Our 2019 class of Grosvenor Teacher Fellows recently returned from expeditions around the globe aboard Lindblad-National Geographic ships. Four of this year’s 45 fellows took time to share some of their favorite, funny, and unexpected moments in the wild.
As COVID-19 stilled human sound and motion, the whole world heard it: a silence in which something was calling out to be heard. The wildness at the heart of the world. Now, it’s time to listen. To find out what the world has to say. To give the places where wildness is still sovereign, or still in harmony, or, still unbroken, a genuine listen.
A new word has entered the lexicon—vaxication—coined to capture the sense of elation and possibility being vaccinated inspires. And the action it lets you take: trading pandemic confinement for wide-open spaces and unfettered movement. Learn more about this growing trend.
After entering the stunning reef pass into Wallis, we dropped anchor and began to deploy all the toys for the day. When we packed up and exited Wallis on our way to Samoa, a few dolphins and seabirds were spotted by keen observers, under beautiful conditions with a light breeze. Our day was filled with presentations and an art class, where many took what they learned in a fish identification class and created their own masterpieces. The day ended with a cocktail hour and a fiery sunset as we sailed east to a new country! Photo caption : The entrance pass into Wallis. Photo by Mike Greenfelder
What a beautiful day in Puerto Magdalena! After a stunning sunrise during our morning stretch class with Tina, our wellness specialist, guests disembarked for a morning of various hiking options. We saw a fully reticulated gray whale skeleton and hiked in the arid climate of Isla Magdalena, through cacti to an overlook of the Pacific Ocean. In addition to humpback whale spouts in the distance, many guests were surprised to have a peregrine falcon fly overhead! After a delicious lunch onboard National Geographic Sea Lion , our afternoon was filled with more hiking, fat-tire biking, and tour options in town. Whether hiking deeper into the hills, biking alongside the coast to a sandy beach, or learning about the local desalination plant, everyone ended their sunny day at Miramar, a local restaurant run by Chejo, that served delicious guacamole and cervezas (beer!). Our splendid second full day of activities ended with some fun recaps about peregrine falcons, shells, and barnacle reproductive parts. Who could ask for anything better?
Today we had a typically beautiful, sunny Baja day with a cloudless sunrise as Wellness Instructor Lola shared her stretching moves on the main deck. The sun rose as we got ready for our fourth and last whale search. The pangueros from Puerto Lopez Mateos took us to Boca de la Soledad where the grays gifted us with several rainbow spouts. On our way back to National Geographic Sea Bird, we spotted a flock of brown pelicans, youngsters and adults, displaying their different plumages. We also found males, females, and young magnificent frigatebirds perched in the mangroves. Some of us observed one of the southernmost bald eagles on the planet! During our walk on the dunes to get to Sand Dollar Beach, we found ancient middens from the original people who lived in this area, complete with broken shells and stone tools. Dinner was lovely with introductions of all the stewards and kitchen staff that made our stay so comfortable and who cooked delicious food during our expedition. We closed the day with our traditional, end of voyage slide show.
A faint light illuminated the sea around National Geographic Resolution this morning, barely penetrating the thick fog around the South Orkney Islands. Entering the channel at the west end of Coronation Island, we pulled up alongside small Monroe Island and tentatively launched the Zodiacs. As if given a signal, the sun burned through the fog, revealing a spectacular mountainous landscape. Our zodiac cruise began, and we observed a Cape petrel and South Georgia shag in the sky above, while leopard seals hunted chinstrap penguins in the waters below. After lunch we watched fin whales hunt krill before we set sail for South Georgia. To prepare us, historian Stephen Fisher explained the tragic history of whaling in these waters, a grim reminder of the effect man can have on these beautiful surroundings.
Today we learned about the culture of Costa Rica. The Osa Peninsula is a region of Costa Rica that protects about 80% of its land. Many locals started projects that harmonize with the culture of conservation in this region. We landed at Playa Blanca and were greeted by many scarlet macaws as well as many other bird species. We embarked our buses to visit some of the families and to learn about their projects. We visited sites focused on gold panning and sugar, a cacao and vanilla plantation, the heart of palm projects, and explored the forest trail of an old farm that has recovered their ecosystem for conservation.