At Sea in the Drake Passage

Dec 25, 2018 - National Geographic Orion

It’s Christmas! The whole ship has been alive with laughter and noise today as we celebrated. The morning was filled with a wonderful talk from Marylou on Antarctica’s incredible ice and geology. This was followed mostly by games played in the lounge. It was lovely to see a sea of Santa hats across the ship.

Around us the Drake Passage was calm, offering us a gentle ride back up to Ushuaia. Black-browed albatross, cape petrels, and fulmars spiraled around the ship, leading our way back north. Lunch was a spread of turkey and ham with all the trimmings and the dining room was festively decorated for the season. Everyone sat down to a lovely Christmas lunch. Now after ten days at sea together, we are less a group of strangers and more a party of firm friends.

After dinner, I gave a talk on the killer whales of the Southern Ocean and then, we enjoyed more Christmas food! This time a variety of festive cakes and treats. We finished up the day with a big recap, coving a range of topics from humpback whale brains, citizen science, and beautiful photography from our adventure.

Dinner was a buffet in the lounge and everyone had a chance to enjoy a Christmas evening in their own way. A lovely festive day at sea! 

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About the Author

Ella Potts


Ella’s passion has always been in marine conservation, with a childhood spent swimming, kayaking or boating in the chilly waters of the UK, or surveying the marine life of those waters from windswept headlands. She has numerous, distinct early memories of shivering adults, wrapped up in jumpers and cagoules, looking down at her with slight horror through sheets of rain and commenting on her short sleeves. A phenomena that persists to this day.  She graduated with a Masters degree in Marine Biology: Conservation and Resource Management from Swansea University, setting her up for a career protecting those marine ecosystems that she so loves. 

Ella has worked for several British whale conservancy charities, including ORCA and the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) and is a British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) marine mammal medic. She has a real passion for lecturing, and during her time in these different organizations has presented to vastly ranging audiences; from groups of young children right up to filled auditoriums at the headquarters of HWDT partner, WWF. 

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