At Sea

Jan 27, 2018 - National Geographic Orion

Later tonight we’ll reach the dock in Ushuaia once again. We had forgotten the multicolored lupine and the steep roofed homes we saw upon our arrival. It seems so long ago, so many experiences ago. The ecstatic call of the penguins and the varied blue of the ice are behind us, yet the memories linger. The wildness of the places we experienced have changed us in ways beyond words. The charts record our linear journey but the experiences tell another story. Time itself changes when one is surrounded by wilderness. It is hard to say exactly how long one watched a penguin feed its chick, or how much time expired around each iceberg. Somehow the depth of experience changes the perception of time. Our ten days doesn’t exactly fit into the calendar. It holds its own space in our lives.  

The black-browed albatrosses outside the windows guide us back to port like experienced pilots, sure of the course and speed.

Our Drake crossing has been easy. Calm seas and mild winds gently rocked us to sleep last night and then softly handed us off to the serenity of the Beagle Channel.

Adam Cropp presented the latest science concerning climate change in an engaging and interactive program that was informative and stimulated good conversations.

It is our last day and so we are exchanging information and ways of staying in touch. Conversations are debating the next trip to take and who would like to come along on that trip.

Rented boots are returned to an ever entertaining staff.

Our National Geographic photographer, Rich Reid, gave a fantastic program about being on assignment with National Geographic.

The Captain’s farewell party is bittersweet. The guest slide show of all of our images, compiled by photo instructor Rich Kirchner, brings back each magical moment. We HAVE had a magnificent trip and want to share our stories with the loved ones at home, but leaving is a sticky business. For the past 10 days every adventure was followed by the next. Each adventure was so different from the preceding one. Now we adjust to this new part of ourselves, hatched in the Antarctic like penguin chicks, we return home with and fit into the context of our lives. “Happy Trails,” new friends.

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About the Author

Marylou Blakeslee


For the past 20 years, Marylou Blakeslee has traveled the world sharing her love of wild places. She lectures on a number of topics from the bears and wolves of the Arctic, to the leopard seals and whales of the Antarctic, as well as the turtles and fishes of the Great Barrier Reef.

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