From the National Geographic Explorer at Sea
Nov 30, 2010 - National Geographic Explorer
On awakening early this morning we were surprised to find that our ship was already well over 100 miles south of Cape Horn, well into fabled Drake Passage. Although the wind was strong as it most often is at these latitudes, it was blowing uncharacteristically from the north. We were blessed with the gentle motion of a following sea, both wind and waves are helping to propel us towards our destination with only a hint of discomfort for even the most sensitive among us. After a hearty breakfast followed by an introduction to the natural history staff many of us went out on the aft deck. There we learned about and marveled at the magnificent wandering albatross and their various smaller relatives that were crisscrossing over the wake behind us.
Between our naps and meals we had time for three presentations. Steve Maclean spoke about the characteristics of the Southern Ocean, its winds, currents and productivity. Justin Hoffman prepared us for effectively using our digital cameras and we learned about plate tectonics and the geology of Antarctica from Jason Kelley.
Excitement grows with every mile traversed.