Today marks our first day at sea on our journey to the White Continent! We have been fortunate to experience a “friendly” Drake Passage, graced with considerably mild conditions for this infamous part of the ocean. Following our morning of meeting the expedition team and a presentation about seabirds of the Southern Ocean by Naturalist Boris Wise, we enjoyed blue skies and great views of amazing albatrosses from the many observation platforms of National Geographic Resolution. We even had our first iceberg sighting in the distance as the ocean temperature dropped throughout the day!
Our afternoon activity was perhaps the most important of the expedition. As a member of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), we learned how we commit to minimizing our impact on the unique Antarctic ecosystem. Later in the afternoon, Photo Instructor Kim Nesbitt packed a full house in the Ice Lounge with expert tips to get the most out of our smartphones to make images of our experiences in Antarctica. Finally, we shared excitement and a toast at cocktail hour, hosted by Captain Martin Graser and the amazing National Geographic Resolution crew. Thanks to good weather and the advanced capabilities of the ship, we are feeling like kids on Christmas Eve, ready to wake up to our first sights of Antarctica tomorrow morning!