Our final stop on the Antarctic Peninsula for this voyage and indeed this season, was at Paulet Island. As the Antarctic autumn progresses, we are seeing adult Adelie penguins heading out to sea, leaving their chicks to fend for themselves. Most of the chicks are gathering near the shoreline and moulting their down feathers, ready for a life at sea… assuming they can make it past the leopard seals.
National Geographic Endurance
National Geographic Endurance set sail from the western edge of the Falkland Islands late last evening, and we enjoyed a relaxing day at sea. Guests were treated to smooth seas with plenty of albatrosses soaring about the vessel. The morning was full of educational opportunities. The undersea team shared photos collected while exploring the diverse underwater environments that the Falkland Islands provide. Next came a presentation by marine biologist Connor Ryan who spoke about the dynamics of how plankton and seabirds dictate the ecological rhythms of the upper layer of the ocean. Such a trip as we have had is certainly hard to summarize. Over the past three weeks, we visited some of the most spectacular and densely populated wildlife regions on our planet. Today was a day of reflection, photo editing, fine food, and contemplation of all that has occurred.