Arriving to Antarctica and Half Moon Island

Dec 20, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

This morning we awoke early to an announcement of “Whales ahead!” Leaping from our comfortable beds and springing into action, all assembled on the bow, the bridge, or at any of the hundreds of windows on board the National Geographic Explorer. We watched the hour-long encounter with many different fin and humpback whales. A pre-breakfast appetizer that only Antarctica can serve up. Later we enjoyed the informational lecture about biosecurity in Antarctica and decontaminated our belongings with the staff in order to keep this beautiful continent pristine. The afternoon saw our first landing in the South Shetland Islands and the welcoming committee of chinstrap penguins received us in formal attire. A snow flurry added to the authenticity of the White Continent and to top it all off, Captain Oliver threw a cocktail party afterward

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About the Author

James Hyde


James is a home-grown, free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsmen. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he grew up in and surrounded by the Salish Sea. James has saltwater in his veins, but would be quick to point out we all do, echoing Carl Safina " We are, in a sense, soft vessels of seawater." Born with the travel bug, James was fortunate enough to spend time on four continents before graduating college. During his studies at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, James went to Australia and visited the Great Barrier Reef. He was never the same. A lifetime of playing in the productive, but opaque green water of the Northwest had offered him little firsthand experience of the creatures below its depths, but with a clear view of the colorful dramas playing out across the bottom of the tropical Pacific, he was hooked. Scuba diving and underwater ecology were solidified as his passion and after college, it took him to a dive shop in Seattle fixing gear, tidepooling with local middle school students, and generally making a spectacle of himself in the surf.

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