The Beagle Channel

Jan 26, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer

With the strength of the Southern Ocean winds escorting us back home, National Geographic Explorer sailed the final leg of the Drake Passage toward our destination of Ushuaia.

What a trip! 

What was your motivation for exploring this southern continent? Was it the spirit of adventure? The chance to see a part of the world very few get to experience? Perhaps it was discovery, figuring out what this precious planet is all about. Were you curious about the mammals of the Southern Ocean? Killer whales, humpbacks, crabeater seals, oh my! Or maybe you were just plain old curious… What is this southern continent that the Greeks philosophized about many thousands of years ago? 

Did the ice capture your heart? The penguins tug at your heartstrings?

Whatever our motivations were, Explorer provided a backdrop for our hearts and minds to wander. And now we wonder: What will our return from the wilderness bring? 

For many of us, we set out to travel to a pristine part of the world, unsure of what awaited. Now, as we return home, it’s time to reflect on our experiences and let them solidify in our lives.

We haven’t merely vacationed. We’ve traveled. We’ve learned. We’ve explored.

We’ve met new friends, experienced penguin thievery at its finest, felt the reverb from the exhale of a humpback whale, peered into the nostril of a leopard seal—and that’s just the beginning. 

What will you make of your travels south? What will this experience become to you?

Enjoy your travels home, companions. It’s been an amazing adventure. Thanks for being along for the ride.

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About the Author

Katie Crafts


As a kid, Katie wore mom-made, whale-covered jumpers (the uniform of the cool kid, right?!). In high school, she developed a study abroad program so that she could travel to Spain and see what more of the world was like. In college, she spent six weeks on a tall ship, sailing from Massachusetts to the Caribbean using a sextant, and doing plankton tows at all hours of the days and nights. Through these experiences, she started to piece together the planet from a cultural and environmental perspective.

About the Photographer

Andrew Peacock and Bud Lehnhausen

Andrew Peacock and Bud Lehnhausen

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