At Sea, Drake Passage

Feb 18, 2018 - National Geographic Orion

When we stood on deck today and peered out the windows, it was hard to believe that we are in the middle of the Drake Passage, usually one of the most notorious stretches of sea on earth. With just 2-3 m of well and light easterly winds, the surface of the ocean has been quite calm, making for a very pleasant crossing so far. Although it is quiet for birds and mammals, we have been busy on board, decontaminating our boots and hiking gear, as well as enjoying a cocktail party hosted by the Captain. Tomorrow we hope to have our first glimpse of Antarctica: the South Shetland Islands.

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About the Author

Conor Ryan


Hailing from Cobh in the south of Ireland, Conor Ryan grew up on the shores of Cork Harbour where his fascination with the sea led him to study zoology at University College Cork. He continued his studies in marine biology in Galway, where he completed his Ph.D. thesis on the diet and population structure of baleen whales in the Celtic Sea using stable isotope analysis. His research also brought him to Cape Verde in search of the breeding grounds of humpback whales that frequent the coasts of Ireland. However these whales have not yet given up their secret!

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