The Drake Passage

Jan 14, 2019 - National Geographic Orion

We woke up to a gentle rolling in the Drake Passage, but without a single whitecap. A lone black-browed albatross followed in our wake. Without a wake-up call, there was a relaxed energy around the ship, as we caught up on our rest and had time to process the amazing, magical place we were sailing from. But not too much time! A full itinerary was set for the day! First thing on our schedule was an amazing Frühschoppen put on by the galley team, complete with sausages, pretzels, and a Bloody Mary bar!

We heard from Josh McInness about killer whales of the Southern Ocean, which was a great way to recap the amazing encounter we had with the predators of the deep the evening before.

With a sushi lunch in our bellies, Undersea Specialist, Peter Webster spoke about his 18 months at Rothera Research station, giving us fascinating insight into the life of overwintering as a researcher in the Antarctic. And then, before we knew it, it was tea time! This got us settled back into the main lounge to listen to the amazing story of The Boss, Shackleton himself, given by John Pailthrope.

With photos taken at four hour intervals, a series of the Drake Passage illustrates just how calm the Drake Passage has been, though not without its rolling swell!

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About the Author

Karen Velas


Karen Velas cares deeply about protecting the environment and its wildlife.  Over the last 15 years, she has been involved with numerous conservation projects, including working as the Lead Project Coordinator on the California Condor Project with The National Audubon Society, managing projects in the flooded rice fields of California’s Central Valley with The Nature Conservancy and surveying the distant cliffs of Iceland to aid in puffin recovery with the South Iceland Research Centre.

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