Crystal Sound & Detaille Island

Feb 01, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

These are the kind of days that linger in our hearts and minds for a long time to come. We awoke to an early morning wake-up as we felt the “bump” of the Antarctic Circle—66 degrees, 33 minutes south.  As Captain Oliver Kruess eloquently navigated the National Geographic Explorer through the pack ice, we enjoyed a morning watching the sea ice mingle between outcrops of glacially calved icebergs. 

At our southernmost point on this journey—67 degrees 03 minutes south—several bold terrestrial mammals braved the 29 degree water and tested their thermoregulatory abilities in the polar plunge!  And, goodness, what strange vocalizations they made as the cold water punctured their brave faces! 

The afternoon took us ashore at the remnants of Base W on Detaille Island, where we enjoyed a lovely hike overlooking an icy bay.  

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About the Author

Katie Crafts


As a kid, Katie wore mom-made, whale-covered jumpers (the uniform of the cool kid, right?!). In high school, she developed a study abroad program so that she could travel to Spain and see what more of the world was like. In college, she spent six weeks on a tall ship, sailing from Massachusetts to the Caribbean using a sextant, and doing plankton tows at all hours of the days and nights. Through these experiences, she started to piece together the planet from a cultural and environmental perspective.

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