At Sea, Drake Passage

Jan 26, 2018 - National Geographic Orion


After an amazing six days on the Antarctic Peninsula, National Geographic Orion started back across the Drake Passage toward Ushuaia, Argentina. It was not surprising at all that our luck with the weather would hold, at least for the first day at sea! Relatively smooth waters, and semi-clear skies were the order of the day, so most guests enjoyed a relaxing day of travel, after a very busy week of exploration! A later breakfast set the tone for the day, low-key, and a chance to maybe look at all those great photos that were taken on the voyage. For the most part, it was a chance to un-wind, and remember the wonderful adventures that we had just experienced! The Drake was so calm, that there was not enough wind for most of the sea birds to efficiently fly, so the sightings were few-and-far-between!

Right after breakfast the loaner photo gear from B&H was collected, and just a few items were handed back out. Soon after that, Marylou Blakeslee, one of our naturalists did an enlightening presentation about krill, these amazing little crustaceans that drive the entire food chain in the Southern Ocean. Just before lunch Alex, our assistant expedition leader, gave us a disembarkation briefing, which answered any questions about the logistics of leaving the ship in Ushuaia, and heading home. Later in the day, Tom Richie did another lecture about one of the renowned explorers of Antarctica, Ernest Shackleton, a.k.a. “The Boss.”

Just before dinner we had our final recap for the voyage, which gave us some further information about the magical place we had visited on our journey, including stunning underwater footage by our undersea specialists! We also found out that we would head towards Cape Horn, just so we could get a look, and say we “rounded-the-Horn.”

All-in-all, another good day, but a relaxing one! 

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About the Author

Rich Kirchner

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Rich Kirchner has worked as a naturalist in Antarctica, Alaska, the Bering Sea, Baja and the High Arctic, including Greenland, the Canadian Arctic and Iceland. His 25 years as a professional wildlife photographer has granted him international publication credits included in magazines such as Geo Germany, Geo France, Natural History, Audubon, National Wildlife and Ranger Rick, as well as more than a hundred books.

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