South Atlantic Ocean, Beagle Channel and Ushuaia

Mar 08, 2018 - National Geographic Orion


Today is our final day of the expedition. Our crossing from the Falklands towards South America has been very civilized, with relatively calm seas for this part of the ocean. A brisk north wind stirred up some chop, but the large swells stayed further south of our course.

The last day is filled with many tasks, preparing for our early disembarkation tomorrow morning. Of course, we all leave the chore of packing until the last possible moment. There is time to some final pictures outside, at least until the afternoon clouds brought some rain.

There are pictures to be edited and downloaded from the photo kiosks, and email addresses to swap. New friendships have become strong with the adventure we just shared, so staying in touch will reinforce the memories of icebergs, and whale blows, and muddy penguin feet (and muddy human boots!), sunsets that seemed to go on for hours, and a special sunrise among thousands of king penguins and fur seals.

Tonight, Captain Martin informed us that we traveled over 3800 nautical miles, yet already Antarctica seems so far away we might as well have been to the moon and back. Indeed, we are now as astronauts, returning to earth fundamentally changed by an experience that few mortals get to have.

In the morning, we will begin a journey that separates us, drifting apart like so many icebergs, yet we will remain bound together by the little pieces of Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands that are now inside us, and we all share the yearning to return to the ice to find that small part of us that we have left behind.

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About the Author

Doug Gould

Naturalist

Travel and adventure were an integral part of Doug’s upbringing in a small town on the south shore of Long Island, New York. Growing up on the Great South Bay, his family claims Doug learned to sail before he learned to walk. Whether it was camping, sailing, birding, traveling across country or spending most of fifth grade living in Europe, Doug’s formative years left him with a love of wildlife, the outdoors, and a desire to keep moving. 

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