At Sea

Jan 08, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer

Last night we waved goodbye to Ushuaia, Argentina, and knew it was the last civilization we would see for more than a week. We’re headed to Antarctica! We awoke on our first sea day to our expedition leader’s voice welcoming us to the Drake Passage. We must’ve brought good karma, because we had uncharacteristically calm seas. We’re on Drake Lake today!

Days at sea are great for enjoying all the amenities offered aboard our vessel, National Geographic Explorer. Explorer is a beautiful ship and offers a gym with ocean views, a sauna, library, chart room, a bistro, and spacious lounge. Some guests took advantage of the free time to book a massage with our wellness specialist—surely a good idea to loosen up our muscles before the upcoming active expedition.

Days on the ship are also a great time to get to know some of the crew members. Let’s meet two very important men, our bar team!

Chris has been as a bar waiter on National Geographic Explorer since 2009 but worked in the industry for many years prior. His favorite trip is to South Georgia because he likes to see all the king penguins and elephant seals. Chris has one son, and when he’s home in the Philippines, he enjoys picking up different jobs throughout the community and going on long drives. Driving for long hours is one of his favorite ways to relax and clear his head. When asked what about him might surprise people, he disclosed that his favorite music is love songs.

Marek, our bar manager, came to Explorer shortly after Chris (they both worked on National Geographic Endeavour before). Marek started out as part of the deck team—he’s a skilled carpenter. Though he likes carpentry, he prefers working behind the bar where he can interact with people and be in the center of the action. Marek has been collecting corks since 1994 and currently has around 320,000! He plans to use the corks to build a replica of a French castle and be listed in “The Guinness Book of Records.”

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About the Author

Shaylyn Potter

Undersea Specialist

Shaylyn was born and raised in small-town Oregon, which she credits for her unwavering love and respect for the natural world. Her passion for the outdoors and exploration began at a young age, and she spent her childhood taking full advantage of what Oregon had to offer—waterskiing, snowboarding, hiking, and camping.

About the Photographer

Michael Jackson


An experienced traveler, Michael has lived on several continents, including a year spent working as a naturalist and zoologist in Galápagos and three months in Kenya conducting a study of birds of prey. He is the author of Galápagos: A Natural History, a comprehensive guidebook which details the natural history of the plants and animals found on the islands. 

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