The Drake Passage

Nov 25, 2018 - National Geographic Orion

As we left the Antarctic Peninsula behind us, we were met by a fantastic surprise - no less than six fin whales feeding and playing in the swell alongside our boat. We all charged outside to take pictures of the whales - which were easily within 100m of the boat.

Ralph delivered an incredible talk on his worldly adventures, which was much enjoyed by guests before lunch. After lunch, more whales came our way, with blows being encountered all the way into the Drake Passage. Slowly the birds that we had lost on our journey south, came back to join us on our return passage north, including black-browed albatrosses, cape petrels and white-chinned petrels.

Rob provided an afternoon talk on his exploits in Antarctica whilst working for the US Antarctic Programme which was accompanied by afternoon tea, and before you know it - more food! A recap gave way to our penultimate dinner onboard. A nice opportunity to reflect on an incredible, once in a lifetime journey. 

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About the Author

Ella Potts


Growing up, Ella spent much of her time swimming and kayaking in the cold waters off the rugged coast of West Wales. It was there that she first found her love of the ocean. From those early beginnings she went on to study Biology at undergraduate degree and Environmental Biology, Conservation and Resource Management to Masters degree level, at Swansea University. During her studies, Ella took an ecosystem approach towards assessing the health of our marine systems, with her specialism being in our oceans apex predators, the cetaceans. Following her studies, Ella decided to put her scientific background to good use and move into marine conservation.

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