Saturday morning began with National Geographic Endurance exploring Isla de los Estados off the eastern coast of Tierra del Fuego. First up for the daily adventures was a Zodiac cruise around Observatory Island. Wildlife abounds here, and there was a chance to see cormorants and fur seals. In the afternoon, everyone went ashore for a fun hike to see the Lighthouse at the End of the World, which was the location of the novel by Jules Verne. While the hikers explored on land, the divers explored the kelp forests just offshore. Another great day!
National Geographic Endurance
Capitan Canepa Bay, Isla de los Estados
This morning’s destination was Capitan Canepa Bay, located on the southern end of Isla de los Estados. The entrance to the bay is covered with impressive, rugged cliffs. Southern swells have slowly eroded the cliffs, creating several large sea caves. As the ship proceeded to the end of the fiord, it passed several small bays that were later explored via Zodiac. At the end of one bay, a small waterfall spilled its watershed from a hidden lake sitting above the rocky cliffs and out of our sight. As guests explored the small lagoons and hidden caves, seal pups were often found tucked away in the rocky outcroppings by their worried mothers who were far out to sea. Guests returned to the ship for lunch, and we began our transit to Franklin Bay in pursuit of rockhopper penguins. Upon arrival, a few penguins were spotted in the water. We observed at least a dozen invasive red deer in the surrounding hills and valleys. A small herd of feral goats was discovered in the intertidal zone, evidence of poorly understood introductions in the past. After a ship cruise of Franklin Bay, we departed for Ushuaia to arrive in time for guest disembarkation. The evening closed with presentations by the naturalist staff, the guest slideshow, and the captain’s farewell. After an amazing experience in Southern Patagonia, the trip came to a happy ending.