expedition cruising in polar regions. Once the presentation finished, we all remained in the lounge for the final Captain’s cocktail hour. We toasted a successful voyage and then enjoyed our final dinner. After yet another delightful meal, we took the chance to explore Ushuaia at night. When else do you get to visit the southernmost Irish pub in the world? What a great end to a successful voyage.