This morning found National Geographic Resolution cutting through the fog and pushing south toward the South Shetland Islands. As breakfast ended, the fog lifted, and Barrientos Island appeared in front of the ship! With much excitement, everyone donned their boots and parkas and went ashore to set foot on the islands of Antarctica. Penguins and elephant seals waited to greet the new visitors. Humans and animals alike showed their curiosity. While it seemed all too short, the trip ashore ended with anticipation of an afternoon Zodiac cruise. At the end of lunch, eight black Zodiacs dotted with orange clad photographers circled Edinburgh Hill, a stunning presentation of lava frozen in time. With the adventures complete for the day, all the new Antarctic explorers retreated to the ship for cold drinks and warm food. What a day!
National Geographic Resolution
The huge distances we have covered on this journey meant that our last full day was spent almost completely at sea on our return leg from Antarctica. After a merciful lie-in, we crowded the decks as we sailed past Cape Horn, the majestic headland at the bottom tip of Hornos Island, the southernmost point of Tierra del Fuego and the entire South American continent. Despite its fearsome reputation, pleasant seas allowed for an enjoyable brunch before we plunged into our presentation schedule for the morning and afternoon. Naturalist Gail Ashton related her experience of living on the Antarctica continent for 18 months, Jonny Reid discussed marine mammal acoustics and the underwater soundscapes of this region, and Jess Farrer explained how the study of whale and seal poop can tell us so much about these animals. As we entered the Beagle Channel, the stunning mountains of Tierra del Fuego lined our passage to Ushuaia. Gathering in the Ice Lounge for the captain’s farewell party, we toasted a hugely enjoyable trip and the new friends we have made.