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Lastest Expedition Reports

Royal Bay, St. Andrew’s Bay, South Georgia

We awoke this morning to the gentle radio voice of our fearless expedition leader, Shaun Powell, convincing us to witness the pre-dawn light as it turned the clouds red and the snow dusted mountains of Royal Bay orange.  Once the sleep was rubbed out of our eyes it was obvious why we were here.  Our trusted Zodiacs and drivers carried us bravely over the moraine and through the surf to the calm waters inside the bay. Juvenile fur seals escorted us to shore, where we would find a shoreline littered with king penguins. It was hard to believe that this colony of 30,000 pairs is one of the smaller colonies on South Georgia. No amount of photos can capture the magnificence of this scene, with mountains, glaciers and penguins in every direction we looked. Some of us just sat down amongst the penguins and soaked it all in.  We then braved the seas yet again, and made it back to the ship for lunch and a brief siesta, only to be awed into silence at our next destination. This ride on the Zodiacs proved to be a bit more exciting as we stormed the shore break at St. Read More>

Feb 8, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Antarctica

Boca de Soledad

Today we spent the entire day in the Boca de Soledad. We awakened aboard National Geographic Sea Bird to 61 degrees Fahrenheit, blue skies with high patchy clouds, and a light breeze. It was perfect weather to climb into our inflatable boats and get a closer look at the gray whales. And boy did we get closer looks!  The boats sped along the water and there were blows in all directions, near and far. Read More>

Feb 8, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California

St. Lucia

We sailed from the Iles des Saintes to the beautiful island of St. Lucia. This small island of approximately 200 square miles and population of 180,000 is the birthplace of two Nobel Laureates, Arthur Lewis in Economics and Derek Walcott in literature—a real testimony to the quality of the educational system. They both attended the same island schools! During the night of our sail from Iles des Saintes to Saint Lucia there was a following swell, which provided just enough of a gentle rocking to make sleeping a pleasure. Breakfast this morning at 7:30 was sparsely attended—the four-hour Super Bowl of last night may have had something to do with it. Thankfully the ship also provided a late breakfast. At 9:30 Tom Heffernan gave a lecture on the “Creole Languages of the Caribbean. Read More>

Feb 8, 2016 Sea Cloud in Caribbean

Osa Peninsula: Caletas reserve & Corcovado National Park

What a day at Osa Peninsula! The most biodiverse place on the planet nobody left disappointed with nature everywhere: birds, lizards, mammals all in an amazing rain forest.  The second full day of our journey was a great experience. In the morning we enjoyed hiking in various ways, for those preferring a slower pace, we offered a “flat” nature walk, a wonderful way to spend part of the morning with our naturalist and enjoy the rain forest. Read More>

Feb 8, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica & Panama

Godthul Harbour, South Georgia

This morning while everyone had a chance to enjoy a nice sleep in, the bridge team was working to keep the ship in a safe position in Godthul Harbour. Winds were howling in the bay, with wind speeds recorded up to 78 knots, hurricane speeds. We all heard the thrusters operating intensely, which made most of us aware that a potential landing was not going to happen this morning. At 9. Read More>

Feb 7, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Antarctica

Isla Magdalena & Canal de Soledad

Oh how soft, warm, and yummy to wiggle your toes in the caressing sands of Isla Magdalena. The texture cannot be described as sand like, it is blazingly white and amazingly fine, much more like cake flour. Why wear shoes when this is your carpet? We had the opportunity to walk across the island amongst these silky smooth dunes piled and shaped by the prevailing winds. There was an exceptionally high tide this morning and the tidal water had migrated back behind the beach and filled low lying swales and dips amongst the dunes. Read More>

Feb 7, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Caribbean

Iles des Saintes

We sailed north from Cabritz point Dominica to the Iles des Saintes (“The Saints”) and dropped anchor at 7a.m. in the lovely picturesque harbor of the main city in the Iles des Saintes, simply called “Bourg,” or in English the “City.” It is so petit that it hardly qualifies for the name “hamlet,” but it is picturesque in a remarkably continental French way. The town’s two most imposing buildings are a lovely Catholic Church and a town hall, proclaiming “Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité”—those ideals emerging from the French Revolution. The archipelago consists of seven volcanic islands, but only two have all year residents. Read More>

Feb 7, 2016 Sea Cloud in Caribbean

North Seymour & Rabida Islands

As this journey begins, we can feel the anticipation in the air. We begin our day at North Seymour, with a landing on the rocky coast line. Small sea lions awaiting their mothers greet us as we arrive. Heading inland through drab vegetation, we are surprised at the density of life, as land iguanas walk among us and frigatebirds soar overhead. Read More>

Feb 7, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Manuel Antonio National Park and Osa Peninsula

The first morning of the voyage truly displayed the beauty of the “rich coast” of Costa Rica. National Geographic Sea Lion approached our landing spot at Manuel Antonio National Park as the sun was rising. This protected area on the Central Pacific of Costa Rica was created thankfully to the vision of government authorities along with the local community of Quepos back in 1972. Early risers explored the decks while some joined in yoga exercises before breakfast was served. Read More>

Feb 7, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica & Panama

Grytviken, South Georgia

As he awoke blinking, Franklin’s consciousness slowly became aware of his surroundings. Rocky beach. Wind. Big Yawn. He closed his eyes and nuzzled his head a little further into the tussock grass that he had nestled into the night before. Snort. Snuffle. The sound of the waves crashing onto the shore taunted him, begging for him to come in for a swim. He wasn’t especially sleepy, it just didn’t seem like time to get up yet. One of the best parts of being a fur seal pup was doing whatever you wanted. He wasn’t even that hungry, his mother had left a few days ago and he’d sure she’d be back to give him some milk. Some of the slow fat seals were nearby, squished in all together, belching away, sleeping in their own filth. Franklin cracked one eye open to examine them. Not that he was scared—he was in fact the bravest seal pup on the whole beach—he just wanted to be certain. They were almost ten times his size but he did not fear them, that’s how brave and tough and daring he was. This very thought made him immensely proud and he got up onto his fore flippers, arching his back, twisting his neck and scratched his ear with his hind flipper. The wallow of slow fat seals gazed on stupidly, with what Franklin could only imagine was extreme jealousy, as the extent of their mobility was wriggling their blubberous bulk. He almost pitied them. Mid-scratch he noticed something quite interesting. There were two legs on the beach. A lot of them. All dressed in orange. On HIS beach. This would not stand. Howl. Bark! Weighing in at a ferocious fifteen pounds, Franklin clambered off his tussock mound and dashed towards these intruders. Read More>

Feb 6, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Antarctica

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Please note: All Daily Expedition Reports (DER's) are posted Monday-Friday, during normal business hours.