May 14, 2018 - National Geographic Orion
Destined for Aitutaki, one of the small southern islands within the oceanic archipelago of the Cook Islands, we roll through a day at sea. The weather slapped rains, winds, and swells into National Geographic Orion, yet we pressed on comfortably inside the lounge watching an array of presentations.
Our Global Guest Perspectives Guest Speaker Dr. Joe MacInnis fascinated us with stories from his unique experience working with the infamous genius, James Cameron. From deep sea submersibles to managing profound bereavement, Dr. MacInnis took us on an emotional yet triumphant journey. He shared his insights and respectfulness after working with such a distinguished team of individuals, all beyond intelligent in their own rights.
Naturalist Cristiana Damiano presented a talk about shark biology and conservation throughout Polynesia next. Despite having a controversial reputation, Cristiana showed us how intriguing, beautiful, and adaptive these ancient animals can be.
Continuing on a fishy theme, Undersea Specialist Caitlyn Webster presented her knowledge about identifying the menagerie of fish biodiversity within the South Pacific. Despite the many family groups, colors, shapes, and sizes, Caitlyn articulated some of the key pointers in order to properly figure out what we were seeing swimming in the sea.
The final presentation for the day was given by our National Geographic Photographer Sisse Brimberg, who spoke about her travels on assignment and how to approach photography with creativity and a tangible passion.
Tonight’s recap introduced yet another less familiar type of fish: after sensing the ship’s water pressure as it sliced through the sea, a flying fish had unfortunately opted to “hit the deck”. Although the flying fish perished, we were able to examine its impressive, wing-like pectoral fins and physiology before returning it to sleep with the fishes.