With winds and seas in our favor, National Geographic Endurance made great speed crossing the Drake Passage overnight. To the delight of our guests, this gave everyone the opportunity to begin their first day of Antarctic exploration a little earlier than planned. Cruising to Elephant Island and Point Wild – where twenty-two men from Shackleton’s Endurance survived 137 days with little to no supplies – guests disembarked on Zodiac cruises.
Numerous chinstrap penguins nested on the rocky terrain, while a few leopard seals waited, and a humpback mom and calf swam by. Meanwhile, the undersea team was off diving and taking in what the underwater realm had to offer, including the vocalizations of seals and views of a sea spider. It was a delightful introduction to what the remainder of our voyage has in store, including an after-dinner surprise viewing of the grand iceberg, A23a.