Drake Passage Northbound

Jan 15, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer

The wonders and good luck never stop. Having had a relatively smooth beginning of the voyage heading across the Drake Passage in calm seas and then spectacular weather during our time along the Antarctic Peninsula, we were expecting a different kind of passage northward at the end of the voyage. But once again we were treated to a smooth ride. Leaving the South Shetland Islands our evening was restful and there was no reason for a wake-up call in the morning. People got up when they wanted and wandered down to the dining room for breakfast.  Some may have even decided to sleep through the day’s first meal.

Throughout the day there were opportunities to learn more from the staff and guest presenters.  There was also time to look through the gigabytes of images captured during this incredible experience we are just finishing. One objective was to select five images to share with the group and be presented on the last evening at the captain’s farewell cocktails. For many it was difficult to determine which image they found to be most appealing.

The day was also a time to reflect on the experience we have all shared. Antarctica is a special part of the world.  A mysterious distant land for most people and one that is initially a bit scary, only because of the stories about the Drake Passage and the harrowing exploits of past explorers. We were fortunate to have had a lovely ocean crossing to and mostly from the peninsula. The weather while experiencing the mountains, icebergs, and wildlife could hardly have been better, and our companionship among all involved will also be a memory that will pass only slowly. For some, longtime friendships have been formed and will be continued. For those who work for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic we will hopefully see some of these guests again on another voyage discovering some other part of the world on a very special expedition.

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About the Author

Bud Lehnhausen


Bud received an undergraduate degree in wildlife biology at Colorado State University. He then immediately went to Alaska where he worked and lived for 30 years. At the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Bud studied wildlife biology and received a master's degree conducting research on four species of alcid seabird nesting on a remote island in the Gulf of Alaska.

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