After a long journey, having braved days of travel, weeks of anticipation, and the full brunt of the open sea, we arrived today in Antarctica. Today the South Shetland Islands, lying north of the Antarctic Peninsula welcomed us and we made a landing, our first of many, onto Barrientos Island. Here we finally met them – penguins, the ambassadors of this land. Seals rested here on Barrientos too, and after admiring them, we continued on, an expedition truly underway.
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.