After getting our first glances of the East Falklands last night, we awoke in the west after navigating north of the islands through the night. On approaching Saunders, we were briefly accompanied by Peale’s dolphins, and distant sei whale blows were also seen. We spent the morning around the settlement, getting insights into farm life with shepherding and shearing demonstrations from expedition leader, Russ Evans. This culminated with a barbecue on land, where we were joined by many of the crew and the island’s dogs. We spent the afternoon exploring more of Saunders’ wildlife with a hike past gentoo and Magellanic penguins up to nesting black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins.
National Geographic Endurance
National Geographic Endurance set sail from the western edge of the Falkland Islands late last night. There was a slightly overcast sky when we entered the Beagle Channel in the morning. For the last miles to Ushuaia, we had stunning views of the most southern part of South America. Birds glided and whales swam alongside the vessel. We enjoyed several educational presentations, and there was time for packing luggage and getting souvenirs for friends and family from the Global Gallery. It was a perfect day to enjoy relaxing aboard the ship and making use of the spa, gym, and wellness facilities. The afternoon was filled with the third part of National Geographic photographer Michael Melford’s presentation, “On Assignment with National Geographic.” We enjoyed the famous Guest Slideshow, where we saw photos taken by our fellow travelers during our voyage to some of the most spectacular and densely-populated wildlife regions on our planet. In the evening, we enjoyed delicious drinks and nibbles during the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party in the Ice Lounge, which rounded out this hard to summarize expedition of National Geographic Endurance to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. It is a trip we will surely never forget.