Happy New Year! It is hard to believe that we all gathered in Buenos Aires just a couple days ago, intrepid travelers from around the world coming together for the upcoming Epic Antarctic expedition. After an early charter flight to Ushuaia, near the southern tip of South America, we spent the afternoon exploring the unique biome of Tierra del Fuego and the Beagle Channel before boarding National Geographic Endurance, our new home for the upcoming month of exploration. Last night, we departed the pier and sailed east, then south, toward the far southern reaches of the globe. Today we made good progress across the Drake Passage, crossing the significant geographic and natural transition zones it represents on our way to Antarctica. During the day, we had a number of informative presentations and time to familiarize ourselves with the vessel. Most importantly, we got to know our fellow explorers and shared stories, anticipating not only the New Year but also our arrival to a unique and fascinating region of the planet.