Nov 20, 2017 - National Geographic Orion
The National Geographic Orion dipped below 60 degrees south latitude for a quick stop at Coronation Island en route to Elephant Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Not only does this put us officially into Antarctica for treaty purposes, but we have clearly moved into a colder and more severe climate regime. Fog and low clouds routinely drape the western point of the Island, which hosts thousands of chinstrap penguins lining all available shorelines along this part of the coast. Luckily the wind, clouds, and sea cooperated enough to allow a landing on the small beach, where the penguins entertained all who made it ashore. By mid-morning we were again on our way across the open sea, avoiding pack ice in a freshening southerly wind, as we roughly paralleled Shackleton’s perilous passage to South Georgia in reverse.