From the National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica
Jan 6, 2013 - National Geographic Explorer
Yesterday evening when National Geographic Explorer left the Antarctic Peninsula behind, the wind had picked up and most of us went to bed worrying about the rough crossing ahead in the Drake Passage. Cameras, books and other personal items were placed on the floor and many of our fellow travelers did what they could to prevent seasickness and slept well because of that. In the early morning hours we woke to find gray skies and calmer seas than expected; fog was coming and going and many beautiful black and white cape petrels were flying around the ship.
Around six in the morning the early birders waited for fresh croissants and pastries from the galley as the cooks were busy preparing the morning fare. Later after a delicious breakfast the first presentation was ready to go ahead. During this voyage we have guests from all over the world. When we have travelers from India on board, I give a talk about the building of an Indian research base on the eastern side of Antarctic that I was involved in many years ago, to honor their presence. Later, David Cothran gave an interesting talk about Antarctica being halfway to space as an environment and how amazing astronomy is being done on the ice continent.
After lunch the weather improved even more to 5 degrees C or 40 degrees F. More people spent time outside watching the clouds and seabirds in the wake of the ship; we were lucky to have pintados, giant petrels, wandering albatross and the interesting Antarctic prions. Their gray color, known as omega gray, is the same shade the U.S. Navy uses for its fleet. There was also a meeting of the Salty Dog officers, crew, and staff on the bridge. It was a great opportunity to see many of the people that make this ship and this trip what it is – a great experience.